CONTAINS 1963 SESSIONS

Studio Session for Narvel Felts, Early 1963 / Renay Records
Studio Session for Hayden Thompson, 1963 (1) / Demo
Studio Session for Hayden Thompson, 1963 (2) / Demo
Studio Session for Mack Self, 1963 / Zone Records
Studio Session for The Four Upsetters, January 15, (1) 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Four Upsetters, January 15, (2) 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis & Linda Gail Lewis, March 11, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, March 1963 / Renay Records
Studio Session for Dickey Lee, April 20, 1963 / Dot Records
Studio Session for Bill Yates, May 10, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jeanne Newman, June 5, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tony Rossini, June 10, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Four Upsetters, June 30, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, Mid 1963 / Renay Records
Studio Session for The Four Upsetters, July 12, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, August 27, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, August 28, 1963 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Adams, December 28, 1963 / Sun Records

Biography of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)


1963

Surf-rock lands dozens of guitar led instrumentals on the charts while the Beach Boys  dominate the airwaves with a string of hit singles and three Top Ten albums in this year  alone and are joined on the scene by Jan & Dean who notch the only surf rock number 1 hit  with "Surf City".

The Girl Group sound explodes as Phil Spector becomes the dominant producer in rock  churning out hits by the Ronettes, Crystals and Darlene Love, while others such as Lesley  Gore and The Chiffons top the charts as well.

Motown leads a revitalization of rhythm and blues with huge successes by Martha & The  Vandellas, The Miracles, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye and the first hit by the 12 year genius  "Little" Stevie Wonder.

James Brown's album "Live At The Apollo" becomes the first LP by a pure rhythm and blues  artist to hit the Top Five on the album charts and introduces the chitlin' circuit show and raw  soul music to America.

Wolfman Jack begins broadcasting via a half million watt radio station, XERF out of Mexico.  The powerful "border radio" stations are famous for their wild on-air activities and powerful  broadcast signals that allow them to be heard across the entire North American continent,  making Wolfman Jack the most famous rock and roll disc jockey in the world.

Early records by a British group called the Beatles fail to make an impact in America when  they are released by various companies who note the limited interest and decline to pick up  their distribution option.


1963

Encouraged by Chet Atkins, Charlie Rich departs for RCA's Groove ancillary. Jerry Lee Lewis  does the same (via Frank Casone) in September, heading for Mercury's Smash label.

Carl Mann quits town to join the military and Phillips International is wound down, after  pressure from the Philips Electronic group in Holland.

Surf music rules the airwaves.

Little Stevie Wonder recorded his first number 1 hit, "Fingertips Potion Number 2''.

Philips introduced the Music-cassette at the Berlin Funkaustellung.

Mississippi John Hurt, assumed to be deceased by many, is found living in Avalon, Mississippi.  Still playing and singing his folk-blues in the same manner as he did in 1928 , he is asked to  tour. Hurt, the first of the 'rediscovered' early blues artists, was a big success on the  coffeehouse and folk festival circuit until his death in 1966.

1963

By 1963, former Sun artist Billy Emerson was back in Chicago on George Leana's label M-Pac.  ''The Wip'' was a dance record, about which he said, ''the first day out, it just jumped off the  wall. It was a big seller in several markets; it was a good record for me''. The next couple of  years saw him with other local labels, like Chirrup and Constellation. He was also  consolidating his club reputation and getting involved in production.

He was still performing regularly, either as a solo or with a revue type of show headed  jointly by a female singer. According to an ad in the Appleton Post-Crescent on April 28,  1964, ''Billy the kid Emerson and his houseshakers are beginning tonight at the Town Club''.  The club was set to ''shake shake' with Miss Houseshaker herself, Satin Tilla''.

1963

David Houston's ''Sherry's Lips'' b/w ''Miss Brown'' (PI 3583) is issued on Phillips International, although his recordings were made in Nashville studio a year earlier. The disc is reissued on Sun in 1966.

The singles, PI 3584 ''There's Another Place I Can't Go'' b/w ''I Need Your Love'' by Charlie Rich and PI 3586 ''Times Sho' Gettin' Ruff'' b/w ''Softie'' by The Quintones issued.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Narvel Felts' ''Private Detective'', ''Get On The Right Track, Baby'', ''What You're Doing To Me'', ''Sad And Blue'', ''Love Is Gone'', and ''Return'' all these tracks from 1962 or 1963 and represent demos of Felts-penned tunes, or, in the case of the Titus Turner song ''Right Track'', a number that went down well on club dates and  was for consideration as a single.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR NARVEL FELTS
FOR RENAY RECORDS 1963

SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE EARLY 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ROLAND JANES

01 - ''PRIVATE DETECTIVE''' - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall Early 1963
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-25 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

02 - ''THEN I'LL GO''' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Narvel Felts-J.W. Grubbs
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall Early 1963

03 – ''IF I DIDN'T HAVE YOU''' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall Early 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Narvel Felts - Vocal & Guitar
J.W. Grubbs – Bass
Matt Lucas - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR HAYDEN THOMPSON

SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION : UNKNOWN DATE 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ROLAND JANES

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw a significant revival in folk songs or pseudofolk songs, and although much has been made over the years of Hayden's ability to rock and roll, in fact his voice was ideally suited to folk material. During the period he was to-ing and fro-ing between Chicago and the Sonic studio in Memphis, he wrote and recorded a number of vocal and guitar demos of folk-sounding songs.

01 – ''THIS OLD WINDY CITY'' – B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15263-17 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – FAIRLANE ROCK
Reissued – 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131 AH-20 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

''This Old Windy City'' is a beautiful lyric and a memorable melody, and the mid-pace ballad style suits Hayden's voice perfectly. According to Hayden's song, the old windy city that can be mighty pretty when you're walking hand in hand with the one you love, just has no pity when you're all alone without a girl, alone in this world. The song is at once mournful p it's winter in Chicago and shoppers are preparing for the holidays, maybe Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas – but hopeful, too, because there is the ''chance that you might meet some little gal that you might call your own''.

''Lonely For My Baby'' is another ballad with an engaging tune and some better-than-ordinary lyrics for a love song. However, it is just a short and unfinished demo that needed more verses. It's one of a number of songs that could easily have given Hayden a successful song-writing career if he had chosen and known how to really go into that end of the business.

On ''Train From Chicago, Hayden sings in a confidential and resigned manner; his girl no longer waits for him, but his family will welcome him home even though he's ''been gone too long''. Sixteen dollars eighty eight would buy him the ticket he craves, back to Tennessee, ''but I don't have a dime''. ''That song was from the heart'', he told Martin Hawkins; ''I wrote it when I was up north, broke and homesick, and thinking about
Booneville''.

02 – ''LONELY FOR MY BABY'' – B.M.I. - 1:21
Composer: Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15263-16 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – FAIRLANE ROCK
Reissued – 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131 AH-21 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03 – ''TRAIN FROM CHICAGO'' – B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15263-15 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – FAIRLANE ROCK
Reissued – 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131 AH-23 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

04 – ''FOUR SEASONS OF LIFE'' – B.M.I.
Composer: Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15263-10 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – FAIRLANE ROCK

05 – ''LIKE YOU BROKE MINE'' – B.M.I.
Composer: Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hayden Thompson – Vocal & Acoustic Guitar
More Details Unknown

1965 – 1975 - Hayden Thompson recorded a number of sessions in Chicago and Nashville for release on the Kapp, Brave, Extremely Brave, Nashville North and HT labels.

1984 – 2007 - Hayden Thompson recorded a number of albums in Europe and Scandinavia for release there, along with a session in Chicago for the St. George label. His latest CD is just called ''Hayden Thompson'' on Bluelight Records.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR HAYDEN THOMPSON

SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
RITA SESSION : UNKNOWN DATE 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ROLAND JANES
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

Another Sonic session in 1963 was based on another different sound for Hayden Thompson, featuring an organ on ''I Guess I'd Better Be Moving Along''. This was not dissimilar to the music being made by the Bill Black Combo, the successful group for which Hayden had tried out as vocalist.

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw a significant revival in folk songs or pseudo-folk songs, and although much has been made over the years of Hayden's ability to rock and roll, in fact his voice was ideally suited to folk material. During the period he was to-ing and fro-ing between Chicago and the Sonic studio in Memphis, Hayden wrote and recorded a number of vocal and guitar demos of folk-sounding songs.

01 – ''I GUESS I'D BETTER BE MOVING ALONG'' – B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Hayden Thompson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15263-13 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – FAIRLANE ROCK
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131 AH-19 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

02 – ''YOU'RE GOING TO BE HEARING FROM ME'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15263 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – FAIRLANE ROCK

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hayden Thompson – Vocal & Acoustic Guitar
Travis Wammack - Guitar
Prentiss McPhail – Bass
Danny Taylor – Drums
Tommy Bennett - Piano
James Luther Crabb - Organ

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


In the mid-1960s Hayden Thompson did get a break but with a new style of updated country  music. He had become disillusioned in 1964 and virtually gave up music for a while. Then, in  1965, there seemed to be an injection of new enthusiasm for country music in the Chicago  area, and local WJJD disc jockey Don Chapman helped Hayden get a gig at the new 1400 seat  Rivoli Ballroom, where he witnessed the west coast wave of country singers like Buck Owens  and Merle Haggard play to great acclaim. He decided to take some new songs and a new style  into the Hall Studio, and in 1965 he recorded ''$16.88””, previously called ''Train From  Chicago''. Don Chapman produced the session and helped Hayden connect with a major  label, Kapp Records, who issued three singles by him and called him to Nashville to make the  balance of songs for his first LP record, ''Here's Hayden Thompson'', issued in 1966.

The LP  was produced by legendary Decca producer, Paul Cohen, and on the back of his exposure on  Kapp Hayden secured himself three appearances on the Grand Ole Opry show in Nashville.  Hayden was also pitching songs to other artists and his song ''Drive Me Out Of My Mind'' was  recorded by Charlie Louvin, a singer that a young teenage Hayden Thompson had first heard  on Memphis radio as half of the popular Louvin Brothers.

Neither the Kapp LP nor Hayden's song writing brought in a lot of cash, and then in 1967 the  Rivoli closed. Hayden was by now married, and he again decided to put music into second  place and start a career as a cab and limousine driver in the Chicago area. He still played the  occasional country show and a friend and former recording artist named Brien Fisher  recorded several country singles by Hayden on his Nashville North and Brave labels. Once  again, these discs failed to make a commercial breakthrough, something Fisher  acknowledged when issuing one of them on a label called, not just Brave, but Extremely  Brave. When Fisher ran out of support for him, Hayden issued a single on his own HT label in  1975. After that, as he told writer Randy McNutt, ''Around 1976, I just got tired of it all and  hung up the guitar and called it quits. Or so I thought''.

Hayden Thompson's rebirth as a performer came on the back of a wave of enthusiasm in  Europe for old style rock and roll and rockabilly music. His ''Love My Baby'' had become an  underground classic in record collector circles and at specialized rock and roll dance halls  and shows. At first Hayden was sceptical about the various visits and calls he received from  fans and promotors overseas, and rightly so because it was difficult for retired American  singers to understand that this was only ever a small minority music in Europe despite the  impression the singer could easily gain from the enthusiasts who appeared on his doorstep.  Besides, there was that little matter of not having had a hit to revive.

Eventually, though, in 1984 Hayden decided to test the water in Europe and this led to a  number of tours that doubled as paid vacations and the chance to revive some of the  memories of the heady early days of rock and roll. The European experience encouraged  Hayden to play occasionally at home, too, and revivalist rocking bands like the Rebel  Rousers and Bud Hudson and the Hornets sought him out to sing with them. He told George  Hansen in 1996, ''I would like to have been able to make my living out of music, and you  would think that somewhere along the way I could have connected with something, bit it  just didn't happen. But the chance to go over to Europe and relive some of this and turn  back time has been nice, and I've had a lot of fun. I'll keep hanging in there''.

A decade on, and Hayden is still touring Europe, still hanging in there, in fact still very much  appreciated and in demand and he's still making records. He recorded a CD in 2005  recreating the Rockabilly Rhythm for the St. George label back home, but his latest new  recording was made with a band in Finland and Hayden is proud that at his age the CD has  ''had the best reviews I've had in my career''He's recorded ''$16.88'' on the CD and he's very  aware that he wrote the songs over forty years ago. ''One of these days'', he says, ''it'll be a  hit''.

Back home in Wheeling, Illinois, Hayden lives with his wife, Georgia, and is still promoting  his music to anyone who is interested. He is a friendly, self-aware, and quietly humorous  person, very proud of his own music, pleased to be acknowledged as a keeper of the flame  of early rock and roll, but still frustrated that his career didn't take off in the days when it  really mattered to him.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF

AMERICAN SOUND STUDIO
827 THOMAS AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
ZONE SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CHIPS MOMAN

01 – ''RIVER OF LOVE'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - M. E. Ellis Music
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1963
Released: - 1975
First appearance: - Bopcat Records Netherlands (LP) 33rpm Bopcat LP 300 mono
I'M MOVING ON

02 – ''UNKNOWN TITLE''

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self – Vocal & Guitar
Red Baker – Lead Guitar
John Hughey – Steel Guitar
Billy Self – Bass
Oreo Jaco – Drums
Ray Hughey - Piano

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Sam Phillips Recording Studio invoice copy signed by Scotty Moore (1963). While Elvis Presley was in Hollywood making movies, his original guitarist, Scotty Moore, had returned to his roots. He resumed the role he played at the original Sun Studio, as engineer and session player, at Sam Phillip's new studio at 639 Madison Avenue. Here's the yellow carbon copy of an January 8, 1963 invoice for six master recording stylus needles, for a total of $60.


