CONTAINS

PI 3521-3530 Audio Series 

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Cliff Thomas, Ed and Barbara
"TREAT ME RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 311
Recorded: - November 29, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3521-A mono
TREAT ME RIGHT / I'M ON MY WAY HOME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-11 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Barbara Thomas – Vocal
Stan Kesler - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums
 
The debt to Fats is even more explicit on "Treat Me Right" (not to be confused with the Elvis tune "Treat Me Nice" from the same year). They're plainly pushing the limits of Cliff's very teenage vocal equipment here, but the track still works largely because of Ed's powerful piano. Everything about the vocal and choral work just exudes blues, yet it remains original and melodic (just listen to the last four bars). can you imagine how trite this kind of white brother and sister trio might have been if these sides had been recorded in New York or Los Angele s. (HD)
 
 
Cliff Thomas, Ed and Barbara
"I'M ON MY WAY HOME" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Ed Thomas Jr.
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 312
Recorded: - November 29, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - January 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3521-B mono
I'M ON MY WAY HOME / TREAT ME RIGHT
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-12 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ed Thomas Jr. - Vocal and Piano
Cliff Thomas - Vocal and Guitar
Barbara Thomas – Vocal
Stan Kesler - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums
 
This recordings by the Jackson, Mississippi-based brother, sister, and brother team of Cliff, Ed and Barbara Thomas appeared in the second mailing of PI releases (the first five singles had gone out together four months earlier). Wisely, Sam Phillips waited until much of the reaction to Bill Justis' "Raunchy" had died down before releasing this efforts. Its hard to know whether Sun had a national market in mind when these sides were shipped. Like Ricky Nelson, the Thomasses had a TV show (although they didn't go coast-to-coast) and were guaranteed intense exposure for teen heartthrob Cliff. A casual glance at the wholesome Thomas siblings gathered around the piano is not going to trigger the same response as watching Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps, but the truth is that Cliff, Ed and Barbara made some surprisingly good music. If nothing else, they were listening to (and absorbing) the right sources. But unlike their labelmate Johnny Carroll, they were not borrowing them literally.
 
"I'm On My Way Home" is better than it has a right to be. There's not a wasted note here, from Ed's powerful bluesy piano, to Cliff's socko vocal, to the minimal and effective choral work by Ed and Barbara. You could easily mistake the first eight bars here for a Fats Domino record until the vocal jumps in and takes this outing into its own original territory. There are touches of both Fats and Jerry Lee in Ed Thomas' piano but, ultimately, he's his own man. Although this production is decidedly minimalist, it is also competent and slick. (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"COLLEGE MAN" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 313
Recorded: - Probably June 5, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3522-A mono
COLLEGE MAN / THE STRANGER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-13 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Alt Saxophone
Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Otis Jett - Drums
Roger Fakes and The Spinners - Vocals 
 
"College Man" was clearly the side earmarked for spins, but it, too, has lost the feel and intensity of the original. Some of the same ingredients are here (Otis Jett's drumming is a standout), but the tune lacks the musical originality of "Raunchy". Worse yet, that stinging guitar break after Justis' sax solo is just awful. Two bars of that kind of strident playing might have had some impact, but to ride it this long simply enters the realm of fingernails on a chalkboard. What is most damning is that Justis' vision of a "college man" seems to have come from watching reruns of 1940s musicals with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Thirty year old adults were dressing up and acting like their fantasy of college kids. Campus life in 1957 had very little to do with the image painted by Bill Justis on this record. Not surprisingly, this two-sided miscalculation crashed and burned so quickly that another "follow-up" was issued barely a month later in 1958. (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"THE STRANGER" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 314
Recorded: - Probably June 5, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3522-B mono
THE STRANGER / COLLEGE MAN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-14 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Alt Saxophone
Vernon Drane - Saxophone
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Otis Jett - Drums
Roger Fakes and The Spinners - Vocals
 
In truth, nobody had a clue how to follow-up the unexpected hit record of "Raunchy". Whatever the formula might have been, this wasn't it. Who in their right mind believed any disc jockey, especially those looking for successor to "Raunchy", would have gotten beyond the first four bars of "The Stranger"? Maybe Justis' moody 1940s alto work might have intrigued some, but that choral work and the whistling would have put an end to any serious  a ttention.  (HD)

 
Wayne Powers
"MY LOVE SONG" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 315
Recorded: - Probably Early 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm tandard single PI 3523-A mono
MY LOVE SONG / POINT OF VIEW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-16 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Wayne Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Unknown - Drums
 
