STUDIO SESSION FOR D.A. HUNT
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY WEDNESDAY MARCH 11, 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

The route that brought Hunt from Anniston, Alabama to Phillips' door is unclear. The session were held in March 1952, just as Phillips was readying the first Sun releases. Hunt's record was held back for over a year, which didn't really matter because it was already twenty years out-of-date.

"LONESOME OLD JAIL" - B.M.I. – 2:57
Composer: - D.A. Hunt
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 69 Master - > Sun 181-190 Series <
Recorded: - Probably March 11, 1953
Released: - June 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 183-A mono
LONESOME OLD JAIL / GREYHOUND BLUES
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1-15 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

This performance is even gloomier than the plug side, as Hunt reflects on his baby whilst locked up in a cell. The vocal drips with feeling, making it hard to believe that this was recorded at 706 Union and not some Southern Penitentiary! The similarity to Lightnin' Hopkins is almost uncanny: the little flash of falsetto at the end of the line, the sour spoken asides, the interplay between vocal and guitar. According to researcher Steve LaVere, Hunt actually served time in one of Memphis' jails, but that was later. In 1953, his address was noted as Anniston, Alabama, and he was to be contacted via Reverend Noble Ulynn. Hunt was probably recorded in March 1953 and was back in Memphis in August to collect a nine dollar loan from Phillips. As far as we know, he never recorded again.

Lightnin' Hopkins was clearly Hunt's model right down to the pinched vocal, spoken asides and signature four-note closing lick. It was an almost eerie recreation of Hopkins' sound. From sixty years' distance, it's hard if not impossible to penetrate the logic behind what got released or remained unreleased on Sun.

Lightnin' himself was becoming a tough sell by 1953, so Phillips certainly wasn't jumping on a bandwagon as he was with ''Bear Cat''. Perhaps he simply liked Hunt's record, Perhaps a distributor around Hunt's home town of Anniston, Alabama guaranteed a sufficiently big order to justify a small run, Perhaps... we'll never know.

"GREYHOUND BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - D.A. Hunt
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 70 Master - > Sun 181-190 Series <
Recorded: - Probably March 11, 1953
Released: - June 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 183-B mono
GREYHOUND BLUES / LONESOME OLD JAIL
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Hunt laments the loss of his baby via public transport. There is some humor when he invokes the familiar 'Greyhound bus' - 'lowdown dog' analogy. For those who enjoy cross genre comparisons, consider country singer Frankie Miller's Starday recording "Mean Old Greyhound Bus" (Bear Family BFX 15128): Same sentiments, but yen years and a universe apart in style.

Returning to the country blues, Sam Phillips recorded the little-known D.A. Hunt from Mumford, Alabama on two titles reminiscent of Lightnin' Hopkins among others. The route that brought Hunt from Anniston, Alabama to Sam Phillips' door is unclear. The very guitar and vocal performance is nevertheless one of the most memorable on Sun although little more was heard from Hunt prior to his death some ten years later. Nonetheless this is excellent, standard Texas blues fare, and was well Worth putting out.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Daniel Augusta Hunt - Vocal and Guitar

Note: A Sun Records contract was issued to D.A. Hunt this day, suggesting that the session was held this day.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Blues collector and longtime rare records dealer John Tefteller won a recent eBay auction which featured a previously unknown and potentially one of a kind blues 45 rpm record produced by the Sun label back in 1953. ''I think I stole it'', said Tefteller of the record when the auction ended with his winning bid of $10,323.00. The record, ''Lonesome Old Jail'' and ''Greyhound Blues'', features an outstanding old style acoustic blues performance by Alabama blues singer D. A. Hunt. It was Hunt's first and only record and sold very, very few copies when first released by Sam Phillips' now legendary Sun records label of Memphis, Tennessee.

''This record was not previously known to exist on 45 rpm and even the 78 rpm version is one of the rarest and most expensive on the Sun label with several documented sales in excess of $10,000.00'', explained Tefteller.

'' To find a 45 is a discovery of monumental importance to the record collecting world and I just had to have it''.

Of course, the latest addition to Tefteller’s blues collection, already referred to by many as the best in the world, means that all the history books, price guides and discographies have to be amended to now state unequivocally, that yes, there is indeed an original 45 rpm pressing of SUN 183.

Tefteller goes on to explain that when the British record researchers first came to America in the late 1950s, they went to Sun and, with assistance from Sam Phillips, documented everything. 78 rpm stampers were found for SUN 183, but NOT 45 rpm stampers and Phillips told the researchers that no 45’s were made.

'This discovery proves otherwise'', says Tefteller, who speculates that they probably pressed a few hundred and that was it. ''Sam must have just forgotten that he made a small amount of 45s and, significantly, this is not a promotional copy, which means that they made some promos as well as regular copies for the stores''.

The copy of SUN 183 that Tefteller won on eBay from Minnesota seller Tim Schloe is not in the best of condition. ''I would grade it at VG-which in the world of record collecting means it is pretty well used and abused'', Tefteller states. ''There is some damage to the labels as well, but the record does indeed play all the way through and is not totally unpleasant to look at. But all that doesn’t really matter because it is so impossibly rare. No one, myself included, ever dreamed that this existed on 45. It is mind-boggling that since 1953 only one of these has ever surfaced and to surface in 2009 is unbelievable!''. Schloe says he got the record ''as part of a large collection of used 45s that I bought from the estate of a Dallas, Texas collector who had left them to his brother''. Schloe knew the record was rare when he found it in the rubble of thousands of old 45s but had ''no idea'' it would bring over $10,000.00. Tefteller is certain that the Texas collector could not have known it was so rare either or he would have told someone he had it or sold it while he was alive.

According to Tefteller, the world of Sun record collecting has just been turned on its head. ''Guys who thought they had them all are now scrambling to find another legitimate copy. This will prove to be quite a challenge, however as no other copy has surfaced in over 50 years. There are hundreds of bootleg copies of this title out there on 45 rpm but so far, I now have the only legitimate one'', boasts Tefteller. ''I’ve got it, and I have no plans to sell it. After all, I can’t say I have the top collection of blues records in the world if I let this one go''.

While some people may not understand why a collector would pay over $10,000.00 for a beat up old 45 rpm record when you can easily hear both sides of this one in top sound on a reissue CD or a 99 cent Internet download, Tefteller has a ready answer: ''You can go to the Louvre and buys 99 cent postcard of the Mona Lisa too, but there is nothing that beats the history and importance of actually owning the original!''.

Tefteller, 50, lives in Grants Pass, Oregon and has been buying, selling and collecting rare phonograph records for 35 years. He also produces a yearly blues calendar and has a series of reissue CDs on the market of extremely rare blues performances from the 1920s. His personal collection contains thousands of original blues 78 rpm records including dozens of one-of-a-kind records by blues singers. Tefteller also maintains the world's most extensive collection of original blues advertising art and photographs.

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