JANUARY 1963

In January 1963 Stax released Rufus Thomas singing ''The Dog'', a dance tune he'd worked up  after watching a girl dancing at a show in Millington. Tennessee.

The song made number 22  in the rhythm and blues charts and was followed the next year by ''Walking The Dog'', a  number five rhythm and blues hit that also made the popular top ten in November 1963. It  had taken ten years, but the entertaining man with the animal songs was back - and bigger  than ever.

Rufus had other hits at Stax, but often said he didn't really fit into their operation. ''I wasn't  happy with the material they kept coming up with. They are great guys but they can't write  or produce the song I need. The MGs are incredibly talented musicians but they have their  style and they tended to imprint it loo heavily on my recordings''. Nevertheless, in 1970 he  had another number five rhythm and blues hit with another improvised dance tune, this  time made up at a club in Covington, Tennessee, titled ''Do The Funky Chicken''. Then at the  start of 1971 Rufus registered his first number one rhythm and blues hit with ''Do The Push  And Pull''. It was followed with the almost as successful number two hit ''The Breakdown''.  He continued to register smaller hits well into the 1970s, twenty-five years after he had  started his recording career, and to make well-received CD albums for many years after that.  On the back of his1960s hits, Rufus started to take his entertaining show out of Memphis,  including to Europe.


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STUDIO SESSION FOR THE FOUR UPSETTERS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 1: TUESDAY JANUARY 15, 1963 (1)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE

01 – ''MIDNIGHT SOIREE''' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - George Webb
Publisher: - H-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 484
Recorded: - January 15, 1963
Released: - November 5, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 381-A mono
MIDNIGHT SOIREE / CRAZY ARMS
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5


Luke Wright and the Four Upsetters. Top left is Luke Wright (guitar), John Guthrie (drums) Bottom left is Buddy Felts (sax) and Bobby Mike (keyboards)

The Four Upsetters did a lot of recordings at 639 Madison during the first six months of 1963. Off the 19 tracks caught on tape, a total of four were released.

The Four Upsetters was formed by leader and drummer John Guthrie and guitarplayer Luke Writht in  Middlesboro, Kentucky in 1959. They were signed by Sun Records in 1961 and recorded and toured with  Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich until l964 when John was drafted in the army along with label mate Carl  Mann. John Guthrie is currently playing piano in lounges and private parties.


It was customary for Sun to recycle some of its earlier hits as instrumental versions (as Shirley Sisk had done on ''I Forgot Tom Remember To Forget''). The trouble with ''Crazy Arms'' is that although it ranks as Jerry Lee's first Sun record, the song wasn't published by Sam Phillips. The Killer's version had come after he heard Ray Price's record. And so the Four Upsetters manage to pull off an oddity here: they offer Sun's second cover version of a tune.

You’d think the Upsetters – a Lexington, Kentucky-based organ-led combo – would have been another Bill Black clone, but they weren't – at least not to cash in on the Bill Black Combo sweepstakes. Part of the charm of music like this was its amateurish quality. It must have been rather amusing to hear how many local disc jockeys had trouble pronouncing the title of ''Midnight Soiree''. ''now he-ass thuh Fo' Upsettahs playin' Midnaht Soy Ree. Take it away y'all!''. What would follow is an enjoyable, but pretty strange record. The little tease intro is a Bolero! It's followed immediately by a dead ripoff of Clarence Frogman Henry's ''Ain't Go No Home''. The release is standard blues shouting fare. All in all, pretty listenable!

02 – ''CRAZY ARMS'' - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Charles Seals-Ralph Mooney
Publisher: - Pamper Music Incorporated – Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 483
Recorded: - January 15, 1963
Released: - November 5, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 386-B mono
CRAZY ARMS / MIDNIGHT SOIREE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5



Luke Wright with his wife Peggy.


The Four Upsetters here back for their second released in six months. This was quite a fallow period in the Sun release schedule. In fact, only two releases - both by Jerry Lee - separated the two Upsetters singles.


''Wabash Cannonball'' features a strange arrangement: an unlikely combination of Luther Perkins' minimalism with some calliope-sounding organ, and honking sax. Since there isn't much to the tune, the boys simply cycle it among them until the clock on the wall says it's time to quit. 


03 – ''WABASH CANNON BALL'' - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - J.A. Roff-A.P. Carter
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 494-Z
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - July 15, 1963
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 381-B mono
SURFIN' CALLIOPE / WABASH CANNON BALL
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

04 – ''MY BLUE HEAVEN'' - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Walter Donaldson-George Whiting
Publisher: - Francis Day & Hunter
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-5 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

This didn't become popular until about two years after it was written, when Eddie Cantor featured it in his successful stage musical Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. Afterwards, it became very popular for vaudeville productions.  During the first season of the TV show M*A*S*H, this was used frequently on the show. Examples: A Korean version on the PA system, Hawkeye and Trapper singing it before going to rock and roll in Tokyo (Bananas, Crackers, and Nuts) and Hot Lips singing it at a "no-talent show" (Dear, Dad Again).  This has been covered by the Smashing Pumpkins (who added extra lyrics), Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller, Al Jolson (who appeared in The Jazz Singer, the first "talkie"), and Dolly Parton.

There are 2 different movies called ''My Blue Heaven'', and both used this song. The first was a 1950 musical where it was performed by the stars, Betty Grable and Dan Dailey. The second was a 1990 comedy starring Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. Fats Domino's version was the theme song in that one.  Besides the films in which it was used as the title song, this appeared in the movies Never a Dull Moment in 1943 (sung by Frances Langford), Moon over Las Vegas in 1944 (performed by Gene Austin, who recorded it for the album Victor, which sold over five million copies and held a record until Bing Crosby's "White Christmas"), the 1955 biographical musical Love Me or Leave Me, and the 1959 film The Five Pennies (performed by Bob Crosby).  "My Blue Heaven" by crooner Gene Austin was released in 1928; it peaked at number 1 and stayed there for 13 weeks, it remained on charts for 26 weeks. Reportedly it sold over 5 million copies!  There is a recording studio in Kansas called ''Blue Heaven Studios''. It is built inside the former First Christian Church.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Four Upsetters consisting of
Luke Wright – Saxophone
William Ray Felts - Keyboards & Organ
John Guthrie – Drums
George ''Buddy'' Webb - Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE FOUR UPSETTERS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 2: TUESDAY JANUARY 15, 1963 (2)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE

01 – ''BIG B'' - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-10 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

02 – ''BLUEBERRY HILL'' - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Larry Stock-Al Lewis-Vincent Rose
Publisher: - Redwood Music Publisher
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-9 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

03 – ''BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY'' - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Bill Monroe
Publisher: - Peer International Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-8 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

04 – ''DRAGGIN' THE RIDGE'' - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-15 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

05 – ''YOU CAN'T SIT DOWN'' - B.M.I. - 3:09
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January 15, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-1 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Four Upsetters consisting of
Luke Wright – Saxophone
William Ray Felts - Keyboards & Organ
John Guthrie – Drums
George ''Buddy'' Webb - Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


FEBRUARY 1963

Carl's last royalty statement from Sun, dated February 15, 1963, showed that he was in the  hole to Sun in the amount of fifteen hundred dollars. His last single, the 1935 Hammerstein- Romberg movie song ''When I Grown Too Old To Dream'', was coupled with the strangely  appropriate ode to illicit booze, ''Mountain Dew''. Sun's royalty statement said that single  had sold a grand total of one thousand copies. ''Mona Lisa'' sold more than that an hour just  three years earlier.

By the time Carl was dropped from the Phillips roster in 1963 the label was itself on the  verge of dissolution. For an undisclosed amount, Phillips had agreed to let the Dutch electric  giant Philips (with one l) use the name in North America and avoid confusion. By then, Sam  had also sold the Nashville studio to Fred Foster at Monument.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS AND LINDA GAIL LEWIS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY MARCH 11, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SCOTTY MOORE AND/OR UNKNOWN

01 – ''TEENAGE LETTER'' - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Renald Richard
Publisher: - Progressive Music
Matrix number: - U 489
Recorded: - March 11, 1963
Released: - April 1963
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 384-B mono
TEENAGE LETTER / SEASONS OF MY HEART
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5


Linda Gail Lewis

This is the last single Jerry Lee Lewis released before leaving Sun. As ''Teenage Letter'' reveals, he certainly went out having a good time. Blues shouter Joe Turner, whose teenage years were over back in the 1930s, recorded this song at the height of his success with Atlantic Records. It was written by Renald Richard, the cowriter of ''I Got A Woman'', and it's a trite song by any reckoning. Only the tag line ''I'm gonna prove it in my own way'' gave Jerry something he could get his teeth into. There's no telling how many times he leaned into the microphone and leered ''Let me prove it to you, darlin'''. Jerry's backing here includes members of the Four Upsetters. Saxman Luke Wright starts honking like he was trying up upstage Illinois Jacquet, but settles quickly for the Boots Randolph/King Curtis style.

''Seasons Of My Heart'' won't win any awards for Jerry's finest hour at Sun. Just as Hank Williams was saddled with a wife, Miz Audrey, who wanted to sing – but couldn't, so Jerry Lee was saddled with a little sister who wanted desperately to record – but shouldn't have. Jerry's contract was running out at Sun and Sam Phillips was undoubtedly doing anything within reason to keep Jerry happy. This session was part of that price. Jerry is a song stylist. That means he takes enormous liberties with melody, lyric and phrasing. Why would Linda Gail, or anyone for that matter, think they could keep up with him?

02 – ''SEASONS OF MY HEART*'' - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - George Jones-Darrell Edwards
Publisher: - Starday Music
Matrix number: - U 490
Recorded: - March 11, 1962
Released: - April 1963
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 384-A mono
SEASONS OF MY HEART / TEENAGE LETTER
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Jerry Lee Lewis re-cut ''Seasons Of My Heart'' a couple of years later for his ''Country Songs For City Folks'' album, and although he inadvisably used a harpsichord instead of a proper piano, it is still preferable due to the lack of Linda’s harmony vocals.

03 – ''NOTHIN' SHAKIN' (BUT THE LEAVES ON THE TREES''* - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Cirino Colacrai; Diane Lampert; Eddie Fontaine; Johnny Gluck
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment
Matrix number: - None - SUN 385-A - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 11, 1962
Released: - 1998
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Believe it or not, this wasn't the first time that Jerry Lee Lewis had prevailed on Sam Phillips to put Linda Gail in front of a microphone. Back in December 1960, she and Jerry's older sister, Frankie Jean, had cut their own version of ''Love Made A Fool Of Me'' two months after Jerry's version of the tune was recorded. Lina Gail also left her version of ''Good Golly Miss Molly'' in the can on the same date. Neither track has seen the light of day. 

These two titles might actually have been released, were it not for a downturn in Jerry's contract negotiations. Once it became clear that Jerry was on his way to Mercury Records, there was no need for foolishness like this to appear on a yellow Sun record. And so, Sun 385, which you can now hear in restored digital sound, remained officially unreleased.

04 – ''SITTIN' AND THINKIN'''* - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - SUN 385-B - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 11, 1962
Released: - 1998
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-10 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

05 – ''SEE SEE RIDER/CHATTER*'' - B.M.I. - 3:14
Composer: - Traditional - Ma Rainey
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 11, 1962
Released: - 2002
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-19 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis* - Vocal & Piano
Linda Gail Lewis* - Duet Vocal
Scotty Moore – Lead Guitar
George Webb – Bass
Morris Tarrant – Drums
William Ray Felts – Organ
Luke Wright - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©




MARCH 15, 1963 FRIDAY

Charlie Rich's final single was released in the throes of some serious intrigue between  himself and Sam Phillips. In truth, by the time the record his the stores, Rich was no loner a  Sun artist. On this date, Rich's recording contract with Sam Phillips expired.

Rich's de facto  manager, lawyer/trumpet player Sy Rosenberg hadn't let any grass grow under his artist and  promptly negotiated a one year contract with RCA for a $10,000 advance on royalties. Both  the royally rate (5%) and the advance were something Sam was mot accustomed to paying.


Nevertheless, Sam Phillips was furious. He felt betrayed (as he had when Johnny Cash and  Carl Perkins had left earlier), and argued that a 'verbal agreement' between him and Rich  had at least granted him the opportunity to match any offer that Rich received elsewhere.  (This was precisely the argument he had used in reacting to Johnny Cash's departure in  1958). Phillips went so far to notify RCA in May, 1963 that they were about to record an  artist who was still under contract to him.

Not for nothing was Sy Rosenberg a lawyer. In June, 1963, Charlie Rich sued Sam Phillips for  $100,000 for interfering with his relationship with RCA. A day later, Sam and Charlie sat  down and settled their differences. Sam recognized that Charlie Rich, the last of his major  discoveries, was destined to leave the fold. Sam also recognized that his days as a record  company owner were fast drawing to a close. )Only two more singles were issued on the  Phillips International label after Rich's last release). Wisely, Phillips turned towards his
publishing interests. Acknowledging Rich's talent as a songwriter, he formed a joint  publishing venture with Charlie called Charlie Rich Music. Both men withdrew their lawsuits  and Rich went on with his career.