Cogswell comes even closer to crooning on this side. Listen to that voice. Could this really have been the guy wailing away on guitar behind Ray Harris on Sun 254. The answer is yes, suggesting that Phillips International was, on some occasions at least, being used to explore the "pop" niche of the marketplace, while Sun Records remained the haven for unrepentant wildmen. (HD)

 
Wayne Powers
"POINT OF VIEW" - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 316
Recorded: - Probably Early 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3523-B mono
POINT OF VIEW / MY LOVE SONG
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-15 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Wayne Powers - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Unknown - Drums
 
Here's Wayne Cogswell, whom he first encountered playing lead guitar for Ray Harris. If the best Sun records are hybrids, then this one should be on anybody's Top Ten list.  "Point Of View" keeps an aggressive rhythm guitar at its center, adds some melodic high string picking by either Roland Janes or Sid Manker, and caps the whole thing with a doo wop chorus featuring the Memphis version of Jimmy Jones (who was singing doo wop much like this in New York at the time prior to his solo hit "Handy Man" in 1960). Stan Kesler misses a few of the changes on his bass and sounds quite tentative throughout, which suggests that a few more takes might have taken this otherwise strong record to perfection. (HD)

 
Bill Pinky & The Turks
"AFTER THE HOP" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Bill Justis-Bill Pinkney
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 317
Recorded: - February 7, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearanc: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3524-A mono
AFTER THE HOP / SALLY'S GOT A SISTER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-17 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Pinkney - Vocal
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
 
Chorus The Turks consisting of
Willie Peppers,  Gerald Hendrix,
Tom Abston and James Curry
 
On second thought, maybe PI was going to specialize in artists whose last name started with "P". Pittman, Powers and now Pinky. Actually, that's Pinkney, although his handle was surgically shortened to Pinky. In any case, Pinky was the first black artist who had graced a Sun microphone in quite a while. In fact, other than Rosco Gordon (who would enjoy another Sun release later in 1958), the place was starting to look as lillywhite as a Klan meeting. But Pinky changed all that.
 
"After The Hop" is one of those Larry Williams teen records that manages to work in names like Short Fat Fanny while creating images of dancing away the night. In many ways this is mindless teen fluff from 40 years ago, yet its instrumental track has an undeniable energy starting with those strangled sax notes by Bill Justis. The longer the track goes on, the more Sun fans will recognize it as a reprise of Roy Orbison's "Chicken Hearted", recorded just months earlier. (HD)(CE)

 
Bill Pinky & The Turks
''SALLY'S GOT A SISTER'' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Bill Pinkney
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 318
Recorded: - February 7, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3524-B mono
SALLY'S GOT A SISTER / AFTER THE HOP
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-18 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Pinkney - Vocal
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Roland Janes - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
 
Chorus The Turks consisting of
Willie Peppers,  Gerald Hendrix,
Tom Abston and James Curry
 
"Sally's Got A Sister" is a slightly different matter. Although it doesn't quite know what it wants to be or, more aptly, how to get there, there is a very interesting record buried in here.  The verses (more references to "Long Tall Sally" and company) are trite enough to make you sit back and pay attention when the release (containing the title) finally arrives. This songs works! Then there's the business of the instrumental break: not one, but two. After Bill Justis has his way say and we're expecting Pinkney and the Turks to come back in with the hook-aden release again, we're treated to 12 more bars of jamming, this time by Roland Janes. A strange record indeed.
 
Originally from South Carolina, Pinkney was singing alongside Brook Benton in the Jerusalem Stars when Clyde McPhatter drafted him into the Drifters in 1953. After McPhatter left, Pinkney sang lead on a few songs, including ''Steamboat'' before the Drifters' manager (and owner), George Treadwell, fired him in 1957. He did a tour with Bill Justis and Roland Janes, which probably accounts for this one-off single. In all likelihood, it was recorded shortly before Pinkney put together a group called the Flyers with Bobby Hendricks that made one record for Atco. Pinkney meanwhile was still recording occasionally with the Drifters until Treadwell fired the lot in 1958. he then formed a group called The Original Drifters that lasted well into the Seventies. (HD)(CE)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
''WILD RICE'' – B.M.I.- 2:03
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 319
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm PI 3525-A mono
WILD RICE / SCROUNGLE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-19 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Jamieson Bryant - Unknown
 
