CONTAINS
 
1954 SUN SESSIONS 2 
July 1 to December 31, 1954
 
Studio Session for Harmonica Frank Floyd, July 1, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Onzie Horne, July 17, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, July 27, 1954 / King Records
Studio Session for Doctor Ross, July 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Rudy Grayzell, August 31, 1954 / Capitol Records
Studio Session for The Prisonaires, September 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Hayden Thompson, October 1954 / VON Records
Studio Session for Malcolm Yelvington, October 10, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Maggie Sue Wimberly, October 25, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, October 27, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, October 1954 (1) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Carl Perkins, 1954 (2) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Onie Wheeler, October 28, 1954 / Columbia Records
Demo Session for Johnny Cash, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, Late 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Prisonaires, End 1954/Early 1955 / Sun Records
Live Recordings for Carl Mann, 1954
Studio Session for Charlie Booker, Probably Late 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Doctor Ross, Unknown Date December 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Eddie Snow, Late 1954/Early 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Little Milton, Unknown Date(s) 1954/1955 / Sun Records
Probably Demo Session for The Burnette Brothers, Unknown Date Late 1954/1955
 
Biography of Artists (See: The Sun Biographies)
 

JULY 1954
 
Sun has steadily been increasing its output of country   music at the expense of blues and rhythm and blues.
 
Sun 205 ''The Great Medical Menagerist'' b/w ''Rockin' Chair Daddy'' released by Harmonica Frank indicating the direction in which Sam Phillips' mind is  heading. Recorded some three years earlier, it is a hybrid of black and white styles.
 
Elvis Presley's debut single Sun 209 ''Thatl All Right'' b/w ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' is rush-released later in the month following good reaction to local radio play. The disc is promoted in the country music market, though reviewers stress the all-market appeal of the disc. (See 1954 Elvis Presley).
 
JULY 1954
 
Following his discharge from the Air Force in July 1954 Johnny Cash moved to Memphis and   found a job selling electrical appliances for the Home Equipment Company.  He was not the greatest salesman and with their  first child on the way there was a need to find another job with a better income. He tried to  get a job as a radio announcer but was turned down due to his lack of experience. Cash  finally enrolled at Keegan School of Broadcasting in Memphis.
 
In 1954 Cash's brother Roy was working at Automotive Sales Garage on Union Avenue in   Memphis. There were two mechanics also working at the garage - Luther Perkins and   Marshall Grant. In their spare time and during quiet spells at the garage they would play  music together. Knowing his brother's love of music and desire to make it in the music   business, Roy introduced them to him.
 
Luther Perkins was born in Memphis and Marshall Grant in Flatfs, North Carolina. The first   time they worked with Cash was at Luther's home on Nathan Street in Memphis. One of   the songs they would try was Hank Snow's ''I'm Moving On''. They all played acoustic guitars   and hit it off resulting in more informal sessions, although at this point neither Luther nor   Marshall were interested in pursuing a musical career. Unhappy with his job as an   appliance salesman and determined to make it in the music business, Cash suggested they   try different instruments. Luther borrowed an electric guitar and Marshall a stand-up bass,   although nobody was sure how to tune it. They were all self-taught musicians and started   to play more seriously. There was a fourth member, steel guitar player A. W. 'Red'   Kemodle, who would record just once with Cash but was so nervous that he would leave   the studio, never to return! He has been quoted as saying, "There was no money in it and   there was too much staying up late at night and running around''.
 
They were sponsored by Cash's boss to play a 15 minute spot on country station KWEM in   West Memphis, Arkansas on Saturdays. They had played together for many hours and were   progressing well and the next logical step was to make a record. In Memphis at that time   there was only one place to go, Sun Records and producer Sam Phillips.
 
JULY 1, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Edwin Howard, reporter of the Memphis Press-Scimitar, became the first reporter to   interviewed Elvis Presley for his column, "The Front Row". (See 1954 Elvis Presley).
 
The singles Sun 206 '' ''Cotton Crop Blues'' b/w ''Hold Me In Your Hands'' by James Cotton and Sun 207 ''There Is Love In You'' b/w ''What'll You Do Next'' by The Prisonaires are released.
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If Sam Phillips was after a fusion of black and white music, he'd found it. The problem was that it was the black and white music of the 1920s, if not the 1890s. Sun 205 was delightfully at variance with everything that was selling in 1954, but so, it must be said, was Elvis Presley who trailed Frank by just a few months. Frank used to say this was the first rock and roll record, which, of course, it wasn't, but there's a wonderful drive and contagious energy here that has survived the years well. Sam Phillips maintained that he recorded these titles in 1954 and not 1951 as had once been supposed. Certainly, aural evidence would bear out that Frank returned for another session. The sound quality is markedly improved and Phillips obviously used two tape machines to achieve the slapback effect. A mighty thank-you to Sam Phillips from posterity for preserving Harmonica Frank for us.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR HARMONICA FRANK FLOYD
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: THURSDAY JULY 1, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
"... You see I played rock and roll before I ever heard of Elvis Presley. I saw him in Memphis before he ever made a record with Sam Phillips on North Main in Memphis Tennessee...".
From a letter Frank wrote to Greg Shaw
 
A part-Cherokee Indian, Frank Floyd came from pure sharecropping stock and as a teenager in the 1920s he entertained carnival crowds with novelty songs, fire-ating and hypnotism. He first showed up at The Memphis Recording Service in 1951 and cut two singles which were leased to Chess Records in Chicago.
 
After the and of a gig with Eddie Hill, Frank Floyd secured a radio spot in Dyersburg, Tennessee. He was probably still there when Sam Phillips recorded two more sides by him and issued them on his Sun label in July 1954. Some trade papers remarked that he record was a good blend of black and white styles but, barely two weeks later, another Sun record hit the streets that was a stunningly contemporary mix of rhythm and blues and hillbilly music. Elvis Presley had make his debut. Frank's music seemed like an anachronism by comparison and Sam Phillips never contacted him again.
 
01 - "THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - U 124 - Master
Recorded: - July 1, 1954
Released: - July 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 205-A mono
THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST / ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
This talking guitar blues hybrid lies somewhere between Grandpa Jones and W.C. Fields, yet there is a clear hint of the soon-to-be-famous Sun slap back surrounding Floyd's quaint tent-show style of performing.
 
Here probably a miniature autobiography, it is a catalogue of all the prim and decent people Frank made asses of, and of the jobs his fun cost him The first lines have the perfection of myth: "Ladies and gentlements, cough white dodgers and little rabbit twisters, step right around closely, tell ya all about a wonderful medicine show I use ta work with...".
 
Was Frank's standard medicine show shtick that he could have performed in his sleep. This kind of humour would have to move to the city before it could think about getting rural. As with any style that was first recorded in the 1920s, its tempting to identify it with the person who first recorded it, and in this case the talking medicine show blues was first recorded by one Chris Bouchillon and subsequently adapted by Robert Lunn, and Frank owes a heavy debt to both.
 