The truth is, Sam Phillips didn't make a lot of money issuing the music. With the exception of  ''Lonely Weekends'', Charlie Rich was not a big seller. Jimmy M. Van Eaton has an interesting  perspective on what might have been during Charlie's Sun days. ''In my opinion if television  was as hot then as it is now, with music videos, and all that slick packaging, Charlie might  have been very successful. They could have edited Charlie into the kind of performances he  could never give on his own. He could have been a major act. A good looking, talented guy  under tight control of a producer and an editor. And of course Charlie wouldn't have minded  it since he could have been home with his family while they were doing it. A lot of guys are  better on TV than live in person and Charlie may have been one of them''.

Charlie Rich began his RCA tenure by recording a critically acclaimed album (issued on their  newly-re-activated Groove label). Rich continued to record for RCA in Nashville, switching to  the main RCA imprint after his first album. Although the RCA recordings were smooth (and  occasionally soporific) by any reckoning, there are several unmistakable gems: a jazzy  reading of ''River Stay Away From My Door'', and a silky, yet bluesy reading of ''Tomorrow  Night''. Nevertheless, over a year in the studio yielded no major hits, although several tunes,  including ''Big Boss Man'', bubbled just under the top reaches of the charts. In 1965, Charlie  Rich left RCA and signed with Mercury.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Renay 306

Narvel Felts followed ''Lovelight Man'' with a revival of ''Mountain Of Love''. Apparently, it was Roland Janes's idea to revive the song, despite the fact that the original version had not been off the charts very long. During a visit to Beaumont, Jack Clement suggested to Roland that it might work better if the beat were changed to conform with current trends, and if horns were substituted for the strings. The then-om-nip-resent organ was also added to the arrangement, and the song was coupled with a Felts/Grubbs ballad, ''The End Of My World Is Near''. The record became very successful in the mid-South, and charted on the influential Top 40 station, WHBQ Memphis, as well as many smaller stations.

Roland Janes apparently asked disc jockeys to flip the record and play ''The End Of My World Is Near'', and the renewed action began to get the attention of Chet Atkins in Nashville. He had been asked to find pop-oriented product for the reactivated Groove label, and he thought the Felts single might fit the bill. It was  quickly reissued on Groove – where it sputtered and died. There were some discussions about Felts moving to Groove with Janes acting as producer, but those discussions faltered with the record.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR NARVEL FELTS
FOR RENAY RECORDS 1963

SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE MARCH 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ROLAND JANES

01 – ''MOUNTAIN OF LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Harold Dorman
Publisher: - Vaugh Music Publisher
Matrix number: - R 903
Recorded: - Unknown Date March 1963
Released: - 1963
First appearance: - Renay Records (S) 45rpm standard single Renay 306 mono
MOUNTAIN OF LOVE / THE END OF MY WORLD IS NEAR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-24 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

02 – ''THE END OF MY WORLD IS NEAR'' - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Narvel Felts-R.W. Grubbs
Publisher: - Vaugh Music Publisher
Matrix number: - R 904
Recorded: - Unknown Date March 1963
Released: - 1963
First appearance: - Renay Records (S) 45rpm standard single Renay 306 mono
THE END OF MY WORLD IS NEAR / MOUNTAIN OF LOVE
Reissued: - December 7, 1963 Groove Records (S) 45rpm standard single Groove 58-0029 mono
THE END OF MY WORLD IS NEAR / MOUNTAIN OF LOVE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Narvel Felts - Vocal & Guitar
J.W. Grubbs – Bass
Matt Lucas – Drums
Luther Crabb - Organ
Bobby Wood - Organ
Ed Logan - Saxophone
Ted Garretson - Trumpet

Hurshel Wayne Wiginton Group - Vocal Chorus

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


APRIL 1963

Jerry Lee Lewis' contract with Sun Records was due to expire on September 6, 1963. After  a brief affiliation with Don Seat, who also managed Conway Twitty and Connie Francis,  Lewis allied himself with a Memphis businessman, Frank Sasone, in April 1963. Casone was  determined to sign Jerry Lee Lewis with another record company. He wanted a company  that could translate Jerry's success on the road into record sales, something that Sun with  their diminishing commitment to the business seemed unable to do.

Casone opened negotiations with Mercury, Liberty, Columbia and RCA. Phillips, sensing the  inevitable, recorded Jerry Lee's sister, Lina Gail, and even his father in an attempt to keep  Jerry within the fold. He even planned a third album which, like Linda Gail's single, was  not released after the news broke that Jerry planned to sign with Mercury Records.

APRIL 1963

The last Phillips International records are probably released this month.

Sun 384 ''Teenage Letter'' b/w ''Seasons Of My Heart'' By Jerry Lee Lewis and Linda Gail Lewis issued.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DICKEY LEE (DICKEY LIPSCOMB)
FOR DOT RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: APRIL 20, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS

No Details

01 - ''LIFE IN A TEENAGE WORLD''
Composer: - Dickey Lipscomb
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MB 14817
Recorded: - April 20, 1963
Released: - May 1960
First appearance: - Dot Records (S) 45rpm Dot 16087 mono
LIFE IN A TEENAGE WORLD / WHY DON'T YOU WRITE ME

02 – ''WHY DON'T YOU WRITE ME''
Composer: - Dickey Lipscomb
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MB 14818
Recorded: - April 20, 1963
Released: - May 1960
First appearance: - Dot Records (S) 45rpm Dot 16087 mono
WHY DON'T YOU WRITE ME / LIFE IN A TEENAGE WORLD

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Dickey Lee – Vocal & Guitar
Brad Suggs – Guitar
R.W. Stevenson – Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Charlie Rich – Piano
Vernon Drake - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


MAY 1963

By 1963, Bill Yates was looking for a new recording deal. Ruben Cherry's dream of a successful rhythm and  blues label had collapsed through weight of competition from Hi, Stax and others, and his Home Of The  Blues label closed. The record store continued to trade through the 1960s but Cherry died in January 1976,  aged just 53, after 27 years in the record business.  At some point in the early 1960 Bill Yates and Billy Adams came onto Sam Phillips radar, possibly through  their shows at clubs around town or when Phillips' new studio at 639 Madison Avenue was being used to  master the HOTB sides.


Phillips told Martin Hawkins, ''I built the new studio because I just felt that  recording technology was improving and that we needed to move along and keep pace technically... This did  not mean that I had abandoned the sound that had been so successful... You see, good rock and roll, and that's  all we were trying to achieve, doesn't need fifteen pieces all of the time. Billy Adams had some talent as a  drummer and they were a really good value band. Bill Yates, now, was a different artist altogether. Bill often  worked with Billy Adams. Bill had an awful lot of soul in his voice. He was probably as versatile, without  being a copyist, as any artist I ever worked with. He had a lot of merit and it is a real shame that we were not  able to get a hit for him. He was a man who made you want to listen when he opened his mouth to sing, and  he played the piano like it should be played. He was a talent''.

There were at least five sessions at Sun for the Adam/Yates band. Bass player Jesse Carter described them:  ''Sam Phillips produced and engineered the sessions himself. He'd come into Taylor's restaurant next door  and talk with us like we were old friends, then we'd do the session. He really made you feel part of things.  He did not have a lot of input to what was recorded – he let us come in with our songs – but he was always in  on how the recording would be developed. He would let you start it your way, and then he'd let you know  real quick if something was lacking. Ultimately, some originals and some favourites. All the songs we  recorded was mainly Adams' Hide-A-Way band, plus Al Jackson Jr. who played drums on some sessions,  when we needed somebody. Billy Adams sometimes just sang on his records and didn't always play drums''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL YATES & BILLY ADAMS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY MAY 10, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

Bill Yates first informal session at Sun appears to have been on May 10, 1963 when it is likely he and the  Adams band were just running through their nightly repertoire. Nothing was issued from the session at the  time but included here several unissued songs. ''Boom Boom'' was obviously a current band favorite, based  on John Lee Hooker's rhythm and blues hit from the summer of 1962, while ''Before I Lose My Mind'' and  ''Every Night About This Time'' were bluesy ballads that presumably became favorities at the Hide-A-Way as  the evening wore on. In contrast, ''Popcorn Polly'' was a fairly recent Charlie Rich composition, written in his  days as a Sun session pianist just starting to forsake jazz to make teen-oriented records. Yates shared a  bandstand with Rich on several occasions and may have learned the song directly from him as it was not  issued at the time.

01 - ''BOOM BOOM'' - B.M.I - 2:06
Composer: - John Lee Hooker
Publisher: - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-19 mono digital
BILL YATES - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

02 - ''BEFORE I LOSE MY MIND'' - 2 - B.M.I. - 3:16
Composer: - Vic McAlpin-Roy Drusky
Publisher: - Acclaim Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-21 mono digital
BILL YATES - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03 - ''EVERY NIGHT ABOUT THIS TIME'' - B.M.I. - 3:52
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-20 mono digital
BILL YATES - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

04 - ''IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Released: - Sun Unissued

05 – ''DON'T YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Released: - Sun Unissued

06 - ''POPCORN POLLY'' - B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-31 mono digital
BILL YATES - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

07 - ''JUST FOR YOU'' - B.M.I.
Composer:
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963

08 - ''RECIPE FOR LOVE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: 
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963

09 - ''WALK ON BY'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963

10 - ''YOU CAN HAVE MY WIFE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: 
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 10, 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Yates - Vocal, Keyboards
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Vance Yates or Jesse Carter - Bass
Billy Adams - Drums
Russ Carlton - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


BILL YATES - He was known as Bill Yates in Memphis and on almost of his records, but he was born Billy   Vance Yates on December 21, 1936 in Columbus, Georgia. His father, Hubert Vance Yates, was born in   Mississippi around 1912 and his mother, Kitty, sic years younger, came from Oklahoma. Hubert was a   traveling evangelist who seems to have moved regularly between the area around Columbus, the north   Carolinas, and northern Mississippi. At the time of the 1940 census the family was living on Desota Avenue   in Kannapolis, North Carolina. Hubert was listed as H.B. Yates employed at the YMCA in an athletic   capacity. Billy Vance Yates was the oldest of three children born in Columbus (though, strangely, in a census   arror he was recorded as Billy Vance Yates, female). His brother, Leonard Charles, was a couple of years   younger and his sister, Carolyn, was a further year younger.


These three would be joined in September 1943   by their new young brother, Hubert Vance Yates Jr., known as Vance, born in Kannapolis.   ''All three brothers and their sister were interested in music and they all had a natural ability to sing and   play'', report Charles Yates' sons, Rusty and Jeff, who are Billy's nephews and musicians themselves. Rusty   told Martin Hawkins: ''Their father was a roving evangelist, and the family all sang in church right from the  beginning. That was their introduction to music. The family was always traveling, but they spent a lot of time   in north Mississippi nor far from Memphis. They were living in Mississippi when they formed a kids' gospel  group in church. Charles, Bill and Carolyn were three members, and at one point they drafted in the pre-teen   Elvis Presley who went to the same church when Hubert was preaching near Tupelo. The boys all stayed in   tough with Elvis in later years''.


Trough the 1950s, the Reverend Hubert Yates was based in Columbus, according to the annual City   Directories, and it seems that Billy Vance Yates spent most of his teenage years there, honing his musical   skills and planning a life as a touring musician. Rusty Yates said, ''In Georgia, Uncle Bill grew up as a natural   piano player. But he could play great harmonica and he could play guitar too. Hoe could just do it. He started   to play at various places there, and later Uncle Vance started to play with him too''. The events of those years   are a little unclear but guitarist James Lucky Ward (who later played with Elvis Presley, Barbi Benton and   Janis Joplin) remembered as a teenager, ''toiling in drifter bands behind now-obscure headliners like Hugh   Lee Ott, Billy Vance Yates, briefly touted as the white Ray Charles, and Curley Money at Georgia clubs like   the Chansaw.


From left: Charles, Carolyn and Bill Yates, the young gospel group in Mississippi.

Ward played with Money on an unissued Sun session that included ''Chainsaw Charlie''. Local   news ads show that Billy Yates and Vance Yates played all along the Georgia coast and into Alabama ant it is  likely that Billy made his recording debut as pianist with Jerry Lott who, as The Phantom, recorded the   frantic rocker, ''Love Me'' in Mobile in 1958. The record came out on Dot Records and Lott later told Derek   Glenister: ''I'm telling you, it was wild. The drummer lost one of his sticks, the guitar player's glasses were   hanging sideways over his eyes, and the piano player screamed and knocked his stool over''.

By the time Bill Yates had already met and hung out with the big name piano pounder of the era, Jerry Lee   Lewis, According to Rusty: ''Uncle Bill moved to Memphis sometime around the mid-1950s. Bill and Vance   moved there together. He told me they flat broke and they slept in a car, or in fields by the roadside, just so   they could save enough money to get somewhere to stay. They got to know Billy Adams and Uncle Bill and   Billy Adams went out on tour with Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis and others from Memphis. They traveled around in a big old hearse at one tome, Bill told me Jerry Lee Lewis was very unreliable and   sometimes he'd be the headliner but when the show started he would not be there, so Bill would go out and   do the show for him, Bill could play piano just like Jerry Lee''.