The flip-side, "Wild Rice", plows different ground. It comes much closer to the 1940s (even 1930s) big band era that was close to Justis' heart. This tune is inspired, if not lifted, very carefully mind you, from Ralph Flanagan's 1953 pop hit "Hot Toddy" . (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
''SCROUNGLE'' - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Bill Justis-Sid Manker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 320
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm PI 3525-B mono
SCROUNGLE / WILD RICE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-20 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Jamieson Bryant - Unknown
 
Not wanting to lose the momentum of "Raunchy", Sam Phillips was quick to issue yet another follow-up after "College Man" did its kamikaze imitation. This one was closer to what the doctor ordered. It didn't really make anybody rich, but it did re-establish some credibility for the label and the artist.  For one thing, after "Raunchy" we expected a title like "Scroungie". And we expected a straight ahead rocker featuring some weird country-rockabilly-sounding guitar mixed with slightly flighty, barely in-tune sax breaks. In many ways, Bill Justis was the first guy to take his sax to a country hoedown.  (HD)

 
Carl McVoy
"YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Jimmy Davis-Charles Mitchell
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - 2003
Recorded: - Probably October/November 1957
RCA Studio, 1610 Hawkins Street
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - June 16, 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3526-A mono
YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE / TOOTSIE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-21 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl McVoy - Vocal and Piano
Chet Atkins - Guitar
Johnny Ace Cannon - Tenor Sax
The Jordanaires - Vocal Chorus
Millie Kirkham - Vocal Chorus
More Details Unknown
 
For one thing, pianist and vocalist Carl McVoy can lay  claim to being one of the true musical influences on his cousin Jerry Lee Lewis. For another, its fair to say  that the Hi label began because of this record.  Think about the influence of Hi recordings on popular music in the 1960s and 1970s. Curiously enough, it all  began when Ray Harris (along with Sun alumni Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell) invested the princely  sum of ten bucks in a McVoy demo of "Sunshine", which sufficiently interested record store owner Joe  Cuoghi to start his own label with McVoy as his premiere artist. In short, ithere is a lot of history  surrounding this disc which, ironically, went absolutely nowhere. (HD)

 
Carl McVoy
"YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Jimmy Davis-Charles Mitchell
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - 2003
Recorded: - Probably October/November 1957
RCA Studio, 1610 Hawkins Street
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Hi Records (S) 45rpm standard single HI 2001-B mono
YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE / TOOTSIE
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl McVoy - Vocal and Piano
Chet Atkins - Guitar
Johnny Ace Cannon - Tenor Sax
The Jordanaires - Vocal Chorus
Millie Kirkham - Vocal Chorus
More Details Unknown

 
Carl McVoy
"TOOTSIE" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Bill Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - 2002
Recorded: - Probably October/November 1957
RCA Studio, 1610 Hawkins Street
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - June 16, 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3526-B mono
TOOTSIE / YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-3-22 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl McVoy - Vocal and Piano
Chet Atkins - Guitar
Johnny Ace Cannon - Tenor Sax
More Details Unknown
 
No sooner did the fledgling Hi label get its first release into the marketplace, but it appeared that they might  have a hit record on their hands. Totally ill-equipment to deal with such a possibility on the national level, the  master to "You Are My Sunshine" was sold to Sam Phillips in April 1958, who promptly issued it on his new  label and watched it virtually fall out of orbit. So much for this little tale. Only what happened before the  record was released is actually more interesting. (HD)

 
Carl McVoy
"TOOTSIE" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Bill Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - Peer International
Matrix number: - 2002
Recorded: - Probably October/November 1957
RCA Studio, 1610 Hawkins Street
Nashville, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Hi Records (S) 45rpm standard single HI 2001-A mono
TOOTSIE / YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl McVoy - Vocal and Piano
Chet Atkins - Guitar
Johnny Ace Cannon - Tenor Sax
More Details Unknown

 
Barbara Pittman
"EVERLASTING LOVE" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Crystal Music Incorporated - Copyright Controll
Matrix number: - P 322
Recorded: - February 24, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3527-A mono
EVERLASTING LOVE / COLD COLD HEART
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-1 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar and Bass
James M. Van Eaton
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Bill Justis Orchestra
The Gene Lowery Singers
 
Sun's house-bass player Stan Kesler, became Barbara Pittman's representative knowing full well that the company had yet to launch a successful female act. After his artist's debut single was released, he set about reorganising her status with the result that Barbara signed to the Phillips International imprint simply because "the label looked pretty". "Everlasting Love" the second of her three fine singles, was a cover of Don Hosea's original on the Kesler-owned Crystal label. (HD)