What is a medical menagerist? Most of us long ago stopped wondering. Frank apparently wrote this song about his days in the Happy Phillipson Medical Show although parts of the song seem to derive from Chris Bouchillon's ''Born In Hard Luck/The Medicine Show'', which apparently sold 90,000 copies in 1927, one of them quite possibly to Frank Floyd. Frank runs through his schtick, throwing a few humorous couplets to get the folks gathered around. Just a few years before Frank recorded this tune, Hank Williams and a galaxy of stars were participating in the Hadacol Caravan and the blackface duo of Jamup & Honey was still on the Opry, so perhaps it is not quite as anachronistic as it seems. In any event, this is a fascinating little glimpse back into a past that none of us will ever experience. The blues may have timeless relevance but ''The Great Medical Menagerist'' is charmingly trapped in a lost world of salves, balms, potions, purgatives, tonics, and cure-alls.
 
02 - "ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY" - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 125 - Master
Recorded: - July 1, 1954
Released: - July 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 205-B mono
ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY / THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
Here he reaches for falsettos, talk to himself, corrects himself, roaring into town: "Rock to Memphis, dance on Main. Up stepped a lady and asked my name. Rockin' chair daddy don't have to work. I told her my name was on the tail of my shirt!".
 
It is the historical status of the flipside, "Rockin' Chair Daddy" (SUN 205), that caused Frank to wonder if he had in fact invented rock and roll. As Billboard observed, "This side is an unusual mixture of rhythm and blues and country music.
 
The singer is a country artist, instrumentation is the type used for downhome blues wax". The review went on to lament the "poor recording", a problem no doubt stemming from the fact that Frank Floyd sang with his harp firmly planted in one side of his mouth. He had long since given up attempts at using a conventional rack for his harps, preferring to sing and play with them sticking out of his mouth and, on occasion, his nose. The man was truly an original.
 
Any hopes that this unusual mixture of rhythm and blues and country music would be developed by Sam Phillips were dashed when another singer, working the same hybrid ground, caught Phillips' attention.
 
He was younger than Floyd and better looking. Within several days, Elvis Presley would have his first Sun record on the market. Frank Floyd's Sun single are released on July 1, 1954. Frank Floyd, vocal, guitar and harmonica. Frank Floyd's life deserves a book, or at least a TV movie. His life and struggles are from another time, an era that few Americans remember but most romanticize. He was in his element performing at rural medicine shows or singing on a back porch. Yet, when he turned to Colin Escott and Hank Davis in 1981, and asked us with the innocence of a child, "Is it true? Did I make the first rock and roll record?", it wasn't possible to be quite so dismissive.
 
Frank Floyd recorded for Sam Phillips on several occasions in 1951, and Phillips leased two (or strictly speaking, two-and-a-half) singles to Chess Records in Chicago. When Floyd recorded for Sun, not many reviewers knew what to make of it.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harmonica Frank Floyd - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
 
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JULY 1, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Faron Young marries Hilda Margot Macon, babysitter for his sergeant in the Army.
 
Sun Records released Harmonica Frank's ''Rockin' Chair Daddy''. The song will be ranked among country's 500 greatest all-time singles in the 2003 Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
 
JULY 2, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Guitarist Paul Warmack dies. He was the leader of The Gully Jumpers, a stringband that first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1927, and would continue an Opry association until the 1970s.
 
Slim Whitman recorded ''Singing Hills'' during a session at the KWKH Studio in Shreveport, Louisiana.
 
Elvis Presley attends the Memphis funeral for R.W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles, of the gospel quartet The Blackwood Brothers. Blackwood and Lyles died in a plane crash in Alabama two days earlier.
 
JULY 3, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Johnny Cash is discharged from the U.S. Air Force at Fort Kilmer, New Jersey.
 
Elvis Presley's girlfriend, Dixie Locke, with whom he's discussed the possibility of marriage, leaves Memphis for a two-week vacation in Florida. By the time she returns, he's had his first recording session for Sun Records and appeared on the radio.
 
JULY 4, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Elvis Presley practices at guitarist Scotty Moore's apartment for the first time, with Moore and bass player Bill Black.
 
The television game show ''The Kollege Of Musical Knowledge'', formerly hosted by big band figure Kay Kyser, returns on NBC, with Tennessee Ernie Ford hosting. It lasts only two months.
 
JULY 5, 1954 MONDAY
 
Elvis Presley recorded Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup's "That's All Right'' (Sun 209) for Sun Records in   Memphis, Tennessee. This record launched Elvis' career and a musical style called Rock And   Roll. (See 1954 Elvis Presley).
 
JULY 6, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Capitol released Faron Young's ''A Place For Girls Like You''.
 
JULY 8, 1954 THURSDAY
 
While Elvis Presley watches ''High Noon'' at the Suzore movie theater, disc jockey Dewey Phillips plays, ''That's All Right'' 14 times in a row on radio WGBQ in Memphis.
 
JULY 9, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Elvis Presley recorded Bill Monroe's ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee.  (See 1954 Elvis Presley).
 
JULY 10, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Songwriter/producer Robert Byrne is born in Detroit, Michigan. Among his credits, Earl Thomas Conley's ''What I'd Say'', Shenandoah's ''Two Dozen Roses'', Ronnie Milsap's ''How Do I Turn You On'' and The Forester Sisters' ''Men''.
 
JULY 12, 1954 MONDAY
 
Guitarist Scotty Moore becomes Elvis Presley's first manager.
 
JULY 13, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Louise Mandrell is born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Barbara Mandrell's sister collects five solo hits in the 1980s, including ''Save Me'' and ''I'm Not Through Loving You Yet''. She also adds backing vocals on Merle Haggard's ''Always Wanting You''.
 
Rock musician Billy Falcon is born in Queens, New York. His daughter, Rose Falcon, becomes a country singer/songwriter who co-writes Eric Paslay's ''Friday Night''.
 
JULY 14, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Webb Pierce recorded ''I'm Gonna Fall Out Of Love With You'' in Nashville at the Tulane Hotel's Castle Studio.
 
JULY 15, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Sun 208 ''Right Or Wrong'' b/w ''Why Do I Cry'' by Buddy Cunningham issued.
 
JULY 17, 1954 SATURDAY
 
''The Ozark Jubilee'' debuts as an ABC radio show, airing from the Jewell Theater in Springfield, Missouri, with host Red Foley.
 
Elvis Presley makes his first live appearance since holding his inaugural sessions at the Sun Recording Studio. He sings ''That's All Right'' and ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' during the set at Memphis' Bon Air Club.
 
The cover of TV Guide features Roy Rogers.
 