In May 1959, Billy Yance Yates was married in Mobile, Alabama to Mary Giles. According to Rusty, ''Uncle   Bill and Mary had sons, Dusty (Hubert), and Leslie, and daughters, Tanya and Denise, but in the end Bill   didn't stay with Mary''. It seems that Bill was always off on the road somewhere, working in Memphis or elsewhere. By 1961 he had his eyes on Hollywood. The Columbus, Georgia Ledge-Enquirer of July 2, 1961   reported: ''Youths Join Presley Group For Hollywood: Two Columbus youths, Vance Yates Jr., and Bill Vance   Yates, have joined the entourage of rock and roll singer Elvis Presley and will soon leave Memphis for   Hollywood, where Presley is due to make another movie. Vance Yates Jr. was in Columbus yesterday for a   few days before rejoining the band which accompanies Presley at his personal appearance and on recording   dates. Young Yates plays the bass fiddle in the four-man band. His brother, Billy Vance, is a bodyguard for   Presley''. Rusty Yates confirmed: ''Bill did spend time as Elvis's bodyguard. Bill was a big guy. Bill was   always around Elvis and his friends. My father Charles was later in the Speer Quartet, who worked with   Elvis, but the one who was closest to him though was Uncle Vance. When Elvis became famous and used to   hire out whole movie theatres, then Bill and Vance would always be right there with him. In 1960, when I   was about 6 months old, my dad was recording at RCA in Nashville with the Speer Quartet and Elvis came   along to listen one day, because he loved that music. Elvis picked me up and said something like ''what a fine   boy I was – and then I threw up on him. That's the story anyway''. While Billy and Vance were following the   gospel and rhythm and blues or rock and roll, their brother Charles had become a member of the Prophets   Quartet, originally from Knoxville, and the famous country gospel group, the Speer Family. Later, during the   1970s, Charles was in Elvis Presley's touring show and after that the Masters Five alongside gospel greats   J.D. Sumner and Hovie Lister.


Despite his occasional trips away with the Presley entourage, Bill Yates' bread and butter work remained   in Memphis. He had a regular gig at the 5 gables Club in the late 1950s where he formed a band known as   the T-Birds. Then he hooked up again with drummer Billy Adams, who had just come of the road in 1961   to form a band. Adams band had the resident at Hernando's Hide-A-Way at 3210 Old Hernando Road in   south Memphis, a nightclub of some note where the band gave exposure to many up-and-coming   Memphis musicians. Rusty Yates remembered visiting his uncle Bill there: ''I know Bill played with Billy  Adams a lot. As a boy, about 4 or 5 years old. I remember being taken to a club where Adams had his   drums set up, probably the Hide-A-Way, and I sat on Adams' lap and he helped me to play the drums. I   remember that we''.


Other regular members of the Adams band where bass player Jesse Carter, guitarist Lee Adkins,   multiinstrumentalist Gene Parker, and saxophonist Russ Carlton. Jesse Carter remembered: ''I met Bill   Yates at the 5 Gables Club when he was playing as a single on South Bellevue. When he later moved to the  Hide-A-Away we played together there and then he joined with Adams, and then I did too. His brother   Vance Yates would play with us sometimes. He was a great vocalist and bassist, a good man. Bill Yates was   a real character, but he also had a great voice and was a good entertainer. He could always liven the crowd   up when he came along. He was a great piano player. He came from somewhere around Macon, Georgia   and his dad was a Holiness preacher. The family was all into gospel singing. I think that's where he got his   presence from, his projection of a song. But he was a shady character – he was unreliable, he might just   disappear for a white''.

So by 1961, Bill Yates had learned his trade and become part of a band whose musicians were wellrespected   and becoming regulars at the recording studios around town. The next step for him was surely to   get a recording contract for himself. The established label in Memphis was Sun, followed by the   emerging operations at Hi, Stax,or Fernwood. Other smaller fly-by-night labels came and went but one that   looked promising had just been operated by Ruben Cherry, and named Home Of The Blues after Cherry's   local record store.

All through the time he was recording at Sun, Bill Yates worked with the Bill Adams group at   Charles Foren's Hernando's Hide-A-Way club, and when Foren established the new Vapors Supper Club on   Brooks Road in south Memphis in 1969 Yates ans Adams moved there. By that time, Adams had set up a   booking agency, Memphis Artists Attractions, booking Yates and many others locally and across the Holiday   Inn network. Memphis's Key TV Guide for April 1973 captured the local scene, carrying ads for the   Admiral Benbow lounge – ''Billy Adams' Show and Danceband plays nightly except Sunday... Bill Yates   pianist, plays at cocktail time Mon-Fr'' – and for the Downtowner Motor Inn. On Union Avenue – ''the Billy   Yates Trio appears from 8 to 1 six nights a week''. That year Adams and Yates were competing with other   entertainment, dinning and dancing options that included Linda Ann, vivacious blonde, playing at the  Casino Lounge, Eddie Bond and his TV Stompers at the E B Ranch, Charlie Freeman at the Admiral   Benbow Club Lounge, Jesse Lopez (brother of Trini Lopez) at the Rivermont Holiday Inn, and Larry   Garrett and Lee Adkins at the Vapors''.

Eventually, Bill's absences from Memphis grew permanent. At some point, he and Vance Yates worked as   the Yates Brothers on shows booked out of Nashville by the Wil-Helm Talent Agency formed by Don   Helms and the Wilburn Brothers. It is not clear how long this lasted but it is likely the Yates boys wound up   in Las Vegas. By the close of the 1970s Bill Yates had settled there. He lived at various addresses in Vegas   through the 1980s, including Ramona Circle and Karen Avenue. His nephew, Rusty confirmed: ''Bill spent a  lot of time playing music in the west, especially Las Vegas, from the late 1970s through the 1980s. He was   an actor too, and he was an extra and stuntman in the movies. I remembered seeing him in his western gear,   mainly westerns. But I remember one time when Batman was in big in the movies they hired Bill to make   personal a ppearances at movie theatres as Batman. He'd go in there and leap around and play the part. That   was back in the 1960s''.

When Bill Yates moved west, his sister Carolyn was also singing in lounges across the country   including venues in Vegas and Lake Tahoe. Working as Carol Lee through the 1960s and 1970s, her   publicity noted that she was from the backwoods of Georgia and her singing had ''journeyed from the   church to the club to concerts'' but that she was ''an entertainer first of all'', singing from songbooks as   diverse as Sinatra and Ray Charles. She also sang country, not least her own song ''I Won't Mention It   Again'' that stayed at number 1 for thirteen weeks when recorded by Ray Price.

It was from Vegas that Bill Yates contacted his nephew Rusty, a budding musician, in 1979: ''I was nearly   20 years old and working for my dad, who wanted me to go into the service. But then Uncle Bill called   from Las Vegas and invited me to come out and play music with him there. In January 1980, I arrived and I   was expecting to play piano, which was my instrument. But he pointed me to the drum kit and I said I   should get on the drums. He needed a drummer. So I did that for a year at the King 8 Casino and then after   that I did it a couple years more. The King 8 had opened in 1974 on Tropicana Avenue off the southern end   of Vegas' main strip. It was a decent enough venue, if not quite the standard of the International where Elvis   Presley had held sway for many years. Bill played little of Presley's music but after Presley died in 1977  Bill recorded four songs: ''Elvis We Miss You'', ''Golden Guitar'', ''Poor But Proud'', and ''Number One   Country Music Star''. The recordings were a mix of blues, gospel, and country influences with story lyrics   and an intense, conversational vocal style.

They were of their time and perhaps typical of part of the Yates act of the day. Rusty Yates said: ''When   we were in Vegas, Uncle Bill would play an amazing range of music on piano. He'd play like Liberace and   then he'd play like Fats Domino and then he would play George Shearing or some ragtime. He could play it   all. He would play his own songs too, sometimes, thing like the ''M&Ms'' song and ''Big Big World'' that   was written by his friend Red West''. Al least two of Yates' later recordings were issued. A label called   Memphis Country Sights And Sound issued ''Poor But Proud'' and ''Greatest Star Of All'', one an in-vogue   nostalgic country song and the other an imaginative tribute to Hank Williams where Yates buys the car   Hank took his last journey in. It would make sense that the Elvis tribute was also issued but a copy of that   disc is still to be found.

The Las Vegas marriage records show that Billy Vance Yates was married twice in the city of the   quick ceremony. On July 20, 1985 he married May Elizabeth Nolan and on April 14, 1989 he married Cathy   Lynn West. Rusty Yates confirmed: ''Bill didn't stay with Mary when he went away to Vegas. He married   there twice but they didn't last. He didn't talk to his first wife for years and didn't stay in touch with his   children at that time''.

According to Rusty, ''Uncle Bill spent a lot of time out west. After he left Vegas, then he went to   Pinedale, Wyoming in the early 1990s. At that time in life he became a ''mountain man'' going on trips into   the wilderness and living that kind of life. He and William Golden from the Oak Ridge Boys would do that   together sometimes. They's disappear off and live in the hills and made their own leather gear and that sort   of things''. In July 2000, the Sublette County Journal carried a feature on an event called the Quick Draw,   where local artists and sculptors created works on the spot, using local people and scenes as their   inspiration. Their journalist wrote: ''As I stepped up to take a picture of one artist at work, I noticed that the   lump of clay before her looked and awful lot like the mountain man who was watching her work. The artist  introduced herself as Joyce Killebrew from Sedona, Arizona; then the mountain man spoke. Bill Yates is   from Memphis, Tennessee, and had worked with Elvis for six years as a piano player. He then playfully   scolded me for taking his picture when he didn't have his teeth in''.

The Quick Draw occurred at about the time Bill Yates' health started to nosedive. Rusty said, ''There came   a time in Wyoming when Uncle Bill was in failing health. He had diabetes, and someone contacted my dad   and said that he needed to be looked after and so his family brought him back to Louisiana. Then he got   into contact with his first wife and children again in Mississippi. He had lost both legs and was very ill''.   Bill moved to Forrest near Hattiesburg, Mississippi and his daughter Denise Nugend, said ''We were   estranged for many years before his illness but I convinced him to move closer to his children. He passed   away in 2007 after a long illness''. The Wayne County News reported, ''Graveside funeral service for Bill   Yates, 70, of Hattiesburg, were held on Saturday, December 8, 2007, at the Isney (Ala) Cemetery. Born Dec.   21, 1936, Yates was a musician. He died on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007, at Forrest General Hospital in   Hattiesburg''.

To Rusty Yates, ''Uncle Bill was as good a musician as you'd ever hear. He always had places to play   in Memphis and in Vegas. But he would just get a hankering yo go and do something else. Wherever he   was, he'd just take off from there. Uncle Vance was exactly the same way''.

Of the singing Yates family, Charles Yates is the survivor and still an accomplished gospel singer.   Vance Yates died in Corpus Christi, Texas in 2012, aged 68. His nephew said, ''He was in very bad health –   the conduct of his earlier life caught up with him''. Their sister Carolyn died aged 44, in 1983. But there is a   new generation of the musical Yates family. Charles's sons Rusty and Jeff run the Rusty Yates Band out of   Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Rusty grew up singing in church where his grandfather preached. He plays   keyboards and sings, like his uncle Bill, and has a repertoire that includes a nod to Ray Charles, like his   uncle Vance. His gigs and recordings are to be found at www.rustyyatesband.com


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

A local artist who recorded country and pop for other labels, this version of Charlie Rich's fine song is Jeannie's best recording.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JEANNE NEWMAN
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JUNE 3 OR 5, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER –  SCOTTY MOORE

01 – ''THANKS A LOT'' - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 436
Recorded: - June 3 or 5, 1963
Released: - 1963
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3585-A mono
THANKS A LOT / THE BOY I MET TODAY
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-4-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Another entry in the rather bizarre ''Thanks A Lot'' sweepstakes. About the only new here is that this reading is by a female vocalist, and that's of no small consequence. The line ''And for calling me those things you know I'm not'' takes on a whole new dimension when sung by a woman. Again, the Floyd Cramer-inspired piano track is prominent in the arrangement. (It is easy to underestimate just how influential Cramer's style was during the early 1960s). Newman is a groaner in the tradition perfected by Connie Francis, whose work was an obvious inspiration here.

The ghost of Connie hovers over the flipside as well. Old Jeanne can whisper and groan in harmony with the best of them! This is a touching tale of teenage heartbreak, and a rather clever one at that. It's a pore pop record, with no leanings toward country music. Musicologists will notice that it contains a passing reference to Sue Thompson's hit record ''Sad Movies''.

02 – ''THE BOY I MET TODAY'' – B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Jeanne Newman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 435
Recorded: - June 3 or 5, 1963
Released: - 1963
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single PI 3585-B mono
THE BOY I MET TODAY / THANKS A LOT
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806 DI-4-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jeanne Newman – Vocal
Bobby Wood - Piano
Stan Kesler - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Gene Chrisman - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR TONY ROSSINI
FOR SUN RECORDS 1962

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY JUNE 10, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE

This recording and the last release in July 1963, marked the end of Tony Rossini's recording career at Sun Records. If you listen closely, you'll hear unmistakable signs that young Mr. Rossini's voice was on the brink of changing – a condition that might have contributed as much as the lack of hits to the end of his days at Sun.

01 – ''MOVED TO KANSAS CITY'' - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Harold Dorman
Publisher: - Rolyn Publishing
Matrix number: - U 496
Recorded: - June 10, 1963
Released: - July 15, 1963
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 387-A mono
MOVED TO KANSAS CITY / NOBODY
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5


Tony Rossini and The Emeralds. From left: Jerry Minch, Tony Rossini, Unidentified, Gary McEwen.

