CONTAINS
 
1951 MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE SESSIONS 1
January 1, 1951 to June 30, 1951
 
Studio Session for Sam Phillips, Probably 1951
Studio Session for Walter Horton, Probably January 1951 / Modern Records
Studio Session for B.B. King, January 8, 1951 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Rosco Gordon, February 1951 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Walter ''Mumbles'' Horton, January/February 1951 / RPM/Modern
Studio Session for Jackie Brenston, March 5, 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Rosco Gordon, April 1951 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, April 30, 1951 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Howlin' Wolf, Probably May 14, 15, 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for William Stewart, Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Studio Session for B.B. King, May 27, 1951 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Lou Sargent, Probably May 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Rufus Thomas, Probably May/June 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, May 30, 1951 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Jackie Brenston, Probably May/June 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for The Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama,
Probably May/June, 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for The Spiritual Stars, Probably 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Walter ''Mumbles'' Horton, June 1951 / RPM/Modern Records
Studio Session for Jim Lockhart, Probably June 1951 / RPM/Modern
Studio Session for Alfred Harris, Probably June 1951 / RPM/Modern
Studio Session for B.B. King, June 18, 1951 / Modern Records
 
For Biographies of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)
Most Sun tracks can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube < click
1951
 
This year, unemployment dipped to 3.3% in the US and new roads were built to take the ever increasing numbers of cars including the New Jersey Turnpike. Children were given more than any other time in previous history with guitar lessons and sets of Encyclopedias to improve their minds . The average family income was $3,700 per year and people had money to spend so cars became more luxurious and had more powerful engines with options for two tone paint, during this time things like turn signals were still an extra and most drivers still used hand signals to tell other drivers which way they were turning. Television continued to grow with popular programmes like "I Love Lucy" and the first tests for Color Television Pictures were broadcast from Empire State Building on June 25th. Europe continued to export many cars to the US including Volkswagen's and Austin's.
 
Martin Luther King Jr. graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania.
 
1951
 
Dragnet was one the many shows from the period that began on radio and moved over to television, Dragent was about police and parts of the show still remain in the memories from those old enough to have seen the series including part of the opening title and these words "Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent." The series ran on Television from 1951 - 1959, a new series was created and shown from 1967 - 1970.
 
1951
 
A big year for dulcet-toned crooner Nat King Cole, a rare black presence on the radio who  was so butterscotch smooth he offended no one. Also thrilling audiences were the easy-listening  jazz-pop sounds of Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney (Rosemary's cousin named  George, who became an actor).
 
The first juke-box that plays 45 RPM records is introduced.
 
Howling Wolf and Joe Turner popularize the "shouters".
 
Gunter Lee Carr cuts the dance novelty "We're Gonna Rock".
1951
 
The white Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed decides to speculate on the success of Leo  Mintz's store and starts a radio program, Moondog Rock And Roll Party, that broadcasts black  music to an audience of white teenagers.
 
He called himself ''The Moondog'' and the music ''rock and roll'', black slang for sexual intercourse. In 1952 Freed, Mintz and Lew Platt put on what is now considered the first rock and roll concert, the Moondog Coronation Ball, at the Cleveland Arena. Thousands of teenagers whites and blacks, rushed the gates to see the Dominos, Paul Williams, and Varetta Dillard. The commotion caused the concert to be shut down early, but, as the saying goes, rock and roll was here to stay
 
A wave of young black vocal groups spring up with variations of the style popularized by  the Orioles. The Five Keys smooth harmonies hit with "The Glory Of Love", the Clovers  combine tougher harmonies with southern-inflected blues and hit with "Don't You Know I  Love You" and "Fool, Fool, Fool", kicking off a string of 15 straight Top Ten hits, the  Dominoes gospel-based singing and racy lyrics land them the biggest hit of the decade with  "Sixty Minute Man" which sells in such high numbers that it makes number 17 on the Pop  Charts as well.
 
In Memphis Sam Phillips records Ike Turner's band with Jackie Brenston on lead for "Rocket  88", leasing it to Chess Records of Chicago where the alcohol fueled rocker tops the charts  and further cements rock's future as a raucous, exciting and dangerous style of music.
 
Les Paul's dazzling electric guitar work on the number 1 Pop Hit "How High The Moon" with  Mary Ford allows the song to cross over onto the rhythm and blues charts bringing together  the diverse influences that would help form rock and roll.
 
1951
 
In 1951 Sam Phillips was incredibly busy in his part-time studio, recording as much of the  local blues and rhythm and blues talent as he could. In the first couple of years of the  Memphis Recording Service Sam's sessions included Memphis-area pianists Lost John Hunter,  Phineas Newborn, Albert Williams,  Louis Calvin Hubert , Mose Vinson, Ike Turner, William 'Strutcher' Johnson, Evans Bradshaw, Eddie Snow, Ford Nelson, and Jack Kelly. It was natural that a  pianist with Billy Love's reputation among his peers would suit Phillips' needs and one day  in January or February 1951, possibly even before Rosco Gordon was there, Billy Love duly  appeared on Phillips' log sheets as the session pianist with harmonica bluesman Walter  Horton on Horton's ''Little Boy Blue'' released on Modern Records.
 
In 1951 Roy Orbison had been appearing regularly on KERB Radio in Kermit.
 
Libya is granted its independence, followed by twenty other new African nations over the next ten years, a spur to black self-determination in the United States.
ALAN FREED - Popular New York City disc jockey for radio station WINS who is often credited  with coining the phrase "rock and roll". Alan Freed, who was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on December 15, 1922, was one of the most successful disc jockey's in the  country until his career was ruined by the payola scandals of the 1950s. Worked at various  small stations throughout Ohio, Alan Freed came to Cleveland in 1950 and began working for a TV station before picking up regular work at WJW  radio at 3717 Euclid Avenue, an AM station with the powerful transmitter that reached a  large part of the state.
 
Freed signed on to play classical music but then became friendly with  Leo Mintz, owner of the town's Record Rendezvous store, who persuaded him that his future  lay in playing rough, dance-able rhythm and blues, a black music style that was finding a  following among the city's white youth.
 
In 1951 Freed went to the station bosses, got the go-ahead for a youth-oriented show, and  then almost got fired, not for scrapping the station play list, but for playing records by black  artists.
 
Listeners supported him, however, and he was given a free hand on the late-night  shift-the Moondog Shift, as he called it. Soon he'd christened himself the Moondog and was  whooping and screaming in between records, swigging whiskey on air, pounding telephone  books with his fists to beef up the beat, talking to an imaginary studio dog, and referring to  his listeners as Moondoggers or Moon Puppies.
 
The Moondog Rock and Roll Party initially attracted a black audience (most of whom thought  this screaming disc jockey with jive like vocals was himself black), but whites soon picket it  up, especially after the press brought the music to national attention following the riot at  Freed's showcase gig at the Cleveland Arena in 1952. He became one of the first disc  jockey's in the country to play records from the Chess and King labels, what Billboard up to  1949 had called race music, for a white, teenage audience. One of the things that got Freed  into trouble was his co-composer credits on several songs, including "Sincerely" (Chess 1581)  by the Moonglows and "Maybellene" (Chess 1604) by Chuck Berry.
 
The later package at Cleveland Arena featured Clevelander Screamin' Jay Hawkins, who had  earlier boxed in a local Golden Gloves contest in this arena and was noted for stage props  that included coffins, voodoo insignia, and a skull called Henry. The Moondog tours  catapulled Hawkins to the crest of his career in 1957, when he appeared in the Mister Rock  and Roll movie that starred Alan Freed. Hawkin's role as an African bush warrior with a bone  through his noise angered the NAACP(*), however, which got the film company to cut parts  out and even lobbied the National Casket Association to stop supplying the coffins for his  stage act.
 
Alan Freed left for a job at New York's WINS in 1954. There he continued championing  rhythm and blues and Alan Freed was the first disc jockey in New York City to play Elvis  Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956. In May 1958, an Alan Freed-organized concert held in  the Boston Arena at 238 Street across Botolph Street, was about to start when a phalanx of  Boston's finest stormed to the stage and turned to face the crowd, nightstick drawn. Freed,  the show's emcee, was informed that the show would not be allowed to go on until everyone  in the audience sat down. Freed instead egged on the crowd, got himself arrested, and  caused the gig to be cancelled. Meanwhile, backstage, two of the performers on Freed's  package tour had finally had enough of each other's company. The story goes that while  Freed was arguing with the cops out front, Jerry Lee Lewis's father had a gun trained on  Chuck Berry, who was in turn holding a knife to Jerry Lee's neck.
 
On Christmas Day 1956, Alan Freed promoted the first raucous rock and roll show at  Brooklyn Paramount, University Plaza, Flatbush and DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn at this longclosed  concert hall, now part of Long Island University. The show with Fats Domino and  Frankie Lymon was so successful that Freed soon became a millionaire. He had wisely  arranged to take a large cut of the door takings rather than a fixed fee. The big stars of the  day, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Little Richard, and so on, played over the next two years,  but the shows were stopped in 1958 after a riot at the Freed-sponsored gig in Boston. At one of Freed's last Paramount shows, the never-very-chummy Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis  had a furious argument over who should top the bill. Berry claimed seniority, and so Lewis  went on first and ended by setting fire to the piano with gasoline while still playing it. The  crowd went wild. Off went Lewis, who turned to Berry and jeered, "Follow that, nigger".
 
After continued played rhythm and blues on WINS, money troubles and the payola scandal  ruined his career; he died in 1965.
1951
 
In May or June 1951 Billy Love and his friend Richard Sanders appeared on a Rufus Thomas  session for Chess records, ''Night Workin' Blues'', and then around July 1951 Love recorded  with drummer Willie Nix on a session that produced the RPM disc '' Lonesome Bedroom  Blues''. In October he was on another Rufus Thomas session, ''No More Dogging Around'', and  it was reported by some contemporaries that Billy Love coached singer Bobby Bland in  matters of stage presentation following his first recordings in December 1951 and his debut  singing with the Rosco Gordon band.
 
If this is so, it lends weight to the view that Love was a veteran of the Beale Street theatres by that time. This is further backed-up by reports of  Love being an accomplished arranger.
Certainly he was a regular at several clubs and bars. Calvin Newborn remembered that   Love was among the musicians who often hung, around the store of theatre manager  Robert Henry, looking for gigs. Talking of his friends like Billy who were part of the Florida   Street crowd, Rosco Gordon told John Floyd, "The people in my band re mostly  neighbours. 
 
We would all go to Sunbeam Mitchells Club Handy and I would meet a lot of   musicians singer Big Lucky Carter remembered, The greatest musicians you had was   upstairs at Sunbeam Mitchell's. All of the musicians would come through up here. It was  hard to find a hotel in those days. They'd stop by Sunbeams and play for their supper.
 
That was the baptizing place for musicians. If you come out of there, if they said you was a   musician, you was a musician." We can imagine a proud Milton Billy Love stepping out into   the post-jam session sunshine on many an occasion and, by all accounts, stumbling out on   others after an evening of drink and dice.
1951
 
Rufus Thomas inherited the 'Sepia Swing Club' from B. B. King when King went on the road on the  back of his burgeoning recording career. 'Sepia Swing Club' was on at 3pm. Rufus had  already worked a 6.30 to 2.30 shift American Textile and he used to catch the streetcar to  the radio station, often leaping into his chair at or just beyond the opening of the show,  ready to take off "like a late freight" as he put it.
 
After a while he would get a ride in his  friend's car and then from 1954 he travelled in his own automobile. His opening patter  remained the same though: "Come in the club, we're ready and right/ Got records and  jive, no fuss no fight/ This is Rufus Thomas of Sepia Swing/ Gonna try to make you laugh  and sing''.
1951
 
In the 1951 Memphis phone book under ''Recording Studios'' there are three listed: Memphis Recording Service, KWEM Radio Station, and Berl Olswanger Music. (Oldwanger was dubbed ''Mr. Music of Memphis''. He broadcast locally on radio and television, and ran a music store at 1531 Union Avenue that included a recording studio.
 
JANUARY 1951
 
Sam Phillips cuts several audition acetates of Walter Horton for Modern Records.
 
Sam Phillips  records B.B. King for RPM Records.
 
During January of 1951 the United States government began nuclear bomb testing at a test site in Nevada. After the initial development of the atomic bomb during the mid-1940s the U.S. had moved its test sites off of the country’s mainland and began using islands in the Pacific. Due to logistical and safety concerns the U.S. Government decided to move the testing back to the mainland in 1951 and chose a large portion of mountainous and desert land in Nevada, located about 65 miles away from Las Vegas, as their site. The first series of tests to be held at this new site was named Operation Ranger. Initially, many tests were atmospheric tests but because of the adverse health effects that were observed all of the tests were moved underground by 1962. A total of 928 nuclear tests were conducted at the Nevada Test Site between 1951 and 1992. 
 
JANUARY 2, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Columbia released Lefty Frizzell's ''Look What Thoughts Will Do'' backed by ''Shine, Shave, Shower (It's Saturday)''.
 
JANUARY 5, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Slim Whitman recorded his first hit, ''Love Song Of The Waterfall'', at the KWKH Studio in Shreveport, Louisiana. The label will bill him on the single as ''Slim Whitman, The Smilin' Star Duster''.
 
JANUARY 6, 1951 SATURDAY
 
Lefty Frizzell tops the Billboard country chart with ''I Love You A Thousand Ways''.
 © - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Deep in the Sun tape archives lies an uncredited tape box, marked only "Sam's poem - Do not erase". The inscription is old and almost surely in Marion Keisker's hand. It contains the recitation on this track.
 
A duly surprised Sam Phillips had little trouble identifying the artist. And so Sam C. Phillips, record producer before there were such things, talent scout and architect of careers too numerous to mention, finally makes his debut as a recording artist. His efforts took a half a century to appear, but were worth the wait.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR SAM PHILLIPS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE 1951 
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS 
 
He recalled: "I had a friend named Mary  Lois Crisler back in high school in Florence, Alabama. I was very fond of her and one night I took her to see the John Daniel Quartet. They were playing nearby and we borrowed my brother's car and drove to see them. The highlight of the show for us was when Troy Daniel, John's brother, recited that poem from the Stamps-Baxter hymnal. We were both very impressed with it". 
 
"Anyway, Mary Lois went off and got married to a guy in the Air Force. He was killed quite young and she moved around a bit, finally settling in Texas. Years later after I came to Memphis I got to thinking about Mary Lois and all that had happened to her so I decided to surprise her with that tape. I recited the poem in my best announcer's voice and sent it to her. That was around 1950. She was delighted with it''. 
 
''It was still her favorite poem. Its one of mine too. I really think it does a fine job of revealing the things that matter in life", Sam recalls.
 
01 - ''WOULD ANYBODY CARE'' - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Stamps
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably Early 1951
Released: - 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16387-32 mono
SUN GOSPEL
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sam Phillips - Vocal
Unknown Musicians
 
The true story about the poem is, that in Sam Phillips' high-school days, a girl named Mary Lois Crisler had  moved to town from Moulton, thirty-five miles away, her father repaired old woodstoves at the smallest  hardware store in town, and the family was extremely poor. There were mock-trail cases every week in a  course Sam took in commercial law, and every week, Sam beat everybody, whether for the prosecution or the  defense, unless he happened to run up against Mary Lois Crisler. ''Now, she didn't have as many friends in  the class as I did, but when she got through with her case, she whipped my ass every time, but that taught me  something. Now, here was the woman that I just absolutely wanted to whip more than the rest of the class put together, but probably I got afraid. And didn't know it. I got frightened to death that this woman was going to  win and couldn't admit it (to myself)''. The lesson was clear: ''You can't let anybody get a hold of you and  make something out of you that is not instinctively yours''. The result was ''Mary Lois Crisler was about the  only girl at that time that I reckon I ever thought I was in love with''.
 
One time he took her to a John Daniel Quartet show that Sam's brother J.W. (Jud) was promoting for the  DeMolay society, going out to Lovelace Community to borrow his brother Horace's 1937 Dodge for their  date and impressing Mary Lois with his knowledge not just of the music but his personal acquaintance with  some of the members of the quartet. The highlight of the concert was troy Daniel reciting an old poem called  ''Would Anybody Care?''.
 
''If I had heavy burdens'', Troy recited with feeling, ''That I must bear alone
 
If I had grief and troubles
That others had not known
If I in my heart's deep sorrow
And nothing to compare
Would anybody comfort me,
Would anybody care?
 
If my life had been a failure
And I tried but could not win
If I became discouraged
And said, I'll never try again
If my heart is sad and lonely
Filled with sorrow and despair
Would anybody cheer me,
Would anybody care?
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Had it not been for the emergence of Little Walter, then Walter Horton would no doubt be (rightly) regarded as the greatest of the post-War harp players. This is the first known recording, and its a tour de force of harmonica-playing, demonstrating different techniques and frequent changes in tempo. It is, quite simply, one of the classic tracks of post-War blues. 
 
Furthermore, its easy to see why the Biharis accepted two complete sessions of Horton's material after hearing this "Audition". Mention, too, must be made of the superb guitar accompaniment (Joe Willie Wilkins?) which echoes the harp in some passages and acts as a stunning counterpoint in others. All blues should be this good!
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR WALTER HORTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR MODERN RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY JANUARY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
It's widely assumed that this tour de force is Walter Horton's first known recording as a featured artist, although the acetate is undated and the recording isn't noted in Marion Keisker's logs. It first appeared in the early 1970s on the grammatically challenged Memphis Blues at Sunshine LP. Was it really recorded in January 1951? Who are the guys behind him? On both counts, we're unsure. The other side of the acetate held a white female singing Mitt Addington's ''Without Him Blues''. Addington first saw his name on Sun in 1953 when he co-wrote both sides of Big Memphis Marainey's record, but he was a pal of Keisker's and could have demo'd songs earlier than 1953. All we know for sure is that Walter Horton wasn't known as Little Walter after Walter Jacobs appropriated the name in September 1952, so this tune probably predates the fall of 1952. Adding a further layer of confusion, another ''Walter Instrumental'' was issued on Bear Family's Joe Hill Louis CD. The questions surrounding provenance and the marginal quality of the acetate notwithstanding, this recording pretty much defines what Walter Horton could do with a harmonica. You get the sense that he could have carried on awhile without running short of ideas. If this indeed dates to early 1951, it's easy to see why the Biharis accepted two complete sessions of Horton's material after hearing this test. Mention, too, must be made of the guitar playing which echoes the harp in places and acts as a counterpoint in others.
 
01 - "LITTLE WALTER'S INSTRUMENTAL" – B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably January 1951
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-6 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Harmonica
Possibly Billy Love - Piano
Joe Willie Wilkins - Guitar
Unknown – Drums
 
According to harmonica player Walter Horton and had recently formed a duo with Riley B. King, ''I was just walking around one day and decided I'd go up to his studio. Joe Hill Louis was playing, and so I stopped in there and played a couple of numbers, and after that, Sam Phillips wanted me to record for him''. As if to bear out this account, Sam Phillips immediately dubbed the thirty-three-year-old Horton ''Mumbles'' as much for his dreamy nature as his manner of speech, but the instrumental sample that he sent to Modern on January 17, 1951, is a masterpiece of sound and tone, mixing a kind of ethereal lyricism with a focused attack, and while Horton's melodies may have derived from familiar tunes, in everything else his playing represented just what Sam was looking for, a free-flowing feel that had its origins solely in the artist's imagination.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
JANUARY 8, 1951
 
Decca released two separate Red Foley singles: his solo recording of ''Hot Rod Race'' and a duet effort with Evelyn Knight, ''My Heart Cries For You''.
 
