Clement Travelers
"THE MINSTREL SHOW" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Bill Justis-Jack Clement
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 338
Recorded: - February 1958
RCA Studio B, 30 Music Square West
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - February 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3536-A mono
THE MINSTREL SHOW / THREE LITTLE GUITARS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement - Vocal and Guitar
Bob L. Moore - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Chorus The Anita Kerr Singers

The next two sides sat in the can for over a year before finally appearing in February 1959. If anyone wonders just how much creative control producer Jack Clement had achieved in the Sun studio, one needs look no further than this record. Clearly, Clement had his eye on a bigger segment of the pop marketplace   than crossover country. What goes on here is a far sight beyond sweetening some Johnny Cash tracks.

On "The Minstrel Show", Clement has attempted to recreate the noisy, good time feeling of turn of the century entertainment. In truth, he hasn't done a bad job; its just that this form of music will hold little pleasure for most Sun collectors.

The real inspiration here comes from a more recent icon of popular culture, and Clement has followed obediently in his shoes. This track is a spot-on imitation of something Mitch Miller might have created with his "sing-along" music for the brain-dead. What an awful role model Clement has chosen. (HD)
 

PI 3536-A 45rpm



Clement Travelers
"THREE LITTLE GUITARS" - B.M.I. - 1:34
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 339
Recorded: - February 1958
RCA Studio B, 30 Music Square West
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - February 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3536-B mono
THREE LITTLE GUITARS / THE MINSTREL SHOW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement - Vocal and Guitar
Bob L. Moore - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Chorus The Anita Kerr Singers

On this side will be more tolerable to most Sun fans simply because the voices and trite lyrica are gone. However, this style of melodic construction owes nothing to contemporary country or rockabilly. Instead, it is rooted firmly in the early 1900s. It is just what you might have heard at one of those minstrel shows or, if you really want to push the time machine, on a backporch in somebody's southern plantation. You can almost imagine Stephen Foster hiding in the bushes taking notes. (HD)
 

PI 3536-B 45rpm



Jimmy Demopoulos
"HOPELESS LOVE" - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Gwen McEwen
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 339
Recorded: - Probably End 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3537-A mono
HOPELESS LOVE / IF I HAD MY WAY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Demopoulos – Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
Unknown Musicians

This track, released simultaneously with Jack Clement's "The Minstrel Show", completed the coup de grace for many Sun fans who were sampling the waters on the PI release schedule. "Hopeless Love" indeed. It's not so much that this is a bad record; it just shouldn't be a Sun record.  Jimmy Demopoulos was son of a Greek immigrant, Nick Demopoulos, who ran the local American Legion Restaurant in Memphis. He first came to prominence at age 18 when he won a singing contest at the 1956 Mid-South Fair. He sang "Moonglow: and told everyone that Eddie Fisher was his favorite artist, as if we couldn't guess.  Later that year, he started a course in dentistry, went on the Ted Mack TV show, and auditioned for Lawrence Welk. No surprises there, either. (HD)(CE)
 

PI 3537-A 45rpm



Jimmy Demopoulos
"IF I HAD MY WAY" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:45
Composer: - Kendis-Klein
Publisher: - Paul Pioneer
Matrix number: - P 340
Recorded: - Probably End 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3537-B mono
IF I HAD MY WAY / HOPELESS LOVE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Demopoulos – Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
Unknown Musicians

In 1958, he finally persuaded Bill Justis to take a chance on him. "The thing that worried us", Justis told the Memphis Press Scimitar in January 1959, "is that we were afraid his voice was too good, too clean. He's great. Is he commercial?". Mercifully, the answer was "No!".  Bill Justis chose "If I Had My Way", a 1913 song popularized by barbershop quartets (and revived by Bing Crosby as the title song for a movie in 1940), as the A-side. Sales were probably good among Memphis' Greek community, but insufficiently good to persuade Sam Phillips to take another chance on him. Demopoulos went on to record for Pepper Records before being inducted into the Army as a dental assistant. He later changed his name to Jimmy Damon and worked as a nightclub singer in Chicago for a few years before disappearing from view. (HD)(CE)
 

PI 3537-B 45rpm



Cliff Thomas
"I'M THE ONLY ONE'' - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 341
Recorded: - February 1, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3538-A mono
ALL YOUR LOVE / TIDEWIND
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-23 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

Cliff Thomas's final record on PI is arguably his worst. This one pushes the formula 'til it's paper thin. The uptempo "I'm The Only One" (also known as "All Your Love") is weaker than previous Thomas material and Cliff's vocal is, with apologies, just awful. His reading of the word "day" in the second line is so flat its a wonder that Sam Phillips or Jack Clement or someone didn't simply abort the take. But as usual, if we could magically transform this into an instrumental track featuring Ed's rocking piano and an adventurous drummer (probably Jimmy van Eaton), we'd have something to smile about.  (HD)(CE)
 

PI 3538-A 45rpm



Cliff Thomas
"TIDEWIND" - B.M.I. - 1:45
Composer: - Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 342
Recorded: - February 1, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3538-B mono
TIDEWIND / ALL YOUR LOVE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-24 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

"Tidewind", is a tad bizarre to say the least. Somebody, perhaps Ed or Barbara, should have understood that their admittedly cute adolescent sib was not up to sing ballads. This one lies beyond Cliff's evolving capabilities. When the song gets into that 4-chord, do you notice a melodic similarity to "Cattywampus" (Also known as "Tuf")? Its actually more than a similarity. Its a note for note vocal line based on that forbidden melody.