There is very little edge to either of these sides, although ''Moved To Kansas City'' shows more signs of life with its pop gospelly feel and Stan Kesler's surprisingly adventurous basswork against the simple chord changes. Bobby Wood's tinkly piano solo mimics almost note for note the work of Memphis pianist Jerry Smith (recording as half of Cornbread and Jerry) on obscure 1962 Liberty release called ''Li'l Ole Me''. Those chorus-assisted Lloyd Price da-dah da-dah da-dah on the 5-7 chord still seemed to be part of the pop music vocabulary in mid-1963 when these sides were recorded. The flip-side, ''Nobody'', is a competent pop record. Bobby Wood's keyboard work borders on bluesy in a few places.


Tony Rossini returned to Madison Avenue to sing back-up on Randy & The Radiants's Sun and Holiday Inn records, and he played in a garage band, the Emeralds, with Buddy Cunningham's son, B.B., who later led the Hombress. ''I wrote songs with Donna Weiss'', Tony said recently. ''She wrote 'Bette Davis Eyes'. We worked as a duet and we were managed by Sy Rosenberg, who managed Charlie Rich. Sy got us a one-year deal with Mercury''. One single was recorded in Nashville in September 1965, and another session was held in May 1966 from which nothing was issued. ''Ray Stevens was on our Mercury sessions, and he got us on Monument and produced us. We had three singles. Then I was drafted in 1968, and went to Vietnam. Spent fourteen months there. I came back in January 1970, and in March I went to California. The scene seemed to be moving out there. Donna was there, Booker T, Steve Cropper. I went to Screem Gems and did demos for B.J. Thomas and others. Then I got a Capitol contract via Boyce and Hart. I had one single on Capitol. I was doing club gigs in Orange County, up and down the coast. Lounge stuff. Lounces were popular. That's where I learned to entertain. I've never made a career out of anything but music''. Tony Rossini, now based in Louisville, Kentucky, is still working the lounge circuit.

02 - ''NOBODY'' - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Davidson
Publisher: - Beckie Music – Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 495
Recorded: - June 10, 1963
Released: - July 15, 1963
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 387-B mono
NOBODY / MOVED TO KANSAS CITY
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Rossini - Vocal
Jerry Smith – Piano
Bobby Wood - Keyboard
Stan Kesler – Bass
More Details Unknown

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE FOUR UPSETTERS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY JUNE 30, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE

If you think that was weird, check out ''Surfin' Calliope''. A calliope was a steam-driven organ, often used on riverboats.  It was also the name of the Everly Brothers' short-lived vanity label which came and went around 1961. ''Surfin' Calliope'' is an old waltz, ''When You're In Love, It's The Loveliest Night Of The Year'', getting dragged through some very strange neighborhoods. Just who was dancing to this record? More to the point, who was buying it?

01 – ''SURFIN' CALLIOPE'' - B.M.I. - 3:02
Composer: - John Guthrie-George Webb-Luke Wright-William Ray Felts
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 493-Z
Recorded: - June 30, 1963
Released: - July 15, 1963
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 386-A mono
SURFIN' CALLIOPE / WABASH CANNON BALL
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

02 – ''LONELY WEEKENDS'' - B.M.I. - 3:16
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 30, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-11 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

03 – ''MAKIN' BELIEVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 30, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-6 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

04 – ''WILD IRISH ROSE''
Composer: - Chauncey Olcott
Publisher: - Witmark Music
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - June 30, 1963

After ''When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'', which he co-wrote, "My Wild Irish Rose" is probably the most famous song Irish-American Chauncey Olcott churned out. The inspiration for this solo composition was revealed by his wife Margaret after his death. On a visit to his mother's homeland in 1898, a young boy gave her a flower. When she asked him what it was called he replied "...a wild Irish Rose." She put the flower in an album, and later when her husband asked her for suggestions for a song title she opened the album, pointed to it and said: "There's the title for your new song''.
The ballad went into A Romance Of Athlone the following year, and the sheet music was published by the New York firm Witmark. 

Name (Or. No.Of Instruments)
The Four Upsetters consisting of
Luke Wright – Saxophone
William Ray Felts - Keyboards & Organ
John Guthrie – Drums
George ''Buddy'' Webb - Guitar
Little Richie - Vocals

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


JUNE 1963

PI 3585 ''Thanks A Lot'' b/w ''THe Boy I Met Today'' by Jeanne Newman issiued.

JULY 15, 1963 MONDAY

The singles, Sun 386 ''Surfin' Calliope'' b/w ''Wabash Cannonball'' by The Four Upsetters and Sun 387 ''Nobody'' b/w ''Moved To Kansas City'' by Tony Rossini issued.

Sun 388 ''Ain't Gonna Let You (Break My Heart)'' b/w ''Tell Me My Love'' by The Teenangels only issued as promo.

AUGUST 1963

Few rock and roller combine Carl Perkins musicality, his easy with or the controlled  vehemence which made ''Blue Suede Shoes'', ''Gone, Gone, Gone'' and ''Dixie Fried'' among  the most memorable of all rockabilly records. Those elemental Sun anthems led to a major  label contract with Columbia where some of his singles had almost as much to commend  then. By the early 1960s, Carl Perkins was as close to the artistic and economic bottom as  any terminally unfashionable performer could get. Totally unaware of having achieved any  lasting critical respect, he played airport lounche rock in Las Vegas and wondered whether  the 40,000 citizens of Jackson, Tennessee could support another grocery store.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR NARVEL FELTS
FOR RENAY RECORDS 1963

SONIC RECORDING STUDIO
1692 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE MID 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ROLAND JANES

''Get On The Right Track, Baby'', What You're Doing To Me'', ''Sad And Blue'', ''Love Is Gone'' and ''Return'' all represent demos of Felts-penned tunes, or in the case of the Titus Turner song ''Right Track'', a number that went down well on club dates and was up for consideration as a single.

01 - ''GET ON THE RIGHT TRACK, BABY'' - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Titus Turner
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-22 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

02 - ''WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO ME*'' - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-4 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

03 - ''SAD AND BLUE*'' - B.M.I. - 3:27
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-5 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

04 - ''LOVE IS GONE*'' - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Narvel Felts-J.W. Grubbs
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-9 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

05 - ''RETURN*'' - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15515-7 mono
NARVEL FELTS - MEMPHIS DAYS

06 - ''LITTLE SNOWFLAKE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963

07 - ''THESE LONELY NIGHTS'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963

08 - ''LOVE IS A LONELY ROAD'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Mid 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Narvel Felts - Vocal & Guitar
J.W. Grubbs – Bass
Jimmy Anthony - Drums
*- Luther Crabb - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE FOUR UPSETTERS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 1: JULY 12, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE

01 - ''HONKY TONK'' - B.M.I. - 3:39
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 12, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-14 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

02 - ''I GOT A WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 4:02
Composer: - Ray Charles
Publisher: Progressive Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 12, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-13 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

03 - ''I'M COMIN' HOME'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 12, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-12 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

04 - ''OVER THE WAVES'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - July 12, 1963
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-4 mono digital
THE FOUR UPSETTERS - SELECTED HITS

05 - ''PLEASE, PLEASE''*
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - July 12, 1963

06 - ''PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - July 12, 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Four Upsetters consisting of
Little Richie - Vocal*
Luke Wright – Saxophone
William Ray Felts - Keyboards & Organ
John Guthrie – Drums
George ''Buddy'' Webb - Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


AUGUST 1963

Carl Perkins signed a two-year contract with Decca Records and recorded four titles in  Nashville where MOR-country had co-opted rockabilly beyond recognition. The session got  off to a sluggish start with two of the least exciting songs in the Perkins canon. ''After  Sundown'' and ''For A Little While'' work as dolorous country weepers but they lack the  strong melody which makes country sentiment bearable and shows all the signs of  composition-al fatigue. ''I had very little input at all'' Carl told Bill Millar. ''It was Owen  Bradley's arrangements. He would have players there than he wanted and they worked up  the arrangements. Well... to tell you the truth, it wasn't a happy period. I was getting  frustrated because I couldn't get a hit record and I was drinking way too much. I went  through a period where I was contemplating just getting out of the business and I got into  alcohol way too heavy. I liked a few of the things I cut on Decca and I loved Mr. Bradley who  was producing but. .. I was letting alcohol write my songs''.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY AUGUST 27, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS

01 – ''YOUR LOVIN' WAYS'' - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Stacy Davidson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 27, 1963
Released: - 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (S) 45rpm Sun 1128 mono
YOUR LOVIN' WAYS / I CAN'T TRUST IN YOUR ARMS ANYMORE
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-19 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

02 – ''JUST WHO IS TO BLAME'' - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Traditional – Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 27, 1963
Released: - October 1975
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300 006 mono
RARE JERRY LEE LEWIS – VOLUME 1
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-20 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

03 – ''JUST WHO IS TO BLAME'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Traditional – Jerry Lee Lewis
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 27, 1963
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-21 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

04 – ''HONG KONG BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Hoagy Carmichael
Publisher: - Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 27, 1963
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-22 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

05 – ''LOVE ON BROADWAY'' - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Ronnie Self
Publisher: - Champion Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 27, 1963
Released: - 1971
First appearance: - Sun International (S) 45rpm Sun 1125 mono
LOVE ON BROADWAY / MATCHBOX
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-23 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Scotty Moore – Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
George Webb or Herman Hawkins – Bass
Morris Tarrant – Drums
William Ray Felts – Organ
Luke Wright - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


AUGUST 28, 1963 WEDNESDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis went into the Sun studio on Madison Avenue for the last time as a  contracted artist. Arranger Vinnie Trauth had contracted a string section and vocal group and  Phillips had arranged for Roland Janes to leave his post behind the controls at his own studio  and join the other musicians. Jerry recorded four songs, ''Carry Me Back To Old Virginia'',  ''Invitation To Your Party'', ''I Can't Seem To Say Goodbye'' and ''One Minute Past Eternity''.  The full significance of that final session would not become apparent for another six years.

The sessions of Jerry Lee Lewis between late 1956 and 1958 are still clouded in  considerable mystery, especially with regard to the recording dates. The session dates and  backing musicians logged with the American Federation of Musicians before 1958 were  largely a work of fiction, designed to clear recordings for release. The session could have  been held days, weeks or months beforhand.

Many session tapes of Jerry Lee Lewis for the period 1960-1963 are still missing and even  entire sessions are still missing.


However, it is not upon his final Sun session that Jerry Lee Lewis will be judged. His earlier  sides, especially those made between 1956 and 1960, stand as on of the most impressive  bodies of recordings to emerge from that turbulent era, perhaps the most impressive.

The simple truth is that Lewis would never made those recordings for a major label. Phillips  was prepared to keep the tape running while Lewis plundered his subconscious for barely  remembered songs; ''Whole Lotta Shakin'' was recorded in that way. Other studios would  schedule a standard three session and have four songs ready to record. ''Jerry is an informal  person'', asserted Sam Phillips, ''and the conditions had to be right. You had to have a good  song, of course, but atmosphere is nearly everything else. Jerry had to know that the people  around him, the people responsible for the session understood him. He had such  spontaneity. With great artists, almost 50% of something good they might do happens  because of an almost instant reaction to what is taking place around them''.

Lewis's early recordings at Sun also exemplified the virtue of keeping it simple. No-one else  would have dared risk recording Lewis with such a spartan backing. However, any more  instruments would have been superfluous.

Lewis was also a born entertainer. He was playing his trade in the studio with an audience of  three or four but the enthusiasm communicated itself vividly on record. ''Even when be  were going over material'', recalled Cecil Scaife, ''Jerry would play to you as if you were an  audience of 10,000 people. He would sit there and entertain you''.

Roland Janes echoes those thoughts: ''People are always trying to compare musicians but I  can't find anyone to compare with Jerry. What you hear him doing on records is only a small  percentage of what he's capable of doing. I don't think even he knows how great he is. He  can take a solo with either hand and sing a song five different ways, everyone of them great.  I remember when he worked the package show as, Jerry would sit backstage after the show  at the piano and all the big stars would gather around him and watch. Chuck Berry, Buddy  Holly, the Everly Brothers and so on. Jerry would be leading the chorus and everyone would  be having a ball''.


AUGUST 1963

At this point, there is simply very little to be said about Jerry Lee Lewis that has not been said, and his  imminent autobiography might fill in what little we don't know. To much will always be certain: if he's selfproclaimed  Last Man Standing, it's hard to see beyond today's drained, empty countenance to the alarming,  feral energy of Jerry Lee Lewis on Sun. This much is also certain: in the fifty years since he quit Sun, he  hasn't recorded anything that half-way eclipsed what he left behind there. These morsels were plucked  almost at random from the remarkable prolificacy of Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun. As was the case with Jimmy  Wages, Jack Clement was behind the board when Lewis arrived. Clement responded to Lewis, seeing that his  bravado enabled him to get away with things that others couldn't. ''He was unique as a piano player'', said  Clement. ''He doesn't care if he hits a bad note. It doesn't bother him a bit. He thinks that everything he plays  is great and because of that, it is''. In the years since his first record was released Jerry Lee Lewis has  imprinted himself across the broad sweep of American music. His records never leave unanswerend  questions. From the first trill to the last imperious note, a Jerry Lee Lewis record can only be a Jerry Lee  Lewis record.


© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS

01 – ''ONE MINUTE PAST ETERNITY'' - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Bill Taylor-Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Gold Dust Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (S) 45rpm Sun 1107 stereo
ONE MINUTE PAST ETERNITY / FRANKIE & JOHNNIE
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-24 stereo
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

"One Minute Past Eternity" is the title of a song written by William E. Taylor and Stanley Kesler, and performed by Jerry Lee Lewis. It was released in November 1969 as the second and final single from the album, ''The Golden Cream of the Country''. The song peaked at number 2 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.

02 – ''INVITATION TO YOUR PARTY'' - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - William Bill Taylor
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated – Gold Dust Music
Matrix number: - None – False Start - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-25 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

03 – ''INVITATION TO YOUR PARTY'' - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - William Bill Taylor
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated – Gold Dust Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (S) 45rpm Sun 1101 stereo
INVITATION TO YOUR PARTY / I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-26 stereo
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

04 – ''I CAN'T SEEM TO SAY GOODBYE'' - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Don Robertson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (S) 45rpm Sun 1115 stereo
I CAN'T SEEM TO SAY GOODBYE / GOODNIGHT IRENE
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-27 stereo
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

05 – ''CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA'' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - James Bland
Publisher: - Hal Leonard Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-28 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

"Carry Me Back To Old Virginny" is a song which was written by James A. Bland (1854-1911), an African American minstrel who wrote over 700 folk songs. It is was an adaption by Bland of the traditional "Carry Me Back To Ole Virginny" popular since the 1840's and frequently sung by Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War. Bland's version, the most well known, was adapted in 1878 when many of the newly freed slaves were struggling to find work. The song has become controversial in modern times.

A third reworded version was Virginia's state song from 1940 until 1997, using the word "Virginia" instead of "Virginny''. In 1997, it was retired on the grounds that the lyrics were considered offensive to African Americans. On January 28, 1997, the Virginia Senate voted to designate "Carry Me Back To Old Virginia" as state song emeritus and a study committee initiated a contest for writing a new state song. The Virginia General Assembly suspended the contest on January 5, 2000 and recently reinstated it. There are currently eight candidates.

In January 2006, a state Senate panel voted to designate "Shenandoah" as the "interim official state song''. On March 1, 2006, the House Rules Committee of the General Assembly voted down bill SB682, which would have made "Shenandoah" the official state song.

James Bland himself was an educated black man born in Queens, New York, and educated at Howard University. His adaption of "Carry Me Back," however, is written from the perspective of a nostalgic former slave. Defenders of the song argue that "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny" articulates and perhaps satirizes the feelings of betrayal and abandonment white Southerners felt after Emancipation. Like minstrel music of the same era, the song was written in dialect, from a black point of view, and expressed the feelings some whites wished blacks to feel; in this case, nostalgia for days of slavery. Others argue the song was written to express difficulties and discrimination facing free blacks in the North which perhaps were bitter enough to make slavery an ironically appealing contrast. These defenders argue that minstrel's songs were never written to be taken literally but were sly and humorous. The slightly less explicit "Old Folks At Home," still the state song of Florida with important modifications, carries a similar message.

06 – ''CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA'' - B.M.I. - 3:48
Composer: - James Bland
Publisher: - Hal Leonard Corporation
Matrix number: - None – False Start – Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420 HH-8-29 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

''Carry Me Back To Old Virginia'' the single is another story, however. This was the only track originally issued from Jerry Lee's final Sun session. Jerry himself was already long gone and recording for Smash Records by the time Sun 396 hit the streets in March, 1965. ''Carry Me Back'' was literally the last thing Jerry Lee recorded for Sun Records, and it's a finely crafted piece of work featuring both Roland Janes and Scotty Moore on guitar. Immediately before this final take, Sam Phillips was captured on tape saying, ''We're broke and we're out of tape so this'll have to be the last one''. Undaunted as usual, Jerry Lee replies ''Ah ha, then let's get her!'' and proceeds to do just that. The track begins with Jerry's count off and a surprising 12 bar instrumental lead-in. Sam had been trying, with varying degrees of success, to slow the tempo over the last several takes and finally has his way here. The backbeat is still relatively heavy on this mis-tempo offering, and the guitar plays a strong counter rhythm. The restrained chorus gives the proceedings a very churchy feel. In fact, this is a very southern sounding record, capped by Jerry;s exclamations at the close. ''I'm bringing it on in'' are the final words he spoke (or sang) into a Sun microphone. By any account, Jerry rode off into the Sun-set just about as impressively and confidently as he came in.

07 – ''CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA'' - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - James Bland
Publisher: - Hal Leonard Corporation
Matrix number: - U 354 - Master with Count-In
Recorded: - August 28, 1963
Released: - March 15, 1965
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 396-A mono
CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA / I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-2-3 stereo
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Scotty Moore – Acoustic Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Herman Hawkins – Bass
Morris Tarrant – Drums
Strings consisting of
Anne Oldham, Noel Gilbert,
Joan Gilbert, Milton Friedstand
String Arranged by Vinnie Trauth
Hurshell Wayne Wiginton Chorus

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


SEPTEMBER 6, 1963 TUESDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis Sun Records contract was due to expire on this day. In April Lewis allied  himself with a Memphis businessman, Frank Casone; determined to sign Lewis with another  company, Casone wanted to translate Jerry's success on the road into record sales,  something that Sun, with their diminishing commitment to the business, seemed unable to  do.

As Jerry's termination date drew near, Casone opened negotiations with Mercury, Liberty,  Columbia, and RCA. Phillips, sensing the inevitable, recorded sessions with Jerry Lee's sister,  Linda Gail, and even his father in an attempt to keep Jerry within the fold. He even planned  a third album, which, like Linda Gail's single, was not released after the news broke that  Jerry planned to sign with Mercury.


It is not for his final Sun session that Jerry Lee Lewis will be judged, however.

His earlier sides, especially those made between 1956 and 1960, stand as one of the most  impressive bodies of recordings to emerge from that turbulent era, maybe the most  impressive.

The simple truth is that Lewis could never have made those recordings for a major label.  Phillips' willingness to keep the tape running while Lewis plundered his memory was crucial  to Jerry's development as an artist and performer. ''Whole Lotta Shakin''' was the product of  one of those rambling sessions, as were dozens of other half-remembered and reconstructed  tunes from his vast repertoire. 


Other studios would schedule a standard three-hour session  and have four songs ready to record, but Phillips knew his artist: ''Jerry is an informal  person'', he has said, ''and the conditions had to be right. You had to have a good song, of  course, but atmosphere is nearly everything else. Jerry had to know that the people around  him, the people responsible for the session, understood him. He had such spontaneity. With  great artists, almost 50 percent of something good they might do happens because of an  almost instant reaction to what is taking place around them''.

Lewis's early recordings at Sun also exemplified the virtue of simplicity. No one else would  have dared risk recording Lewis with such a spartan backing, but from the records it's clear  that any additional instruments would have been superfluous. As Hank Davis has written,  Phillips' technique in recording Lewis was crucial: ''The fullness is produced by essentially  two instruments piano and drums. Part of the magic of the opening two bars of ''Whole Lotta  Shakin'' is the reverb on Jerry Lee's piano. . . . The driving, pounding sound of that record  came from miking the piano just right and feeding the sound back upon itself at just the  right rate to fatten it up. By the time the drums join in and Jerry Lee begins to sing, the  record is throbbing with its own hypnotic life'''.

Lewis was also a born entertainer. He was plying his trade in the studio to an audience of  three or four, but the enthusiasm communicated itself vividly on record. ''Even when we  were going over material'', recalls Cecil Scaife, ''Jerry would play to you as if you were an  audience of ten thousand people. He would sit there and entertain you''. Roland Janes  echoes those thoughts: ''People are always trying to compare musicians, but I can't find  anyone to compare with Jerry. What you hear him doing on records is only a small  percentage of what he's capable of doing. I don't think even he knows how great he is. He  can take a solo with either hand, and sing a song five different ways, every one of them  great. I remember when we worked the package shows, Jerry b would sit backstage after  the show at the piano and all the big stars would gather around him and watch. Chuck Berry,  Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, and so on. Jerry would be leading the chorus and everyone  would be having a ball''.


OCTOBER 1963

With Elvis Presley all but invisible as a recording artist, Scotty Moore settled into a new career as a studio manager  and technician. The technology of recording had always fascinated him. He wasn't getting rich working for  Sam Phillips, but it provided him with a steady income. By October 1963 he had obtained a new guitar under  his endorsement deal with Gibson: a Gibson Super 400 (Sunburst model). He traded his old guitar, the blond  Gibson S 400, to record producer Chips Moman for a set of vibes, a small classical guitar, and eighty dollars  in cash. Scotty had been asking Sam for money to buy a set of vibes for the studio, but Sam said he didn't  have the money. Scotty sacrificed his guitar.

Memphis was exploding with hit records. Carla Thomas had cracked the Top 20 in 1961 with ''Gee Whiz'',  recorded across town at the Satellite, the studio owned by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton. They followed up  that hit later in the year with ''Last Night'', an instrumental by a young group of studio musicians who  recorded under the name of the Mar-Keys. ''Last Night'' peaked at number 2. The following year, with the  name of the studio changed to Stax, they scored with another monster instrumental, ''Green Onions'',  recorded by Booker T. & the MGs.

Scotty told Sam that he really wanted to try his hand at doing instrumentals. Sam didn't say no; he didn't say  yes. He kept putting Scotty off, promising to give it some thought. Scotty couldn't figure it out. The  Memphis studio was often booked, but the studio in Nashville was generating more business. Scotty felt  extremely frustrated. Memphis studios were gained a reputation for churning out hit instrumentals: the Bill  Black Combo; Booker T. & MGs; the Mar-Keys. Why wouldn't Sam let him see what he could do? Maybe  he could record a hit; maybe he couldn't. All he wanted was the chance to be competitive.

That fall, almost in desperation, Scotty asked Stan Kesler, who worked at the studio as an engineer, and  several musicians, to come in on a Sunday morning when the studio was not booked. They had recorded  three of four instrumental demos, when Sam Phillips showed up unexpectedly at the studio, interrupting the  session. ''I don't remember if he got angry, but it ended up I paid the studio myself, even though I was  working there'', says Scotty.


OCTOBER 12, 1963 SATURDAY

"Cry Baby'', by Garnett Mimms and the Enchanters (United Artists #629) begins the first of  two weeks at number one. "Cry Baby" was among the earliest--and certainly the most  success- commercially-of the gospel-styled songs to have an accompaniment that was not  slightly adapted from some other genre of music. Unlike most records, with their slow,  gentle, lilting arrangements, "Cry Baby" offered an uncompromising expression of ecstasy. On  other "gospel revivalist" records, the strong rhythms meant that the impact was absorbed  physically by the listener and not on a purely emotional level as was the case with the  Mimms track. In short, the song possessed all the prime ingredients characterizing the classic  soul genre.



OCTOBER 1963

Sun Records also tried a number of experiments with two local white performers, Billy  Adams and Bill Yates, whose records probably sold well in Memphis but who, as Phillips  knew, were never national contenders. Adams was a drummer who had played with Carl  Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others, before taking up residency at Hernando's  Hideaway in Memphis. He recorded prolifically at Sun, usually in the company of the more  riveting pianist Bill Yates. Together and separately, they saw seven singles issued on Sun  between 1964 and 1966. Yet their sound too harked back to the past, at a time when the  Memphis music industry was changing its tune.


Hernando's Hide-A-Way, 3210 Old Hernando Road, Memphis, Tennessee
(Photo courtesy Danny Klompenhouwer, October 1997)

NOVEMBER 1963

Billy Sherrill leaves Sam Phillips and moves to Epic, Ray Butts takes over at Phillips, Nashville.

NOVEMBER 5, 1963 TUESDAY

Sun 381 ''Midnight Soiree'' b/w ''Crazy Arms'' by The Four Upsetters issued.


The first time Adams appeared at Sun was on May 10, 1963 when his band backed Bill Yates on a demo  session, running through his nightly repertoire, and nothing was issued from the session. Some of these  previously unissued songs are included in the Bill Yates – Blues Like Midnight (BCD 17277).

The first formal Adams session resulting in a Sun record was filed with the AFM (musicians union) on  January 6, 1964 quoting a session date of December 28, 1963, but the session must have taken place earlier  because the disc, Sun 389, ''Betty And Dupree'' backed by ''Got My Mojo Workin''', was mentioned in  Billboard on the supposed day of the session. At the time the session was filed, Adams was still living on  Philadelphia Street in south east Memphis, three miles from Hernando's Hide-A-Way. The theme of the  session was local interpretations of rhythm and blues standards, but this time someone had the idea of  backing Adams' voice with a second vocalist, Jesse Carter. It gave songs like ''Betty And Dupree'' a different  sound, something Sam Phillips was always keen to find. He apparently saw the disc as a potential hit and  took small blocks ads in Billboard most weeks during January to May 1964. It received a four star rating in  the Pop section of reviews three days after Christmas 1963.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY ADAMS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1963

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: POSSIBLY DECEMBER 28, 1963
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – UNKNOWN

Drummer and vocalist Billy Adams began his Sun career with this record released in January 1964. There  has always been a market for white guys singing black material in a style cloned from black guys. Unlike Pat  Boone, who rendered black music safe and gender-free for white teens, guys like Adams did little to strip  away the exotic menace of black music. Nor did they bring anything new or particularly innovative to the  party.