Sam Phillips recorded six more titles on Riley B. King at the beginning of January 1951, nothing he considered particularly outstanding, but the Bihari brothers appeared to be satisfied, and it resulted in another release a couple of months later. The two sides chosen for the single each provided a different glimpse of the singer's potential, with the first, ''My Baby's Gone'' (RPM 318), stamped by a makeshift rhumba beat that, just two years later, would become the basis for ''Woke Up This Morning'', one of his most enduring hits. The backside, ''Don't You Want A Man Like Me'', offered a slow crooned vocal that never quite caught fire and, like the first, seemed in the end curiously unfinished. To Sam it was B.B.'s disc jockey background as much as anything else, his professional affability coupled with an almost desperate personal desire to please, that stood as the chief impediment to his breaking free of the traces of conformity and convention. But he didn't sense from their reaction that the Bihari brothers were in any way displeased, they were, after all, just casting about for a hit, so, as a matter of pure pragmatism, he simply decided to look elsewhere, among some of the other equally gifted but less ''professional'' musicians who came into his studio, for that secret store of talent, that indefinable spirit that lay within the soul of every man, to which he felt that he alone could the unlocking key.
 © - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
King is a true visionary of blues. He was among the first to take blues out on the long highway and to see, on a grand scale, the connection between extensive touring and the sales of records. While King has been working to sell blues to the public, he has also been busy innovating and adding to the music. In his early days, King fused powerful, gospel-inflected vocals and stately, intricate, Texas-flavored blues guitar with the raw guts of Mississippi Delta blues, thus creating and perfecting a hybrid that has been an inspiration to rural and urban musicians alike. 
 
His use of a large band with a powerful horn section, elaborate musical arrangements and even strings, also made him popular and influential in the blues world. Today he continues to build on the music, incorporating elements of jazz, funk, pop and soul. And few blues guitarists can match King's clean power and dexterity.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR B.B. KING
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICES FOR RPM RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY JANUARY 8, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
 01(1) - "FINE LOOKIN' WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1491 - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-2 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
And a detailed host of photographs and memorabilia.
 
01(2) - "FINE LOOKIN' WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1404 - Take 2 - > RPM 339-358 Series <
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 348-A mono
FINE LOOKIN' WOMAN / B.B. BOOGIE
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-3 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
01(3) - "FINE LOOKIN' WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1491 - Take 3 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-4 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
02 - "QUESTIONNAIRE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Riley B. King-Joe Josea
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1488 - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 1968
First appearance: -   First appearance: - Kent Records (LP) 33rpm KST 9011 mono
ANTHOLOGY OF THE BLUES - B.B. KING 1949-1950
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-14 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
03 - "A NEW WAY OF DRIVING" – B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Riley B. King-Sam Ling
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1490 - Take Not Originally Issued  1 - 
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 1968
First appearance: - Kent Records (LP) 33rpm KST 9011 mono
ANTHOLOGY OF THE BLUES - B.B. KING 1949-1950
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-1 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
04(1) - "B.B. BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1489 - Incomplete Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-15 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
Solomon Hardy's squealing tenor sax wails throughout the mid-tempo ''B.B. Blues'', King shouting the blues full-throttle. The patriotic Korean War epic ''Questionnaire Blues'' and the double-entendre boogie ''A New Way Of Driving'' stem from the same session as ''B.B. Blues'' but had to wait a couple of decades to see light of day on that same historic Kent LP. Rounding out the session was the easy-swinging ''Fine Lookin' Woman'', issued as RPM 348 with Hardy squawking up a storm and is also on offer here in an alternate rendition.
 
04(2) - "B.B. BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1489 - Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-16 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
B.B. King had recorded for Bullet Records at the WDIA radio studio in 1949 before recording three singles for RPM at Sam Phillips' studio. This was the fourth. Phillips' willingness to court the unusual betrayed itself on ''B.B. Blues'', recorded on this session and pulled for release six months later. Solomon Hardy's wailing sax punctuated B.B's vocal to striking effect. While B.B. seemed quietly resigned to his misery, Hardy screamed in anguish. Pianist Ford Nelson was one of B.B.'s fellow disc jockeys on WDIA and performed with him as an on-air duo.
 
04(3) - "B.B. BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1489 Master Take 3 - > RPM 304-323 Series <
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - June 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 323-A mono
B.B. BLUES / SHE'S DYNAMITE
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
05(1) - "DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME" – B.M.I - 2:21
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1470 - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-12 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
05(2) - "DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME" – B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1470 Master Take 2 or Take 3 - > RPM 304-323 Series <
Recorded: - January 8, 1951 - Missing In Action
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 318-A mono
DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME / MY BABY'S GONE
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
Both sides of RPM 318 served as intriguing tuneups for subsequent King gems. ''My Baby's Gone'', cut on 8 January 1951, is his first crack at what would morph into his horn-leavened early 1953 smash ''Woke Up This Morning''. The bubbly Latin rhythmic pulse is already in evidence and the lyrics are nearly identical, but the  innovative tempo switch into full-blown jump mode that made ''Woke Up This Morning'' so distinctive isn't.
 
King takes ''Don't You Want A Man Like Me'' at a more deliberate pace than the sprightly south-of-the-border tempo of his 1954 L.A. treatment, concentrating on his vocal to the total abandonment of Lucille. 
 
06 - "MY BABY'S GONE" – B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1469 Master - > RPM 304-323 Series >
Recorded: - January 8, 1951 - Missing In Action
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 318-B mono
MY BABY'S GONE / DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-11 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
07 - "SHAKE IT UP AND GO" – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Traditional Arranged by Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1805 Master - > 3RPM 339-358 Series <
Recorded: - Probably January 8, 1951 - Missing In Action
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 355 mono
SHAKE IT UP AND GO / MY OWN FAULT, DARLIN'
The other side of 355 was "My Own Fault, Darlin'", a 1952 recording.
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-5 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and guitar
Solomon Hardy - Saxophone
Ford Nelson - Piano
James "Shinny" Walker - Bass
E.A. Kemp – Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
JANUARY 9, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Brenda Gayle Webb, Loretta Lynn's youngest sister is born in Paintville, Kentucky. She adopts the stage name Crystal Gayle, and her pop-influenced country earns a string of hits, including the million-selling ''Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blues''.
 
JANUARY 10, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Sony executive Allen Butler is born in Clarksville, Tennessee. Under his leadership in the 1990s, Wade Hayes, Rick Trevino, The Kinleys and The Dixie Chicks all have their first records released.
 
JANUARY 11, 1951 THURSDAY
 
Lefty Frizzell recorded ''I Want To Be With You Always'' and ''Gibe Me More, More, More (Of Your Kisses)'' at the Jim Beck Studio in Dallas, Texas.
 
Teddy Wilburn joins the Army.
 
Ernest Tubb recorded ''Don't Stay Too Long'' in an afternoon session at the Castle Studio in Nashville's Tulane Hotel.
 
JANUARY 12, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Pop guitarist Larry Hoppen is born in Greenpoint, New York. As a member of Orleans, he contributes to the 1976 pop hit ''Still The One'', covered by Bill Anderson in country music. He also co-writes the Oak Ridge Boys 1986 hit ''Juliet''.
 
JANUARY 15, 1951 MONDAY
 
''TV Ranch'' debuts on WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. The program provides a launching pad for Brenda Lee.
 
JANUARY 16, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Guitarist Tommy Crain is born in Nashville. He becomes a member of The Charlie Daniels Band, playing on ''The Devil Went Down To Georgia'', ''In America'' and ''Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye''.
 
JANUARY 19, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Jimmy Murphy recorded ''Electricity'' in his first session, using Anita Carter as his only supporting musician. The performance is ranked among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
 
JANUARY 21, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Jimmy Wakely performs on the Ed Sullivan-hosted CBS variety show ''Toast Of The Town''. Among the other guests is singer Margaret Truman, the daughter of president Harry S. Truman.
 
JANUARY 26, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Hank Snow recorded ''Down The Trail Of Achin' Hearts'' and ''Bluebird Island'' with Anita Carter during the evening at Nashville's Brown Radio Production.
 
JANUARY 27, 1951 SATURDAY
 
More than two years after ''The Louisiana Hayride'' turned him down, Lefty Frizell debuts on the ''Hayride'' when it airs from Beaumont's City Auditorium.
 
JANUARY 30, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Carl Smith recorded ''If Teardrops Were Pennies'', ''Mr. Moon'' and ''Let's Live A Little'' during an afternoon session at the Castle Studio in Nashville.
 
''Gene Autry And The Mounties'' debuts in theaters, with Autry playing a Montana marshal who joins Canadian lawmen to chase bank robbers. Pat Buttram and Autry's horse, Champion, make their prerequisite appearance.
FEBRUARY 1951
 
Sam Phillips cuts auditions of Rosco Gordon for Modern Records.
 
Modern accept Walter   Horton's demo's and Sam Phillips duly cuts a session for Modern Records.
 
FEBRUARY 1951
 
Studio session for Rosco Gordon at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
FEBRUARY 2, 1951 FRIDAY
 
MGM released Hank Williams' ''Cold Cold Heart'' and ''Dear John''.
 
The oil business provides the backdrop for a Roy Rogers film as ''Spoilers Of The West'' debuts in theaters. Foy Willing and The Riders Of The Purple Sage join Rogers on the silver screen.
 
FEBRUARY 3, 1951 SATURDAY
 
Songwriter Linda Hargrove is born in Tallahassee, Florida. She writes ''Let It Shine'', for Olivia Newton-John; ''Tennessee Whiskey'', for George Jones; and ''Just Get Up And Close The Door'', for Johnny Rodriguez.
 
FEBRUARY 8, 1951 THURSDAY
 
Pop vocalist Mary McCreary is born in San Francisco, California. In 1965, she marries future country hitmaker Leon Russell.
 
FEBRUARY 11, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Billy Walker holds his first recording session in a new agreement with Columbia Records, at the Jim Beck Recording Studio in Dallas, Texas.
 
FEBRUARY 14, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Michael Doucet is born in Scott, Louisiana. In 1975, he forms BeauSoleil, a Cajun group that joins Mary Chapin Carpenter for her 1991 hit ''Down At The Twist And Shout''.
 
FEBRUARY 17, 1951 SATERDAY
 
Zeb Turner recorded ''Chew Tobacco Rag'' at the King Recording Studio in Cincinnati.
 
FEBRUARY 18, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Isabel Preysler is born in The Philippines. In 1971, she marries ''To All The Girls I've Loved Before'' singer Julio Iglesias.
 
FEBRUARY 20, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Kathie Baillie, of Baillie & The Boys, is born in Morristown, New Jersey. She sings on seven Top 10 singles for the trio which becomes a duo after its first album from 1987-1990, including ''Oh Heart'', ''Long Shot'' and ''(I Wish I Had A) Heart Of Stone''.
 
FEBRUARY 21, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Keyboard player Vince Welnick is born in Phoenix. He joins the jam band The Grateful Dead in 1973, more than 20 years before the group is mentioned in the lyrics of Lonestar's ''No News''.
 
FEBRUARY 1951
 
In February, Sam Phillips sent the Bihari brothers sample dubs on another artist in whom he had a strong belief, a piano player with a quirky, almost childlike sense of his own inimitability. Rosco Gordon was twenty-two-yeas old and had grown up on Florida Street in South Memphis, not too fat from Beale Street, where, he liked to say, he had gotten his education. As a teenager he won the Amateur Night contest at the Palace Theater, and he picked up coaching on his piano playing from Billy ''Red'' Love, another young Beale Streeter, whom Rosco, a heavy drinker himself from his teen years, described affectionately as a ''winehead'' but who could play virtually every style of piano, past, present, and future, with effortless ease.
 
From the moment Rosco entered the studio, Sam Phillips liked him. He was a funny little guy with nothing polished about him. He had a long expressive face and an infectious enthusiasm, and he played piano with an amateur ishness that belied Billy ''Red'' Love teaching. His music in fact conveyed an almost fey whimsically, driven by a distinctive rhythmic approach, a kind of lilting loping beat built on a rudimentary boogie-woogie base.
 
According to Sam Phillips, ''Rosco was one of my favorite people. He would always come in by himself and sit down and play the piano, in this, very different way, and I thought, Well, you know, maybe we can just make a band out of this thing, we might not need any rhythm other than the way he plays this piano''. Even so, there was little question he needed a lot of work, and Sam had no idea how the Bihari brothers would react to him, he didn't really give a damn how they reacted to him, so long as they didn't steal Rosco from him, the main thing was, he didn't want Rosco to change, he didn't want him to go off and try to imitate someone else, he believed in him just as he was, and he did everything in his power to convince Rosco of that, too.
 
According to Rosco Gordon, ''Sam said, 'What you're playing, nobody in the world id going to play that but you'. Said, 'I don't know what it is. It's not blues, it's not pop, it's not rock. So we gonna call it ''Rosco's Rhythm''. That's what we called it. That's where that came from''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
''I had a Memphis band and a road band'', recalled Rosco Gordon. ''The Memphis band was used mostly on recordings. Willie Wilkes, he played tenor saxophone. He was an old guy at the time, good player. I mean he was tight, he was like my father and me being so young. Richard Sanders was the great baritone, he had the guts and that, I tell you. There was Raymond Thomas, alto saxophone and Manson on drums. For sessions I also used Adolph Duncan on tenor saxophone, Billy ''Red'' Love on piano, Pat Hare on guitar, and Tuff Green on bass''.
 
''On the road, I had E. Jefferson and Harvey Simmons on tenor saxophones, Billy ''Red'' Love on piano, Murry Daley on drums with pick-up bass players. I toured with Tuff Green's band as well'', said Gordon.  
 
''My main gig was in Mason, Tennessee, Doyle's Nitespot. I played Arkansas, Brinkley, The Club Eldorado in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, all over Mississippi... West Memphis and Club Handy on Beale Street, Memphis. The audiences were very enthusiastic 'cause I had a new sound''.
 
''Look, we were young, he confides. ''We were enjoying what we were doing. Man, I was so hot! Every time I looked around I had a new record out. At 18 or 19 I had the best of everything, big Cadillac, the sharpest clothes, $200 shoes, girls... had so much fun, I tell you, But I didn't know anything about the business side. I get as big a thrill out of playing now as I did then. The same thrill, the same enthusiasm, the same energy, everything. It's still there. It doesn't just disappear''.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR ROSCO GORDON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR RPM RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: FEBRUARY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER
 
Rosco Gordon Jr. was born in Memphis in 1934, the youngest of eight children, growing up on Florida  Street. He taught himself piano by sitting next to his sister while she practiced her lessons and before the age  of eighteen had won the Talent Show at Beale Street's famed Palace Theater (the M.C. was Rufus Thomas)  and was appearing on WDIA, America's first all black radio station (where B.B. King got his start around the  same time). Through WDIA's owner James Mattis he was sent to see Sam C. Phillips who recorded him,  leasing his sides to the Bihari Brother' RPM label out of Los Angeles, charting for the first time with  ''Saddled The Cow (Milked The Horse)'' b/w ''Ouch! Pretty Baby'' which went to number 9 at the Rhythm And  Blues Charts in September of 1951. 
 
01 – ''CITY WOMAN'' – B.M.I. - 3:18
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1503 Master - > RPM 304-323 Series <
Recorded: - February 1951
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 322-A mono
CITY WOMAN / ROSCOE'S BOOGIE
Reissued: - November 14, 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 64 mono
ROSCO GORDON - BOOTED - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS
02 – ''ROSCOE'S BOOGIE'' – B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1502 Master -  > RPM 304-323 Series <
Recorded: - February 1951
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 322-B mono
ROSCOE'S BOOGIE / CITY WOMAN
Reissued: - November 24, 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 694 mono
ROSCO GORDON - BOOTED - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS
 
''The Phillips studio in its early days was like a hole'', said Rosco Gordon. ''It was just something Sam had slammed together. It wasn't a recording studio, just a hole in the wall with the backs out of the recording equipment - and Sam using his soldering iron, his pliers and whatever. But he put it together. You didn't get out of the studio until you got it right. He's the best, I tell you he's the best. He generated enthusiasm and energy. He gives it you. It was Sam who arranged the first recording deals with RPM and Chess''. 
 
03 – ''SO TIRED'' - B.M.I. - 3:20
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH 51-1-4 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
ROSCO GORDON - LET'S GET HIGH
 
04 – ''SHE ROCKS ME'' - B.M.I.'' - 3:06
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH51-1-1 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
ROSCO GORDON - LET'S GET HIGH
 
 Rosco's name is misspelled on all RPM labels.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon – Vocal & Piano
Probably the next musicians:
Billy ''Red'' Love - Piano
Pat Hare - Guitar
Willie Wilkes - Tenor Saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Adolph Duncan - Tenor Saxophone
Tuff Green - Bass
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
The world of post-war blues harmonica was wide and varied and many names go to make up the story: the two Sonny Boys, Junior wells, Snooky Pryor, George Smith, Papa Lightfoot and Slim Harpo. However, two artists that stood way out in front and could not be challenged were Little Walter (Jacobs) and Big Walter Horton. These gifted musicians transformed the whole concept of harmonica playing and they pioneered the electronically amplified harmonica during the forties.  
 
Their amazing virtuosity changed the role of the instrument from a solo one to a band instrument and they did for the harmonica what Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young had done for the tenor sax in jazz, shaping their harmonica blues tones into breath-taking instrumental solos.
 
The harmonica or French harp as it was known in the south, had been a staple instrument in the rural southern states and was widely used by black and white musicians alike, from cornball hillbillies of Appalachia, to wandering minstrels, and jug bands of the delta. Even a negro, Deford Bailey, featured the harmonica on the snowy-white Grand Ole Opry in Nashville for many years.
 
Little Walter met Walter Horton in Memphis during the 1940s where they exchanged ideas. Little Walter later left for Chicago where he joined Muddy Waters band and later went on to stardom as a solo performer on Checker Records. Horton subsequently made his move to Chicago some years later, but not before he made some classic sides at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service.
 
In early 1951 Sam Phillips recorded Walter Horton. It has been reported that he went down to Handy Park and brought both Walter Horton and Jim Lockhart back to his studio, where he recorded sample auditions for the Biharis.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR WALTER ''MUMBLES'' HORTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICES FOR RPM/MODERN RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
All the recordings on this session were made direct to acetate lacquers, and a great deal of restoration work has been done, including cleaning and remastering.
 
01 - ''COTTON PATCH HOT FOOT'' - B.M.I - 2:33
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1504 - Instrumental - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-6 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: - 1988 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-6 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
02(1) - ''WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU'' - B.M.I. 2:27
Composer; - Walter Horton-Jules Taub
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1505 - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-5 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: -  1988  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHDH 252-12 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
02(2) - ''WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU'' - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer; - Walter Horton-Jules Taub
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1505 - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-12 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued:  - 1988  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHDH 252-5 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
03(1) - ''BLUES IN THE MORNING'' - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1507 - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-9 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: - 1988 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-9 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
While transferring ''Blues In The Morning'' we noticed the acetate had another take of this number, not listed on the label. This take of the song is probably not Walter Horton on vocal and harmonica, and this gave rise to the theory that musicians would gather around the studio when Sam Phillips was holding sessions and would be given the chance to audition, even on the numbers that were currently being recorded.
 