RCA released the two-sided Eddy Arnold hit, ''Hep Cat Baby'' backed with ''This Is The Thanks I Get (For Loving You)''.
 
US "Operation Wetback" is started to send back to Mexico almost 4 million illegal immigrants.
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STUDIO SESSION FOR ONZIE HORNE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JULY 17, 1954
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Back in the era when Beale Street was the Midsouth's epicenter of African-American culture, commerce,   and, especially, music, perhaps no one was more entrenched and admired than Onzie Horne Sr. He was a   teacher, mentor, arranger, musician, businessman, bandleader, and man-on-the-street disc jockey on this   famous street for most of his adult life, working with everyone from Ike Turner, Rufus Thomas, and B.B.   King to Hi Records legend Willie Mitchell, the extraordinary ''Rat Packer'' Sammy Davis Jr., and Stax   Records icon Isaac Hayes.
 
UNKNOWN TITLES
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Onzie Horne - Vibes & Piano
Unknown Group
 
Note: Sam Phillips wrote, ''To be worked out for Sun'' in his notebook.
 
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JULY 18, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Guitarist/vocalist Mark Jones is born in Harlan, Kentucky. In 1989, he joins Exile, contributing to the group's latter-day hits ''Nobody's Talking'' and ''Yet''.
 
Ricky Skaggs is born in Cordell, Kentucky. centered in bluegrass, he leads a swing toward traditional country in the early 1980s, joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1982 and taking the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1985.
 
JULY 19, 1954 MONDAY
 
Elvis Presley first Sun single (Sun 209) ''That's All Right'' b/w ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' issued. The record came out officially less than two weeks after the first session and from the start sold like nothing else Sam Phillips ever released. ''Presley's first release on Sun has just hit the market'', read the two-page typed sheet, which called attention to the earlier discovery of B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Little Junior, the Prisonaires, and the Howling Wolf by the company's ''youthful president'', and cited ''reports from key cities indicating that it is slated to be one of the biggest records of the year. Music Sales Company, Memphis distributor for SUN, sold over 4,000 of the disc in the first week''.
 
JULY 22, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Merle Travis and Judy Hayden secure mutual restraining orders during divorce proceedings in a Los Angeles courtroom.
 
JULY 26, 1954 MONDAY
 
Elvis Presley sign his first official recording contract with Sun Records, calling for eight tracks over the next two years.
 
Songwriter Mary Beth Anderson is born in Nyack, New York. She writes Gary Stewart's 1976 hit ''Your Place Or Mine''
 
Sonny James recorded ''She Done Give Her Heart To Me''.
 
JULY 27, 1954 TUESDAY
 
The Erroll Garner Trio recorded ''Misty'' at the Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. The song is revived as a banjo-laden country hit two decades later by Ray Stevens.
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Session Published for Historical Reasons
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR KING RECORDS 1954
 
ROYAL RECORDING STUDIO
1540 BREWSTER AVENUE, CINCINNATI, OHIO
KING SESSION: TUESDAY JULY 27, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BERNIE PERLMAN
 
01 – ''ONE MORE HEART'' - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Lois Music
Matrix number: - K-3820
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1426-A mono
ONE MORE HEART / LIVING IN A HOUSE OF SIN
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-15 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN
 
02 – ''MONEY BAG WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music – Trio Music
Matrix number: - K-3821
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - September 1954
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1380-A mono
MONEY BAG WOMAN / HURTS ME SO
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-10 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN
 
Luke McDaniel maintains that his next-to-last King single, ''Money Bag Woman'', was intended as a proto-rockabilly record but someone decided that it needed a Hank Snow-styled rumba beat.
 
03 – ''HURTS ME SO'' - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Lois Music
Matrix number: - K-3822
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - September 1954
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1380-B mono
HURTS ME SO / MONEY BAG WOMAN
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-29 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN
 
04 – ''LIVING IN A HOUSE OF SIN'' - B.M.I.
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Lois Music
Matrix number: - K-3823
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1426-B mono
LIVING IN A HOUSE OF SIN / ONE MORE HEART
Reissued: - 1996 Hydra Records (LP) 33rpm Hydra BLK 7715-21 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - DADDY-O-ROCK
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel - Vocal & Guitar
Floyd Robinson - Lead Guitar
Noel Boggs - Guitar
Louis Innis - Bass
Ernie Newton - Fiddle
Freddie Landon - Drums
 
In 1954, Luke McDaniel started working regular guest shots on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana, and it was there that he met Elvis Presley.
 
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ULY 28, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Randy Cornor is born in Houston, Texas. He gains the only hit of his career with his 1974 release of an Eddy Raven song, ''Sometimes I Talk In My Sleep''.
 
JULY 29, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Pete Cassell dies in Key West, Florida. Reaching his peak in the 1940s on a barn dance at Atlanta radio station WSB, the blind singer was a forerunner of such smooth vocalists as Jim Reeves, George Morgan and Eddy Arnold.
 
JULY 30, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Elvis Presley makes his first advertised concert appearance, playing with Slim Whitman, Billy Walker and The Louvin Brothers at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis, Tennessee.
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While back in Memphis, Doctor Ross formed a new group to work on WDIA again, Doctor Ross and the Interns, sponsored not entirely appropriately by Camel cigarettes. The Interns were Barber Parker on drums and guitarist Tom ''Slamhammer'' Troy, both of whom Ross had known since they'd played in Clarksdale with Willie Love's  Three Aces. The Aces continued under Parker's leadership as the Silver Kings when Love fell ill and died in 1953. The Interns also included another guitarist, David Freeman, who Ross called Little Davey. It is not known whether Freeman was with the group in July 1954 when Ross and the Interns appeared at 706 Union Avenue to make a follow-up to Ross's well-received first Sun disc. The group certainly featured Troy and Parker on ''The Boogie Disease'' and ''Jukebox Boogie'', along with three other titles. 
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR DOCTOR ROSS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JULY 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN
 
The use of "Doctor" along with "Professor" and "Deacon", as authoritative musical designations, was common practice during the formative years of rhythm and blues. Isiah Ross became Doctor Ross every time he took his one-man band on the road, although on this occasion he added guitar and drums for the stomping "Boogie Disease". Unfortunately, further delights were not to be had as he departed from Sun, concerned that his royalties were being used to promote Elvis Presley.
 