01(1) - ''BETTY AND DUPREE'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Chuck Willis
Publisher: - Rush Music
Matrix number: - U 499
Recorded: - December 28, 1963
Released: - January 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 389-A mono
BETTY AND DUPREE / GOT MY MOJO WORKIN'
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Although ''Betty And Dupree'' had been an rhythm and blues and pop hit early in 1958 for Chuck Willis on  Atlantic, Adams' version was an excellent one which made the most of the memorable lyric and catchy tune.  Reviving the song was a good idea, but it may not have been an original idea. In 1963 Memphis musician  and producer, Stan Kesler, recorded a band led by Domingo Samudio that had recently come to Memphis  and was re-forming its line-up. The band was booked into Hernando's Hide-A-Way and was short of a  drummer so Billy Adams sat in the group. As Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs, the group's recording debut  on Kesler's Tupelo label was ''Betty And Dupree''. Sam may have heard an earlier revival of the song on Jin  Records by Shelton Dunaway with Cookie and the Cupcakes cut in 1960. Billy Adams' version follows the  lyric and melody used by Chuck Willis and the others, building on the memorable, plaintive line describing  how ''Betty told Dupree. I wasn't a diamond ring/Dupree told Betty, I'll get you anything''. For Willis and  Adams, it's a love song. But the song was originally a story balled about robbery, murder and hanging called  ''Dupree Blues'' recorded by blues singers Bill Tomlin, Willie walker and George White between 1930 and  1935. It subsequently became a swing-favourite recorded as ''Betty And Dupree'' by the white female jazz  singer, Teddy Grace, and by the Woody Herman band. Frank Dupree was a white man who shot a store  detective in Atlanta in 1921 after looking at a ring for his girl, Betty Andrews. The song was a favourite with  the Memphis-area singers for some time because the fugitive Dupree hod out in Memphis early newspaper  accounts, though in fact he went to Chattanooga.

01(2) - ''BETTY AND DUPREE'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Chuck Willis
Publisher: - Rush Music
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 28, 1963


Adams flipside was a rather derivative version of the blues theme popularized by Muddy Waters, ''Got My  Mojo Workin''', obviously a night club standard for the band. There may even be an unreleased version by  Barbra Streisand for all we know. Adams' approach is rife with the abundant cliches of rhythm and blues,  including seemingly meaningless references to the might hour. But the flipside is another story. Harmonizing  with bass player Jesse Carter, Adams offers a surprisingly fresh version of ''Betty Of Dupree'' that manages to  be both engaging and surprisingly pretty. Indeed, Russ Carlton's sax break is quite melodic. Five years  earlier, Chuck Willis had taken the same idea to the bank with a massive crossover record that managed to  appeal to black rhythm and blues buyers as well as strolling white teenagers. If anything, Adams' version has  slightly more bite than the Willis classic from five years earlier.

02(1) - ''GOT MY MOJO WORKIN''' - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Billy Adams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 500
Recorded: - December 28, 1963
Released: - January 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 389-B mono
GOT MY MOJO WORKIN' / BETTY AND DUPREE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-1-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

02(2) - ''GOT MY MOJO WORKIN''' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Billy Adams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 28, 1963

Also from this marathon session included eight original unissued songs. These include a version of Slim  Harpo's popular ''Raining In My Heart'' and three similarly mid-paced songs. ''I'm Like Poison Ivy'' and  ''Same Thing'', both based on blues lyrics, and ''Love Me, Love Me, Cherry'', the latter another Chuck Willis  song with a prominent second vocal by Jesse Carter. Adams also made a version of the instrumental ''Big M'',  previously recorded for Home Of The Blues, and three ballads, ''Til' Your Memory Goes Away'', ''Just Look  Over Your Shoulder'', and ''Just Plain Hurt'', a song also recorded by Johnny Preston. Adam's voice was  better suited to faster material. He made a good attempt at investing these ballads with the reflective,  emotional readings they demanded but Sam Phillips was never going to pick one as a single release.

03 - ''I'M LIKE POISON IVY'' - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-18 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

04 - ''RAINING IN MY HEART'' - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - James Isaac Moore-Jerry West
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-19 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

05(1) - ''BIG M'' - 1 - B.M.I.
Composer: - Billy Adams
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: December 28, 1963

05(2) - ''BIG M'' - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Billy Adams
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-29 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

06 - ''JUST PLAIN HURT'' - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Jerry Crutchfield-Vic McAlpin
Publisher: - Marty Music-Tree Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-23 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

07 - ''TILL YOUR MEMORY GOES AWAY'' - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-24 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

08 - ''SAME THING'' - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-22 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

09 - ''JUST LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER'' - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-21 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

10(1) - ''LOVE ME, LOVE ME, CHERRY'' - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Chuck Willis-Gaines
Publisher: - Rush Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-20 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

10(2) - ''LOVE ME, LOVE ME, CHERRY'' - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Chuck Willis-Gaines
Publisher: - Rush Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: December 28, 1963
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-28 mono digital
BILLY ADAMS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Adams - Vocal & Drums
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Bill Yates - Piano and Organ
Russ Carlton - Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©


BILLY ADAMS - Billy Wayne Adams was born on June 9, 1937 near Corinth, Mississippi where his family   farmed and where Billy would probably have farmed too if an interest in music hadn't taken him away from   ploughing with mules and fishing in the lakes. His father was Robert Chester Adams (1909-1982) and his   mother Anna Leona Essary Adams (1909-1988).  Billy had taken an early interest in music but he was around 16 years old when he started to study music   seriously and to play the mandolin in little country groups. He later told Jane Sanderson from the Memphis   Press-scimitar that he picked up Music just by playing, adding, ''Oh, I had a few lessons from time to time,   but they didn't amount to much''. Nevertheless, the amounted to enough for Billy's music to offend his father   who wanted help on the farm, and in 1953 Adams left home to settle in Memphis with relatives.


Bill Yates (left) and Billy Adams

Memphis   guitarist Roland Smith said, ''I first knew Billy Adams when we were both at South High School in Memphis and he lived  near me in the Whitehaven neighborhood. He was a tail... guy, real likable. He was a little older and he  played drums in the High School band''. Before long, Adams was out of school and worked for $37.50 in an   auto parts store. The 1956 City Directory lists him as a mechanic at Pure's Automotive at 383 Monroe   Avenue, and living at 1041 Philadelphia Street just north of Whitehaven. He had been playing with hillbilly   musicians whenever he could, featuring on mandolin in a band called the Rhythm Playboys. ''I played that   kind of music until 1955 and then started playing drums when rock and roll came out'', he told Sanderson.

Memphis guitarist en producer Roland Janes remembered Adams from that time: ''Billy was a long, lanky   guy. When I first met him he was playing mandolin and singing and he started doing an Elvis Presley-type   act. Then he started playing the drums. I used to see him at Doc McQueen's house. That was J.P. McQueen   who worked as a banker, but he wanted to be a songwriter and a musician and he had a tape recorder in his   house where musicians would all go to jam and try out things''. McQueen had a swing band at Charles   Foren's Hide-A-Way Club in Memphis and also tried forming a small rock and roll group at that point. Billy   Adams got himself involved in all these ventures and then started gigging with other groups. For a time he   played with Charlie Feathers, and between 1958 and 1960 Adams worked off and on as a touring road  drummer with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Patsy Cline. In particular, he worked in Las   Vegas with Carl Perkins, an experience that would stand him in good stead when he developed his own   showband in Memphis clubs.

In 1960 Adams married a ''striking brunette'' named Jessie, and came off the road to form his own band to   take the residency at Hernando's Hide-A-Way. Hernando's was located at 3210 Old Hernando Road in South   Memphis, a nightclub of some note for many years where the band gave exposure to numerous up-andcoming   Memphis musicians. It was at this time that pianist and singer Bill Yates started to play at   Hernando's, and Yates became an important part of Adams's group. Yates was born in Georgia but his father   was a traveling preacher and the family had spent some time in Mississippi in the 1940s, between Tupelo and   Corinth, so Adams and Yates may have known each other from that time. The other regular members of the   Adams band were bass player Jesse Carter, guitarist Lee Adkins, sax player Russ Carlton, and multiinstrumentalist   Gene Parker.

Jesse Carter remembered that the Adams band was formed at a time of burgeoning musical opportunities in   Memphis. ''Back then there was a night club on every corner in Memphis. It's dead as a hammer now (2008),   because the nightclub business went down with the drink driving laws and all, but back then if our club   closed at 1 a.m. We could go somewhere else and play til four. That was our routine''. Carter married Mary in   1961 and they had a daughter, Tamera, when he decided to get out of the touring life. ''I quit the road first in   1964 and then in May 1970 I quit going to clubs. I wasn't getting any family life, so I took a job at a   machinery company''. He later ran a recording studio in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

The Billy Adams band used Gene Parker as a saxophonist on stage, but mainly as a drummer on recording   sessions. This was because Adams already had an established sax player in his band, Russ Carlton, a man   who not only had a great reputation among his peers but who was also reliable. Carlton is known for his later   work with Jerry Lee Lewis, on stage and on sessions such as the Southern Roots album, but he had been part   of the Memphis club scene for years, playing jazz and rocking blues. He ran a band in the 1970s that was  booked into the Holiday Inn chain and worked a lot in Kentucky, but he died soon after that.

So, by 1961, Billy Adams had learned his trade, toured with recording stars, and become leader of a band   whose musicians were highly-regarded and becoming regulars at the recording studios around town. The   next step for Adams was surely to get a recording contract for himself. The established label in Memphis was   Sun, followed by the emerging operations at Hi, Stax, and Fernwood. Other smaller fly-by-night labels came   and went but one that looked promising had just been opened by Ruben Cherry, and named Home Of The   Blues after Cherry's local record store.

In 1960, Scotty Moore was hired by Sam Phillips to be Production Manager for Sun Records at the Phillips   studio on Madison Avenue. He took with him the link to HOTB that he had only just set up at Fernwood, and   Cherry's Billy Adams and Bill Yates tapes were mastered for release at Phillips studio at 639 Madison   Avenue. They were not recorded at Sun, though. Jesse Carter remembered: ''Adams sang and played drums   on a session at Hi Records studio. The first record he made, ''Lookin' For My Baby'', was one song we   recorded there, and we made some instrumentals there too''. The Hi studio was named Royal Recording and   was a converted movie theater at 1320 South Lauderdale in south Memphis.

At some point in the early 1960s Billy Adams and Bill Yates came onto Sam Phillips radar, possibly through   their shows at clubs around town or when Phillips' new studio at 639 Madison Avenue was being used master   the HOTB sides. Phillips said, ''I built the new studio because I just felt that recording technology was   improving and that we needed to move along and keep pace technically. This did not mean that I had   abandoned the sound that had been so successful... You see... good rock and roll and that's all we were trying   to achieve, doesn't need fifteen pieces all of the time. Billy Adams was one of the artists I produced for Sun   later on. He was really a novelty type of act who worked at the old Hide-A-Way Club. He liked to sing   rhythm and blues things, and he was not an original, but he had some talent as a drummer and they were a   really value band''.

There were at least five sessions at Sun for the Adam/Yates band. Bass player Jesse Carter described them:   ''Sam Phillips produced and engineered the sessions himself. He'd come into Taylor's restaurant next door   and talk with us like we were old friends, then we'd do the session. He really made you feel part of things.   He did not have a lot of input to what was recorded – he let us come in with our songs – but he was always in   on how the recording would be developed. He would let you start it your way, and then he'd let you know  real quick if something was lacking. Ultimately, some originals and some favourites. All the songs we   recorded was mainly Adams' Hide-A-Way band, plus Al Jackson Jr. who played drums on some sessions,   when we needed somebody. Billy Adams sometimes just sang on his records and didn't always play drums''.

All through the time he was recording at Sun, Billy Adams maintained his band residency at Charles Foren's   Hernando's Hide-A-Way club. When Foren sold out to Gordon Wade in 1965, Adams continued working for   the new man until sometimes in 1969 when he moved to the new Vapors Supper Club on Brooks Road in   south Memphis, set up by Foren. Adams told the local paper about the Vapors: ''I did the tea dance and nighttime   shows for two years, working 47 hours a week which is more than an average factory worker''. He also   started widening his career by dabbling in booking his band and other musicians into clubs and arranging   recording sessions. He had taken a role with the Local office of the American Federation of Musicians, coordinating   bookings, and this led him to working on his own account with clubs around the mid-South.  Adams told the Memphis Press-Scimitar that he opened the Memphis Artists Attraction booking agency in   1970, and operated it out of his home. He figured he worked 90 hours a week, booking Gene Simmons,   Narvel Felts, Rufus Thomas and others. He added a line of work for the AmCon division of Holiday Inn, coordinating   the booking artists into their lounges. He told the Press-Scimitar that he booked 22 different bands   and for Holiday Inn you have to have all types of music, not just rock or rock-pop. Just recently when  Governor George Wallace made a political appearance in Indiana I did the whole works, and for Wallace fans   you have to have all types of music to''. Adams also booked out a Tupelo band named the Electric Toilet but   they don't sound like a Wallace kind of band.

