02 - "INTERVIEW BILLY RILEY" - B.M.I. - 0:50
Released: - 2002
appearance: - Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-3 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002
It was quite
an event when Billy Riley performed his inaugural British concerts in June 1979. We conferred about the route he'd taken to Sun Records just prior to his shows, and he quite clearly shared the same air of anticipation as the crowds who turned out en force
to see him strut his stuff. Anointed with an abundance of musical talent, a striking profile and an ability to generate an optimum response, Billy kept this foundational piece of moodiness in his live set for several years.
"Trouble Bound" is a brooding, acoustic guitar-led blues, with the trademark Johnny Bernero shuffle beat. In fact, it is Bernero's understated drumming, shifting in and out of the shuffle following the guitar
break, that elevates this record to brilliance.
Jack Clement was engineering and, as told Martin Hawkins, "Riley was doing country but he was one of these rockabilly types - he had a beat, Fernwood
had a tape recorder but no real studio then so we rented time at WMPS studio and cut the masters there. We were going to make it (the Riley record) the first record on Fernwood but I took it to Sam Phillips on the off chance and he called me one day, said
he liked it and we worked out a lease deal".
03 - "THINK BEFORE YOU GO" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Tape Lost
Recorded: - Early 1956
Jack Clement taking the countryish "Think Before You Go" and the bluesy "Trouble Bound" to Sam Phillips the next day, with Phillips rejecting the country side and suggesting that they replace
it with a rocker.
"Sam said, 'Cut something rockabilly", remembers Riley, "and I went and wrote that real quick". However, Roland Janes has insisted that "Trouble Bound"
was cut at Sun as the replacement for "Think Before You Go" and Clement has stated that both sides were recorded at WMPS with just himself and Riley using overdubs.
evidence afforded by the tape boxes would seem to suggest that Billy Riley is correct. "Trouble Bound" was recorded on cheap tape (Phillips used pro quality Scotch Audiotape) over the top of Jack Clement's original demo of "I'm Feeling Sorry", suggesting that
it was cut at Fernwood. The sessions were assuredly not cut using overdubs as Clement suggested otherwise the tape hiss would be overpowered.
After working on the songs Jack Clement needed somewhere
to have his tapes mastered for transfer to disc. On the advice of Bill Fitzgerald at Music Sales Distributors, Jack Clement went to Sun Records. Sam Phillips heard Clement's tape of Billy Riley singing "Trouble Bound" and offered both Jack Clement and Billy
Riley a job.
Jack Clement's only remaining interest in Fernwood was to use Sun's facilities to make masters, and to add the echo to the number one hit "Tragedy" by Thomas
Wayne. This had been recorded at Hi Records since the garage studio was still incomplete. "Sam Phillips always wondered how they got that echo", says Clement with a grin, "but I figured it didn't take but a few minutes so why should I tell him".
On the old question of whether Sam Phillips really controlled the development of the Sun sound, whether he was "the man" or just lucky. Jack Clement is in no doubt. "All of Sam's early success was entirely Sam's. Elvis,
Carl, Cash. My work was with developing Cash's sound, and with Bill Justis and Charlie Rich. I was into making things musical.
Sam was not, but he understood one thing
that I didn't at that time. He understood feel in music. I was interest in machines and the way recordings could be made better. Sam liked empty, hollow, tubby sounds, but he knew a thing or two I didn't. He let me do what I liked, but he retained ultimate
control of what was issued".
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Acoustic Guitar
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Roland "Slim" Wallace - Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Bob Deckelman - Steel Guitar
The master were either sold or leased to Sun Records in April 1956 and released in May. Although
he is credited as sole composer, Riley's share was only 50% (Clement and Wallace split the remaining 50%). Riley and Clement had conceived of "Trouble Bound" as the A-side but with the Memphis area starting to rock like crazy, Sam Phillips had other ideas.
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