01(1) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2;28
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-6 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
01(2) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-7 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
01(3) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-18 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
01(4) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 136 - Master Take 4
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 212-A mono
THE BOOGIE DISEASE / JUKEBOX BOOGIE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
The good doctor is in fine form on his second Sun single. "The Boogie Disease" opens with Troy's effective but understated guitar figures and Parker's laid back drumming and  features a humorous and spirited vocal from Ross. Some of his lyrics are truly memorable. The man was not just spinning out cliches. "Gonna boogie for the doctor, gonna boogie for the nurse / Gonna keep on boogieing till they throw me in the hearse... I ain't gonna get well/ I'm gonna keep on boogieing... I may get better, but I'll never get well".  Ross claims that he can only get better; he can't get well. In truth, it is hard to imagine him getting better than this. This is post-war country blues at its finest. Ross' guitar work, especially during the main riff and solos has an undeniable rockabilly edge to it, a feature that has not gone unnoticed by collectors over the years. As usual, the ending cries out for a studio fade, and Sam Phillips refuses to oblige. He forces this tight little combo to end cold, which yields exactly the kind of chaos one might expect. No matter; this is a splendid entry in Sun's blues years.
 
01(5) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 5 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (CD) 500/200rpm Arhoolie CD 371 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 2013  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-11 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
Whether Ross ever had a specific disease in mind is unknown but in later years after ''The Boogie Disease'' was recorded by the Flamin' Groovies and other rock bands it became hailed as the finest song written about sexual-related disease, based on the line, ''gimme one of them penicillin shots''. On January 5, 1955 Billboard hailed the disc cautiously saying ''backing is on the primitive side... the good doctor chants of the title affliction with gay spirit... good side for Southern jukes''. The magazine  found in his review ''Jukebox Boogie'' to be ''an infectious instrumental that will please dancers''. 
 
01(6) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 6 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2013  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-24 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
01(7) - "THE BOOGIE DISEASE" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 7 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Reissued: - 2013  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-25 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
 02 - ''DOCTOR ROSS BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 8 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN CD 27 mono
MEMPHIS HARMONICA 1951 - 1954
Reissued: June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-18 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Of the three original unissued sides from the session ''Doctor Ross Boogie'' is a hard-driving rhythm tune with vocal interjections straight from the Doctor Ross patent. It differs from the song of the same name Ross recorded in 1951 through the attacking drumming of Parker. As before, Ross shines on harmonica. 
 
''Downtown Boogie'' is a slower Ross patent and has interesting lyrics with Ross telling his gal she can have anything in the store.
 
03(1) – ''DOWNTOWN BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Release: -  2013
First appearance: -  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-3 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
03(2) – ''DOWNTOWN BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Release: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1012 mono
BLUES AND TROUBLE - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-19 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
04(1) - "JUKEBOX BOOGIE (MEMPHIS BOOGIE)" - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1989
First appearance: Rounder Records (LP) 33rpm Rounder SS 29 mono
SUN RECORDS HARMONICA CLASSICS
Reissued: - 2013   JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-8 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
04(2) - "JUKEBOX BOOGIE (MEMPHIS BLUES)" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2013   JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-22 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
The title of the flipside suggests a throwaway instrumental jam. While technically true, "Jukebox Boogie" also manages to be a rather melodic and engaging outing. Lots of reverb keeps things tense and involving despite obvious limitations in both format and number of musicians.
 
04(3) - "JUKEBOX BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 137 - Master Take 3
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Title is misspelled on Sun label.
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 212-B mono
JUKEBOX BOOGIE / THE BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
''Feel So Sad'', is in the same musical grooves as ''Downtown Boogie'' but the lyric is a version of ''Feelin' Good'', a song just released on Sun by Little Junior and his Blue Flames. Little Junior Parker was beginning to get a good reaction to the song, itself based on John Lee Hooker's half spoken boogies, and it may be that Ross had hurriedly written a song to take the story on one step further. Parker himself would soon record ''Feel So Bad'' and Sam Phillips had several other artists attempt variants of the song.
 
  05(1) - ''FEEL SO SAD'' - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - False Start - Incomplete
Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Released: -  2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-2 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
05(2) - ''FEEL SO SAD'' - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: -  2013
First appearance: -  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-3 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
05(3) - ''FEEL SO SAD'' - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (CD) 500/200rpm Arhoolie CD 371 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 2014 Arhoolie Internet iTunes MP3-19 mono
BOOGIE DISEASE
 
05(4) - ''FEEL SO SAD'' - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Released: -  2013
First appearance: -  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-22 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
 06 – ''INDUSTRIAL AVENUE BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 4:25
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (CD) 500/200rpm Arhoolie CD 371 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 2014 Arhoolie Internet iTunes MP3-21 mono
BOOGIE DISEASE
 
Tracks 7(1,2,3) Probably Recorded 1955-1958, Bristow Bryant Studio, Flint, Michigan
Producer - Isaiah Ross
 
07(1) – ''INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Released: -   2013
First appearance: -  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-13 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
07(2) – ''INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 4:05
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Released: -   2013
First appearance: -  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-5 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
 07(3) – ''INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 3:59
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Unknown Date July 1954
Released: -   2013
First appearance: -  JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-16 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956
 
 Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
Tom Troy - Guitar
Roosevelt ''Barber'' Parker - Drums
 
Note: Doctor Ross recorded other versions of these songs at this session.
 
The exact date of this ''Boogie Disease'' session was never recorded but the month of July may be corroborated by stories Doctor Ross told about meeting Elvis Presley who had just made his first record there early that month of July 1954. Doctor Ross talked to interviewer David J. Boyd about ''meeting Presley in the Sun studio'' and this reinforced by the fact that the five takes Ross made of ''The Boogie Disease'' were recorded over a Presley session, with just some session chatter and a version of ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' remaining underneath. Ross said, ''I met Elvis at Sun, Presley and two more white boys. He come up and needed some money and Sam said, 'I ain't got no money and I'm working... I got Dr. Ross and the Interns here'. Elvis says, 'Hey, I know Dr. Ross. I hear him on the radio every day'. So Phillips asks 'Can you tell which one is Dr. Ross, do all that singing'? They say, 'that's him, talking about barber, and Phillips say 'No that there's Dr. Ross'. They say, 'what that little old man? I thought he weighed about 240 pounds, bout 6 foot tall'. I said 'I weight 140 pounds that's all I ever weighed''.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
JULY 1954
 
After the July session, Ross's contract was renewed on September 2 and ''The Boogie Disease'' was issued on November 10, 1954. It is not known whether Phillips was pleased to learn that almost as soon as Ross recorded ''The Boogie Disease'' he decided to take off again to find work in the North.
 
By the time ''The Boogie Disease'' hit the streets, Ross was married again (to Beatrice, this time apparently a second cousin of Willie Love) and that month they settled in Flint, Michigan. The contact address Ross had given Sam Phillips in 1951, care of his father on rural Route 1, in Dundee, Mississippi, was crossed through in Phillips' notebook and replaced with one on East 12th Street in Flint and soon by another at Witherbee Street there.
 