 
Barbara Pittman
"COLD COLD HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 321
Recorded: - February 24, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3527-B mono
COLD COLD HEARET / EVERLASTING LOVE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-2 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar and Bass
James M. Van Eaton
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Bill Justis Orchestra
The Gene Lowery Singers
 
Barbara, remains her favorite to this day: "I think "Cold Cold Heart" is the best record I ever did. I think its my best singing, but its also the best arrangement. The Gene Lowery Singers sang on it, but just the guys. They were more restrained without the soprano. That one guy, Cowboy Vernon Drane, had a beautiful bass voice. And Bill Justis was so pleased with the session. It was the only time I've ever seen an engineer come out of the control room crying. It really touched him. He loved it and I loved it, too. I also like the flip side, "Everlasting Love". I particularly like the ending of it. That was Bill Justis' band with Sid Manker on lead guitar". (HD)

 
Ernie Barton
"STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Alan Wingate-Jo Ann Wingate
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 323
Recorded: - Possible March 1956
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International 78/45rpm standard single PI 3528-A mono
STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE / RAINING THE BLUES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-3 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Bob Hadaway - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Vocal Chorus
Vernon Drane, Allen Page, Billy Riley
 
By all account, Ernie Barton virtually lived in the Sun studio between 1957 and 1960. He recorded as vocalist and session guitarist and even took over management of the studio for a while. He was, to put it mildly, a fixture. There were actually plans for a Barton LP - a step that now seems fanciful given the fact that (1) Sam Phillips was uncomfortable with long playing records at the best of times (Cash, Perkins and Lewis being the best of times), and (2) Ernie Barton never had anything resembling a hit single on Sun Records. All of his studio activity resulted in the grand total of two releases on Phillips International. This atmospheric composition formed the topside of his first single and came from songwriter Allen Wingate, who was recording at the time as Allen Page for the local Moon label.
 
And the truth is, it is quite a likeable record. It also went a long way to assuage the doubts of Sun fans who thought they'd rarely hear anything like a vintage Sun record on the PI label. At the least, there's enough echo here - on both Barton's vocal and Roland Janes' guitar work - to satisfy any Sun purist. "Stairway To Nowhere" (a great title) borrows heavily from the gospel tradition and manages to work in a guitar figure that would have been at home in "Sittin' In The Balcony". In truth, the most important part of this song (other than Roland's guitar work) is the "doodley wop" riffing by the male chorus. The lyrics were probably knocked off in less time than it took to write the choral figure and make just as much sense. Like many such spontaneous compositions, this one works just fine. (HD)

 
Ernie Barton
"RAINING THE BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Alan Wingate-Jo Ann Wingate
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - P 324
Recorded: - Possible March 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3528-B mono
RAINING THE BLUES / STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-4 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Bob Hadaway - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Vocal Chorus
Vernon Drane, Allen Page, Billy Riley
 
"Raining The Blues" is, likewise, a fine production that works best when you just close your eyes and listen. Although it has a little more lyrical substance than "Stairway", close analysis won't bring you much. Barton is clearly striving for a "mood" here and succeeds. He also has some timing problems with his vocal right after the line "I thought you always knew". Amazingly, the chorus and band manage to follow him through this moment of ragged timing, thus suggesting that the entire performance was recorded live off the floor with everyone's eyes and ears fixed on the singer. (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"CATTYWAMPUS" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Johnny Cannon-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporation
Matrix number: - P 325
Recorded: - June 5, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3529-A mono
CATTYWAMPUS / SUMMER HOLIDAY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-5 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Ace Cannon - Saxophone
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Celeste
Sid Manker - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
 
The Bill Justis Orchestra (not band) were back for their third release in four months. Never in the history of Sun Records had so many releases by a single artist appeared on the market in such a short time. The reason here was quite obviously the need to capitalize on the success of "Raunchy". Neither of two previous followups had managed the lofty sales figures or media attention of the original, and Sam Phillips didn't want to let this one get away from him.
 