By now, Adams was father to four children, a daughter Kim and triplets, born in 1970, (Billy Jr., Tammy and   Terri) and he kept his own band going to augment his income as a booking agent. On October 17, 1970   Billboard reported on the annual dinner-dance of the Memphis AFM, ''where entertainment was organized by   Billy Adams who plays at the Vapors and has his own booking agency'' and his hectic movement after that   can be traced through ads in the local press, The Delta Democrat-Times of September 8, 1971 reported on a   benefit show in Greenville: ''among the performers are the Billy Adams Combo from the Vapors Supper Club   in Memphis and the band from the El Capitan Club – all have agreed to contribute their talents toward   raising emergency funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis''. The Key TV Guide for   April 1973 captured the local club scene, carrying ads for the Admiral Benbow Lounge – ''Billy Adams' Shoe   and Danceband plays nightly except Sunday... Bill Yates, pianist, plays at cocktail time Mon-Fri'' – and for   the Downtowner Motor Inn on Union Avenue – ''The Billy Yates Trio appears from 8 to 1 six nights a week''.   In 1973 Adams and Yates were competing with other entertainment, dining and dancing options that included   Linda Ann, a ''vivacious blonde'' playing at the Casino Lounge, Eddie Bond and his TV Stompers at the E.B.   Ranch, Charlie Freeman at the Admiral Benbow Club Lounge, Jesse Lopez (brother of Trini Lopez) at the   Rivermont Holiday Inn, and Larry Garrett and Lee Adkins at the Vapors. In 1974, Billy Adams and the   Memphis Show and Danceband played nightly 8:30 to 1:30 at the Poplar Music Cantina in the Holiday Inn   while Lee Adkins, Bill Strom and Larry Garrett were headlining at the Vapors daily. Larry Garrett   remembers: ''I worked with Billy Adams in the early 1970s, in a band with Lee Adkins and Russ Carlton; we   played six nights a week for three years or so. After that I played spot gigs with Billy when he put on special   shows. Billy was the greatest shuffle drummer I ever played with''.

Memphis-based pianist Jerry ''Smoochy'' Smith said he: ''knew Billy Adams and Bill Yates well because I   played on several shows with them in the late 1960s. Billy Adams was a fun guy. He went from recording   into the booking agency business and he booked me on several shows. Adam was left handed. I was going to   record in a studio where he was working and my drummer had to change the drums around. I also worked on   some shows with Bill Yates. He always said I played better than he did and I always said 'well you sing   better than I do''. Drummer Danny Ivy played with Adams when he moved to Memphis after working with   Gene Parker in Mississippi: ''At the Vapors in 1970, Billy Adams was playing drums. He had Lee Adkins   playing guitar, Bill Strom or Lou Roberts playing keyboard, Don Culver on bass, Ted Garretson on trumpet,   and Russ Carlton and Ed Logan on sax. Before we moved to Memphis, I would go up and set in for Billy   Adams at the afternoon tea dance. That's when I first met Billy. I used to hear him sing ''Betty And Dupree''.   Another drummer, Tom Lonardo told me, 'Billy Adams and I crossed paths just once. He used my drums on a   gig where his band plated before mine. When I got to the set to play, there was a plate with some chicken   bones and sauce and a drink he had left on the floor tom. He never hit it. He just used it as a table''.

Down in Greenwood, Mississippi, former Sun singer and club owner Mack Allen Smith said: ''I booked Billy   Adams and his band during the years 1971 to 1976 at my Town and County Night Club. We even did a few   battles of the bands, one band playing and then the other one trying to outdo them. Billy has been described   by many as master of the shuffle beat. When I booked Billy Adams they were doing rockabilly like Carl   Perkins, some blues, and country stuff that was popular at the time''.

Musician and producer Kenneth Herman remembered: ''I used to talk to Billy and all the other musicians on   the CB radio in those days. After we all got out from the night clubs we'd be talking and finding out who was   where and what was happening late at night. It was the mobile phone of the day. You always knew Billy   because he had a small lisp, but it didn't affect him singing, a bit like Mel Tillis''. Ronald Smith also   remembered the early morning jam sessions, meet-ups and talk sessions. He described the effect his hectic   and pressurized lifestyle had on Adams.: ''A lot of times, my connection with Billy was late at night, after a   gig, when the musicians would meet up. That was when he filled gigs for his booking agency. He would   book my band. The problem there was that he got into some ditch weed, and he would drink and take pills   and often lost track of what he was doing, burning the candle at both ends, booking a band somewhere and   forgetting what he'd done so that two bands would show up. He just floated through all that time – so you   either had to ignore it, or kill him, you know. One time, he booked my band way up in Arkansas somewhere,   and when we got there another band was already there. We didn't get our money. I was mad so I called him,   and his wife said he was in the hospital. So I called him in hospital and he said he'd give me a contract for  another job, well paying. I said 'I'm coming down to get my money now', but he said he was in quarantine.   And he was: when I got there, I had to put on mask and gloves and everything and he really was sick, and I   felt bad. But I got a contract for a big New Year's Eve job. It wasn't the first problem. He sent me to play with   singer Barbara Pittman one time and didn't pay us. A lot of times he just forgot what he'd done. He had a   kickback deal going with a guy at Millington service base where Adams had the contract to supply the   officers' club and the other clubs on base. They'd agree a price and pay the bands less and keep the   differences, that sort of deal''.

One way of another Adams was making money, and he had some baubles to prove it. Kenneth Herman is   adamant that: ''Adams had the twin car of the one that President Kennedy was shot in. There were only two   made and Frank Sinatra had the other one and somehow Billy Adams bought it. It was bullet proof and all   that. He used to drive around town in it''.

By now, Billy Adams was also dabbling in the recording business. In 1970 he worked with Tom Phillips at   Select-O-Sound studio to produce discs by Jeannie Williams and Bill Stroum, and in 1971 he set up Coleman   Records with A.B. Coleman, who ran a successful chain of barbeque outlets. Adams published their songs   through a company he named Little Terri Music. He arranged and recorded songs for saxophonist Joe Arnold   including the minor hit ''Brand New Key'', and singer Tiny Bond in 1972. He also recorded Jamie Isonhood   from Benton, Mississippi, coupling a version of ''Lonely Weekend'' with a tune called ''Man, Woman And A   Bottle''. He worked with a group, the Castells, one of whom recalled: ''Billy Adams was our agent in   1969/1970 and wanted us to record ''Miss Froggie'', originally done in 1957. We went to Block 6 studio with   Billy Wayne Herbert engineering, and proceeded to rock and roll. This session got to cooking so good and   you oughta seen Billy Adams out in that studio having a ball, jumping up and down hollering 'get it son, get   it son'. Adams was a lotta fun and great guy''.

In the mid-1970 Billy Adams started to suffer some health problems and he retired from playing and booking   artists in 1981. Then, on December 3, 1984, Billy Adams died of a heart attack, aged just 47.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal carried an obituary the next day: ''Billy W. Adams of 4562 Hodge, retired   owner of Memphis Artists Attractions booking agency and former recording artist with Sun Records, died at   4 a.m. Yesterday at Methodist Hospital after a lengthy illness. He ran the Billy Adams Show and Dance Band   and had toured with such artists as Johnny cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins and numerous   others during a 30 year career as an entertainer. His booking agency worked with many artists in the mid   south including Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Price, Narvel Felts, Rufus Thomas, Gene Simmons, Ace Cannon,   Brenda Lee, Fats Domino, The Platters and Boots Randolph. Adams was a member of LaBelle Place Baptist   church and was an honorary Shelby County deputy sheriff''. Adams was survived at the time by his mother   and two sisters as well as his four children and two stepchildren. Adams' son, Billy T., died young, in 1988,   and was buried alongside his father.

Jesse Carter spoke for many others when he said: ''Billy Adams was a great guy. He died too early of a heart   attack. He was a good singer – he had a stutter but that went when he sang – and a great drummer''. Pianist   and singer T.O. Earnheart played with Adams in the 1970s and said, ''Billy had a heart of gold. In fact he   gave me my start in Memphis as a musician. Billy was recognised throughout the country as the best   drummer in the business playing a shuffle beat. I have seen hundreds of drummers try to imitate his licks on   the drums, and were never able to duplicate the sound''.


JESSE CARTER - Jesse Carter was born in 1937 in Blue Springs, Mississippi and started playing bass in a  band with Jimmy Wages around the Tupelo area. He worked the same area with Gene and Carl Simmons too  and can be heard on several Sun singles including Gene Simmons' ''Drinkin' Wine'' and the Miller Sisters'  ''Finder Keepers''. Carter joined Carl Simmons and pianist Jimmy Wilson on a tour in Canada before he  became a full-time session man at studios across Memphis. He said, ''I moved to Memphis in 19598, because  of a woman. I first knew Billy Adams in the later part of the 1950s when he was playing in clubs in  Memphis. Then I was on the road with the Ace Cannon Combo – I played on ''Tuff'' and all his hits – until  1963 when I met Adams again. He and Bill Yates joined Cannon on the road sometimes. I played a lot with  Reggie Young and Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood.


But I was married with three kids, so I left the road in  1963 and went to play off the road at Hernando's Hide-A-Way. Billy Adams was already there so I joined  back up with him sometime in 1964. We played a little of it all, rock and roll, rhythm and blues and country.  He had Lee Adkins playing guitar for him when I joined up, and Bill Yates on piano. Russ Carlton was the  sax player. Gene Parker was often the drummer in the band and on the recordings, but he could play anything  and he was mainly a saxophonist. He was a great musician: he could take anybody's instrument and play it  and make them look sick, man. He played fiddle and guitar; he was a great shuffle drummer, he could do it  faster than anyone. He mainly worked with Billy Adams but he would sit in with anybody, and he played sax  on many Stax sessions before Andrew Love''.



LEE ADKINS - Lead guitarist Richard Lee Adkins was another of the lesser-known stalwarts of the  Memphis scene. He was born in Memphis on March 4, 1929 and was playing in hillbilly bands by his early  twenties. He played with Joe Manuel on KWEM radio in West Memphis and on the short-lived Saturday  Jamboree stage show. He can be heard playing Jimmy Rodgers' style guitar on an early Sun tape, Manuel's  ''Alimony Blues'', but soon picked up other styles. Manuel's son Larry remembers: ''Lee was a tough  customer. He used to go out to the black clubs around Memphis and sit in with the black musicians who were  his friends that played in the clubs. He learned a lot of his musical styles there''. Barbara Pittman agreed:  ''Everybody knows Lee... he played sessions for all the little independent studios that cropped up in the  1950s''. His wide musician and night club player.

''He did a lot of studio work in and around Memphis, at  Stax and Sun and the others'', said his wife, Terrie Adkins. ''He worked with groups like the Memphis Horns.  He worked with Charlie Rich, with Jerry Lee Lewis and a lot of the name artists that came through and did  concerts. He also had several recordings of his own''. Richard Lee Adkins died of heart failure on October 7,  1996 in Selmer, Tennessee.


GENE PARKER - Multi-instrumentalist Gene Parker is best known for his work with the Mar-Keys and the  Bill Black Combo but he recorded with many others including Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, and Gene  Simmons – it was Parker's catchphrase go on, shoes that Reggie Young adapted as a song for Simmons,  Parker came from the Clarksdale area in Mississippi, the son of bass player Brad Parker who ran the band at  the Saturday Barn Dance in the city auditorium for many years. Brad's other son, Sonny Parker, played  guitar, Gene played fiddle, and the steel guitar player was John Hughey. Memphis musician Danny Ivy  recalls seeing the Parker band in the early 1950s. ''At that time, Gene would have been in his early teens. He  was an outstanding fiddle player and, as best I can remember, he also played guitar and piano. Gene was a  left handed and played guitar upside down. He was a great blues guitar picker, and he later became the best  sax player man I have ever heard, and I have worked with some good ones''. Through the 1960s Parker  played sax regularly with Billy Adams band. According to Danny Ivy: At some point Gene moved to  Memphis and started doing studio work and playing in clubs. He told me he had been recording with any  number of artists who came through Stax Records and any number of studios and a large part of that time  was spent at a club called Hernando's Hide-A-Way, which is where he got hooked up with Billy Adams and  Bill Yates. He even lived upstairs at the Hide-A-Way for a period of time. He laughingly told us that he used  to wake up and have his saxophone for breakfast downstairs. The sad part of the story is that Gene became  heavily addicted to alcohol during those years and almost lost his mind. I think he spent some time in a  facility to try and overcome his problems, but eventually had to move back home with his dad on the farm to  try and get away from that life. During the time that he played with our groups we had to be very cautious  that he didn't get his hands on any alcohol. Not too many years after that he sank deep into depression before  he passed away''. In the late 1960s Parker formed the Gene Parker Quintet with Danny Ivy and Larry Garret  and by 1970 he was back in Clarksdale, Mississippi and playing Delta State College gigs with students Jerry  Dorrough and Tommy Free. Ivy and Garrett joined Billy Adams working at the Vapors club in Memphis.  Mississippi singer Mack Allen Smith said, ;;I booked the Gene Parker's Quintet at my club in Greenwood.  Gene was a great sax player''.


LATE 1963

Eric Clapton and the Yardbirds record John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" among other blues  standards in Surrey, England. The blues begins to catch on in England and Europe.


1963-1964

In 1959, Curtis Hobock recorded at Sun, and a  round 1963-1964, Curtis Hobock fell into the orbit of Nashville dealmaker Murray Nash, who produced   four records by Hobock, two on Cee And Cee and two more on Musicenter, including a cover version of   ''Lonely Weekends''. Throughout, Hobock worked as a millwright and played as many as six nights a week at   clubs around west Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and northern Mississippi. On weekends during the   summer, he'd load up the family head to the Tennessee River for camping, boating and water skiing. At night   he would leave the family at the river and head back town for a gig, returning before dawn the next day.




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