We don't know what happened to Ed and Barbara, but Cliff Thomas hung around the entertainment scene, such as it was, in Jackson, Mississippi, and was last seen "improving" the old Ace masters for reissues. Interviewed in 1990, he was on the point of leaving Ace to take up a position in the garment business in Jamaica. "Do they have country stations in Jamaica?" he asked quite innocently. "Man, I hate that Reggie music". (HD)(CE)
 

PI 3538-B 45rpm



Carl Mann
"MONA LISA" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:28
Composer: - Jay Livinston-Ray Evans
Publisher: - Famous Music Corporation
Matrix number: - P 343
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 15, 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3539-A mono
MONA LISA / FOOLISH HEART
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name(Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland – Drums

This is a landmark record. It not only launched the career of 16 year old Carl Mann, but provided an unexpected hit for the fledgling Phillips International label in the Spring of 1959. In fact, ''Mona Lisa'' very nearly didn't get released. Cecil Scaife, Sun's promotion manager at the time, recorded these sides in January 1959 and tried in vain to talk Sam Phillips into releasing them. ''We don't release mediocre product'' was the response he got. Only after Conway Twitty's clone arrangement began stirring up attention as an LP cut, did Sam relent and allow his own single to reach the market. Scaife went to town and promoted the record into a Top 30 hit.

Mann's version of ''Mona Lisa'' bears little resemblance to Nat Cole's hit record from 1951. The melody is all but gone and sections of original lyric have disappeared, but Mann and his buddies from Jackson, Tennessee have brought something very special to the party, and it is undoubtedly these elements that drew young listeners in droves, while repelling many of the older folks who remembered Cole's melancholy version from earlier in the decade. The origins of the arrangement have been shrouded in mystery until recently, when drummer W.S. Holland recalled to journalist John Floyd that he had taken his wife to a club just outside of Jackson where a singer, whose name has disappeared into the mists of time, was performing a set of souped-up Nat Cole tunes.

Setting a pattern that would haunt him for most of his Phillips International recording career, Carl Mann offered a rather unemotional vocal against a smooth rolling rhythm. Guitarist Eddie Bush anchored this work with a muted string rock-a-cha rhythm that one could find on contemporary pop tunes like Bobby Darin's ''Dream Lover''. Then, just when you thought it was safe to go into the water, Bush cut loose with one of his maniacal guitar breaks that woke up listeners in three countries. Bush's style, wildly emotional as it was, was not pure rockabilly. His work. with its patented descending thirds, really owed more to the Mexican or mariachi style that could be heard on tunes like Marty Robbins' ''El Paso''. Drummer W.S. Holland, who had already graced the best Sun recordings by Carl Perkins (and would soon join Johnny cash for a 40-year stint), contributed some fine single stroke rolls at the end of each verse. Mann's piano playing was barely adequate, which was more than fine for this record. Like his workmanlike vocals, they merely set the stage for Bush's barely controlled outbursts. (HD)
 

PI 3539-A 45rpm



Carl Mann
"FOOLISH ONE" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Carl Mann
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 344
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 15, 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3539-B mono
FOOLISH ONE / MONA LISA
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name(Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland – Drums

''Foolish One'', a flip-side nearly lost in the shuffle, deserved better. Sam and Sun loved hybrid music and it's clear they got their money's worth. The big difference is that the parts don't come together here, they happen in sequence. The verses have a Latinesque feel. You can also find traces of hillbilly shuffle, rock and roll, and a straight finger pickin' country solo. These segments are neatly framed by the kick-ass drumming of W.S. Holland who once again shows he was more than the straight timekeeper he would become years later for Johnny Cash. (HD)
 

PI 3539-B 45rpm



Edwin Howard
"MORE PRETTY GIRLS THAN ONE" - A.S.C.A.P.- 2:01
Composer: - Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 346
Recorded: - January 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3540-A mono
MORE PRETTY GIRLS THAN ONE / FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLE COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Edwin Howard - Vocal
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Unknown - Drums

Since 1942, Edwin Howard had been the entertainment columnist and subsequently Amusement editor at the Memphis Press Scimitar. In early January 1959, he thought he'd try something a little different. He convinced Sam Phillips to let him cut a record at Sun, which he would then turn into a feature piece for the local nespaper. Phillips had little to lose, and lots of publicity to gain. He turned Howard over to Bill Justis, who arranged these two sides, while Jack Clement worked the controls.

Some might say that as a vocalist, Howard was a pretty good journalist. His voice doesn't have much emotional range, certainly compared with others who were wandering in and out of Sun at the time, but then Howard came from a different universe. Born on Grand Island, Florida, on July 26, 1924, he didn't inhabit the hardscrabble world of the honky tonks; instead, he frequented the best restaurants and clubs and continued himself on good terms with Memphis's grandees. He was, among other things, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and cofounder of the Memphis Shakespeare festival. (HD)(CE)
 

PI 3540-A 45rpm



Edwin Howard
"FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:30
Composer: - Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 345
Recorded: - January 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3540-B mono
FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES / MORE PRETTY GIRLS THAN ONE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLE COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Edwin Howard - Vocal
Billy Riley - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Unknown - Drums

"Forty Leven Times" was based on something Howard had heard his mother say many times, and was set to the melody of Barbara Allen.   "More Pretty Girls Than One" (a traditional tune that Fiddlin' Arthur Smith first recorded as "There's More Pretty Girls Than One") was a song that Howard remembered his father singing. There's a heavy reverb guitar on Howard's record, not unlike the one behind Onie Wheeler on his Sun session one year earlier.