03(2) - ''BLUES IN THE MORNING''
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1507 - Take 2
Recorded: -  January/February 1951
Released: - Unissued
 
04(1) - ''LITTLE BOY BLUE'' - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Robert Lockwood Jr
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1508 - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-3 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: - 1988 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-13 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
Also here for the first time is an alternate of the magnificent ''Little Boy Blue'', and two takes of ''What's The Matter With You'' from this session and best of all you can now hear clearly, for the first time, the wonderful instrumental ''Cotton' Patch Hot Foot'' (above).
 
04(2) – ''LITTLE BOY BLUE'' - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer:- Robert Lockwood Jr
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1508 Master Take 2 - > Modern 795-828 Series <
Recorded: -  January/February 1951
Released: - Early 1951
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 809-A mono
LITTLE BOY BLUE / NOW TELL ME BABY
Reissued: - 1988 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-7 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
During subsequent weeks Sam cut further sessions with Walter Horton, who was accompanied by Joe Hill Louis on guitar and drums, and possibly a dancer with bottle tops on his boots, producing a novel clickerty-clack effect. 
 
An unknown pianist is just audible on ''Little Boy Blue'' and ''I'm In Love With You Baby''. From these first sessions the Biharis selected ''Little Boy Blue'' and ''Now Tell Me Baby'' for Horton's first release on Modern 809. On the labels he was credited as ''Mumbles''.
05(1) - ''NOW TELL ME BABY'' - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: - 1988 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-10 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
The real sensation was finding an alternate take of ''Now Tell Me Baby'', which is quite different from the released version on Modern 809. This features the legendary guitarist Willie Johnson, whose choked guitar figure is musically better than the released version. Maybe Sam Phillips was looking for diversity, trying out new arrangements and riffs. Sadly we could not use both versions because the released master take is irreparably damaged. However it is available on a Memphis Blues collection on Nighthawk LP 105.
 
05(2) - ''NOW TELL ME BABY'' - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1506 Master Take 2 Damaged - > Modern 795-828 Series <
Recorded: -   January/February 1951
Released: - Early 1951 - Master Damaged
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 809-B mono
NOW TELL ME BABY / LITTLE BOY BLUE
Reissued: - January 5, 2009 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 1003 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS  VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN 
 
06(1) - ''WALTER'S BLUES (I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU) - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1509  – Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-8 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: - 1988 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-8 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
06(2) - ''WALTER'S BLUES (I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU) - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1509 – Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   January/February 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-11 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: -   1988   Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-11 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Vocal & Harmonica
Joe Hill Louis - Guitar, Percussion
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Unknown tap dancing effect
Other Musicians Unknown
 
When Modern Records received outside masters, they would assign their own MM matrix numbers en-bloc, so these do not always accurately refer to the original sessions when they were recorded.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 1951

"Memphis Bounce" b/w ''Sixty Days'' (Gilt-Edge 5026) by Slim Rhodes is released and reviewed in Billboard. It is the second of four discs to be culled from the two Sam Phillips' sessions.

Over the course of the next month Sam Phillips worked out a deal with the Bihari brothers for both of his new artists, and on March 1 he sent sides by both Rosco Gordon and Walter Horton with some assurance, he felt, that the Biharis would pick out at least one single by each for release. In the fall of 1950 they had finally put out the first Joe Hill Louis single, ''I Feel Like A Million'' backed with ''Heartache Baby'' (Modern 795), but from Sam's point of view it hardly made up for the way they had treated him previously. From his perspective, one release over a period of six months did not exactly constitute a binding marriage. The Bihari brothers might think they were the only game in town, but he'd be damned if he'd be yoked to those pissants for life. So when he met Leonard Chess, who just happened to show up in town on a Southern promotion swing the very day that Sam sent off his new sides to the Biharis, Sam listened carefully to what Chess had to say.

Leonard Chess was a tough-talking hustler from Chicago with a record company that he ran with his younger brother, Phil. Not quite thirty-four-years old but looking older, with thinning hair and a gaunt, wiry body, he and his brother had arrived from Poland at eleven and seven, five years after their father had established a junk business in Bronzeville, on Chicago's teeming South Side. He had gotten into the record business in 1947 after running a tavern on the 3900 block of Cotton Grove Avenue and realizing that the live entertainment that he was presenting was in any cases as good as the records that he had on the jukebox. After buying out his original partners, at Buster Williams' suggestion he changed the name of the company from Aristocrat to Chess in June of 1950 (Buster said the new name, an Ellis Island simplification of the real family name, was short, sharp, and direct, and everyone knew the game of chess), and his first two releases were modest hits. The first, by jazz saxophonist Gene Ammons, was by far the bigger seller, but the second set the trend. ''Rolling Stone'' by Mississippi-born blues singer Muddy waters, was very much in the vanguard of the new down-home blues market, a trend that had in effect begun with the astounding success of John Lee Hooker's ''Boogie Chillen'' on the Modern label just one year earlier. When his tavern burned down in the fall of 1950, Leonard received a much-needed infusion of capital from the insurance, and the new label was enjoying its first big blues hit with Muddy waters' ''Louisiana Blues'', which in contrast to Hooker's improbable million-seller, was unlikely to sell more than twenty-five or thirty thousand copies. Leonard, in fact, was in town to promote that record and Muddy's upcoming release, ''Long Distance Call'', when Sam Phillips met him for the first time over at Dewey Phillips' show called ''Red Hot and Blue'' on WHBQ.

Sam Phillips could sense from the start that Leonard was different from the Bihari brothers. For one thing, with a new company just struggling to get under way, he was hungrier. For another, he was less smooth, less sure of himself. But like them, he was a smart street hustler, driven, intense, and like Dewey Phillips he spoke the language of his artists informally and without affectation (''Hey motherfucker'' could be the easygoing greeting of either one, but then Leonard might lapse into Yiddish if he was in the company of a landsman).

According to Sam Phillips, ''I kind of liked Leonard, he didn't really have very much money at the time, but he'd heard about my studio, and he came by, and we talked, and he said, 'Man, I'd give anything to work with you'''. And then, right on the spot, he proposed a deal, they'd split the profits 50-50 on any recording of Sam's that he released, so long as he had the rights of first refusal. ''And the first thing I gave him was ''Rocket 88''.

''Rocket 88'', an original number by a young group out of Clarksdale, Mississippi called the Kings of Rhythm, was a song that came to Sam Phillips indirectly through his association with B.B. King. King had met the kid who led the group, nineteen-year-old Ike Turner, a few years earlier, when B.B. Was still Riley King, still living in Indianola, Mississippi, with his wife, Martha. He was playing a little theater in Clarksdale, and this kid had a full-scale band, the Top hatters, and asked if he could sit in on piano. As young as he was, he had obviously gone to school on boogie-woogie, he had both energy and imagination to burn, and at his invitation Riley stayed with him for a night or two at his mother's house. Just two years later, unbeknownst to Turner, Riley was making records, and the Top Hatters had split unto two groups, the uptown Dukes of Swing, who could all read music and played the kind of swing that Sam broadcast from the Skyway at the Peabody, and the Kings of Rhythm, a small Louis Jordan-type of jump combo, tenor and baritone sax, plus a three-man rhythm section, that specialized in just wrecking the point. They were coming back from a gig in Greenville when Ike saw all these cars parked by the side of the road at a big roadhouse outside Chambers, Mississippi, with a sign that announced that B.B. King was playing there tonight.

Ike Turner had seen the posters on telegraph poles all over Mississippi, he said, with that same''peculiar name'' on it, but for some reason he had never attached it to the man he knew as Riley King. When he walked into the roadhouse, ''it was B.B., man, and we asked him, could we play a song? Hey said, Yeah, and, boy, we tore the house down. So he said, 'Man, you guys need to be recording'. And we said, 'Well, what do you do to record? How do you do it? Hey said, 'Well, man, this guy in Memphis has a studio, that's where I record'. He said, ''His name is Sam Phillips, and what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna tell him to give you a call, man, on Monday for you guys to come up and record'. I said, 'Just like that'? He said, 'Yeah. And sure enough, Monday Sam Phillips called. He wanted to know how soon could we come up. I told him, 'Right now'. And we had no idea, none, what we were gonna do when we got there'' .

Ike Turner arrives in Memphis with The Kings Of Rhythm, including Jackie Brenston. Sam Phillips signs them to Chess contracts. Brenston is under age and his mother signs as his guardian. "Rocket 88" and three other titles are shipped to Chess Records in Chicago.

As the bands and singers on Beale Street began making records, it was natural for everyone to get the idea that they ought to record their own music. The growth of small local record labels provided the opportunity for many of the performers. Memphis musicians all wanted the same thing - a hit record.

When there was a success, as occurred in 1951 when Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm hit the charts with Jackie Brenston singing lead on "Rocket 88", everyone's enthusiasm was renewed. This song, with the musical revolution on Beale Street as a backdrop, helped bring rock and roll to life. Memphis was not only the cradle of this new black music, it was the central focus of an emerging white style.

MARCH 1, 1951 THURSDAY

''Silver City Bonanza'' opens in Theaters. The movie's cast includes Rex Allen, Buddy Ebsen and The Sons Of The Pioneers.

MARCH 3, 1951 SATURDAY

Songwriter Bob DiPiero is born in Youngstown, Ohio. His hits include Tim McGraw's ''Southern Voice'', Montgomery Gentry's ''Gone'', George Strait's ''Blue Clear Sky'' and The Oak Ridge Boys' ''American Made''. He marries, and later divorces, Pam Tillis.

MARCH 4, 1951 SUNDAY

Pee Wee King recorded ''Slow Poke'' during the afternoon at RCA Studio A in Chicago.

MARCH 5, 1951 MONDAY

A little known band drove to Memphis from Clarksdale, Mississippi to audition for Sam Phillips in the studio. The band was ‘Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats’, (who were actually Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm) which included Willie Kizart on guitar, Raymond Hill on Saxophone, and Ike Turner on piano.

During the drive to Memphis, Tennessee, was not without incident. Everyone was in great good humor when they first set out in the pouring rain, all five crowded into a little sedan with their saxes, guitar, and drum set, and the trunk secured with a rope to accommodate the guitar amp and bass drum. Neither the weather nor the close quarters could dampen their enthusiasm, and they couldn't stop talking about what they were going to do when they got to Memphis.

They were relatively unfazed when they got stopped by the highway patrol and hauled into some little country court. It was just another case of ''too many little niggers in the car'' they joked after they paid the fine, they were more frustrated when they subsequently had a flat tire and then went and dropped the guitar amp on the pavement in their hurry to dig out the spare. But they quickly returned to their rapid-fire banter, a combination of nervousness, anticipation, boastfulness, and verbal competition entered into freely on all sides, except when their twenty-year-old leader Ike's glowering stare stopped one of them in their tracks.

When they got to Memphis, naturally they drove down Beale Street, past all the clubs and pawnshops and the New Palace and the Hippodrome skating rink, which had just started to bring in all the big-name rhythm and blues acts. Then, going out Union, they couldn't find the studio, they must have driven by it three or four times at least, because they were looking for something. Well, they didn't know what they were looking for. None of them had ever seen a recording studio before, but they thought it had to be something to match their dreams. Instead it turned out to be this sorry-ass storefront that looked more like a barbershop than anything else, with one of those neon signs in the window, but when they went in to ask the lady at the desk if she knew where the studio was, she told them this was it.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR JACKIE BRENSTON AND IKE TURNER
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY MARCH 5, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER
 
While this record was being produced, Sam Phillips had realized that Ike Turner was ruining the song. He made "Rocket 88" a success by placing Turner, the would-be-producer, in the background, and by controlling the raw, rough edge of Turner's band. Not only did Sam cut the tune, but he leased it to Chess Records. It had taken all of Sam Phillips' persuasive powers to convince Ike Turner to allow Jackie Brenston to sing the lead.
 
01 - "ROCKET 88*" – B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Jackie Brenston
Publisher:- N.M.P.C. - Arc Music Corp
Matrix number: - U-7316 - Acetate - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
The first rock and roll tune on the Memphis Recording Service
Recorded: - March 5, 1951
Released: - April 1, 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1458-A mono
ROCKET 88 / COME BACK WHERE YOU BELONG
Reached at number 1 at the Billboard's Rhythm and Blues charts
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-7 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Rightly hailed as a classic, this was one of the finest jump blues to emerge from the early 1950s. Several things combine to make this record unique. The first is the sound emanating from Willie Kizart's guitar: he'd inadvertently created the first fuzz tone in the history of recorded sound when his amplifier fell off the top of the car on the way to Memphis, busting the speaker cone. Sam Phillips later recalled: "...we had no way of getting it fixed so we started playing around with the damn thing... stuffed a little paper in there and it sounded good. It sounded like a saxophone". Only Phillips would have had the courage to pair it with Ike Turner's powerful piano to lay down a rhythm track that could kill at 50 paces. Brenston's vocal drips a confidence which belies his tender years, and Raymond Hill's sax solo builds in monumentum to a screaming climax.
 
Sam Phillips later recalled to Hot Press' Joe Jackson: "You're damn right it was the first rock and roll record, but don't ask me what was going on there, even though I created the thing! ...it was just a magic elixir that worked''.  ''But I had to tell Ike Turner 'As great as you are on piano, you can't sing'. That wasn't easy! ...but you can't be timid about telling the truth, or else you're a damn hypocrite. I had to say 'Do you have anybody, before we close down this session, that can sing?'. He said 'Jackie Brenston' ...Jackie sings, and that's how Rocket 88 came about".
 
The song itself is clearly highly derivative of Jimmy Liggins' 1947 hit "Cadillac Boogie" (which in turn had its roots deeply embedded in Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues") - only instead of a caddy, Brenston's song was a paean to the new 1950 Hydra-matic Drive V-8 Oldsmobile Rocket 88. In fact, as Brenston cheerfully told Jim O'Neal in Living Blues Magazine many years later: "if you listen to the two, you'll find that they're both basically the same. The words are just changed".
 
In a curious coda to this historic recording, when Sam Phillips saw to the paperwork after the session he realized that vocalist Jackie Brenston was still underage, and so the contract had to be signed by his mother - which seems wildly at variance with Brenston's later hard-drinkin'/good-timin' image.
02 - "COME BACK WHERE YOU BELONG*" – B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Jackie Brenston
Publisher: -  N.M.P.C.
Matrix number: - U-7317 - Acetate - < Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - March 5, 1951
Released: - April 1, 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1458-B mono
COME BACK WHERE YOU BELONG / ROCKET 88
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1-2 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957
 
During there drive from Clarksdale to Memphis, guitarist Willie Kizart's amp fell off the top of the car, breaking the speaker cone. "We had no way of getting it fixed, so we started playing around with the damn thing, stuffed a little paper in there and it sounded good. It sounded like a saxophone", Phillips told Robert  Palmer. Rather than submerge the distorted sound of Kizart's guitar, Sam Phillips took a change and overamplified it, making it the centerpiece of the rhythm track. Kizart played a simple boogie riff in unison with Ike Turner's piano. Raymond Hill contributed two screeching tenor sax solos, and Brenston rode over the top with a hugely confident vocal that belied his tender years. Sam Phillips later characterized "Rocket 88" as the first rock and roll record in the world. 
 
After the session, Sam Phillips ran off dubs and sent them to the Chess brothers in Chicago the same night. Chess snapped up "Rocket 88" together with an undistinguished blues single from Ike Turner. They were released in April 1951. "Rocket 88" reached the charts in May, hit number 1 in June, and eventually became the second-biggest rhythm and blues record of the year, after "Sixty Minute Man" from the Dominoes.
 
The record's success also caused dissent in the ranks of the band, Sam Phillips explains: "Ike Turner wanted a record out real badly. I said, 'Ike, man, you're a hell of a piano player, you play guitar real good, but you just can't sing. Now Jackie here has this vocal that we can really go somewhere with'. Well, this did not please Ike, and it created a little problem. I tried to handle it right and explain the way it was, but I guess I can understand how Ike felt - that Jackie's success was really his success. Anyway, Ike took Jackie's band away from us and  we had a problem. At that time, Chess was screaming for more top-notch product, so I recorded Billy Love singing "Juiced". We used that as the follow-up and issued it under Jackie's name. I bought it off Billy for Jackie". Love was a local singer and pianist who sounded convincing in a number of styles; little is known of him except that he had a proclivity for the bottle. Phillips later leased several recordings by Love to Chess, one of which ''Drop Top'' was modeled closely after ''Rocket 88''.
 
If you buy into the myth, then is ''Heartbroken And Worried'' is what it sounded like thirty minutes before rock and roll was invented. Even with Willie Kizart's distorted guitar, ''Heartbroken And Worried'' was still a mundane cocktail blues, and it's pretty evident why Sam Phillips wanted to get Ike Turner away from the mic. Ike was a middling vocalist, and his best Charles Brown impersonation simply isn't good enough. Kizart's funky tone is by far the best thing about a record that's only interesting these days because we hear what the ''Rocket 88'' session sounded like before ''Rocket 88''.
 
03 - "HEARTBROKEN AND WORRIED**" – B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: -  N.M.P.C.
Matrix number: - U-7324 - Acetate - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - March 5, 1951 - Vocal Ike Turner
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1459-A mono
HEARTBROKEN AND WORRIED / I'M LONESOME BABY
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-3-3 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
Everyone's far more comfortable on a tune that may well have had its origins in New Orleans and the rhumba rhythms of Professor Longhair. Bandleader/disc jockey/talent scout Ike Turner was an eager 19-year-old when these tracks were recorded. He was a reluctant vocalist even then, but Johnny O'Neal's defection from the Kings Of Rhythm to pursue a solo recording career with King meant that he had to taken his share. Not only that, the ambitious young music man needed product with his name on it to help him achieve his ambitions. Hill and Brenston's saxes chatter throughout the piece, except when Hill takes his solo Brenston picks up a pair of claves. Willie Kizart's blown cones deliver another distorted guitar solo which ends the song.
 
On the next track from this session, leader Ike Turner working in the then-popular mambo groove with faint intimations of ''Rocket 88''. Phillips should have cranked up Ike's voice in the mix. Willie Kizart's fuzztone guitar at the end adds an interesting touch. The lyrics were quite mundane, and the rolling rhythm (could Ike have heard Professor Longhair?) is the best thing about the performance. 
 
04 - "I'M LONESOME BABY**" – B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - N.M.P.C./
Matrix number: - U-7325 - Acetate - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - March 5, 1951 - Vocal Ike Turner
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1459-B mono
I'M LONESOME BABY / HEARTBROKEN AND WORRIED
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-9 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jackie Brenston - Vocal* and Baritone Saxophone
Raymond Hill - Tenor Saxophone
Eugene Fox - Tenor Saxophone
Ike Turner - Vocal** & Piano 
Willie Kizart - Guitar
Jesse Knight - Bass
Willie Sims - Drums
 
Members of the band of Ike Turner, there was drummer Willie ''Bad Boy'' Sims and guitarist Willie Kizart, from Tutwiler, whose father, Lee, was a well-known local guitarist and piano player. Baritone player Jackie Brenston was a big talker in the group. He had run into Ike Turner on the street just after getting out of the army, when Ike was putting the band together. He barely knew how play the sax then, but Ike patiently schooled him, and he had very recently taken over most of the vocals, after Johnny O'Neil, known as ''Scarface Brother'' for the lived scar across his chin, left just a few weeks earlier to make records on his own. Sixteen-year-old Raymond ''Bear'' Hill (for both his physique and his boxing ability), the lead tenor player, was probably the best-educated musician in the group, and certainly the most affluent, his father owned several clubs and roadhouses in the area, a cafe, and a service station, and his grandfather, who was Chinese (Ike Tuner alternately called Raymond ''Chink'' and ''Hockway'', which he insisted was ''nigger'' in Chinese), had started the Wong Grocery Store, which his mother now ran.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 5, 1951 MONDAY 

Decca Released Ernest Tubb's ''Don't Stay Too Long''. 