"Cattywampus" is an entirely different affair, not to mention a legal quagmire. Most fans of Memphis music will have no trouble identifying Johnny Ace Cannon's "Tuff" when they listen to this track. Cannon played lead sax on the Justis track. Four years later, after he had left the Justis band and was recording as a solo artist for Hi Records, he simply re-recorded the tune and watched in delight as it climbed the charts and became one of the premier hit instrumentals of the day. But before Sam's lawyers could get their feet on the ground, everyone (including Cannon) was sued by the original composer, who pointed out that whatever these new fangled Memphis folks were calling it, this tune bore an uncanny resemblance to "Columbus Stockade Blues". As Cannon, Phillips, and the nice folks at Hi Records were learning, it was "Tuff" to grow up in the south and create an original tune.  Sun's resident PR woman, Barbara Barnes, explained the title by saying, "It's an old Southern usage meaning sort of cockeyed or haphazard - and another entry from the Bill Justis catalog of nervous instrumentals". Justis premiered it on Dick Clark's Saturday night show, July 26, 1958. (HD)

 
Bill Justis & His Orchestra
"SUMMER HOLIDAY" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Johnny Cannon-Bill Justis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 326
Recorded: - June 5, 1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3529-B mono
SUMMER HOLIDAY / CATTYWAMPUS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-6 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Ace Cannon - Saxophone
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Celeste
Sid Manker - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
 
The aptly titled "Summer Holiday" (the record was released in June 1958) tried to capture a different and very mellow sound. It features newly arrived session man Charlie Rich (whose first record was still months away) playing the glocke spiel. (HD)

 
Lee Mitchell & The Curley Money Trio
"THE FROG" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 327 - Instrumental
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3530-A mono
THE FROG / A LITTLE BLUE BIRD TOLD ME
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-7 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Curley Money - Vocal and Guitar
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Lee Mitchell - Vocal
Curley Money Trio
 
Now this should have been the real follow-up to Bill Justis' "Raunchy". Slap Bill Justis' name on it and you're set to go. I mean, hell, that's Justis playing sax on "The Frog". Why not just credit him and be done with it? Ironically, the formula here is closer to the original record of "Raunchy" than anything subsequently issued under Justis' name. Even beyond the saxwork, we have that weird hoedown guitar (courtesy of Billy Riley) and a guitar break that lies strikingly close to the original Justis record. What's unclear at this point is what role Mitchell played in all this. In a recent interview with Colin Escott, Mitchell disavowed any involvement in "The Frog". Despite the label credit to the Curley Money Combo, it was Sun session guys all the way. Money had done no more than bring Mitchell to Sun Records. (HD)
 
PI 3530
This was the last 
Phillips International single issued on both 78/45rpm speeds

 
Lee Mitchell & The Curley Money Trio
"A LITTLE BLUE BIRD TOLD ME" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - G. Bozeman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 328
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957/1958
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single PI 3530-B mono
A LITTLE BLUE BIRD TOLD ME / THE FROG
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805 DI-4-8 mono digital
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Lee Mitchell - Vocal and Guitar
Curley Money - Guitar
Bill Justis - Saxophone
Lee Mitchell - Vocal
Curley Money Trio
 
"I was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1936. Grover C. Mitchell is my real name. I worked  sideshows in Fort Benning, Georgia, national Guard Armories, skating rinks... that sort of  thing. I played drums and sing. I had a good feel for making up songs, and I'd sing 'em on the  bandstand right after I'd made 'em up. If the people liked 'em, I'd go home and write down  the lyrics. "Blue Bird" was recorded at WRBL-TV Columbus by Ben Parsons, who ran a talent  programma and was on radio too. We used a vocal group from Phoenix City, Alabama, the  Charmettes, who were twelve, thirteen and fourteen year old. I had a manager then, Bob  Helms. You can jerk a manager out of the bushes if it looks like you're gonna make it, and  this guy latched onto me''.  ''He worked for Dixie Distributing and he took the master to Sam  Phillips and Sam liked it. Helms never done anything else for me, though. I got a lot of bad  advice. I still got a lot of stuff lingering out there in the dark somewhere".
 
"After Sun, I recorded for some hometown outfits. Got a lot of records out on Curley Money's  Rambler Records. I wrote some more songs. All the time I was working in a steel mill in  Atlanta, but I'm retired now".
 
It's hard to figure out Curley Money's involvement in Lee Mitchell's Phillips International record. His name is on the credits, and it's possible that his band worked with Mitchell on ''Blue Bird''. At some point, Mitchell drove to Sun with Helms, and it's possible that Curley Money went with them. Curley seems to have dropped off a tape at Sun, and one title from it, ''Chain Gang Charlie'', has been issued by Bear Family on ''That'll Flat Git It, Volume 14'' (BCD 16210). An abbreviated version of Curley's story can be found in the liner notes to that set. (CE)
 
PI 3530
This was the last 
Phillips International single issued on both 78/45rpm speeds

 
 
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