Edwin Howard's record charted locally on the strenght of his stories in the press but, as Howard was quick to point out, Memphis represented only 1.3 percent of the national market. Six months after release, he got a royalty statement. "So far", he wrote, "it has sold 975 copies. With a contract rate of 3% of the 98c list price, minus 10% for promotions, my royalty on paper is $25.81. However, since recording costs must be paid first, and they amounted to $181.50, I am $155.69 shy of earning my first penny as a recording artist. However, since I took the precaution of recording my own songs and songwriters get three-fourths of a cent on every copy sold, I have made something after all - $14.62". His biggest payday came when he contributed some lyrics to yet another song that wasn't his, ''Down By The Riverside''. Billy Riley's recording (Sun 313) sold 10,633 copies, adding $39.86 to Howard's earnings, and providing the best possible encouragement for him to keep his day job. After the demise of the Press Scimitar in 1983, he resurfaced as the lifestyles columnist at The Memphis Business Journal. In 1992, he moved to Washington, DC., but continued to write for the MBJ until the paper dropped its arts and leisure features in 1998.   (MH)(HD)(CE)
 

PI 3540-B 45rpm



Ernie Barton
"OPEN THE DOOR RICHARD" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jack McVea-Dusty Fletcher-John Mason-Dan Howell
Publisher: - MCA Music Ltd
Matrix number: - P 347
Recorded: - February 25, 1959 - Issued under Ernie Barton's name
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - (Unissued)
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - 2nd Vocal & Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Regina Reese - Vocal

"Open The Door Richard" was a slice of black vaudeville, and on immense hit record in the 1940s, crossing over into the pop marketplace. Interestingly, many of the competing versions were quite different. Black music hall star Dusty Fletcher popularized the number, which dated back to a much earlier routine by John "Pider Bruce" Mason. Jack McVea's record became the biggest hit, though, and it was McVea's record that was generally copied, albeit with more variations, by the likes of Count Basie. All versions returned to the same chorus, which provided instant recognition, and the selling point.

The tale of this record by Ernie Barton could keep a team of archaeologists in business. Among out most recent discoveries. First, the wonderful free spirit that you hear on this release did not emerge spontaneously off the floor; rather, it was layered together piece by piece - first the band track, then Barton's vocal, and finally the chorus.  Second, many knowledgeable Sun collectors will recognize "Open The Door Richard", credited to Ernie Barton, has previously been released on several occasions as a Billy Riley title. The mistake is understandable. For one thing, Barton sounds a lot like Riley - two southern white boys talking and singing in jivey black style.  For another, according to the Sun Records Discography by Escott and Hawkins, Billy Riley recorded a version of this title on November 25, 1957, over a year before the Barton session. It didn't help the confusion when the Barton version was stored on a Riley reel in the Sun vault. 

It now appears that if Billy Riley ever recorded a version of "Open The Door Richard" at Sun, the tapes haven't survived. As if this puzzle needed more complications, consider the fact that Barton's record has never been seen by Sun collectors. It may have simply been assigned a number and never released for reasons that have been lost to time. Interviewed by Colin Escott in 1987, Ernie Barton insisted that "Richard" had indeed been released, but the fact that not one copy has surfaced doesn't seem to bear this out. To confuse matters yet more, Riley has never once suggested that the version issued under his name was not his.  (HD)

PI 3541-A Unissued
 


Ernie Barton
"SHUT YOUR MOUTH" - B.M.I. - 1:43
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Barton Limited
Matrix number: - P 348
Recorded: - February 25, 1959 - Issued under Ernie Barton's name.
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - (Unissued)
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - 2nd Vocal & Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Regina Reese - Vocal

This side, "Shut Your Mouth", is, if nothing else, a very politically incorrect song in this day and age. The grating whiney female part played by Sun's secretary Regina Reese, and Barton's abusive male might have been stock figures in 1959 culture but 40 years later they don't do much to enhance anyone's reputation. Joe Turner sent a similar message with his "Honey Hush" in a far more engaging way, both lyrically and musically. (HD)

PI 3541-B Unissued
 


Charlie Rich
"REBOUND" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Charlie Rich-W.E. Bill Justis
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 349
Recorded: - February 25, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3542-A mono
REBOUND / BIG MAN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rom BCD 15806 DI-1-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
Billy Riley - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unidentified - Trumpet

Charlie Rich's second Phillips International session revealed once again that the label had more than a session pianist and composer on its hand. "Rebound" was the nearest Charlie Rich came to assimilating a pure rock and roll performance in all the time he was cut at Sun. A product of Arkansas turf, his love of jazz and blues spawned an intimate style that was fine-tuned during a spell with the US Airforce. However it was undoubtedly Jerry Lee Lewis whom he was trying to emulate when he committed this rattling little exercise to tape. The song was also cut by ex-labelmates, Conway Twitty for MGM and Ray Smith for Judd  respectively. (HD)
 

PI 3542-A 45rpm



Charlie Rich
"BIG MAN" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Dale Fox
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 350
Recorded: - February 25, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3542-B mono
BIG MAN / REBOUND
Reissued: - 1998 Bear family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
Billy Riley - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unidentified - Trumpet
Unidentified Vocal 

The story behind "Big Man" has only recently come to light. Drummer J.M. Van Eaton recalls that the song's composer, Dale Fox, had booked the studio and Sun house band to record his tune. Things were going from bad to worse and Sam Phillips finally suggested that pianist Charlie Rich take a shot at the vocal.  The results were highly impressive and a restrained chorus was overdubbed for release as a single. van Eaton recalls taking the unusual step of separately miking his bass drum, which became one of the arrangement's most distinctive features. "Big Man" is a wonderful record. Charlie's soulful vocal is at least five years ahead of its time.  Otis Redding, Percy Sledge and Solomon Burke sounded like this in the mid-1960s, but this was early 1959 and, as this and several outtakes, Charlie was totally comfortable with the melisma and cadences of the black church long before they had been drawn into the musical mainstream. 