MARCH 7, 1951 WEDNESDAY 

Webb Pierce conducts his first recording session for Decca Records, at the Castle Studio in Nashville. The session includes ''Drifting Texas Sand'', which he re-recorded nine years later. 

MARCH 9, 1951 FRIDAY 

Ernest Tubb and Red Foley recorded ''The Strange Little Girl'' at Nashville's Castle Studio. 

MARCH 11, 1951 SATURDAY 

''As per our telephone conversation'', Sam Phillips wrote to Jimmy Connelly, just four days after making the recording, ''I am enclosing herewith a copy of the letter to 'Atomic Boogie' DJ Bob Umbach about the sensational new record, ''Rocket 88'' which is going to make my first million for me. Seriously, Jimmy, this is one of the best race records I have ever heard, and I think you'll agree with me when you hear it''. 

MARCH 12, 1951 MONDAY 

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''Let's Live A Little''. 

MARCH 13, 1951 TUESDAY 

Johnny Bond recorded ''Sick, Sober And Sorry'' at Hollywood's Radio Recorders. 

The Southern Baptist Convention buys Ward Belmont College in Nashville. The school opens a music business program in the 1970s, providing a link to the business for students Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Josh Turner, Brad Paisley and others. 

MARCH 14, 1951 WEDNESDAY 

Zella Lehr is born in Burbank, California. After starting her career on ''Hee Haw'' she gains a Top 10 hit with a version of Dolly Parton's ''Two Doors Down'' that is recorded three months before Parton's version. 

MARCH 15, 1951 THURSDAY 

Ray Price his first recording session for Columbia Records at the Jim Beck Studio in Dallas, Texas, leading with what becomes his debut single, the Lefty Frizzell-penned ''If You're Ever Lonely Darling''. 

Gene Autry plays a lawman disrupting a bogus Mexican lottery in the debut of the movie ''Texans Never Cry'', featuring his sidekick Pat Buttram. 

MARCH 16, 1951 FRIDAY 

Ray Benson is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He forms Asleep At The Wheel, which emerges as the strongest modern advocate for western swing. The group wins multiple Grammys but earns just one hit, ''The Letter That Johnny Walker Read''. 

Hank Williams recorded ''Hey, Good Lookin''', ''I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)'', ''Howlin' At The Moon'' and ''My Heart Would Know'' in an afternoon session at Nashville's Castle Recording Studio. 

MARCH 17, 1951 SATURDAY 

Hawkshaw Hawkins recorded ''I'm Waiting Just For You'' in Cincinnati. 

MARCH 19, 1951 MONDAY 

Columbia released Left Frizzell's ''I Want To Be With You Always''. 

MARCH 21, 1951 WEDNESDAY 

Bass player Conrad Lozano is born in Los Angeles. He joins Los Lobos, a Tex-Mex band whose 1985 record ''Will The Wolf Survive'' ranks among country's all-time greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number''. 

MARCH 22, 1951 THURSDAY 

Jimmy Wakely and Margaret Whiting recorded ''When You And I Were Young Maggie Blues'' at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. 

Ernest Tubb and his second wife, Olene, have their first daughter, Erlene Dale Tubb. 

MARCH 27, 1951 TUESDAY 

Red Foley recorded ''(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)'' in Nashville. 

Songwriter Kent Blazy is born in Lexington, Kentucky. He authors Garth Brooks'''If Tomorrow Never Comes'', Gary Morris' ''Headed For A Heartache'' and Chris Young's ''Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)'', among others. 

MARCH 28, 1951 WEDNESDAY

Sam Phillips was in the process of formalizing an ''iron-clad'' agreement with Leonard Chess and getting a letter of ''consent and confirmation'' from Jackie Brenston's mother on behalf of her not-yet-twenty-one-year-old son, he was determined this time not to be taken advance of. When the record came out, though, it caused considerable consternation among the musicians once they saw the label credit. 

They had all assumed it would say something like The Kings of Rhythm, Vocal by Jackie Brenston, Ike had never doubted it would say Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm, just like it should have, but instead, the label copy read ''Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats'', a name nobody had ever heard before. ''I was kinda teed about it'', said Ike, who saw it as a clear betrayal, but when he raised the point with Sam, the skinny, strangely intense little white guy wouldn't back down, he insisted it was because they were going to put out a release on Ike, too, and it wouldn't look right to put out two releases under the same name. 

In any case, by the end of the month the record had taken off beyond anyone's expectations. ''Rocket Becomes Flying Disc, Spins Toward Record Glory'' was the headline in the front-page story in the Commercial Appeal on march 28, 1951, which not only celebrated the record's sales but trumpeted the accomplishments of the hitherto unknown and unsung Sam C. Phillips, the young ''recorded behind the Rocket'', a recording engineer and talent scout who had ''agreements with two record companies to locate and record hillbilly and race music''. Sam, wrote reporter Lydel Syms, ''is convinced the Rocket will move out of the race field into general popularity. He says Jackie will get 31/2 percent of the retail record sales, plus whatever his contract calls for on the sheet music. Jackie, when I talked to him about it, said that if he makes enough out of it he's going to buy one of those cars''. 

Sam Phillips sent a copy of the story to Gene Nobles the day it came out, along with his sincere thanks to ''fellows like you'' and Bob Umbach and Dewey Phillips and pioneering black disc jockey Al Benson in Chicago, not just for playing the record but for believing in it. Sam also enclosed a new release ''by another artist that I have scouted for Leonard''. This was the single featuring Ike's two vocals 0credited, as promised, to ''Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm''). It had, in fact, been released virtually simultaneously but, despite Sam's claim to Gene that it was ''going good in this territory'', with far less fanfare than ''Rocket 88''.

Assignment: Memphis -
Article by Lydel Syms, March 28, 1951, Memphis Commercial Appeal
 
ROCKET BECOMES FLYING DISC, SPINS TOWARD RECORD GLORY – If you have a song you can't  get published, you might ask Sam Phillips for help. Look what he did for ''Rocket 88''! You may not have  heard this musical explosion yet, but I expect you will. I'm afraid you are utterly doomed to hear it, sooner or  later. Brace yourself now and check your shock absorbers. 
 
Sam, the recorder behind the Rocket, is the closest  thing I've found to a Memphis contact-man for song-writers. Even he is not in the sheet music business, but  he does know people who are. What he does, as operator of Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union, is to  locate and record songs for record companies. He makes the acetate masters from which the retail platters  spring.
 
ALSO A TALENT SCOUT – That means he is a recording engineer, but he's also a talent scout. He has  agreements with two recording companies to locate and record hillbilly and ''race'' music. Race numbers are  those tailored for the Negro trade. Sam auditions musicians with original songs, when he finds something  he's sure will sell, he gets it on the acetate and sends it to one of the companies. He doesn't charge the  musicians anything; like them, he gets his from the company, unproductive auditions are just part of the days  work. Let's use ''Rocket 88'' as a thumping, throbbing case history. B.B. King of Memphis, one of the race  artists Sam has been recording, passed the word along to Ike Turner, a Negro band leader of Clarksdale,  Mississippi, that the market was open. Ike brought his band up for an audition.
 
OOZIN' AND CRUISIN' ALONG – His vocalist, Jackie Brenston, had composed ''Rocket 88'', a red-hot  daydream of high life in a convertible. The car in the lyrics goes ''oozin' an' cruisin' along'', but the song  could hardly be said to ooze. It erupts. Sam was sure it would hit. He got the acetate on a plane to Chicago  that night. Chess Records took it, sent Jackie a contract, arranged for sheet music to be published and went  into production. Just to complete the local picture on it, copies of the record for distribution in this are being  pressed at Plastic Products, Inc. Sam is convinced the Rocket will move out of the race field into general p opularity. He says Jackie will gets 3 ½ per cent of the retail record sales, plus whatever his contract calls for  on the sheet music. Jackie, when I talked to him about it, said that if he makes enough out of it he's going to  buy one of those cars.
 
GLAD TO LOOK IT OVER – But to go back to the songwriter's angle, which started all this. Sam's direct  search is for musician-composers in the hillbilly or race field who can record their own songs. But he may  branch out some day, and he figures its to his interest to know what's being done around here in the whole  field of popular music. So he says if anybody wants to bring him a song, he'll be glad to look it over. If he  thinks it has merit, he'll send it to one of the publishing firms he's become acquainted with through his  recording work. Whether they take it or not, he says, they'll at least give it serious consideration. He says  he'll be glad to do this, but please don't fight with him if he doesn't think your song has merit. And there will  be no charge.
 
Let me make that no-charge business clear, some song-writers are bound and determined to have a recording  of their song made, they think that will help sell it to a publisher. From what I can learn, this is probably a  waste of money. Sam agrees, and he's in the recording business. So if you insist on making a recording  against advice, that's another matter. That costs money. And if you're stubborn enough to do it, don't say I got  you into it''.
 
This article it appeared in the March 28th, 1951 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal for posterity.
 MARCH 29, 1951 THURSDAY
 
The USS Valley Forge returns from the Korean War for repairs in San Diego. Crewman Scotty Moore is reassigned to the USS Boxer, then to the naval base. Moore is bound to become the first guitarist for Elvis Presley.
 
MARCH 30, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Roy Rogers is framed in a cattle-theft scheme as ''Heart Of The Rockies'' debuts in theaters. Foy Willing and The Riders Of The Purple Sage provide their usual support.
 
APRIL 1951
 
Sam Phillips cuts ''Ouch! Pretty Baby'' b/w ''Saddled The Cow'' (RPM 324), another Rosco Gordon session for   RPM Records at Memphis Recording Service in Memphis (Session details unknown).
 
Modern Records releases Walter Horton's first single "Now Tell Me Baby" b/w "Little Boy Blue"  ( Modern 809), under the pseudonym "Mumbles".
 
Chess Records releases Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" b/w "Come Back Where You Belong" (Chess   1458). Brenston forms a touring band with Wilbur & Luther Steinberg, Narvel Campbell, and   Calvin Newborn.
 
The Biharis release Rosco Gordon's first record ''Roscoe's Boogie'' b/w ''City Woman'' (RPM 322).
 
Six European nations sign the Treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community during April of 1951. The treaty was signed by Italy, France, Belgium, West Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The six countries joined together in an economic union in what was a precursor to the creation of the European Union. The treaty came into effect during July of the next 1952 and it remained in effect until 2002.
 
APRIL 1, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell kick off the only concert tour they will work together in Little Rock, Arkansas.
 
Pop singer Henry Gross, best known for his 1976 hit ''Shannon'' is born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1969, he co-founds the 1950s revival group Sha Na Na. In 1996, he had a country hit as a songwriter on BlackHawk's ''Big Guitar''.
 
APRIL 4, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Steve Gatlin, second of The Garlin Brothers, is born in Olney, Texas. Along with brothers Larry and Rudy, their tight harmonies propel them to a Grammy award for ''Broken Lady'' and three trophies from the Academy of Country Music.
 
APRIL 7-8, 1951 SATURDAY/SUNDAY
 
This weekend, the ''Delta Cats'' label disappeared altogether when the band debuted for two nights at the W.C. Handy Theatre, 2353 Park Avenue, the Orange Mound neighborhood in Memphis, where B.B. King had first stayed with his cousin Booker White. ''First Time In Memphis'', the handbill announced, with the kind of staggered layout and alternating script, typeface sizes, and dramatically placed stars that the times favored.
 
Sam Phillips invited Mike McGee, the fill-in music editor for the Commercial Appeal, to see the show, sitting up in the balcony with Mike and his wife in the only seating available to whites. Sam had no idea how Mike was going to like the show, but the figured it was worth a shot. ''Mike was a man in his mid-fifties, he was anything but a music connoisseur, he had been in real estate, at the paper, and I think he went out there with me more or less, out of, curiosity. But Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston put on a helluva show'', said Sam 
 
And so did Rufus and Bones duo, with Robert "Bones" Couch,  the comedy team who MCed the weekly amateur show at both the Handy and the Palace theaters. It was a memorable evening in every respect, the house was packed, and people were lined up around the block. But Sam still wasn't sure of Mike's reaction until his story came out the following week.
 
He had been a little ''hazy'', McGee confessed to the good people of Memphis, about ''just what ''Rocket 88'' might be, but, that no longer is true. It is, we must report, like two tomcats meeting on a tin roof.
 
McGee wrote, ''Sam Phillips of the Memphis Recording Co., who recorded the number for Chess Records, took us around to the Handy the other night to hear the recording orchestra from Greenwood, Miss., do the number. John Brochstein, more accurately, of course, Jackie Brenston, does an extremely capable job with the vocal but what was impressive was the performance of Ike Turner and His Rhythm Boys, the recording orchestra, also from Greenwood. Folks who have wondered if the Negro race would ever produce another pianist of the Fats Waller caliber can stop wondering. Ike Turner is the hottest piano player in many a day. He's not only all over the keyboard like a blanket over a baby's crib, he's one of the few who attemps it who can really play a piano and tap dance at the same time. In fact he can even get on top of the piano and play the thing upside down''.  The Handy theatre was demolished in December 2012.
 
APRIL 7, 1951 SATURDAY
 
Restless Heart drummer John Dittrich is born in Batavia, New York. He provides harmonies on a strong of 1980s hits sings lead on ''When She Cries'' in 1992. Dittrich also co-founds the short-lived group The Buffalo Club.
 
Pop singer and songwriter Janis Ian is born in New York. Best known for her recordings ''Society's Child'' and ''At Seventeen'', she gains a country hit as a songwriter when she co-writes the 1988 Judy Rodman single ''I Want A Love Like That''.
 
APRIL 8, 1951 MONDAY
 
''Thunder In God's Country'' debuts in theaters, with Rex Allen and Buddy Ebsen. Allen sings ''Molly darling''.
 
Bass player Mel Chacher is born in Owosso, Michigan. As a member of Grand Funk, he plays on the 1973 hit ''We're An American Band'', referenced in the lyrics of The Eli Young Band country hit ''Always The Love Song''.
 
Singer/songwriter Jim Photoglo is born in Los Angeles. Following a career as a pop artist, he moves to Nashville, where he pens Alabama's ''Hometown Honeymoon'' and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's ''Fishin' In The Dark''.
 
APRIL 9, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Songwriter Bob Corbin is born in Butler, Pennsylvania. He joins Dave Hanner to form The Corbin/Hanner Band but finds his largest success by writing Alabama's ''Can't Keep A Good Man Down'' and ''(There's A) Fire In The Night''.
 
Decca released Red Foley's  ''Hobo Boogie'', and The Weavers' only country hit, ''On Top Of Old Smokey''.
 
APRIL 14, 1951 SATURDAY
 
Bill Monroe is served a court summons in a lawsuit brought by songwriter Tomie Thompson, who claims Monroe has not properly credited him for the lyrics to ''Kentucky Waltz''. Monroe admits Thompson wrote them, but insists he bought them.
 
APRIL 15, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Texas Playboys guitarist Junior Barnard dies a Fresco Country General Hospital in California after a car crash. He played on ''Bob Wills Boogie'', ''Brain Cloudy Blues'' and ''White Cross On Okinawa'', as well as Johnnie Lee Wills' ''Milk Cow Blues''.
 
APRIL 16, 1951 MONDAY
 
Eddy Arnold recorded ''Call Her Your Sweetheart'' at RCA's New York studio.
 
Gene Autry sings songs written by Acuff-Rose founder Fred Rose in the debut of ''Whirlwind'', also featuring Smiley Burnette and Frankie Marvis.
 
APRIL 17, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Eddy Arnold recorded ''Heart Strings'' and ''Bundle Of Southern Sunshine'' at RCA's New York studio.
 
At the radio station the gibes just kept on coming, in fact, if anything, they came at an even more accelerated pace, now that Sam Phillips' secret was out. He continued to send sides to Modern, five by Rosco Gordon on this date (including two cut numbers, ''Ouch! Pretty Baby'' and ''Sadled The Cow (And Milked The Horse'' and five more by Joe Hill Louis two weeks later. It does not seem to have dawned on anyone yet, neither Sam nor the Bihari brothers, for that matter, how the altogether unanticipated success of ''Rocked 88'' might imperil their relationship.
 
APRIL 18, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Eddy Arnold recorded ''I Wanna Play House With You'', ''Trouble In Mind'' and ''Somebody's Been Beating My Time'' at RCA's New York studio.
 
APRIL 19, 1951 THURSDAY
 
Big Joe Turner recorded the rhythm and blues hit ''Chains Of Love'' in New York City. More than 25 years later, it's is re-recorded as a country hit by Mickey Gilley.
 
Deposed general Douglas MacArthur addresses a joint session of Congress, saying, ''Old soldiers never die, they just fade away''. Inspired by the statement, Gene Autry writes ''Old Soldiers Never Die'', which he recorded the next day.
 
APRIL 20, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Gene Autry recorded ''Old Soldiers Never Die'', a song inspired by a Douglas MacArthur speech, to honor those who served in World War II and the Korean War.
 
APRIL 22, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Steel guitarist Reuben Gosfield Gosfield is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Using the stage name Lucky Ocean, he joins Ray Benson in founding Asleep At The Wheel, a western-swing band best known for its 1975 hit ''The Letter That Johnny Walker Read''.
 
APRIL 23, 1951 MONDAY
 
Decca released Red Foley and Ernest Tubb's ''The Strange Little Girl''.
 
APRIL 27, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Paul ''Ace'' Frehley is born in New York. He becomes the space-garbed guitarist for Kiss, a rock band that influences Garth Brooks' concert performances. Brooks remakes the group's ''Hard Luck Woman'' for a 1993 tribute album, ''Kiss Mt Ass''.
 
MGM released a two-sided Hank Williams hit ''Howlin' At The Moon'' backed with ''I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)''.
 
Johnny Cash completes training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he's learned to intercept Morse code from Soviet transmissions.
 
APRIL 29, 1951 SUNDAY
 
NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt is born in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He's name checked in the 2003 Chris Cagle single ''Chicks Dig It'' and the 2009 Tim McGraw hit ''Southern Voice''.
 
APRIL 30, 1951 MONDAY
 
Columbia released Ray Price's debut single, the Lefty Frizzell-penned ''If You're Ever Lonely Darling''.
 