Ross later told interviewers he had started work at General Motors in Flint on December 22. He remained there all his working life, letting music take second place. Ross said Phillips had hated to lose him and that Sam had reminded him about artists like Jackie Brenston who had previously headed north or west, but returned home broke. Ross countered that he had better sense and was intending to get a job and ride out his Sun contract. Years later he told the Flint Journal, ''I came to Flint in 1954 on a honeymoon, and I kinda took a likin' to General Motors. Flint was in boom-time and money was growing on trees''. 
 
UNKNOWN DATE SUMMER 1954
 
In the summer of 1954, soon after he joined Sun Records, Elvis Presley entered the Music Box Night Club (Hideaway) located at Commerce Street in Nashville,   looking for a job. Roy Hall, owner of the club recalls, "I was drunk that night, I didn't feel   like playing piano, so I told him to get up there and start doing whatever in hell it was that   he did. I fired him after just one song that night. He wasn't no damn good". 
 
It is an   interesting story but doubtful, since Elvis Presley was living and working in Memphis at the   time. It seems to be popular among rockers who didn't make it big to claim they fired Elvis   Presley from their acts or clubs. Singer Eddie Dean also claimed to have fired Elvis Presley.   There is one segment of Hall's story that might be credible - that he gave Jerry Lee Lewis a  job at his club in 1956, and it was there that Lewis first learned Hall's song "Whole Lotta   Shakin' Goin' On". Jerry and Hall were more like-minded and they had the musical bond of the piano. ''I hired him for fifteen dollars a night'', Hall told Toshes. He kept Lewis on for several weeks apparently, playing while the club was open illegally after hours. ''He'd play that damn piano from one in the morning until daylight. WE did a lot of duets together too. He was still a teenager, and everybody figured that when we got musted he'd be the one that the cops let go; so everybody gave him their watches and jewellery to hold for them case the cops came. We got hit one night; he must'a had fifteen wristwatches on his arms. Sure enough he was the only one didn't get searched''.
 
JULY/AUGUST 1954
 
Unknown date, studio session with Doctor Ross at Sun Records, Memphis, Tennessee. Session  details unknown.
AUGUST 1954
 
Sam and Jud Phillips open negotiations about Sam settling with Jud for his financial stake in  Sun.
 
Sun recording activity slows down considerably as the label concentrates on marketing  and promoting Elvis Presley. When sessions are stepped up again, the emphasis will be on  country music.
 
U.N. troops withdraw from Korea.
 
Elvis Presley reaches the Memphis country charts on August 28. ''That's All Right'' is the first significant chart action for Sun since the blues hits ''Bear Cat'', ''Feelin' Good'', and ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' in the summer of 1953.
 
Recording activity at Sun now slow as the label concentrates on marketing Elvis Presley. When activity picks up at the end of the year, the emphasis has shifted from blues to country.
 
AUGUST 2, 1954 MONDAY
 
Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''call Me Up (And I'll Come Calling On You)''.
 
Three masked robbers steal $3,500 at gunpoint at Dunbar Cave, a resort owned by Roy Acuff near Clarksville, Tennessee.
AUGUST 7, 1954 SATURDAY
 
One month after his discharge, Johnny Cash married Vivian Liberto at St. Ann's Roman Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, and they set up home on Tutwiler Avenue in Memphis. Cash's older brother Roy had found him a job selling appliances, but Cash was, by his own  admission, "the world's worst salesman. I spent more time in my car listening to the radio  than I did knocking on doors". 
 
Cash's trips into the black neighborhoods of Memphis gave him his first exposure to black  music. "I heard a lot of blues. I became friends with some of the musicians. I met Gus  Cannon one day on the porch of his home. He had written "Walk Right In" way back, and he  was sitting there playing the banjo. I sat and listening to him, played with him, and it got  to be quite a regular affair with me".
 
Once exposed to black music, Johnny Cash became a convert, spending money he did not  have at the Home Of The Blues record store at Beale Street in Memphis. "Southern blues,  black gospel, black blues, that's my favorite music", he told Bill Flanagan. "People like Pink  Anderson, Robert Johnson, Howlin' Wolf, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe... Blues In The  Mississippi Night Alan Lomax did, is my all-time favorite album", recalled Johnny Cash.
 
AUGUST 9, 1954 MONDAY
 
Capitol released Tommy Collins;  ''Whatcha Gonna Do Now''.
 
Eleven days after he first played the venue, Elvis Presley makes an unpromoted appearance at Memphis' Overton Park Shell during a concert that features Slim Whitman, Carl Smith and Webb Pierce, who refuses to go on after Presley.
 
AUGUST 11, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Webb Pierce recorded ''More And More'' in Nashville at the Castle Studio.
 
AUGUST 12, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny is born in Lee's Summit, Missouri. He eventually becomes a Grammy nominee in the country genre.
 
AUGUST 13, 1954 FRIDAY
 
''Johnny B. Goode'' songwriter Chuck Berry takes part in the first recording session of his career, for Ballad Records, at Premier Studios in St. Louis, Missouri.
 
AUGUST 14, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Ernest Tubb leaves the Grand Ole Opry, though their split will be mended before the end of the year.
 
AUGUST 17, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Pop singer Billy Murray dies of a heart attack at Jones Beach, New York. Fifteen years later, his 1916 hit ''Are You From Dixie (Cause I'm From Dixie Too)'' is reprised as a country single by Jerry Reed.
 
AUGUST 18, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Joe and Rose Lee Maphis have a son, Jody Maphis. A drummer and guitarist, he plays in bands with Earl Scruggs and Marty Stuart and appears on Lacy J. Dalton's debut single, ''Crazy Blue Eyes''.
 
AUGUST 21, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Guitarist Nick Kane is born in Jerusalem, Georgia. In 1994 he joins The Mavericks, whose accomplished mix of country, rock, pop and Latin sounds makes it a critically acclaimed and commercially under appreciated force in the 1990s.
 
AUGUST 27, 1954 FRIDAY
 
After nearly two years of working for free on Atlanta's WAGA-TV, Brenda Tarpley debuts on ''Peach Blossom Special'', a weekly show on WRDW-TV in Augusta, George. It marks her beginning as a professional, and the first time she uses the name Brenda Lee.
 
AUGUST 28, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Comedian Stringbean leaves the Grand Ole Opry to become a regular on Canada's ''The Tommy Hunter Show''.
 
Ray Price recorded ''If You Don't, Somebody Else Will'' during the morning hours at the Castle Studio in downtown Nashville.
 
AUGUST 29, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Ohio's Columbus Citizen reports that Woody Guthrie has just finished a jail sentence at the Columbus City Prison, his 12th jail stay in six weeks, as he rides the railroads illegally. Guthrie also notes in the story that he wrote ''Oklahoma Hills''.
 
 
Dave Cavanaugh, A&R Representative for Capitol Records, announces that The Four Keys, formerly with Aladdin Records, have been signed to Capitol.
 