Interestingly, the deity is never mentioned by name here. The "Big man" is a clever way of keeping things fairly secular despite the song's underlying message. The result are deeply southern more than deeply religious. Charlie's line "I holler  on the Big man" market this record as simultaneously enchanting and native to only one region of the country. Sales of the record were relatively flat but Sam Phillips was mightily impressed. "Write me a song that keeps this feeling, but doesn't have all that religious crap and we've got us a hit record", he told Charlie after the session. Rich heard him and went home rolling ideas over in his mind. Four months later he was back in the studio to work on his next single. It would make Sam look like a prophet.  (HD)
 

PI 3542-B 45rpm



Bobbie & The Boys
"THESE SILLY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 1:36
Composer:- Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 352
Recorded: - February 1, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3543-A mono
THESE SILLY BLUES / TO TELL THE TRUTH
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

Cliff, Ed and Barbara Thomas were frequent visitors to the Sun studio during 1958. Their efforts resulted in three singles issued under the trio's name, and this, their final effort, issued by sister Barbara.  It almost every case, the group laid down very competent and surprisingly commercial white pop music, with considerably more bite than most owing to Ed's bluesy piano and J.M. Van Eaton's drumming.

"These Silly Blues" is driving and catchy, yet tame enough to sell to white teens. There's a bit of bite here, although its teeth have all been capped. The parents of those same white teens would have been quite comfortable as this 45 spun around. This is basically a Cliff Thomas record with Barbara taking over the lead vocal. Although not usually prized by record collectors, there is source for much pride in the four Phillips International singles made by the Thomas family, who continued to combine musical activities with running the family garment business in Jackson, Mississippi.  Fortunately, this record did not mark the end of recording activities for the Thomasses. They are known by collectors for a   superior outing on Ace 613, titled "Do You No Wrong", billed as "Cliff and Ed Thomas featuring Fats on piano".  Cliff and Ed Thomas worked for Huey Meaux's publishing company and wrote "Pickin' Wild Mountain Berries" and "Lover's Holiday", both major soul and pop hits for Peggy Scott and Jo-Jo Benson on Shelby Singleton's SSS International Records in Nashville. (HD)
 

PI 3543-A 45rpm



Bobbie & The Boys
"TO TELL THE TRUTH" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 351
Recorded: - February 1, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3543-B mono
TO TELL THE TRUTH / THESE SILLY BLUES
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

"To Tell The Truth" is make-out music. It borrows liberally from the anthem of such efforts, "Earth Angel" by the Penguins. The kind of vocal unison singing at the top was still being taken to the bank as recently as 1958 by Little Anthony and the Imperials with "Tears On My Pillow". With the exception of a not so strong release (the middle part of the song), this one had what it look to be a major hit in 1959. The verses are powerful and there are vocal hooks galore. its any body's guess why this didn't make it big. Perhaps Sun/Phillips International were simply not in a position to capitalize on music like this. Certainly, few would have mistaken it for Memphis product. It could have come just as easily as from New York or California.  (HD)
 

PI 3543-B 45rpm



Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"CLOUD NINE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 354
Recorded: - Probably April 30, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3544-A mono
CLOUD NINE / FLEA CIRCUS
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Sid Lapworth or Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Piano
Sid Manker - Guitar
Probably Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

"Cloud Nine" might have been subtitled "Billy Vaughn meets Charlie Rich". Its really a beautiful tune featuring Rich's soaring piano and Justis altoish harmonies. An interesting solo piano version of this tune by composer Rich is worth comparing to the arrangement issued under Justis' name. The spirit of pianist Eddie Heywood ("Canadian Sunset") looms large over the session, although Rich's chord changes during the release are both original and truly heave nly. (HD)
 

PI 3544-A 45rpm



Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"FLEA CIRCUS" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Steve Cropper-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Justis Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 353
Recorded: - Probably April 30, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - July 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3544-B mono digital
FLEA CIRCUS / CLOUD NINE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Sid Lapworth or Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Piano
Sid Manker - Guitar
Probably Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

''Flea Circus" must have been a lot of fun to record. The spirit is quite contagious. The first three verses repeat the simple riff, adding one note to the harmony each time. Its only with Justis' sax solo and the truly awful guitar break (whether by Roland Janes or Sid Manker) that things start to unravel. The hand clapping percussive verse at the end almost redeems the side . This is the final record issued under Justis' name. By the time it appeared in July, 1959, Justis had left Sun to pursue an independent music career. (HD)
 

PI 3544-B 45rpm



Brad Suggs
"706 UNION" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 355
Recorded: - July 21, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International 45rpm standard single PI 3545-A mono
706 UNION / LOW OUTSIDE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

Brad Suggs you say. First there were those three country ballads issued with the Slim Rhodes band back in 1955. Then between 1959 and 1961 Suggs had five singles issued on Phillips International. Virtually all of them were instrumentals with some novelty aspect to them. This two sides, issued in September 1959, were his first shot at the marketplace.

"706 Union" raises an interesting question. If you were asked to compose a brief instrumental to commemorate the birthplace of Sun Records, would this be it? Consider everything that had happened at 706 prior to this date: Elvis Presley, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Carl Perkins, The Ripley Cotton Choppers. Would your music be in a minor key? Of the approximately 200 singles issued on Sun/Phillips International and Flip prior to this date, not to mention those sides issued on Chess, RPM, and other labels to which Sam Phillips licensed his recordings, no more than a handful of them were performed in a minor key. So why choose one for the tribute?  Compounding the problem, Martin Willis' sax break sounds like it was lifted from a rock bar mitzvah, and Charlie Rich's piano solo sounds like something drifting out of a lounge in Havana in the early 1950s. Only Van Eaton's echoey drumming sounds remotely Sun-like. All this might have been a lot more acceptable if it weren't titled "706 Union". (HD)
 

PI 3545-A 45rpm



Brad Suggs
"LOW OUTSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Edwin Bruce-Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 356
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3545-B mono
LOW OUTSIDE / 706 UNION
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

According to Brad Suggs, "Low Outside" was a phrase borrowed from baseball ("the pitch was low and outside"). He recalls that the idea for the title came directly from Sam Phillips, a man rarely associated with baseball. Perhaps, unknown to historians, Sam Phillips spent some August nights at the ballpark when the Memphis Chicks were playing in town.  Although the record label credits the song to Suggs and Bruse (presumably Edwin, who was still making records at Sun as late as summer, 1959), Suggs recalls no involvement by anyone else in the composition. "The song was 100% mine", he maintains. The 1-6-minor-4-5 progression is certainly familiar enough, and Willis' sax solo is deftly borrowed from the Del Vikings' "Whispering Bells". There are three key modulations here, suggesting that these pickers knew their chops, especially Suggs on guitar. The fade on a sustained high note is a subtle reminder of the final bars of "Raunchy".  (HD)
 