Studio session with Joe Hill Louis at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR ROSCO GORDON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR RPM RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE APRIL 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
01(1) – ''OUCH! PRETTY BABY'' – B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH51-2-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD 213-6 mono
ROSCO GORDON - LET'S GET HIGH
 
01(2) – ''OUCH! PRETTY BABY'' – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1555 Master - > RPM 324-338 Series <
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 324-A mono
OUCH! PRETTY BABY / SADDLED THE COW
Reissued: 1980 Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace 10 CH 26 mono
THE BEST OF ROSCO GORDON - VOLUME 1
02 – ''SADDLED THE COW (AND MILKED THE HORSE)'' – B.M.I. - 2:54
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1556 Master - > RPM 324-338 Series <
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 324-B mono
SADDLED THE COW / OUCH! PRETTY BABY
Reissued: 1980 Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace 10 CH 26 mono
THE BEST OF ROSCO GORDON - VOLUME 1
 
03 – ''YOU CAN'T TREAT ME RIGHT'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH51-2-5 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2
 
04 – ''THAT GAL OF MINE'' – B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH51-1-3 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - 2009 JSP Records Internet iTunes MP3-5 mono
ROSCO GORDON - LET'S GET HIGH
 
05 – ''TELL ME, TELL ME BABY'' – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH51-1-2 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Probably Ray Jones - Alt Saxophone
Probably Man Son or Murry Daley - Drums
More Details Unknown
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR JOE HILL LOUIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR MODERN RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 30, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
The latter performance would have ruled it out for release because it stumbles near the beginning but it does include two very fine and low down guitar solos. John Lee Hooker's guitar is brought to mind at times and a couple of the unissued sides reflect Muddy Waters' influence. ''Big Legged Woman'' reverts to chorded guitar, taken at breakneck speed. Joe sometimes seems to anticipate rock and roll, as he does here on ''Gotta Go Baby''. It includes the accompanying 'clapping' or 'bones' that Sam Phillips recalls.
 
01(1) – ''GOTTA GO BABY'' – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MM 1629 Master - > Modern 831-868 Series <
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 839-A mono
GOTTA GO BABY / BIG LEGGED WOMAN
Reissued: - 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 803 mono
BOOGIE IN THE PARK
 
01(2) – ''GOTTA GO BABY'' – B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MM 1629 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm LP 2383-214 mono
BLUE IN THE MORNING
Reissued: 2009 Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes MP3-33 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - ESSENTIAL BLUES MASTERS 
 
02(1) – ''JOE HILL BOOGIE (BOOGIE WOOGIE ALL NIGHT)'' – B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - EMI Music Publishing Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1630 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - P-Vine Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD PVC 22002 mono
GOTTA BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: - 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 803-16 mono
BOOGIE IN THE PARK
 
02(2) – ''JOE HILL BOOGIE'' - 1 – B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951 - Take 1 - Fast Version
Released: - 1995
Released: - January 5, 2009
First appearance:  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 1003-6 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS  VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN 
 
02(3) – ''JOE HILL BOOGIE'' - 2 – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951 - Take 2 - Slow Version
Released: - January 5, 2009
First appearance:  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 1003-9 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS  VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN
03 – ''BIG LEGGED WOMAN'' – B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MM 1631 Master - > Modern 831-868 Series <
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 839-B mono
BIG LEGGED WOMAN / GOTTA GO BABY
Reissued: - 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 803 mono
BOOGIE IN THE PARK
 
04 – ''EARLY IN THE MORNING (NEAR ABOUT THE BREAK OF DAY)'' – B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - Wabash Music Corporation
Matrix number: - MM 1632 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - P-Vine Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD PVC 22002 mono
GOTTA BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: - 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 803-15 mono
BOOGIE IN THE PARK
 
05 – ''HIGHWAY 99'' – B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis-Sam Ling
Publisher: - BMG Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
Released: - 1970
First appearance: - Kent Records (LP) 33rpm LP 9002-4 mono
ANTHOLOGY OF THE BLUES - MEMPHIS BLUES - ARCHIVE SERIES - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 803-12 mono
BOOGIE IN THE PARK
 
06 – ''I TOLD YOU BABY''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None -  Unissued
Recorded: - April 30, 1951
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis – Vocal, Harmonica, Guitar, Hi-Hat, Bass Drum
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MAY 1951

Sam Phillips records B.B. King for RPM Records.

Sam Phillips records Rufus Thomas for the first time and sends the dubs to Chess Records.

"Rocket 88" enters the Billboard's Rhythm and Blues charts at number 4. Jackie Brenston's back-up band, featuring Wilbur & Luther Steinberg, cut two sides for Sam Phillips, who forwards the dubs to Chess Records. "Ridin' The Boogie" b/w "She Really Treats Me Wrong" is rush-released as a single on Chess 1465 under the pseudonym "Lou Sargent".

Joe Hill Louis returns to the studio to cut a cover version of "Eyesight To The Blind", a regional hit for Sonny Boy Williamson on Trumpet and the Larks on Apollo.

And then at the beginning of May 1951 it all seemed to catch up with Sam Phillips. He was working eighteen to twenty hours a day, he was down to 123, 124 pounds, fifteen pounds less than what he normally carried on his slender fivefoot-nine-inch frame; and just like in Decatur he could feel the onset of the panic attacks that he had experienced from time to time ever since he was a boy. At what should have been his moment of greatest triumph he simply ran out of physical and emotional steam. Just as before he couldn't turn his mind off, the worries kept whirring and whirring around, and he finally told his wife Becky he couldn't stand it anymore, he needed to be admitted to GartlyRamsay Hospital out on Jackson, they were the best psychiatric hospital in the city, he told her, and he thought he needed some more electroshock.

Dr. Dick McCool, director of Electro-convulsive Therapy at Gartly-Ramsay, agreed. But, he told Sam, there was no guarantee of the results. Sam had eight electroshock treatments, one each day, with another five or six days in the hospital to recuperate. Marion Keisker was able to keep the business going and took over some of Sam's duties at the WREC radio station. She had been in a terrible state when Sam first went into the hospital, she had frantically besieged Becky the initial results, but she was no more surprised than Becky, she had seen it coming all along.

When Sam Phillips went back to work, everybody at the station seemed to treat him like he was just going to fall apart, and Becky confided that Dr. McCool had told her in confidence he really shouldn't be pressed too much at this point, maybe ever. He pored over the therapeutic papers that Dr. McCool had given him, papers with titles like ''Therapeutic Relaxation Treatment Procedures'', which advocated fifteen minutes of Bibliotherapy followed by half an hour of Educated Therapy and then capped by reciting the expression ''Feeling fine'' twenty times each day. But it was Dr. McCool's lack of faith that in the end Sam felt was the best therapy of all. Everybody tiptoeing around him like he was some kind of damn invalid only challenged him to find that inner strength he had always possessed, ''the strength that says, Okay, I can do it''.

The United States performs the first thermonuclear weapon test during May of 1951 as a part of “Operation Greenhouse.” The test was conducted at the Enewetak Atoll and the blast, named “George,” was the first successful small-scale demonstration of a non-weaponized hydrogen bomb. The test confirmed to scientists working on the project that the foundation of their design worked and it would be possible to create a large-scale hydrogen bomb. The U.S. would go on to to test the first full-scale thermonuclear hydrogen bomb during November of 1952 with “Ivy Mike” in “Operation Ivy''.

MAY 2, 1951 WEDNESDAY

Bass player Mike Fleming is born in Evansville, Indiana. As a member of the bluegrass band The Steel Drivers, he takes part in recording ''Blue Side Of The Mountain'', a country Grammy nomination in 2009.

MAY 6, 1951 SUNDAY

Johnny and Jack recorded ''Cryin' Heart Blues''.

MAY 9, 1951 WEDNESDAY

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs recorded ''Don't Get Above Your Raisin'', covered some 30 years later by Ricky Skaggs.

MAY 12, 1950 SATURDAY

Hank Williams ''Cold Cold Heart'' reaches number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

MAY 1951
 
Like most of the true greats Sam Phillips recorded, Chester Burnett, a.k.a. Howlin' Wolf,  brought to the studio a style that he neither cared to alter nor could possibly improve. Dressed in his field overalls, with holes cut in his oversize shoes to accommodate his corns,  Wolf made his recording debut in the summer of 1951. Leaving his small group to find their  way as best they could, he began to sing his unearthly tales of darkness and pain.
 
Chester Burnett had been a farmer, blues singer, and soldier by the time he first recorded.  His adopted nickname, though far from original, fitted him with made-to-measure precision. 
 
Born near Aberdeen, Mississippi, on June 10, 1910, Burnett developed a fondness for the  music of the primordial Delta bluesman Charley Patton, who lived near the Burnett family  after they moved to Ruleville, Mississippi. After four years in the service, between 1941 and  1945, Burnett returned to farming near Penton, Mississippi, before deciding to move to West Memphis, Arkansas.
 
Soon after coming to West Memphis, Wolf secured steady work playing whorehouses, black  baseball parks, and other spots that catered to country folk in search of a little diversion.  The feral energy with which he sang added a new dimension to the traditional Delta blues  upon which he based his style. Wolf landed a spot on KWEM in 1950. Monday through  Saturday, he appeared between 4:45 and 5:00 P.M., lacing his blues with pitches for grain  and fertilizer. In his fortieth year, he became a hot item among the rural blacks around  Memphis.
 
''A disc jockey from West Memphis told me about Wolf's show'', recalled Sam Phillips to  Robert Palmer. ''When I heard him, 'I said, 'This is for me. This is where the soul of man  never dies'. Then the Wolf came to the studio and he was about six foot six, with the biggest  feet I've ever seen on a human being. Big Foot Chester is one name they used to call him. He  would sit there with those feet planted wide apart, playing nothing but the French harp and I  tell you, the greatest sight you could see today would be Chester Burnett doing one of those  sessions in my studio. God, what it would be worth to see the fervor in that man's face when  he sang. His eyes would light up, you'd see the veins on his neck and, buddy, there was  nothing on his mind but that song. He sang with his damn soul!''.
 
MAY 1951
 
Sam Phillips must have liked what he heard of the Ike Turner's piano playing at the ''Rocket 88'' session because, a few weeks later, he used Ike backing the blues giant (in all senses of the word) Chester ''Howlin' Wolf'' Burnett on his wonderful loping blues boogie ''How Many More Years''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
The first demo session for Howlin' Wolf at Memphis Recording Service framed by the small group he had assembled in West Memphis. There are records of some 60 complete tracks recorded by Howlin' Wolf at Sam Phillips' studio in Memphis and down the road in West Memphis, Arkansas, about two and a half years. Most of this material founds its way to Chess Records in Chicago, although the open double-dealing whereby tapes also went to RPM/Modern lingered for a while, as with the 1952 RPM single "My Baby Stole Off'/"I Want Your Picture". But it meant that Leonard Chess need not hurry the Wolf into a Chicago session, even though that initial hit was not repeated in such Memphis Chess releases as "The Wolf Is At Your Door", "Saddle My Pony", "Oh Red" and "All Night Boogie", all of them powerful witnesses to the singers' outstanding talent. sales ticked over while the Wolf established his club reputation, and Chess was kept busy with hits by other members of his growing blues stable.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR HOWLIN' WOLF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: POSSIBLY MAY 14, 15, 1951 (POSSIBLY EARLIER)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER
 
MOST OF THE REPERTOIRE ON THIS SESSION WAS DUBBED 
FROM ACETATE OR DISC SOURCE
MANY OF THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES HAVE BEEN LOST
 
"If you ain't thought about, you ain't talked about".
"And they talks about me every day".
Big Foot Chester (courtesy of Dick Shurman)
 
The sessions took place on different dates and the May 14 date may apply to one of them. Phillips sent the dubs to RPM/Modern, and may have sent them to Chess.
 
They concentrated on two songs on this session, that changed with every take, throbbing mid-tempo blues called ''How Many More Years'' which seemed to be Wolf's calling card, and a more conventional up-tempo number, ''Baby Ride With Me'', that served as a showcase for Wolf's pulsating rhythmic drive and Willie Johnson's unrelenting attack. For one of the few times in his life, Sam Phillips couldn't think of a thing to do. ''I was totally blinded by the sound of his voice. I'm not sure that I heard anything in the way of instrumentation. I mean, I was sure enough that I knew I didn't have everything quite right. But his distinctiveness was so overwhelming to me that I could find a way to make a suggestion. Wolf and Willie alone, I knew it wasn't going to wind up with that, it would wind up with, more, structure on the piano, but I didn't want anything much but Wolf, I mean, the minute I opened the microphones and that look came over his face, like, 'I'm getting ready, I'm getting ready, everybody else better be ready, too''.
 
But he knew he could do better, once the initial spell began to wear off. He knew the Wolf had even more to offer than just the elemental energy that poured out of him, he knew he could do more to bring it out, not by complicating things by by simplifying them, by helping to frame all the contradictory ingredients that constituted the uncategorizable whole.
 
He did add a piano in subsequent sessions, if only to fill out the bare bones of the sound, and they continued to work on the same two songs, always subtly changing, and sometimes not so subtly. Sam Phillips continued to be overwhelmed by the sheer force of the music and by the intensity of its presentation. He was fascinating by the Wolf, mesmerized each time the man sat down at the mike with his harps spread out all around him.
 
01(1) - "BABY RIDE WITH ME (RIDIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT)" – B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Chester Burnett-J.L. Sanders
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possible May 14, 1951 or earlier
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-21 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1
 
01(2) - "BABY RIDE WITH ME (RIDIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT)" – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Chester Burnett-J.L. Sanders
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-1 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
01(3) - "BABY RIDE WITH ME (RIDIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT)" – B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Chester Burnett-J.L. Sanders
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-18 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
01(4) - "BABY RIDE WITH ME (RIDIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT)" – B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Chester Burnett-J.L. Sanders
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-19 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
01(5) - "BABY RIDE WITH ME (RIDIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT)" – B.M.I.
Composer: - Chester Burnett-J.L. Sanders
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - Unknown
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm CH 52 mono
RIDIN' IN THE MOONLIGHT
 
Sam was so struck by his differentness, he was so drawn to the particularity of his demeanor, but he didn't want to over promise anything. He simply suggested that maybe Wolf could come in with his band sometime, they could try a few things, just see what they could get. Wolf showed up several days later with a guitarist and drummer in tow, plus an assortment of harmonicas, and before long the trio was just blowing as if Sam wasn't even in the room, encouraging one another with unrestrained shouts while he switched the mikes around and adjusted the levels to get the absolutely maximum out of each individual sound. Most of all, though, he was just stunned by the uniqueness, the overwhelming thrust, subtlety, and power of the Wolf's voice, as riveting an instrument as he had ever encountered in all his life.
 
According to Sam Phillips, ''He would set in the middle of the studio and he would stretch those long legs and his feet out in front of him, his feet had to be a number sixteen shoe. And when he opened up his mouth to sing, this guy hypnotized himself along with you. To see him on a session, it was just the greatest show, the fervor in than man's face, his eyes rolling up into his head, sweat popping out all over, setting up on the front of his chair and locked into telling you individually about his trials and tribulations. He's the only artist I ever recorded that I wish I could have had a camera on, the vitality of that man was something else''.
 
02(1) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS" – B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possibly May 14, 1951 or earlier
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-20 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1
 
02(2) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS" – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer:- Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-16 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
02(3) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS"
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - Unknown - Take 2
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - Sun Unissued - Damaged
 
02(4) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS" – B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-17 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2
 
02(5) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS" – B.M.I.
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 4
Recorded: - May 14, 1951 Possibly June
Released: - Sun Unissued
 
The guitarist Willie Johnson's playing very nearly matched its inspiration as Johnson, a small, dark-skinned man of twenty-eight with a cherubic face and haunted eyes, created the effect almost of playing two guitars at once, a role imposed upon him perhaps by the trio format but one that he would very likely have carried out in any context by the sheer inventiveness of his playing. He combined not just lead and rhythm in the conventional sense, putting together a combination of thick, clotted chords and deftly distorted single-string runs, but then he threw in bebop inflections, along with echoes of T-Bone Walker's delicate phrasing and the dirtiest sound you could ever imagine being drawn from an electric guitar.
 
Drummer Willie Steele meanwhile socked away with undiminished good cheer, while Wolf's harp playing filled the air with a broad pneumatic vibrato, as guitar and harmonica fused to create a single impenetrable line of attack.
 
But it was Wolf, Wolf's voice, that unwaveringly compelled attention. It was a voice that mixed the roughest elements of the Delta blues styles on which he had been weaned with its most graceful modulations, cutting through the studio atmosphere with a sandpaper rasp, an almost overwhelming ferocity, but retaining at the same time a curious lyricism, a knowing combination of fury and fragility, which set it off from any other blues singer in that rich tradition. It was at one and the same time, Sam Phillips would always say in later years with his ingrained love of paradox, both the worst voice he had ever heard in his life and, in its own inimitable way, the most beautiful. There was no other way of saying it, he sang ''with his damn soul''.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal and Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Willie Steele - Drums
James Cotton - Harmonica
Ike Turner - Piano
 
"It was Ike Turner got us recording", said James Cotton. "He played piano and was acting as some kind of talent scout for the Sun label. They was paying him to find people to record, so we went in there and recorded "Moanin' At Midnight" and "How Many More Years". It was a little old room, we just played how we felt and Sam Phillips kept himself busy getting the microphones right. We didn't think we were making a new sound or anything, we were just playing the way we played. Sam Phillips got real excited, he was real friendly and far as I was concerned he was a real nice person... Then Wolf decided he was gonna go up to Chicago, so  he left Willie Johnson behind and took Hubert Sumlin along with him".
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
In a studio conversation added as a coda to the Charly boxed set of his work, which like all Chess material  on the Charly label was deleted in 1996 when MCA Records won the rights to the catalogue, after a long and  bitter dispute, Howlin' Wolf recalled his start in music:
 
"I was ploughing, ploughing four mules on the plantation. And a man come there picking a guitar called  Charley Patton. And I liked his sound, so I always did wanna play guitar. So I got him to show me a few  chords, y'know, and so every night that I'd get off work I'd go his house and he'd learn me how to pick the  guitar. So I got good with it and I went out for myself''.
 
''I got out there and everything was great, with the people seeing what I was putting down. Then I decided I  would play so I asked my father to get me a guitar...".
 
"Then along comes Sonny Boy with the harp, Rice Miller, he married my sister then he learned me how to  blow the harp. Then I went to play from there. I been playing ever since.
 
I been playing through Arkansas,  Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and around Kentucky. I never was in Texas but I played all over the cottonbelt  country, y'know, so that's what started me playing the blues". "Then I had a woman, she was kinda nice  to me, then she pulled off and left me. And that give me the blues sure 'nuff. I went to Howlin' like a dog  then, you know what I mean. So I's been playing ever since".
 
Pop' Stapless, head of the family gospel group the Staples Singers, has recalled seeing Patton and the Wolf  working at this time.
"My daddy though the blues was the devil's music. Wouldn't even let me play the guitar,  said that was the instrument of the devil too. So I'd sneak out of the house, and that's how  I saw Charley Patton and Wolf, when I was 12 or 13 years old. It would be where someone  had a big house, and on Saturday night they'd organize a dance. ladies would be cooking  chicken and chitlin' in the kitchen, and they'd have a room for gambling, playing cards,  drinking bootleg liquor, and a big room out in front where they'd play and dance".
 
"Charley and me was on the same plantation, he'd always be playing there, and Wolf came  along later. Wolf was my main man. Charley Patton was a good man, far as I know - I was young, and didn't know about his life or anything''.
 
''But Wolf, I thought he was the greatest  thing. A big guy, a real tall handsome man, he was really something else. He was just a few  years older than me, but he was so powerful I wouldn't even dare speak to him. They were  already calling him Wolf then.
 