AUGUST 30, 1954 MONDAY
 
Capitol released Sonny James' ''She Done Give Her Heart To Me''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Session Published for Historical Reasons
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR RUDY GRAYZELL
FOR CAPITOL RECORDS 1954
 
UNKNOWN STUDIO AND LOCATION, DALLAS, TEXAS
CAPITOL SESSION: TUESDAY AUGUST 31, 1954
SESSION HOURS: 19716
PRODUCER & RECORDING ENGINEER – KEN NELSON
 
Back in 1954, future Sun recording artist Rudy Grayzell was still holding down a steady gig at The Barn when Charlie Walker stepped in again, telling Capitol's Ken Nelson that he needed Grayzell on the label. Nelson was pretty astute and he'd probably noticed the surge of interest in white country guys performing rhythm and blues. In Texas, it was a subculture dubbed cat music. Nationwide, Bill Haley had been in the charts with ''Crazy Man, Crazy'', and in the South Elvis Presley was just starting to make a stir with his first record ''That's All Right'' (Sun 209). Rudy seemed to know what was going on, and, according to his Capitol Records biography, had already changed the name of his band from the Silver Buckles to the Texas Kool Cats.
 
01 – ''THERE'S GONNA BE A BALL'' – B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Rudy Gray
Publisher: - American Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 12940 – Take 6
Recorded: - August 31, 1954
Released: - October 1954
First appearance: - Capitol Records (S) 45rpm Capitol F 2946 A mono
THERE'S GONNA BE A BALL / HEARTS MADE OF STONE
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837 AH-9 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD
 
Break in Master Numbers
 
''You Better Believe It'' was written by Rudy's girlfriend and first wife, Norma Grimm (or Grim), and it was an engaging blend of rolling Joe Turner rhythms and doo wop harmonies.
 
02 – ''YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT'' – B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Norma Grimm
Publisher: - Breckwood Music Corporation
Matrix number: - 12950 – Take 12
Recorded: - August 31, 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - Capitol Records (S) 45rpm Capitol F 3044 A mono
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT / CA-RAZY!
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837 AH-10 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD
 
Break in Master Numbers
''I met Ken Nelson at KMAC'', remembered Rudy. ''We recorded in Dallas, and I took my own band. He thought the name 'Grayzell' was too long so he changed it to 'Gray'. He later admitted it was a mistake. Ken really liked my band, and he saw me crossing over between rock and country''. 
 
The first challenge was to get ''Heart Of Stone'' on the streets. Rudy sang the verses to a fetching light mambo while the band jumped to 4/4 on the break.  A very prominent electric bass ( a rarity in country music back then) worked in tandem with the drummer while the steel guitarist shaded Rudy's vocal. ''Oh, man, was Ken Nelson hot on that 'Hearts Made Of Stone''', Rudy told David Davidson. ''He said, 'This song is gonna make you!'. But we recorded it too slow. A month after my record was released a group out of L.A. Called the Charms came out with their recording of it and upped the beat, baby. I lost a million bucks!''. The story is a little more complex than that.
 
The original version was by the Jewels who were from Los Angeles, and their recording of ''Hearts Of Stone'' came out in August 1954. Perhaps Ken Nelson had been hipped to the song as he was based in Los Angeles,  or perhaps Rudy heard it somewhere. Either way, he recorded it on or around August 31.
 
The Charms were from Cincinnati and covered the song on September 13, almost two weeks after Rudy. The Jewels' record didn't chart at all, but the Charms record charted at the end of October and eventually reached number 1 on the Rhythm & Blues charts. The Fontane Sisters covered it for the pop market and they too reached number 1 while Red Foley charted a country cover version. So Rudy was unlucky not to score a hit. His flip-side, ''There's Gonna Be A Ball'', was quintessential cat music. Depending on your perspective, it was either rhythm and blues with hillbilly overtones. What's for sure is that Rudy Grayzell was way ahead of the curve.
 
03 – ''HEARTS MADE OF STONE'' – B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Rudy Jackson-Eddy Ray
Publisher: - American Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 12963 – Take 9
Recorded: - August 31, 1954
Released: - October 1954
First appearance: - Capitol Records (S) 45rpm Capitol F 2946 B mono
HEARTS MADE OF STONE / THERE'S GONNA BE A BALL
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837 AH-13 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD
 
Ken Nelson followed ''Hearts Of Stone'' (titled ''Hearts Made Of Stone'' on Rudy's record) with ''Ca-Razy!'', a song that he'd probably picked up in Los Angeles. From the descending piano figure at the intro to the split tempo, it was Louis Prima reconfigured for the beer joints. The writers of ''Ca-Razy!'' were Ted Varnick (who wrote Tony Bennet's big rock and roll era hit ''In The Middle Of An Island'', British vaudevillian Eddie Lisbona aka Eddie ''Piano'' Miller, and Ken Sloan aka songplugger and journalist Arnold Shaw.
 
04 – ''CA-RAZY!'' – B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Ted Varnick-Eddie Lisbona-Ken Sloan
Publisher: - Ross Jungnickle Music
Matrix number: - 12964 – Take 17
Recorded: - August 31, 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - Capitol Records (S) 45rpm Capitol F 3044 B mono
CA-RAZY! / YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837 AH-11 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD
 
Name (or. No. Of Instruments)
Rudy Grayzell (as Rudy Gray) – Vocal
Charlie Harris - Guitar
Wayne Wood – Steel Guitar
Joe Pruneda or Bobby Brown - Bass
Gerald Carner or Kermit Baca - Drums
Rusty Hornbeak - Fiddle
Greg Nanus - Piano
Unidentified – Vocal Chorus
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR THE PRISONAIRES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE SEPTEMBER 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
01(1) - "TWO STRANGERS" - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Robert Riley
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-132 - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date September 1954 - Scheduled for release
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-20 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
 
A alternate version of ''Two Strangers'', a song that Sam Phillips planned to release as a fifth single on Sun, but shelved in October 1954 under the weight of his new workload promoting Elvis Presley's first two discs was a really strong ballad, written by Robert Riley and sympathetically sung by Bragg and the group.
 
01(2) - ''TWO STRANGERS'' - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Robert Riley
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date September 1954
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-27 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - BABY PLEASE
 
02 - "WHAT ABOUT FRANK CLEMENT (A MIGHTY MAN)" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date September 1954
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-21 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
 
03 - "FRIENDS CALL ME A FOOL" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Johnny Bragg-Robert Riley
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-133   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date September 1954 - Scheduled for release
Released: - Sun Unissued - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-22 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
 
The Prisonaires only recorded one version of ''Lucy, You Know Want You'' but it has never before been issued with its correct title. It is a rocking little number driven ahead by bass, guitar and drums and the vocalists leave us in no doubt what they want from Miss Lucy. At some point after this song was recorded it catalogued as a song about a woman named ''Lucille'' and it was issued as such on compilation LPs twenty years later. Johnny Bragg even copyrighted it using the title under which it had been released. But the group is clearly singing about someone called ''Lucy'', not ''Lucille''. To sing a song, that might have been released, full of lustful yearning about ''Lucille'', which happened to be the name of the wife of the Governor, would not have been a smart move for any prisoner let alone a group of singers who owed so much of their lifestyle to her and her husband.
 