PI 3545-B 45rpm



Carl Mann
"ROCKIN' LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Carl Mann
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 357
Recorded: - August 24, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3546-A mono
ROCKIN' LOVE / PRETEND
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

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

"Rockin' Love", was a remake of the lone Carl Mann single on Jaxon Records, recorded prior to his pilgrimage to Memphis. The first half is a tight, tough little record that builds quite a bit of tension. And then it happens: the band speeds up and just when things should soar into the stratosphere, the sheer incompetence of one band member threatens to destroy the whole gig. Bass player Robert Oatsvall simply goes to piece. He can barely keep up with the changes awn manages to hit a few clams of near mythic proportion. In truth, it is a wonder that this take was released. Sam Phillips has often told of releasing records with technical imperfections because the feeling was right. "Down The Line" by Jerry Lee Lewis was one such case (listen to the guitar go out of tune).

Here is another. Oatsvall sounds like he studied bass at the Luther Perkins school of fretboard mastery. These aren't exactly complex chord changes but Oatsvall manages to turn finding the 1-chord (the tonic, the key in which the song is being performed) into an adventure as Carl sings the little phrase. Oatsvall stuck around for a few more sessions but by 1960 he had been given his walking papers . (HD)
 

PI 3546-A 45rpm



Carl Mann
"PRETEND" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:36
Composer: - Douglas-Parman-LaVere
Publisher: - Brandon Music
Matrix number: - P 358
Recorded: - August 24, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3546-B mono
PRETEND / ROCKIN' LOVE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

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

Finding a follow-up to ''Mona Lisa'' was no small task. One of sam Phillips' major frustration centered on his inability to sustain the momentum of those occasional hit records. In the case of carl Mann, he played all the angles. The verdict was to keep the formula (rock up another standard) and dig into the Nat Cole songbook if possible. And so ''Pretend'', a 1953 hit for Cole, was chosen. EWverything else stayed pretty much the same as last time, which was of course part of the problem. The element of surprise was totally missing here, even if this was a pretty terrific record. Guitarist Eddie Bush and drummer W.S. Holland generate a prodigious amount of energy together and the contrast between them and Mann is again striking: Bush and Holland are on fire, and Mann is on Valium. (HD)(MH)
 

PI 3546-B 45rpm



Memphis Bells Featuring Shirley Siske
"SNOW JOB" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Bettye Hodges
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 362
Recorded: - October 14, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3547-A mono
SNOW JOB / THE MIDNITE WHISTLE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Shirley Ruth Sisk - Organ
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley or Bill Black - Bass
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

The Memphis Bells, cleverly named after the Mississippi paddlewheel boat, sound like an allgirl band, but in fact the group consisting of two organists, Shirley Sisk and her friend Bettye Jean Hodges, backed by the usual suspects. The ever- unreliable log sheets filed with the Union suggest that its Roland Janes, Billy Riley, Brad Suggs, Charlie Rich, J.M. Van Eaton, and Marty Willis. Bettye Jean, though, remembers that Bill Black was present, and as Smokey had yet to break, she might well be right.

Bettye Jean had written many, many tunes, but the limit of her performing experience was playing in church and at organ recitals downtown during the holidays. She was, she says, pushed into recording by her husband and her mother. "Snow Job" wasn't really my style of music", she says, "but I was trying to go with what was selling. I hate to say it, but I had no perseverance, and that's what it takes". As a result, this is the one and only time that Bettye Jean appeared inside a recording studio. Shirley remembers that "Snow Job" got played quite often around Memphis, and even remembered hearing is as she was driving to California with her husband, but it wasn't the wintertime smash that it might have been.
 
 
"Snow Job" was a shuffle rhythm, and its odd to hear Ms. Sisk play organ glissandi a la Jerry Lee behind Roland's guitar break. Listen to those chords during the last two bars! Where'd that come from? (HD)
 

PI 3547-A 45rpm



Memphis Bells Featuring Bettye Hodges
02 - "THE MIDNITE WHISTLE" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Bettye Hodges
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 361
Recorded: - October 14, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3547-B mono
THE MIDNITE WHISTLE / SNOW JOB
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bettye Jean Hodges - Organ
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley or Bill Black - Bass
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

The ladies actually offer a touch of blues to go with the skating rink feel. Both melodies were by Bettye  Jean, although its Shirley playing the organ on "Snow Job" and Bettye Jean on "Midnite Whistle" (a tune  that Bettye Jean says was meant to be called "The Midnight Whistler). "Midnite Whistle" features a very  catchy melody. This track truly could have been a left field hit back in 1959. There's a fine piano break by  Charlie Rich, and Roland Janes uses his vibrato bar to good effect.(HD)
 

PI 3547-B 45rpm



Mack Self
"WILLIE BROWN" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 360
Recorded: - August 15, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3548-A mono
WILLIE BROWN / MAD AT YOU
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Jimmy Evans - Bass
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Ace Cannon - Tenor Saxophone
W.S. Holland – Drums

This was somebody's idea of a commercial record in 1959. It might have been subtitled "Tom Dooley Meets The Battle Of New Orleans". Ironically, this is the least interesting record Mack Self left in the Sun vaults, an ersatz folk concoction full of dramatic drum rolls and a wholly out-of-place sax. At least it gave them an excuse to resurrect and release "Mad At You" (1957), for which we should be deeply beholden to the hung down "Mr. Brown".