He was playing with Charley, I think he was maybe playing  Charley's songs, but he was something different altogether. As far as I was concerned, he was  the blues", according Howlin' Wolf.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Years ago, it was assumed that the William Stewart who recorded unamplified blues at Sun was the same guy who played unamplified acoustic guitar with the Prisonaires. Even Sam Phillips claimed to remember Stewart playing cottonpatch blues. This, we're certain now, is not the case. For one thing, the guitarist with the Prisonaires was a harmonically sophisticated player; Talking Boy Stewart was most assuredly not. And a newly-discovered note in the tape box dates the session 1951 when the Prisonaires were securely confined elsewhere. That said, we know very little of William talking Boy Stewart.

These were, as far as we know his only recordings, and he sounds as if he came up from points South without listening to much of what happened in blues after about 1929.

STUDIO SESSION FOR WILLIAM ''TALKING BOY'' STEWART
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY MAY 14 OR 15, 1951
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS 
 
01(1) - "COUNTRY FARM BLUES" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-5-12 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
The presence of old Mississippi looms heavy over ''Counrty Farm Blues''. With a layer of crackle and hiss, you could easily believe that it had been recorded twenty or more earliers. In fact, Son House recorded a more-or-less unrelated ''Mississippi County Farm Blues'', as did Bukka White and others. Both House and White knew whereof they sung because both had served time at Mississippi's Parchman Farm (as had Elvis Presley's father), but Stewart leaves no clue to tell us which country farm is on his mind. true, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins were selling records rooted in rural blues around 1951, but they brought a sheen of modernity (and in Hooker's case electricity) to their music. William Stewart gave every indication of having just arrived from the late 1920s.
 
There's some confusion about exactly who's gone out on the country farm; in his second verse, he  sings, "Well my gal done left me, gone out on the county farm". Its a bit like, "Have a sandwich,   my feet are killing me". Given the context of the other verses, perhaps there should've been an   "I've" separating the two statements.
 
02(1) - "THEY CALL ME TALKING BOY" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - August 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-B-3 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 12 – UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-5-13 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
It don't get much more primitive than this. This is backporch music to the extreme: one foot, one guitar. Like many bluesmen of this style, Stewart changes chords when he wants to, and that muse seems to be pretty erratic. The lyrics are a string of blues cliches, and the title is possibly a Sam Phillips concoction. This track is more a documentary than an attempt at commercial recording. This song is a calling card, ''They call me Talking Boy/but that's well understood/it ain't my name/my name is William Stewart''. As with several of these songs, some verses are wholly unintelligible.
 
02(2) - "THEY CALL ME TALKING BOY" - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued - Take 2
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
 
03 - "RATTLESNAKE MAMA" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - August 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-B-2 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 12 – UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-5-14 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Another figure from the past is evoked here, this time the shade of Blind Boy Fuller, who recorded  "I'm A Rattlesnakin' Daddy" back in 1935. By dying in 1941, Fuller was spared the horror of hearing this, quite possibly the worst ever adaptation of this song.  This time the accompaniment is strummed but the  untutored air remains intact. Stewart sings in a curiously adenoidal tone, which again poses the  question, is he imitating someone else's delivery? He also lapses into a coarser vocal tone at times, before retreating back up his nasal passages.
 
04 - "FORTY FOUR BLUES" - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Krazy Kat Records (LP) 33rpm KK 7427 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES - UNISSUED TITLES FROM THE 1950
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-5-15 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
This is performed at a faster tempo than most of his repertoire and doesn't follow the verse structure  of the familiar "Forty Four Blues" in other bluesmen's songbooks: "Well I said 'Good mornin' Mr  Pawnshop man'/just as I rapped upon his door/I ain't in no hurry but I need my 44". William Stewart  even manages to put a macabre turn on the one verse tag he does use: "I wore my 44 so long it  made my shoulder sore/after I find that woman (and) kill her, won't wear that thing no mer". In the  light of Pat Hare's later "Gonna Murder My Baby", is there an added dimension to this verse?
 
Other verses are his own, but he's trying his damndest to set them to the famous. ''44 Blues''. Some reckon that song originated before Little Brother Montgomery and Roosevelt Sykes popularized it in the 1920s, but it has had a long afterlife with recordings by Johnny Winter, Little Feat, the Black Crowes and many others, most of whom take their cue from Howlin' Wolf's 1954 version. If this were the only version, the song wouldn't have had so many takers.
 
05 - "BLACK SNAKE BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Krazy Kat Records (LP) 33rpm KK 7427 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES - UNISSUED TITLES FROM THE 1950
Reissued: - June 25, 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
WILLIAM TALKING BOY STEWART
 
06(1) - "HEY GAL" - B.M.I. - 1:44
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 37 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued: - June 25, 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
WILLIAM TALKING BOY STEWART
 
06(2) - "HEY GAL" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 37 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued: - June 25, 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
WILLIAM TALKING BOY STEWART
 
07 - "I LOVE MY BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 37 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued: - June 25, 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
WILLIAM TALKING BOY STEWART
 
08 - "TALKING BOY" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 37 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued: - June 25, 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
WILLIAM TALKING BOY STEWART
 
09 - ''HEY, LITTLE GIRL''
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: -   Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
 
10 - ''I GONNA LEAVE HERE WALKIN'''
Composer: - William Stewart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: -   Probably May 14 or 15, 1951
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Stewart – Vocal and Guitar
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
MAY 15, 1951 TUESDAY
 
Roy Rogers is caught up in a drough-related scandal with the movie debut of ''In Old Amarillo'', featuring an appearance by Pat Brady
 
Buck Owens relocates from Phoenix, Arizona, to Bakersfield, California, with his family, including wife Bonnie Owens and son Buddy Alan.
 
MAY 18, 1951 FRIDAY
 
The movie ''Inside The Walls Of Folsom Prison'' makes its debut in American theaters. The picture inspires Johnny Cash to write ''Folsom Prison Blues''.
 
The comedic picture ''Kentucky Jubilee'' appears in movie theaters. The film includes appearances by ''Atomic Power'' songwriter Fred Kirby and steel guitar player Les ''Carrot Top'' Anderson.
 
MAY 21, 1951 MONDAY
 
Hank Williams is sent to the North Louisiana Sanatorium in Shreveport, moaning about back pain. The pain remains throughout the rest of his life.
 
Columbia released Gene Autry's ''Old Soldiers Never Die''.
 
MAY 23, 1051 WEDNESDAY
 
Mac Wiseman has his first recording session as a solo artist, cutting sides for Dot Records.
 
Judy Rodman is born in Riverside, California. After singing background on hits by George Strait, T.G. Sheppard and George Jones, Rodman develops her own solo career, earning the Academy of Country Music's Top New Female award in 1986.
 
MAY 24, 1951 THURSDAY
 
Lefty Frizzell recorded ''Always Late (With Your Kisses)'', ''How Long Will It Take (To Stop Loving You)'' and ''Mom And Dad's Waltz'' at the Jim Beck Studio in Dallas, Texas.
 
MAY 25, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Marty Robbins signs a recording contract with Columbia Records in Phoenix. He remains with the company for most of the next 31 years, racking up such classics as ''El Paso'', ''Devil Woman'' and ''My Woman, My Woman, My Wife''.
 
Faron Young graduates from Fair Park High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, ranked #236 in a class of 244.
 
MAY 26, 1951 SATURDAY
 
Songwriter Richard Leigh is born in McLean, Virginia. He writes Crystal Gayle's ''Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue'', Billy Dean's ''Somewhere In My Broken Heart'', Steve Wariner's ''Life's Highway'' and Reba McEntire's ''The Greatest Man I Never Know''.
 
Jimmy and Sue Dean have a son, Garry Taylor Dean.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR B.B. KING
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR RPM RECORDS
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
AND/OR YMCA, 254 SOUTH LAUDERDALE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: SUNDAY MAY 27, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - SAM C. PHILLIPS AND JULES BIHARI
RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Hudson Whittaker - better known as kazoo-blowing Chicago blues patriarch Tampa Red - had just cut the rollicking original "She's Dynamite" for RCA Victor in March of 1951. Then B.B. grabbed hold of it two months later for RPM, hiking its energy level in the esteemed company of two generations of Newborns, Phineas Sr. on drums and Phineas Jr. on piano.
 
Joe Bihari said to Colin Escott, ''I was in Atlanta and our distributor Jake Friedman said, 'RCA is getting a lot of jukebox plays on ''She's Dynamite'', but people can't buy the record'. So I went up to Memphis to Sam Phillips studio''. What emerged was a record that almost said more about Sam Phillips than B.B. King. Unlike the restraint of Tampa Red's original, this was modelled on the giddy, hormonal rush of ''Rocket 88''. The thunderous rhythm track and the sax teetering on the edge of atonatily were Phillips' trademarks, not B.B's. It was rock and roll in all but name. The guitarist was certainly not B.B. because he plays under the vocals... something B.B. never did. We're probably hearing Calvin Newborn on guitar and his brother, Phineas on piano. Phineas's trademark was finesse, not the jackhammer left hand called for here. Upon release, the Biharis left the composer credit ominously blank, as they unusually did when they didn't own the publishing. Phillips noted that he sent out seven dubs of ''She's Dynamite'' to disc jockeys, emphasizing the rapidity with which the record was released (ordinarly, the Biharis would have taken care of this). It showed up on some local charts (Richmond and New Orleans), but surely deserved to do better. 
 
01 - "SHE'S DYNAMITE" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Hudson Whittaker
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1563 Master - > RPM 304-323 Series <
Recorded: - May 27, 1951
Released: - June 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 323-B mono
SHE'S DYNAMITE / B.B. BLUES
Reissued: -  2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-6 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
The next recordings mainly a mystery. Original session master tapes have never been found for "Three O'Clock Blues", "That Ain't The Way To Do It" and "She Don't Move Me No More" These sides were probably cut in September at the YMCA, 254 South Lauderdale in Memphis, Tennessee, after the Biharis dispute with Sam Phillips in the summer of 1951.  As a result of a feud between Phillips and Modern over Sam handing Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" to Chess Records, the Biharis eschewed the use of Phillips' studio that September to cut what would be King's national breakthrough, "Three O'Clock Blues". "When they would come in town, usually they would bring portable equipment like Ampex 600s, things like that", said King, whose backing cast for the session included illfated pianist Johnny Ace, Sanders and Billy Duncan on saxes, and drummer Earl Forrest. "And they would set them up in any vacant place that we could find. In fact, when we made "Three O'Clock Blues", we made it at the YMCA''.
 
02 - "THREE O'CLOCK BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Jules Taub-Riley B. King
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1682 Master - > RPM 339-358 Series <
Recorded: - September 1951 / Probably May 27, 1951
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 339 mono
THREE O'CLOCK BLUES / THAT AIN'T THE WAY TO DO IT
Reissued: -  2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-13 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
The Bihari brothers recorded the first B.B. King sides at the colored YMCA on Lauderdale in Memphis. ''I called B.B., and I said, 'I'm coming in'''said the youngest brother, Joe Bihari, twenty-six-years-old and now in charge of the field recording division. ''We rented a room in the black YMCA, big room, and had to put up blankets over the windows so you wouldn't hear the noise from the cars outside''.
 
B.B. King had assembled a splendid crew of up-and-coming musicians for local gigs that he dubbed the Blues Boys. "The group first was mine, and then it was called the Beale Streeters after that," he explained.
 
"The Beale Streeters, at that time, consisted of Richard Sanders, Johnny Ace was the piano player - his name   was John Alexander, but he later started making records under his own name with the Beale Streeters.
 
In fact, the whole group was the group that I put together when we made ''Three O'Clock Blues''. But when ''Three O'Clock Blues'' became a hit and I started to work out of a booking agency called Shaw Artists Corporation, and Universal (Attractions), they didn't want me to have a band.
 
''They wanted me alone. So I left the band, and when I did, gave it to Johnny Ace. And that's when he changed it. Instead of calling it the Blues Boys as it had been, he started calling it the Beale Streeters''.
 
B.B. picked up "Three O'Clock Blues" from fellow blues guitar master Lowell Folson, who scored his own first national hit with it in late 1948. B.B's did even better, topping the Billboard's rhythm and blues charts for five weeks in February and March of 1952.
  
"That Ain't The Way To Do It", is a playful romp highly reminescent of Louis Jordan's "Ain't That Just Like A Woman" (the ebullient alto saxman was another primary King influence).
 
03(1) - "THAT AIN'T THE WAY TO DO IT" – B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1683 Master Take 1 - > RPM 339-358 Series <
Recorded: - September 1951 / Probably May 27, 1951
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 339 mono
THAT AIN'T THE WAY TO DO IT / THREE O'CLOCK BLUES
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-14 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951 
 
03(2) - ''THAT AIN'T THE WAY TO DO IT" – B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - BMG Music Publishing limited
Matrix number: - MM 1682 - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - September 1951 / Probably May 27, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-15 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
Despite a large gap in the matrix, the bonechilling "She Don't Move Me No More" apparently dates from the same session.
 
04 - "SHE DON'T MOVE ME NO MORE" – B.M.I. - 3:11
Composer: - Riley B. King
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1752 Master - > RPM 339-358 Series <
Recorded: - September 1951 / Probably May 27, 1951
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 348-B mono
SHE DON'T MOVE ME NO MORE / FINE LOOKIN' WOMAN
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-16 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Richard Sanders - Tenor Saxophone
Phineas Newborn Jr. & Ike Turner - Piano
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Possibly James Walker - Bass
Unknown - Baritone Saxophone
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Adolph "Billy" Duncan - Tenor Saxophone
Possibly Earl Forrest or Man-Son – Drums
 
Ike Turner was also present at the seminal recordings of B.B. King's massive hit ''Three O'Clock Blues'' recorded around the same time as the Howlin' Wolf session. The story goes that regular pianist Phineas Newborn Jr. couldn't get the right feel, so up steps the young Turner and hits the groove in two takes. 
 
According to Bihari, ''it just was not working, and I told everybody, I said, 'B.B., come on, everybody, take a break'''. He had been using Phineas Newborn Jr. on piano, as he recalled, ''but he played jazzy, he wasn't good a blues, or he didn't want to play blues, and that's why nothing was really happening''. During the break another piano player ''wandered in'' he had just been listening and now sat down at the upright Joe had rented for the session and started playing exactly what Joe had been looking for. So after the break, he paid off Phineas Newborn Jr. and hired the new piano player. ''That piano player'', said Joe, ''was Ike Turner''.
 
Whether or not this is exactly the way it happened, and there are, certainly, numerous (though not unrelated) variations, the session proved to be momentous in two fundamental respects. The first was that B.B. King had his first national hit with Modern ''Three O'Clock Blues'', an old tune of Lowell Fulson's that B.B. had often played as a disc jockey, which hit number 1 on the rhythm and blues charts in early February 1952. The song was close to the kind of thing Sam Phillips had been groping for in his last sessions with B.B., with a pair of saxophones providing a churchy background to the gospel overtones of B.B.'s voice. Here, though, for the first time voice and guitar were fused, the approach was more muscular, more compressed, the record was stamped once and for all as B.B. King's and nobody else's. Ike Turner's contributions to this sound, whatever the tangled truths of everyone's memories, were not all that significant, but his place in Joe Bihari's esteem could not have been higher. There was something about Ike, sharp, in charge, always on the hustle, that really captured Joe Bihari's attention. According to Joe, ''I hired Ike. I bought him a car. I bought him a Buick Roadmaster. I gave him some of my suits, we wore the same size. I gave him an expense account and a weekly salary. I said, 'You go scout talent all through Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and when you have talent, you call me. I'll come in'''. 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

From the early 1950s until his death, King played several hundred gigs a year, sometimes well over 300, so he's certainly spent more time on his various buses than he  has his regular home, he maintains one in Las Vegas.

B.B. King had assembled a splendid crew of up-and-coming musicians for local gigs that he dubbed the  Blues Boys. "The group first was mine, and then it was called the Beale Streeters after that," he explained.  "The Beale Streeters, at that time, consisted of Richard Sanders, Johnny Ace was the piano player - his name  was John Alexander, but he later started making records under his own name with the Beale Streeters. In  fact, the whole group was the group that I put together when we made ''Three O'Clock Blues''.

But when ''Three O'Clock Blues'' became a hit and I started to work out of a booking agency called Shaw  Artists Corporation, and Universal (Attractions), they didn't want me to have a band''. ''They wanted me  alone. So I left the band, and when I did, gave it to Johnny Ace. And that's when he changed it. Instead of  calling it the Blues Boys as it had been, he started calling it the Beale Streeters'', recalls B.B.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - © 
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR LOU SARGENT (LUTHER STEINBERG)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY MAY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
01 - "RIDIN' THE BOOGIE" – B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Leonard Chess
Publisher: - B.L.P.C
Matrix number: - U 64 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - Probably May 1951
Released: - July 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1465-A mono
RIDIN' THE BOOGIE / SHE REALLY TREATS ME WRONG
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-10 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958 
 
Lou Sarcent was actually a pseudonym for Luther Steinberg, although in the broader sence, the name was used as a front to describe the entire assembled musical aggregation. And in time-honoured fashion, Steinberg himself was unaware that he'd acquired a new identity until this record appeared. This could almost have been the backing track for "Rocket 88", which is hardly surprising when you consider that the group became Jackie Brenston's touring band following his (invatableble split with Ike Turner. 
 
The track is driven along by the  piano, playing of Phineas Newborn Jr. (who was probably still under contract to Modern Records at the time), whilst the nominal leader, "Sargent", is barely audible on trumpet. Luther's brother Wilbur played bass and provided the vocal on the flipside "She Really Treats Me Wrong" under yet another pseudonym, Les Mitchell.
02 - "SHE REALLY TREATS ME WRONG – 1" – B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Leonard Chess
Publisher: - B.L.P.C.
Matrix number: - U 65 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Vocal Les Mitchell (Wilbur Steinberg)
Recorded: - Probably May 1951
Released: - July 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1465-B mono
SHE REALLY TREATS ME WRONG / RIDIN' THE BOOGIE
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lou Sargent (Luther Steinberg) - Trumpet
Tot Randolph - Saxophone
Phineas Newborn Jr. - Piano
Les Mitchell (Wilbur Steinberg) - Vocal 1 and Bass
Jeff Greyer - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
LOU SARGENT  - was Luther Steinberg, scion of a prominent music family. From the Beale Street barrelhouses to the Stax era, the Steinbergs were present. Milton Steinberg was a pianist at Pee Wee's Saloon from around 1910 until the 1950s and had four sons who became musicians (Luther, Wilbur, Morris, and Lewie) as well as a daughter, Nan, who sang with Fats Waller and various swing bands. Luther played trumpet, while Wilbur and Lewie both played bass. Their last name was honestly come by, it seems.
 
Either Milton of his father was the product of a union between a Beale Street pawnbroker and an African American woman, although the brothers were reportedly brought up in the Catholic faith. Luther and Wilbur led the first African American band on television in the mid-South. Either Sam Phillips or Chess Records changed Luther's name to Lou Sargent and Wilbur's to Les Mitchell.
 
The pseudonym Lou Sargent was coined by Chess Records for "Ridin' The   Boogie", the sole release for a band nominally fronted by trumpet-player Luther Steinberg,   but which was effectively Phineas Newborn Jr's band (whom Jackie Brenston would annex   following his split with Ike Turner). However, the Lou Sargent name has generally become   associated with Steinberg, whose brother Wilbur played the bass on the session and sung  lead on the flip-side "She Really Treats Me Wrong".
 