No such restraints applied to the writer from 'People' magazine of 27 August 1956 who said: "After the huzzas and groans of the Democratic Convention in Chicago died away, there was almost unanimous agreement that the Democrats' choicest doll is Lucille Clement, wife of Tennessee's give-em-ellfire Governor Frank G. Clement, the convention's bombastic keynoter. Mother of three boys, Lucille, 36, whose figure is one of modern politics' most attractive gerrymanders, took time out to model some cute creations for a Hearst lensman''.
 
04 – "LUCY, YOU KNOW I WANT YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Probably Johnny Bragg
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date September 1954
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-23 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
 
A fifth single, comprising "Friend Call Me A Fool" and "Two Strangers", was scheduled for release in the Fall of 1954, but was never shipped.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Lead Tenor Vocal
Possible John Drue - 2nd Tenor Vocal
William Steward - Baritone Vocal and Guitar
Possible Marcell Sanders - Bass Vocal
Ed Thurman - Tenor Vocal and Lead Tenor Vocal
L.B. McCollough - Electric Guitar
Hubbard Brown - Drums
Henry "Dish Rag" Jones - Piano
George Williams – Trumpet
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
SEPTEMBER 1954
 
By 1953, future Sun artist Ray Harris had married and moved to Memphis. He had got a job on the  graveyard shift at Firestone working next to Bill Black. ''One day we was taking a break and I asked Bill,  'What you doing in music'? He said that on Saturday nights he was playing at the State Line, some li'l old  cob down on the Mississippi-Tennessee state line. He also said he was trying to cut a record up at Sun  Records with some boy named Elvis Presley. He asked me to come by during the next session. A couple of  weeks went past and I came up to Sun one afternoon. I parked and waited for Bill then we went inside and  Bill introduced me to Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley and Scotty Moore. They was cutting ''Good Rockin'  Tonight''. I sat up in the control room and Sam had both hands up in the air saying 'This Is It'! Sam would  play back the tape and Elvis would say, 'What do you think, Mr Phillips\ ? Sam would say, 'It sounds good.  You just got to work on this and that...'. Now you've gotta remember that I was hooked on Hank Williams. I  didn't like it at the beginning but even before the end of the session it was starting to hit me I'd played a little  around Tupelo. We'd go down by a creek or river and have a weenie roast. We'd sing and play - all acoustic,  of course. I listened to Presley and I thought, 'Hell'!! He ain't doing anything I can't do.
 
SEPTEMBER 1954
 
The Perkins Brothers Band drives in from the Bemis/Jackson area of Tennessee where Carl Perkins has been  pioneering the rockabilly style of guitar. They gain the first of several audition sessions which will lead to a  contract with Sam Phillips' Flip and Sun labels. The contract is signed on October 24, 1954. Carl Perkins was originally from Lake County, Tennessee, in the northwest corner of the state, on the Mississippi banks, but his family had moved to the Jackson area after the war, where he and his brothers, jay and Clayton, formed a band. He was twenty-two-years old and had been working as a baker in Jackson before he quit to play the honky-tonks full-time. Then one day his wife, Valda, heard ''That's All Right'' on the radio. ''That sounds a lot like you, Carl'', she said. And that was what had given him the idea.
 
The band arrived in a 1941 Plymouth, with the bass tied on top covered by a nine-foot cotten sack. Sam Phillips wasn't there when the band arrived, but Marion Keisker showed no interest whatsoever, according to Carl's recollection, in either his talent or his potential. ''We've got this new boy, Elvis Presley'', she told Carl, and they weren't listening to anybody else. When Carl told her sounded something like Elvis, she said that wasn't going to do him any good, they didn't need anyone else that sounded like Elvis Presley just now.
 
It was at this point in Carl's account that Sam showed up. Bear in mind that Sam was still driving the same black 1951 Cadillac that he had purchased just one year earlier, but Carl's version lends all the more piquancy to the story of someone who had grown up even poorer than Elvis and would always be certain that Marion Keisker looked down upon him because of his need.
 
''I took my hat and started out the front door'', Carl said. ''As I did, there was a 1954 Coupe de Ville Cadillac almost took the front bumper off my old Plymouth. A man got out dressed just like the car. He had on a light blue pair of trousers and a dark blue coat. I thought to myself, 'That's either that Presley boy, or that's the man that owns this place. I said, ''Are you Mr. Phillips''? He said, 'Yes''. I said, 'My name's Carl Perkins, and that's my brothers sitting there in the car, and we come down to pick for you'. He said, 'I ain't got time'. I said, 'Mr. Phillips, please. Just one song. Will you''? I guess I said it just that hurt. He said, 'Okay, get set up. But I can't listen long'. We was set up and picking before he could get back to the control room. Afterwards he told me, 'I couldn't say no. Never have I seen a pitifuller-looking fellow as you looked when I said, 'I'm too busy to listen to you'. You overpowered me'. I said, 'I didn't mean to, but I'm glad I did'''. That was the beginning right there.
 
Around this time, Johnny Cash telephones Sam Phillips to enquire about recording gospel music. He is told  to come into the studio with country material only.
 
SEPTEMBER 1, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Kitty Wells recorded ''I'm In Love With You'', ''Lonely Side Of Town'' and the Don Everly-penned ''Thou Shalt Not Steal'' at the Castle Studio in downtown Nashville.
 
Johnnie and Jack recorded ''Kiss Crazy Baby'' and ''Beware Of It'' at the Castle Recording Studio in downtown Nashville.
 
SEPTEMBER 2, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West recorded ''Stratosphere Boogie'' at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
 
SEPTEMBER 3, 1954 FRIDAY
 
RCA released Porter Wagoner's first charted single, ''Company's Comin'''.
 
SEPTEMBER 4, 1954 SATURDAY
 
In the wake of Elvis Presley's recording of ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'', Bill Monroe recorded a newer, hotter version of his signature song in Nashville.
 
SEPTEMBER 5, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Carl Smith recorded ''Loose Talk'' at Nashville's Castle Studio in the Tulane Hotel.
 
SEPTEMBER 6, 1954 MONDAY
 
Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''Two Glasses, Joe''.
 
SEPTEMBER 7, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Keyboard player Benmont Tench is born in Gainesville, Florida. A member of Tom Petty's band, The Heartbreakers, he writes Rosanne Cash's ''Never Be You'' and Hal Ketchum's ''Stay Forever'', and plays on country recordings by Travis Tritt, Johnny Cash and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
 
Singer/songwriter Craig Bickhardt is born in Pennsylvania. He replaces Paul Overstreet in Schuyler, Knobloch and Overstreet in 1987, but also writes Pam Tills' ''In Between Dances'', The Judds' ''Turn It Loose'' and Kathy Mattea's ''You're The Power''.
 