The song seems to be written from the point of view of the dead man. It's not immediately clear who's saying "Hang down, Willie Brown, hang down and die" until you consider the next few words: "My loved ones, they cry". That pretty much identities the murdered man as the speaker. In any case, "Willie Brown" was  worked up over at least two different sessions and underwent some personnel changes in the process. Both Ace Cannon and Martin Willis took a hand at the sax part and both W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland and J.M. Van Eaton played drums. One of those stalwart session drummers (we're not sure which) had a little bit of trouble mastering the military drum roll that appears prominently in "Willie Brown". This becomes painfully clear on a number of takes that had to be aborted when the drummer goofed his attempt at the drum roll. Some alternate takes feature a heavier backbeat than the version issued in October, 1959. The major difference on the alternate take here can be heard in the sax work behind Self's vocal; it seems more adventurous on this unissued take. (HD)
 

PI 3548-A 45rpm



Mack Self
"MAD AT YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - P 359
Recorded: - Probably March 28, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3548-B mono
MAD AT YOU / WILLIE BROWN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Therlow Brown - Lead Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Rhythm Guitar
Jimmy Evens - Bass and 2nd Vocal
James M. Van Eaton - Drums

"Mad At You", this delightful slice of rural life dates from Mack's earliest session at Sun and continued appearing on the session logs almost until the end. Dueting with bass player Jimmy Evans, Mack gives us a comic version of his troubles. He's mad at everything in sight - including both his girl and the world. His cow's gone dry, the hens won't lay, his tires are flat and he's got a hole in his Sunday hat. Those last two lines, by the way, came to Mack courtesy of Jack Clement. Clement had a listen to what Mack was working on, jotted the "ties are flat/Sunday hat" couplet down on a piece of paper and handed it to Mack in the studio. Two great minds worked together. All the complaining is quite good- natured and the song is wonderfully picked and sung.

"Mad At You" offers a vivid glimpse at the identity of the elusive Mack Self. The verdict comes in Country. Country to the core. And back country at that. This record is a delight. Listen to those verses during the "mad at the world" segment. Cows, chickens, and a Sunday hat. How much further back into the country can you get? Self seems lost in another time zone. In fact, he kept making music that truly belonged in another decade (both this track and "Easy To Love", issued on SUN 273, are fine examples) and Sam Phillips, bless his heart, kept putting it out. Note that this track sat in the can for over two years before being released in October, 1959. The master was recorded in March 1957 and there are demos of "Mad At You" dating from February 1956, if not earlier.

"On my first sessions at Sun, I had Therlow Brown playing hot guitar", recalled Mack Self, "and Jimmy Evans on upright bass. That was our band. Sam Phillips added Stan Kesler on steel and Carl Perkins' drummer W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland. Around that time, we cut "Goin' Crazy" and "Mad At You" but they were not released then. Around 1956 we cut some other songs, "Vibrate" was one. It was several years before Sam Phillips put out another record, which was "Willie Brown" and "Mad At You" on Phillips International".

"Mad At You" was recorded back in 1956 or 1957 with some other tunes. We tried it on several occasions right from my first session. The record had myself and Jimmy Evans singing. Jimmy played upright bass too. Roland Janes and Therlow Brown played guitar and Billy Riley too I think. But that was the flipside, an old recording pulled out to back up "Willie Brown" was made in 1959. That had Roland Janes on hot guitar, me on rhythm, Martin Willis on sax, Jim Wilson on piano and either Carl Perkins' or Warren Smith's drummer. We just cut the song that time. Sam Phillips and Ernie Barton Artist and Repertoire’s that one". (HD)
 

PI 3548-B 45rpm



Brad Suggs
"OOH WEE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 364
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3549-A mono
OOH WEE / I WALK THE LINE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony


"Ooh Wee" is actually a much better record than it deserves to be. The lyric is strictly cornball, but the piano/guitar/drums play beautifully together and the whole thing finds a totally enjoyable groove. Its a cinch that the piano player on this track is the same guy (playing the same riffs) as the pianist on Billy Riley's "Wouldn't You Know". The session file lists that man as James Paulman, but nobody, including Brad Suggs, seems to recall a piano player named Paulman. More to the point, its hard to imagine that those rolling chords don't belong to Charlie Rich. (HD)
 

PI 3549-A 45rpm



Brad Suggs
"I WALK THE LINE" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 363
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3549-B mono
I WALK THE LINE / OOH WEE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-1-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

Brad Suggs is back for his second shot at immortality, this time complete with orchestra and chorus. Sam Phillips' thinking was probably if he was going to spring for a French horn, he was going to level them an "Orchestra". Might as well get some class out of it. What we really have here is an attempt to garner some revenue for the Sun publishing catalogue. Suggs recalls that an instrumental version of "I Walk The Line" was presently showing up at the low end of the pop charts. "I just can't remember who it was. I'm pretty sure he was a west coast musician who also did some movie soundtracks". In any case, Sam wanted to get his own version of the tune out there to help stimulate sales and radio plays because he owned the copyright to the Johnny Cash tune. The aforementioned French horn played the bass part, and a baritone sax and guitar (Suggs) play the melody line in unison. Its a long way from the version J.C., Luther and Marshall left in the can at 706 Union just three years earlier. (HD)
 

PI 3549-B 45rpm



Carl Mann
"SOME ENCHANTED EVENING" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:04
Composer: - Oscar Hammerstein-Richard Rogers
Publisher: - Williamson Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 365
Recorded: - October 12, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3550-A mono
SOME ENCHANTED EVENING / I CAN'T FORGET YOU
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

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

This was Carl Mann's second follow-up to "Mona Lisa" and already the formula was wearing thin. This session showed Carl and the boys were still taking previously melodic standards, removing most of their distinctive features, and rocking them up. Its hard to know whether the butchered melodies and stripped down chord changes occurred by design or default. You'd think somebody would know better. in any case, Carl continued his trademark vocal lick here when he sang the line about a "crowded roo - oo - oo-oom". The audience didn't need to be reminded; they remembered all too and they turned out clutching those dollar bills in ever decreasing droves.  (HD)
 