Luther later married WDIA on-air personality and black socialite Martha Jean Jones, and left Memphis to work for Lionel Hampton, as did Morris, who later worked with B.B. King, Willie Mitchell, and other bands. Wilbur, who sings on ''She Really Treats Me Wrong'', became a bassist at Stax and Hi Records (he's reportedly on Ace Cannon's signature hit, ''Tuff'' and Rufus & Carla Thomas's ''Cause I Love You''). Lewie also became a bassist at Stax, playing on Booker T's ''Green Onion''.
 
As the sole surviving brother, Lewie was on-hand to acknowledge the debt that Memphis music owed the Steinbergs when they were accorded a Brass Note on Beale Street's Walk of Fame in November 2010.
 
Luther's wife, Martha Jean, became in 1963 a radio legend in Detroit, Michigan (her station's call-letters, WCHB in Inkster, was, she said, an acronym for Queen Broadcast Here), and on the occasion of her death in February 2000, it was noted by Billboard that Luther Steinberg had died on February 15, 2004, age of 72. Both died back in Memphis. Luther and Martha Jean's daughter, Dianne Steinberg Lewis, sang back-up for Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, and others, and has recorded quite prolifically.
MAY 1951
 
Probably studio session with Rufus Thomas at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis,  Tennessee.
 
By the time Rufus Thomas realized that his bullet disc existed but was not going to be a big  seller and that Bullet Records was making no noises about recording Mr. Swing again - he  also started to realize that there was an emerging recording opportunity right on his  doorstep. In fact, Memphis radio announcer and producer Sam Phillips had first opened the  doors of his Memphis Recording Service on Union Avenue pretty much at the same time  Rufus was recording for Star Talent. By the early part of 1951, Phillips had already sold  rhythm and blues recordings to out of town record companies like RPM and Chess and was  gaining something of a reputation on the back of recordings of B. B. King, Rosco Gordon  and others. "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston was top of the rhythm and blues charts when  Rufus Thomas started to think about going along to Union Avenue. He told Peter Guralnick,  "Everyone was just going up there, and I found out about it, so I went, too. You could come right off the street and go in there".
 
MAY 28, 1951 MONDAY
 
Columbia released Carl Smith's double-sided single, ''Mr. Moon'' backed by ''If Teardrops Were Pennies''
 
MAY 30, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Studio session with Joe Hill Louis at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
Lee Wallard wins the Indianapolis 500 at a speed of 126 miles per hour. The crowd includes Tiny Hill, who earned a hit months earlier with ''Hot Rod Race''.
 
MAY 31, 1951 THURSDAY
 
Tony Bennett recorded Hank Williams' Cold Cold Heart'' with producer Mitch Miller at the CBS Studio in New York.
JUNE 1951
 
Sam Phillips had been vindicated; as he declared later, ''Rocket 88'' was the record that  really kicked it off for me as far as broadening the base of music and opening up wider markets for our local music''. As with most successes, though, it brought as many problems  as reward. ''I was still recording weddings and funerals'', recalls Phillips, ''taking care of the  PA system at the Hotel Peabody, and I was doing the Skyway broadcast every night at ten-thirty  and then back at work at seven-thirty the following morning. I was an eighteen-to twenty- hours-a-day person''.
 
''Then I went home and told my wife, 'Becky, I can't stand it'. I'd  already had a nervous breakdown and this was so emotionally and mentally exhausting. I  told her, ''I've just got to make a decision. I've worked awfully hard to get where I am in  radio. I like it but it's not what I want to do. She said, 'Whatever you want to do, we'll be  there'. June of 1951 is when I resigned.
 
I had no income, my kids were growing up and going  to school, and there was a lot at stake. It had been a big decision to quit WREC, and if it all  fell through then I would have had to start a lot further down back in radio''. Nevertheless,  on the day he resigned, Phillips knew that ''Rocket 88'' was sitting atop the rhythm and blues  charts. As incentives go, it was better than most.
 
The feature on ''Rocket 88'' in the Commercial Appeal gives a little of the favor of Phillips'  business: Phillips ''has agreements with two recording companies to locate and record  hillbilly and race music. Race numbers are those tailored for the negro trade. Sam auditions  musicians with original songs. When he finds something he's sure will sell, he gets it on  acetate and sends it to one of the companies. He doesn't charge the musicians anything. Like  them, he gets his (sic) from the companies. Sam may branch out one day . . . so he says if  anyone wants to bring him a pop song, he'll be glad to look it over''.
 
Brenston's success on Chess ensured that Phillips now had only one record company to whom  he could pitch product; the Biharis were understandably incensed.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR RUFUS THOMAS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY MAY/JUNE 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
When Rufus Thomas entered 706 Union Avenue, the first person he encountered was Marion Keisker, Sam Phillips' first, and at that time only, assistant. She arranged for him to visit when Sam would be there, and Phillips was pleased to have a go at recording one of the rising stars of Beale Street and Memphis radio.
 
Marion recorded Rufus' address in her files as 440 Vance, and later changed this to 1376 Kerr when the Thomas family moved. She set up a recording session for some time in May or June 1951, and Sam Phillips started to make a deal with Leonard Chess for the output of the session to be leased to Chess Records in  Chicago.
 
01 - "NIGHT WORKIN' BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Marty Witzel
Publisher: - B.L.P.C.
Matrix number: - U-62 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series
Recorded: - Circa May/June 1951
Released: - July 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1466-A mono
NIGHT WORKIN' BLUES / WHY DID YOU DEEGEE?
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-7 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
As far as is known, the first title Phillips recorded was "Night Workin' Blues", a song Rufus had been singing for some years, although it was credited to Marty Witzel. It opens with a swinging riff from the band and Herman Green and Richard Sanders both feature throughout on tenor and baritone sax. Pianist Billy Love swoop around the tune and keeps a solid rhythm section going. The music is more rhythm than blues but Rufus forcefully gets across his tale of woe about coming off the night shift to find he's getting no attention at home.
 
"I try to make her happy/But my life is misery" and the solution seems to be to "let this all night working go". We may never know how biographical the song was, and the same goes for the next song Rufus recorded. ''Why Did You Deegee?", its about a man who didn't believe his gal would leave him and its about as close to recognized blues structure as Rufus gets. A slower pace is set here by drummer Houston Stokes and is emphasized by prominent use of cymbals, while Rufus really opens up his vocal chords and sells his story of heartbreak, punctured by sax riffs, jazzy guitar figures from an unidentified guitarist, and more prominent interventions from Billy Love. "Night Workin' Blues" and "Why Did You Deegee?" were issued as Chess 1466 in the mid-summer of 1951, and at the end of July it was noted in Sam Phillips' logbook that he paid Rufus an advance on sales of fifty dollars.
 
02 - WHY DID YOU DEEGEE?" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - B.L.P.C.
Matrix number: - U 63 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - Circa May/June 1951
Released: - July 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1466-B mono
WHY DID YOU DEEGEE? / NIGHT WORKIN' BLUES
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm  BCD 16695-8 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
A third song had been made at the session and the master of "Crazy About You Baby" was sent to Chess at the same time as the masters for Chess 1466. "Crazy" was a pounding proto-rocker of the "Rocket 88" style that had gained Sam Phillips a massive rhythm and blues hit not long before. It is Billy Love pounding piano this  time, rather than Ike Turner, and Rufus reeling off the honking vocals rather than Jackie Brenston. Saxophonists Green and Sanders do as good if not better a job than the Turner/Brenston band, and all the pieces were in place for a hit. Rufus was a few months too late with this one despite it being a considerably good record - and his song was about a girl rather than a car. Mistake. Sales of "Night Workin' Blues" must have been sufficient to encourage Phillips and Chess to plan a second release.
 
03 - "CRAZY ABOUT YOU BABY" – B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 7400 Master - > Chess 1486-1502 Series <
Recorded: - Circa May/June 1951
Released: - January 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1492-B mono
CRAZY ABOUT YOU BABY/NO MORE DOGGING AROUND
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm  BCD 16695-9 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rufus Thomas – Vocal
Herman Green - Tenor Saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Billy Love - Piano
Unknown - Guitar
Unknown – Bass
Houston Stokes - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
MAY/JUNE 1951
 
Probably studio session for the Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama at the Memphis   Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
At the same time that Sam Phillips shipped some masters of B.B. King to California, he sent out dubs to seven disc jockeys, so strong was his and Joe Bihari's belief in its commercial potential. Three days later, on May 30, he cut a one-song session on Joe Hill Louis, this one, too, inspired by a record that was beginning to make a little noise, though in this case the artist himself brought it to him. ''Eyesight To The Blind'' by Sonny Boy Williamson was a song that was very popular locally, and we really wanted to get a good cut on it. Joe had learned the song from Sonny Boy, whom he knew from his broadcasting experience on both KWEM and WDIA, and Sam Phillips for the first time added drums and piano to get the best sound they could on a number that Joe himself acknowledged was a killer in its original version. With this rhythmic underpinning, Joe was able to deliver a ''much more focused and upfront vocal'', and this, too, was rush-released, although to even less commercial effect than the B.B. single.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR JOE HILL LOUIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR MODERN RECORDS 1952
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: WEDNESDAY MAY 30, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
01 – ''EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND'' – B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Sonny Boy Williamson
Publisher: - EMI Music Publisher Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1564 Master - > Modern 795-828 Series <
Recorded: - May 30, 1951
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 828 mono
EYESIGHT TO THE BLIND / GOING DOWN SLOW
Reissued: - 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 803-18 mono
BOOGIE IN THE PARK
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis – Vocal, Harmonica, Guitar, Hi-Hat, Bass Drums
Ford Nelson - Piano
 
Joe did get entangled in the Chess-Bihari-Phillips wars and new research makes it apparent that the Biharis recorded his sixth and final Modern record in early 1952 during their own field recordings. It is notable that the usual spark and enthusiasm is absent in ''Peace Of Mind'' and ''Chocolate Blonde''. 
 
The latter is actually quite an inferior performance with a torturously slow boogie guitar break that goes out of tune at the ninth bar. Joe had a habit of doing this on slow numbers but none had reached release before. It appeared simultaneously with a Phillips produced record Checker. This was period of change as Phillips shifted a tough combo outing with Joe only on guitar for ''Dorothy Mae'. '' 'When I'm Gone'' features Joe's dangerously amplified guitar accompanied only by the insistent thud of his bass drum.
 
By the time the exciting November/December sessions for his lone Sun single, Joe had amplified his harp and Phillips uses Willie Nix for the drums. Joe's Meteor session in February of 1953 returns to a one-man-band format and is the second focal point of this collection. It was recorded during a Modern field trip and not by Lester Bihari himself as has sometimes been speculated. On return to the West Coast, very anonymous bass and drums were overdubbed to the four sides slated for release. This addition basically only served to dilute the sound. The original undubbed recordings are used in this collection. ''Western Union Man''/''Jack Pot'' as by Chicago Sunny Boy was a good seller but would have been of unlikely long-term value to Joe's career. The pseudonym, which even fooled researchers for years, suggests that his contract with the Biharis had by this time ended.
 
''Jack Pot'' is actually ''Woody Herman's At The Woodchopper's Ball'' and Joe's superb was performance was indicated as such on the tape box. Two takes exist with both equally meriting fusion, but the shorter previously unissued and looser alternate take is heard here.
 
Exceptionally fine are two further instrumentals (originally logged as ''Boogie'' and ''Boogie 2'') which eventually came out on the Howling Wolf Crown LP as ''Twisting And Turning'' and ''Backslide Boogie'' respectively. The rock solid 'Twisting And Turning' has never been on CD and it is a more deliberate and superior take to that originally issued as ''On The Floor'' on the rare second Meteor 78.
 
A glance at the discography reveals that the undubbed version of this take no longer exists while '' She Broke  Up My Life'' is the correct title for '' She Got Me Welkin'' . This title had been assigned to another take of the  same song, which now only exists as a fragment due to tape damage.
 
''Good Morning Little Angel'' is a pretty weak adaptation of Sonny Boy's ''School Girl'' but this Meteor session still finds Joe in absolute top form with wonderful cohesion between the instruments. It occupies a unique place in his discography as the only full one-man-band session recorded with amplified harp.
 
Joe returned to Sun a couple of months later to cut scintillating versions of his two most commercial songs - ''Tiger Man'' and ''Hydramatic Woman'' with a band including Walter Horton on harmonica but no release at the time resulted. A mystery version of the latter song by Louis with a full rhythm and blues band was eventually released by 4-Star on their Big Town subsidiary in 1954. Clearly taken from an old acetate, it is very likely an earlier version sent by Phillips to Don Pierce at 4-Star during the time of their earlier dealings. All that would follow during Joe's tragically short life would be two chaotic 1953 sessions held at a radio station with George Lawson's band for Henry Stone's Rockin' label - followed by an unissued session for Johnny Vincent the next year. Later on, there was a strange record on Vendor (taken from a radio broadcast) and a very rocking 1957  record on House Of Sound, which proved that Joe Hill Louis's talent was still intact for the talented producer who could capture it - just as Sam Phillips had done.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR JACKIE BRENSTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY MAY/JUNE 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER
 
01 - "INDEPENDENT WOMAN*" – B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Jackie Brenston
Publisher: -  Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U-7350 - Acetate - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - Probably May/June 1951
Released: - July 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1472-B mono
INDEPENDENT WOMAN / JUICED
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-8 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Brenston and the band get in something of a pickle here as they all lock into tortuous, uncomfortable riffs, apart from Ike Turner who belabours the piano's treble keys with some abandon. Willie Kizart's fingers don't always find the right frets, whilst Willie Sims bravely - if foolhardily - persists with a rhythm pattem which combines his floor tom and sundry splashes on his hi-hat. Raymond Hill adds his tenor sax to the rippling riff before Jackie commends him "Play your horn, Raymond! Blow!". At the end of the piece, Jackie picks up his saxophone to supplement Hill's tenor. This was in fact yet another variation on "Rocket 88", recorded the same day and held over until it was used as the B-side of "Juiced", of which more later.
 
A musical clone of ''Rocket 88'' without the automotive hook. Chess coupled it with ''Juiced'' and released it as Brenston's third single. His career lost further momentum as a result. As before, he shouts encouragement to Raymond Hill during the sax solo. in fact, there's so much saxophone, it's almost a Raymond Hill record. One possibility is that dissension had already set in between Brenston and Ike Turner's band, leading Phillips to retrieve this substandard cut and pair it with ''Juiced'', a song that didn't even have Brenston on it, even though it was credited to him.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jackie Brenston - Vocal and Baritone Sax
Raymond Hill - Tenor Sax
Probably Ike Turner - Piano 
Willie Kizart - Guitar
Willie Sims - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
In the early days of the Memphis Recording Service, one of Sam Phillips' staple activities was recording community events including church sermons and gospel music. He made these recordings both on location and in his recording studio. Much of this was for the personal use of his clients but occasionally he was in a position to suggest that a singer or group might make a commercial session. 
 
We know that Phillips recorded the Gospel Tones and the Gospel Travelers in 1950 and the Brewsteraires in 1951, and the Chess master numbers suggest that two disc by the Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama were made by Sam Phillips for Chess Records in the summer of 1951.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR THE EVANGELIST GOSPEL SINGERS OF ALABAMA
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: POSSIBLY MAY/JUNE 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
This recording session is not logged in the MRS files, but the Chess Records archives indicate that the masters were purchased from Sam Phillips.
 
The Evangelists are good, no matter who recorded them. What's good here includes the highly syncopated rhythm and highly arranged and rehearsed performance. This quartet didn't walk into a studio and lay down a track after agreeing on a key, a tempo and some lyrics. In that sense they differ from many of the blues performances presented here. These guys rehearsed, and they worked the piano player into their arrangement. he's not just comping mindlessly behind them; the piano is driving and fronting the performance. The cold stop at the end and the voicing of the final vocal chord tells you that a lot of prep work went into what you're hearing. Perhaps the strongest evidence to suggest this may not have been a Phillips recording is the sheer skill that went into balancing the lead vocalist with the quartet, and the quartet as a whole with the piano. The studio at 706 Union was small and some other Phillips recordings of the era show that Sam was not always skilled at doing this kins of balancing act. This ''Leaning On The Lord'' hymn was one that the Golden Gate Quartet, the Famous Blue Jay Singers, and many others had recorded.
 
01 - "LEANING ON THE LORD" – B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U-7351 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: - Possibly May/June 1951
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1473-A mono
LEANING ON THE LORD / LORD STOP THE WAR
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-10-19 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
Before we get into the music, we want to remind everyone near and far that, while there are discographical reasons to believe these may be recordings made by Sam Phillips, we remain sceptical on aural evidence alone. The record labels offer no clues: no composer and no publisher. Now the music. Originally appearing on one side of Chess 1473, this ''Lord Stop The War'' might have competed for radio airtime because of its content. The Korean War loomed large over the black community and dragged its tendrils into the repertoire of gospel quartets and their recording session. The content was clear: Let our boys come home from this senseless war being fought god knows where over issues none of us understands. Just make our families and community whole again. That message, sung to a familiar 8-bar structure is what you get here for 2:46 sec. What it lacks in originality, it more than gains in topicality. A lot of P's get popped, but that's what happens when you're singing about ''everybody Praying''. The topicality is hammered home in the final line when the group asks God not to stop the War, but to Stop This War. Amen.
 
02 - "LORD STOP THE WAR" – B.M.I. - 2:46
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U-7352 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: -   Possibly May/June 1951
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1473-B mono
LORD STOP THE WAR / LEANING ON THE LORD
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-10-18 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama consisting of:
Willie McInstry - Lead Vocal
Leroy Terry - Tenor and Piano
Willie Banks - Baritone Vocal
John Davis - Bass Vocal
Unknown - Vocal
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
There have been several gospel groups with this name but the identity of the Spiritual Stars who saw one disc issued on Chess records in 1951 has escaped us. The master numbers of ''I'll Search Heaven'' and ''Good Religion'' are close to those of the Evangelist Gospel Singers. If the debate about who recorded them and when is resolved in favor of Phillips then that will likely confirm the time and place of the Stars recordings too.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR THE SPIRITUAL STARS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
''I'll Search Heaven'' is a very good record. There is no real evidence that these guys ever saw the inside of 706 Union Avenue, but it's nice to think that they might have. Again, the record label offers no clue. The only subscript is ''Spiritual Series'', and we could have guessed that. The group holds more harmonic interest and greater dynamic range than the Evangelist Gospel Singers and comes across as slightly more ''modern'' because of it. The 16-bar structure and melodic line of this song bear more than a passing similarity to the classic ''Peace In The valley'', but it was a loose adaption of Mae Glover and Beatrice Brown's 1945 song, ''I'll Search Heaven For You'', recorded by the Mill Brothers among others.
 
01 - ''I"LL SEARCH HEAVEN'' - B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Mae Glover-Beatrice Brown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number:  U 7373 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: Probably 1951
Released: 1951
First appearance: Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1485-A mono
I'LL SEARCH HEAVEN / GOOD RELIGION
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-10-22 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1959
 
The Spiritual Stars were good! You heard it here. This time they turn their hands and voices to the oft-recorded tune ''So Glad I Got Good Religion'' (check out the Blind Boys of Alabama for a definitive version). just listen to this record and hear great harmonic variants of what would in lesser hands be simple 4-square chords. Not on this record, though. Nothing is ordinary here. If Sam Phillips truly had recorded this music in his tiny studio back in 1951, maybe he fallen on his knees, poured his Jack Daniels down the drain, trashed his little black book on the spot, and gone into the gospel music business. Of course that would mean the history of American popular culture as we know it would never have been written. Maybe that's too steep a price to pay. But one way or the other, he would have known, as you do, that this is really a hell of a record.
 