PI 3550-A 45rpm



Carl Mann
"I CAN'T FORGET YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Carl Belew-W.S. Stevenson
Publisher: - Four Star
Matrix number: - P 366
Recorded: - October 12, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3550-B mono
I CAN'T FORGET YOU / SOME ENCHANTED EVENING
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

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

Overdub Session
Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt,
chorus and percussion effects

The undubbed version of "I Can't Forget You" suggests that Carl Mann had turned in a pretty decent and tight reading of a sweet country ballad. But then the tapes were taken from their 706 Union Avenue home to their new residence at 639 Madison Avenue where a choral overdub and spacey echo were added. These gratuitous overdubs took the results so far over the top that it is virtually impossible to take them seriously or regard them as a reflection on Carl's artistry. (HD)
 

PI 3550-B 45rpm



Sonny Burgess
"SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Albert Burgess-Harry Adams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 367
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3551-A mono
SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN / A KISS GOODNITE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
J.C. Caughron - Guitar
Frankie Siddeth - Electric Bass
Raymond Thompson - Drums and Woody Woodpecker' Noises
Unknown - Piano

The Sun log books show that Sonny Burgess returned to Sun in 1959 and cut another single that was issued in January 1960 on the Phillips International label: "Sadie's Back In Town" b/w "A Kiss Goodnite". However, Sonny believes the single was recorded earlier, and released on Phillips International to try and breach a new market, was his last for Sam Phillips. With the unpredictability of Sun paperwork, he could be correct. Oddly, the record sported a thin, poorly balanced sound but was nonetheless true to the Burgess credo.

Spirited as ever, Sonny turns in an enthusiastic piece of nonsense, surrounded by a group of sidemen who had obviously never seen the inside of a Prozac bottle. Sonny recalls that his brother-in-law, Harry Adams, came up with "Sadie's Back In Town", although Jimmie Rodgers might very well recognize a good portion of the words and melody as belonging to his 1928 song "My Little Lady".

confirm his repeated difficulties) and he manages to blow his solo here as well. But, again, feeling prevailed over perfection.  A final note: That little spoken intro was not accomplished by speeding up the tape in the style of David Seville's "Chipmunks". One of the guys in Sonny's band, drummer Raymond Thompson, could actually speak that way. It seemed to work at gigs, so they decided to include it on one of their records. (HD)
 

PI 3551-A 45rpm



Sonny Burgess
"A KISS GOODNITE" - B.M.I. - 1:51
Composer: - Albert Burgess
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 368
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3551-B mono
A KISS GOODNITE / SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
J.C. Caughron - Guitar
Frankie Siddeth - Electric Bass
Raymond Thompson - Drums
Unknown - Piano

"A Kiss Goodnite" reveals the romantic, or at least the less frenetic side of Sonny Burgess. History has shown this to be a fine, engaging track. The shuffle rhythm works to perfection and guitarist J.C. Caughron has some fun with the vibrato arm of his guitar. It is disappointing that no more Sonny Burgess material was issued in the three years of life still remaining in Phillips International (and six years in Sun). In particular, Sonny's "Find My Baby For Me", recorded with Roy Orbison, would have made a wonderful and worthy single.

This record caught the ear of someone on the Albert Embankment in London, and it became the only of Sonny's records to be released overseas while under contract to Sun. (HD)(CE)
 

PI 3551-B 45rpm



Charlie Rich
"LONELY WEEKENDS" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 369 - Overdubbed Chorus
Recorded: - October 14, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1, 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3552-A mono
LONELY WEEKENDS / EVERYTHING I DO IS WRONG
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Martin Willis - Baritone Saxophone
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willes - Baritone Saxophone

Overdubbed
The Gene Lowery consisting of
A. Davis, B. Gross, D. Horton, P. Jacobs, C. Walker and P. Walker
Vocal Chorus & Handclaps

"Lonely Weekend" is the record that first put Charlie Rich on the map. Interestingly, it was his third single that hit big time, just as had been the case with Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. This time they finally got it right. "Lonely Weekend" was just what Sam Phillips had asked for: "Big Man" without religion. The version that hit the market in January 1960 was quite different from the tight, tense, passionate small combo effort that Charlie left the can in June 1959. After the session, Sam assigned the tapes to Charles Underwood, who brought them to the new studio at Madison Avenue, for overdubbing. Underwood added the dreaded Gene Lowery Singers, a ton of echo, and some highly unusual rimshots during Martin Willis' baritone sax break. "I never liked that final version as much as the way we originally cut it", observed guitarist Roland Janes recently. "But then I doubt our original would have sold as well".  (HD)
 

PI 3552-A 45rpm



Charlie Rich
"EVERYTHING I DO IS WRONG" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 370
Recorded: - October 14, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1, 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm PI 3552-B mono
EVERYTHING I DO IS WRONG / LONELY WEEKENDS
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Martin Willis - Baritone Saxophone
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Martin Willes - Baritone Saxophone

You get some idea what the undubbed "Lonely Weekends" sounds like by listening to this side "Everything I Do Is Wrong". Except for adding some spacey echo, Underwood mercifully left this track alone.  (HD)
 

PI 3552-B 45rpm



Barbara Pittman with The Gene Lowery Singers
"HANDSOME MAN" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 372
Recorded: - February 24, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm PI 3553-A mono
HANDSOME MAN / THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Billy Riley - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Stan Kesler - Bass
Jilly Wilson - Piano

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

"Handsome Man" was Barbara's final release, gets a split vote. The uptempo side was written and produced by Charlie Rich, for whom Barbara has enormous respect. ''Charlie was the best thing that ever came out of Sun, period. I've been a big fan of Charlie's since I first met him when I was about 13 years old. He was always a good friend and I've always been crazy about him. His singing, his playing, his looks. He was a very handsome guy, very shy, very unassuming. Charlie was also a great writer and a fantastic pianist. Charlie and I used to play clubs together. We even did some TV work together", recalled Barbara.  (HD)(MH)
 