02 - ''GOOD RELIGION'' - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number:  U 7374 Master - > Chess 1458-1485 Series <
Recorded: Probably 1951
Released: 1951
First appearance: Chess Records (S) 78rpm Chess 1485-B mono
GOOD RELIGION / I'LL SEARCH HEAVEN
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-10-23 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1959
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Spiritual Stars
Unidentified Group Members
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
JUNE 1951
 
"Rocket 88" tops the Rhythm & Blues charts.
 
Sam Phillips quits his two other jobs (i.e. WREC  and Hotel Peabody).
 
Sam Phillips records his first session with white Folk and Blues artist  Harmonica Frank Floyd. He sends the dubs to Chess Records.
 
Sam Phillips record his final  session with B.B. King.
 
The first commercial computer to be created in the U.S., the UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer), was dedicated for use at the U.S. Census Bureau during June of 1951. The computer was designed by Presper Eckert and John Mauchly and was created by the Remington Rand company. Eckert and Mauchly had also created the first general-purpose computer (ENIAC) in 1946. The data-processing machine had 5,000 vacuum tubes, weighed about 16,000 pounds, and measured 14.5 by 7.5 by 9 feet in size. UNIVAC was an improved version of ENIAC and the first successful commercial computer created for civilian use. It could do about 1,000 calculations in a second, improving the efficiency of the Census Bureau.
 
JUNE 1951
 
Studio session with Walter Horton at The Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
MID-1951
 
By the middle of 1951, however, pianist and future Sun recording star, Roy Hall had again made his way to Detroit where he briefly formed a new group named The Eagles, recording for Detroit's Citation Records.
 
JUNE 1, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Lefty Frizzell recorded eight Jimmie Rodgers songs at the Jim Back Studio in Dallas, Texas, including ''Travellin' Blues''.
 
The World War II movie ''Fighting Coast Guards'' opens in theaters with music by The Sons Of The Pioneers.
 
JUNE 3, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Louisville, Kentucky, celebrates Pee Wee King Day.
 
Lula Grace Wood, the future Jan Howard, welcomes her third son, David Bryan Wood, in Greeley, Colorado.
 
Elvis Presley walked over to the 1132 Kansas Avenue to take a look at the building. He then went home  and called Whitehall 8-1652, and asked if they were hiring.  A day later, on June 3, 1951, Elvis Presley  filled out an employment application and was hired to work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:20 p.m at Precision Tool  Corporation, located at 1132 Kansas Avenue, across McLemore Avenue.
 
JUNE 4, 1951 MONDAY
 
Decca released Red Foley's ''(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)''.
 
JUNE 6, 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
Songwriter Jon Vezner is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He authors such hits as ''Then What?'' by Clay Walker, ''If I Didn't Love You'' by Steve Wariner and ''Where've You Been'' by his wife, Kathy Mattea.
 
JUNE 8, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Tony Rice is born in Danville, Virginia. A highly admired bluegrass guitarist, he joins J.D. Crowe and The New South in the 1970s, where his bandmates for a short time include Rocky Skaggs and dobro ace Jerry Douglas.
 
Carl Smith recorded ''(When You Feel Like You're In Love) Don't Just Stand There'' in the afternoon at the Tulane Hotel's Castle Studio in Nashville.
 
JUNE 9, 1951 SATURDAY
 
''Rocket 88'' hit number 1 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues charts and stayed there well into July. By the end of August it would sell over one hundred thousand copies. In the ads that Chess Records took out in the trade magazines the sky was clearly the limit. ''Climbing to the Top'', proclaimed the girl in the bathing suit, who sat astride a crudely drawn version of the same rocket on which a fully clothed, giddily excited young married couple was perched in the original Oldsmobile ad for ''a driver's dream come true''. But for all of the promise that the ''Hottest Little Label in the Country'' held out for their sensational new act, the seeds for the band's dissolution were already planted and well under way.
 
Basically, what it came down to in the view of everyone except the principal figure himself was that Jackie Brenston had gotten the big head. Ike Turner was still seething that Jackie's names had gone on the record when everyone knew it was Ike's band. But it wasn't just Ike, who might have been volatile under the best of circumstances. Raymond Hill, the sixteen-year-old lead saxophonist, was sufficiently irked that he commandeered the band and played gigs around the Delta as Raymond Hill and His Delta Cats, on occasion featuring ''Jackie Brimson'', while the real Jackie Brenston was out on his own. According to Ike's admittedly imperfect recollection, the only date the original band played together following the record's release was the triumphant Handy Theatre performance on April 7 and 8, and while that may not have been the literal truth, it didn't miss the mark by much. In fact, when Leonard Chess pressed Sam Phillips for a follow-up by the band, it proved so impossible to get Jackie and the Kings of Rhythm back in the studio at the same time that, with Leonard's permission, Sam picked out a ''Rocket''-styled number written by versatile pianist Billy Love and recorded Billy playing and singing it with an all-star Memphis contingent behind him. He then purchased both song(''Juiced'') and performance from its author and gave it to the record company to put out under Jackie's name.
 
For the first time, Sam Phillips felt like his star was truly in the ascendancy. Chess rush-released two more of his recordings in this new hard-driving ''swing boogie'' style, including a gruff-voiced novelty item ''Night Workin' Blues'' backed with ''Why Did You DeeGee?'' (Chess 1466) by Rufus Thomas, the WDIA disc jockey who had hosted the Handy Theatre show. The Biharis, too, suddenly seemed more receptive, as Sam completed an animated B.B. King session, this time showcasing B.B.'s own lead guitar, delivered another unclassifiable number by Rosco Gordon and sent in sides by eccentric blues drummer Willie Nix and harmonica wizard Walter Horton in the gutbucket blues style that he himself personally favored. Perhaps almost as significant, a western swing outfit from Chester, Pennsylvania, called Bill Haley and the Saddlemen put out a cover version of ''Rocket 88'', and while Sam didn't think much of Haley's version, it didn't come close in his view to matching the intensity or drive of the original, the very fact of its popularity with a white audience went a long way toward proving a point that he found himself returning to again and again in conversation with Leonard Chess and the Bihari brothers; this music didn't have to be limited to an audience of a certain complexion, this music wasn't restricted to any one segment of the population, this was a music that, by its very nature, potentially had universal appeal.
 
JUNE 10, 1951 SUNDAY
 
''Casa Manana'', a musical about an entrepreneur opening a Mexican restaurant, appears in theaters. Spade Cooley provides the band.
 
JUNE 12, 1951 TUESDAY
 
The Weavers recorded the pop hit ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine''. Six years later, it's revived as a pop and country crossover hit by Jimmie Rodgers.
 
JUNE 15, 1951 FRIDAY
 
Ernest Tubb recorded the Ray Price-written ''Hey La La'' during an evening session at Nashville's Castle Studio.
 
JUNE 16, 1951 SATURDAY
 
Hank and Audrey Williams hold grand opening for a new clothing store, Hank & Audrey's Corral, at 724 Commerce Street in downtown Nashville. Lefty Frizzell is on hand for the activities.
 
JUNE 17, 1951 SUNDAY
 
Pop singer Lenny LeBlanc is born in Leominster, Massachusetts. As a member of the duo LeBlanc & Carr, he's part of the 1977 hit ''Falling''. He also writes Sawyer Brown's 1996 country hit ''Treat Her Right''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
  
STUDIO SESSION FOR WALTER ''MUMBLES'' HORTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICES FOR RPM/MODERN RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JUNE 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Sam Phillips got Walter Horton back to the studio in June 1951. This time he had assembled a new set of musicians with a meatier, electric sound, and the four sides cut on this date were underpinned by Calvin Newborn's amplified guitar, which almost dominated by Phineas Newborn Jr. and Willie Nix may be the drummer. From this session the Biharis issued ''Back Gal'' and Jumpin' Blues'' on their subsidiary label RPM (338).
 
The remaining unreleased Horton sides didn't see the light of day until 1969 and the early 1970s when they were issued on collections on Kent and Polydor, although bad remastering didn't do the sides justice.
 
01 - ''BLACK GAL'' - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - Sonny Boy Williamson
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1619 Master - > RPM 324-338 Series <
Recorded: June 1951
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 338-A mono
BLACK GAL / JUMPIN' BLUES
Reissued 1973 Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-13 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
 
02 - ''HARD HEARTED WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Tristan Music Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1620 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: June 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-14 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: -  1988  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-3 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
03 - ''JUMPIN' BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Walter Horton-Jules Taub
Publisher: -  Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1621 Master - > RPM 324-338 Series <
Recorded: June 1951
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 338-B mono
JUMPIN' BLUES / BLACK GAL
Reissued: - 1973 Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-15 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
 
04 - ''GO LONG WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: -  Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MM 1622 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: June 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm 2383 200-16 mono
COTTON PATCH HOTFOOT
Reissued: -  1988  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CHD 252-4 mono
MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
 
Mistakenly retitled ''So Long Woman'' on the Polydor LP
 
After a disagreement with Modern, Sam Phillips continued recording Walter Horton for his own Sun label with Jack Kelly and Jimmy DeBerry. In 1953 he released the magnificent ''Easy'' (Sun 180). However by this time Horton had left Memphis for good and relocated in Chicago where he started a new career working and recording in the bands of Johnny Shines, Jimmy Rogers, and Muddy Waters.
 
Horton subsequently recorded solo sides for United and Cobra, and by the 1960s he was acting as a regular sideman for dozens of dates with Johnny Young, Big Mama Thornton, Johnny Shines, and Robert Nighthawk. He also appeared on a string of albums under his own name for Argo, Decca, Red Lightning, Sire, Delta and Alligator and through the 1960s and 1970s he was a frequent visitor to European shores, appearing with the American Folk Blues Festival and with the Chicago Blues All Stars. He died in Chicago on December 8, 1981.
 
Name (Or. No of Instruments)
Walter Horton – Vocal and Harmonica
Calvin Newborn – Guitar
Phineas Newborn – Piano
Possibly Willie Nix - Drums
 
When Modern Records received outside masters, they would assign their own MM matrix numbers en-bloc, so these do not always accurately refer to the original sessions when they were recorded.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
  
STUDIO SESSION FOR JIM LOCKHART
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICES FOR RPM/MODERN RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY JUNE 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Jim Lockhart, the mysterious Memphis cohort of Joe Hill Louis and Walter Horton, makes his first appearance on wax with ''Boogie Woogie Boogie (Baby)''. This previously unreleased master was cut by Sam Phillips about the same time as the Walter Horton, Joe Hill Louis, and B.B. King sides. Lockhart plays an amplified acoustic guitar which produces an eerie gutbucket sound. He is accompanied by an unknown washboard player and percussionist hitting spoons, or a cowbell - could it be members of a Memphis jug band? These Lockhart masters were perhaps too down-home for release by the Biharis at the time.
 
Lockhart cut about 3 sides on this session, although the remaining tracks were so badly damaged that they could not be used on this session and CD collection. 
 
01 - ''BOOGIE WOOGIE BOOGIE (BABY)'' - B.M.I. - 5:43
Composer: - Jim Lockhart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None - Nor Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably June 1951
Released: 1988
First appearance: Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH 252-14 mono
WALTER HORTON - MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
Reissued: - 2003 P-Vine Records (CD) 500/200rpm P-Vine 3058 mono
JUKE JOINT BLUES 1950S - 1960S
 
02 - ''EMPTY HOUSE BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:14
Composer: - Jim Lockhart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None - Nor Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably June 1951
Released: - January 2, 2013
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 1003-12 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS  VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN
 
Lockhart apparently hung out at Handy Park with Jack Kelly, Walter Horton, and Joe Hill Louis. Dewey Corley recalls in Bengt Olsson's ''Memphis Blues'', ''In the late 1940s, I played with Joe Hill Louis and Lockhart for a dance in Arkansas; right after that we played for some white people in east Memphis''. Also Willie Borum recalled in 1969, ''I saw Lockhart the other day, he works catching dogs down around Beale now, they said he was Joe Hill's brother, but I don't know. At least they were close as brothers''.  
 
Name (Or. No of Instruments)
Jim Lockhart - Vocal & Guitar
Unknown Musicians
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - © 
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR ALFRED ''BLUES KING'' HARRIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICES  FOR RPM/MODERN RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY JUNE 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
This tracks are by the equally enigmatic Alfred ''Blues King'' Harris who was probably recorded by the Biharis on one of their first trips to Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee in 1950 or 1951.
 
01 - ''SUFFICIENT CLOTHES'' - B.M.I. - 3:54
Composer: - Alfred Harris
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably June 1951
Released: - 1988
First appearance: Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH 252-15 mono
WALTER HORTON - MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
Reissued: - January 2, 2013  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 1003-13 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS  VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN
 
''Miss Darling'' first appeared in 1969 on Kent LP 9004, credited to Johnny Harris. However, the original 78rpm lacquer was unmarked except for the titles written on its sleeve. On the flip it revealed ''Sufficient Clothes'' which was marred by a surge in level halfway through the performance, but with Bob Jones' technical assistance, the imperfection was corrected.
 
02 - ''MISS DARLING'' - B.M.I. - 4:12
Composer: - Alfred Harris
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably June 1951
Released: - 1988
First appearance: Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH 252-16 mono
WALTER HORTON - MOUTH HARP MAESTRO
Reissued: - January 2, 2013  Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 1003-14 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS  VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN
 
Alfred Harris also recorded in Chicago, as Harmonica Blues King for Ebony and had previously travelled from Memphis with James Bannister where the duo recorded for United in 1954. These sides have recently been released on Delmark's Pearl label on an LP entitled ''Harmonica Blues Kings'' together with Walter Horton's States sides.
 
The Memphis postwar blues story is gradually emerging and its fascinating puzzle is fitting together. Shortly we will be taking a look into the amazing Little Rock and Helena sessions produced by the Biharis on their trail-blazing field trips during the early fifties.
 
Name (Or. No of Instruments)
Alfred Harris - Vocal & Guitar
Unknown Musicians
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Two takes of "She's A Mean Woman", convincingly spotlight B.B. the blues singer, with a noticeable nod to the melismatic innovations of Roy Brown - whose openthroated delivery also echoes through two renditions of B.B's rocking ''Hard Workin' Woman". 
 
Why the Biharis chose to bury both takes of the driving "Pray For You" is anyone's guess - punchy horns push the proceeding hard (Richard Sanders probably handles the sax solo), and B.B's stinging solo attractively complements his roaring vocal.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR B.B. KINGS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICES  FOR RPM RECORDS 1951
 
MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY JUNE 18, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Sam Phillips recorded his final session with B.B. King.
 
01(1) - "SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - BMG Music Publishing Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1604 - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-7 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
01(2) - "SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1604 Master Take 2 - > RPM 324-338 Series <
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 330-A mono
SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN / HARD WORKIN' WOMAN
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-8 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
02(1) - "HARD WORKIN' WOMAN'' – B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - MM 1605 Master Take 1 - > RPM 324-338 Series <
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 330-B mono
HARD WORKIN' WOMAN / SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-9 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
02(2) - "HARD WORKIN' WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - BMG Music Publishing Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1605 - Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-10 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
03(1) - "PRAY FOR YOU" – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Riley B. King
Publisher: - BMG Music Publishing Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1606-2- Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-11 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
03(2) - "PRAY FOR YOU" – B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Riley B. King
Publisher: - BMG Music Publishing Limited
Matrix number: - MM 1606-2- Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-12 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951
 
04(1) - "DARLING I LOVE YOU"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MM 1607 - Unknown Take
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - Sun Unissued
 
04(2) - "DARLING I LOVE YOU"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - MM 1607 - Unknown Take
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Released: - Sun Unissued
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Riley B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Richard Sanders - Tenor sax
Johnny Ace - Piano
Earl Forrest - Drums
More details unknown
 
Memphis could hold B.B. King no longer. His vital recordings of the 1950s and the early 1960s for the Bihari  brothers, that inaugurated an open-ended regal reign, are fully revealed in his Ace box set, "The Vintage Years.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
JUNE 20 , 1951 WEDNESDAY
 
''Silver Canyou'' appears in American theaters, with Gene Autry playing a Union scout during the Civil War. Also on the bill, the reliable Pat Buttram.
 
JUNE 22, 1951 THURSDAY
 
MGM released Hank Williams ''Hey, Good Lookin'''.
 
JUNE 26, 1951 TUESDAY
 
The Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut, present Cole Porter Night, honoring a Yale grad who had become a leading voice for Broadway, and wrote the country hit ''Don't Fence Me In''. Porter, who is ill, does not attend.
 
JUNE 28, 1951 THURSDAY
 
Steel guitarist Lloyd Maines is born in Lubbock, Texas. The father of Natalie Maines, he plays on many of The Dixie Chicks' hits, including ''Long Time Gone'', ''Ready To Run'' and ''Wide Open Spaces''.
 
To protect his business interest, Sam Phillips signed both Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston to what amounted to personal service contracts and, for the $910 he had advanced Jackie already, obtained ownership of Jackie's hit song. Just how little either Sam or Leonard Chess understood of the music business at this point can be gleaned from the fact that neither one had a publishing company, and Sam never gained anything from his ownership of the song. In fact, unbeknownst to him (and without, Chess had already given the publishing to its lawyer in exchange for services rendered, and he in turn had sold it to Hill and Range, among the most prominent of the upstart young BMI song publishers who had taken advantage of the boom in ''race'' and ''hillbilly'' recordings after the war. The personal services contracts with Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston, as well as with the pianist Phineas Newborn Jr. and most likely others, too, were couched in identically optimistic language and painted a rosy future in which Sam would receive 5 percent of each artist's gross income (''including any and all remuneration for personal appearances, stage engagements, recording contracts, etc'') in return for his exclusive guidance, advice, and recording services. Marion Keisker witnessed the agreements, and Phillips breathed a quiet sigh of relief at having finally figured out how to make an honest living without having to start a record company of his own, which he was determined not to do, in what he had long since found to be a very ''dirty'' business.
 
But if this plan could ever have had a chance of working, by now it was too late. The runaway success of ''Rocket 88'' had finally touched a nerve with the Bihari brothers. At first they seem to have treated Sam's giving the record to Chess as just another harmless eccentricity by this undoubtedly eccentric, and no less naive, maverick studio owner in Memphis. They had continued to do business with Sam well past the time that the record hit number 1. They had accepted the Rosco Gordon and raw blues sides that Sam had sent them for future release. But then at the end of July, the extent of his financial betrayal seems finally to have hit them, as they announced in the trades, in the cold, unemotional language of commercial enterprise, just what they intended to do about it.
 
JUNE 1951
 
Unfortunately, Sam Phillips involvement with King ended after a session on June 18, 1951,  the casualty of a dispute between the Biharis and Phillips over ''Rocket 88'', a song that  Sam Phillips had placed with Chess Records.
 
After that point Saul Bihari came to Memphis  and recorded King on a portable Magnecord at the YMCA or Tuff Green's house. It was  probably September 1952, during one of those makeshift session, that King cut ''Three  O'Clock Blues''', the song that established him in the rhythm and blues market and got him  out of Memphis. (See May 27, 1951 session).

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> Continued: 1951 MRS Sessions 2 <

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