PI 3553-A 45rpm



Barbara Pittman with The Gene Lowery Singers
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT" - B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 371
Recorded: - February 24, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm PI 3553-B mono
THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT / HANDSOME MAN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Billy Riley - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Stan Kesler - Bass
Jilly Wilson - Piano

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

"Handsome Man" is strong material. Unfortunately, the flipside, "The Eleventh Commandment", is another story. Virtually no one, including Barbara herself, has a kind word to say about this track. No amount of remixing or de-chorusing can resurrect this recording. In its favor, this abominable production has generated some amusing anecdotes. Guitarist Brad Suggs, who played on the date, still shakes his head in disbelief when remembering the song. "It was a mess, man. Just all out of a meter. Impossible to play on". Barbara recalls, "Charlie Underwood came by my house one day at two in the afternoon and said 'Barbara, we've got a session tonight'. I went down and learned to the song and recorded it the same night. I had a reputation then for being able to learn stuff real fast so I could do demos, but I wasn't ready for this. That enormous session! Charlie did the whole thing behind Sam's back. Charlie was the engineer and Sam was sick so he figured he could get away with it. You know, that was the most expensive session they had ever done. You wouldn't believe the session. All the strings, everybody there at one time. No overdubbing. Sam Phillips was in bed with pneumonia. He got out of bed to witness it. The head of the musicians union was also there. It was just incredible. I think Sam went into shock. I know I was scared to death just looking around me in the studio. The song itself was awful. I hated it. It was the worst thing I ever recorded. Its all out of meter. Billy Riley really got me through the session. Him and J.M. Van Eaton, the drummer. Jimmy kept saying to Underwood, 'She's right. The song is out of meter'. And Underwood would say back. 'No. It's fine. She just has to dip here a bit and dip there...".  (HD)(MH)
 

PI 3553-B 45rpm



Brad Suggs
"CLOUDY" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Brad Suggs-Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 373
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3554-A mono
CLOUDY / PARTLY CLOUDY
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-9 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

Overdubbed
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony
 

This is what they mean by "atmospheric music". Brad Suggs third Phillips International single continues the tradition of quirky instrumental outings. Tunes like "Cloudy" were easy to promote and probably got their share of disc jockey attention, but came up short at the cash registers. It was Charles Underwood's idea to overdub the sounds effect on to Suggs' moody guitar work. (HD)
 

PI 3554-A 45rpm



Brad Suggs
"PARTLY CLOUDY" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Brad Suggs-Charles Underwood
Publisher: - Up Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 374
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3554-B mono
PARTLY CLOUDY / CLOUDY
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-10 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

Some of the Sun gets through on Suggs' solo on this aptly named side. Otherwise, it was the usual crew (including Charlie Rich and Martin Willis" gliding effortlessly through a pleasant but generally undistinguished 12-bar blues whose sole function was apparently to direct attention to the A-side.  (HD)
 

PI 3554-B 45rpm



Carl Mann
"I'M COMING HOME'' – B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P-376
Recorded: - March 14, 1960
Sam Phillips Recording Studio
639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 10, 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3555-A mono
SOUTH OF THE BORDER / I'M COMING HOME
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann - Vocal
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Robert Oatsvall - Bass
W.S. Holland – Drums
Charlie Rich – Piano

Arguably, the fate of the A-side barely mattered in this case. The joy that awaited anyone brave and smart enouch to flip record over more than compensated for all studio excesses. ''I'm Coming Home'' is quite simply Carl Mann's masterpiece. It is his best recording at Sun and, thus, his best work ever. The reasons are quite straightforward. Charlie Rich has written a wonderful tune based entirely on the melody line used by Carl on ''Mona Lisa''. Since Carl had actually improvised that melody (rather than using the one performed by Nat Cole) there was no fear of plagiarism. Moreover, Carl wisely surrendered the piano stool to Charlie Rich, thus focussing his attention on singing. This also allowed some finely crafted piano stylings to appear on a Carl Mann record – another first. Everything comes to perfection here, right down to the choreographed slow-down ending that makes this tiny little studio combo sound like a well oiled machine.

The result were obviously so compelling that when Elvis Presley heard them he insisted on recording the tune for his ''Something For Everybody'' LP. Along with the ego boost that offered Mr. Mann (not everybody had his records covered by the King), it also provided an unexpected payday for Rich and Sam Phillips, whose publishing company shared the joyride. As a final token of esteem, this track was included on the original LP Sun 1250 titles ''Sun's Million Sellers'', putting it in fast company with selections like ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and ''Great Balls Of Fire''. (HD)
 

PI 3555-A 45rpm



Carl Mann
"SOUTH OF THE BORDER"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:30
Composer: - James Kennedy-Michael Carr
Publisher: - Peter Maurice Music - Shapiro Bernstein Music
Matrix number: - P 375
Recorded: - October 12, 1959
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - May 10, 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3555-B mono
SOUTH OF THE BORDER / I'M COMING HOME
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-2-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

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

Overdub Session 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennesseee
The Gene Lowery Singer* chorus and percussion effects.
Gene Lowery Singers consisted of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith, Lee Holt,
chorus and percussion effects

On "Sound Of The Border" Carl Mann and his band finally found a tune worthy of their treatment. It features simple chord changes and an appropriately Latin theme to go with their patented rhythm. In truth, the version that Carl left in the studio was far better than the gimmicky overdubbed production that finally hit the market in May 1960.
 
 
At this point, sales were on such a precipitous decline that they hardly justified all the time and expense spent on all those overdubbing sessions. Could thing have been worse if Carl's performances were released as originally recorded?   (HD)
 

PI 3555-B 45rpm


 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©