SEPTEMBER 9, 1954 THURSDAY
 
RCA declines to re-sign Porter Wagoner, though he manages to nab a hit single for the label within a month.
 
Elvis Presley performs for the grand opening of Katz Drug Store on Lamar Avenue in Memphis. The show is witnessed by Johnny Cash, who meets his future Sun labelmate for the first time, and Johnny was knocked out not just by the music but by the galvanizing force that could come from a simple trio format, he even got to meet Elvis afterward and was impressed by his enthusiasm, conviction, and polite demeanor. But what motivated him most of all, as it happened, was rejection, as he stopped by again and again and was rebuffed each time without getting so much as a perfunctory audition.
 
SEPTEMBER 10, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Elvis Presley starts recording sessions that yield ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' and ''I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'' at Memphis' Sun Recording Studio.
 
Webb Pierce tries his hand at Jimmie Rodgers' ''In The Jailhouse Now'' during a session at the Castle Studio in Nashville. Unhappy with the result, he recorded the final version a dozen weeks later.
 
SEPTEMBER 11, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Porter Wagoner recorded ''A Satisfied Mind'' and ''Eat, Drink And Be Merry (Tomorrow You'll Cry)'' at the KWTO Radio studio in Springfield, Missouri, at a cost of $40, two days after RCA let his contract lapse.
 
SEPTEMBER 12, 1954 SUNDAY
 
''The Kollege Of Musical Knowlege'' airs for the final time on NBC-TV, with Tennessee Ernie Ford hosting the game show.

''Lassie'' is broadcast for the first time and is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie dog named Lassie and her companions, both human and animal. The show was the creation of producer Robert Maxwell and animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax and was televised from September 12, 1954, to March 25, 1973. The fourth longest-running U.S. Primetime television series after The Simpsons, and Law and Order, the show chalked up 17 seasons on CBS before entering first-run syndication for its final two seasons. Initially filmed in black and white, the show transitioned to color in 1965.

The show's first 10 seasons follow Lassie's adventures in a small farming Community. Fictional eleven-year-old Jeff Miller, his mother, and his grandfather are Lassie's first human companions until seven-year-old Timmy Martin and his adoptive parents take over in the fourth season. When Lassie's exploits on the farm end in the eleventh season, she finds new adventures in the wilderness alongside United States Service Rangers. After traveling on her own for a year, Lassie finally settles at a children's home for her final two syndicated seasons.

Lassie received critical favor at its debut and won two Emmy Awards in its first years. Stars Jan Clayton and June Lockhart were nominated for Emmys. Merchandise produced during the show's run included books, a Halloween costume, clothing, toys, and other items. Campbell's Soup, the show's lifelong sponsor, offered two premiums (a ring and a wallet), and distributed thousands to fans. A multi-part episode was edited into the feature film Lassie's Great Adventure and released in August 1963. Selected episodes have been released to DVD.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1954 MONDAY
 
Eddy Arnold recorded ''Christmas Can't Be Far Away'' at the RCA Victor Studios in New York City.
 
Columbia released Ray Price and His Cherokee Cowboys' single ''If You Don't, Somebody Else Will'', and  Hank Thompson's ''The New Green Light''.
 
SEPTEMBER 14, 1954 TUESDAY
 
George Jones marries his second wife, Shirley Ann Corley in Houston.
 
Barry Cowsill, of the pop group The Cowsills, is born in Newport, Rhode Island. The group scores hits with ''The Rain, The Park And Other Things'', ''Hair'' and ''Indian Lake'', which is remade several years laster as a country hit by Freddy Weller.
 
SEPTEMBER 15, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Eddy Arnold recorded ''I've Been Thinking'' and ''Don't Forget'' at the RCA Studios in New York City.
 
SEPTEMBER 16, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Eddy Arnold recorded ''Two Kinds Of Love'' and ''In Time'' at RCA's New York studios.
 
A confused Woody Guthrie checks into Brooklyn State Hospital in New York voluntarily. Guthrie has been suffering for several years from Huntington's chorea, a rare neurological disease.
 
SEPTEMBER 20, 1954 MONDAY
 
Columbia released Carl Smith's double-sided single, ''Loose Talk'' backed with ''More Than Anything Else In The World''.
 
Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow and Roy Acuff perform a three-hour show in Montgomery, Alabama, as the city spends the weekend saluting the late Hank Williams.
 
SEPTEMBER 21, 1954 TUESDAY
 
A 10-foot marble memorial is unveiled at the gravesite of Hank Williams in Montgomery, Alabama, following a parade in the late star's honor that draws 60,000 people. The marker bears the inscription ''I Saw The Light''.
 
SEPTEMBER 22, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Sun Records released Elvis Presley's ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' (Sun 210), a number-one 1948 rhythm and blues hit by leather-lunged blues shouter Wynonie Harris, backed with a casually delivered, Dean Martin-styled version of  ''I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'', a number originally written for the 1950 Disney animated feature ''Cinderella''.
 
SEPTEMBER 26, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Glendale, Arizona, mayor H.L. Schrey declares Marty Robbins Day.
 
Guitarist Cesar Rosas is born in Hermosillo, Mexico. He joins the Los Angeles band Los Lobos, whose ''Will The Wolf Survive'' is ranked among the 500 greatest country singles in the Country Music Foundation's book ''Heartaches By The Number''. 
 
John Mattea marries Ruth Ann Cappellanti is St. Augustine, West Virginia. The union produces a future country star, Kathy Mattea.
 
SEPTEMBER 27, 1954 MONDAY
 
Capitol Records breaks ground in Hollywood for its new tower, the first round office building in the world. The Capitol Recording Studios will also be the site for sessions by Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam and Taylor Swift.
 
''The Tonight Show'' premieres on NBC. Originally called ''Tonight'', it's first hosted by Steve Allen, some four years after the comedian wrote a country crossover hit, ''Let's Go Church (Next Sunday Morning)'' by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely.
 
SEPTEMBER 29, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Kitty Wells and Red Foley recorded the Roy Acuff-penned ''As Long As I Live'', ''No One But You'', ''Make Believe ('Til We Can Make It Come True)'' and ''You And Me'' during an evening session at the KWTO Studio in Springfield, Missouri. 
 
Songwriter Nancy Montgomery is born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She pens Eddy Raven's ''I Wanna Hear It From You'', The McCarters' ''The Gift'' and Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White's  ''Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This''.
 
SEPTEMBER 30, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Patsy Cline signs her first recording contract with Bill McCall, of Four Star Records.
 
Anita Wood was the grand winner in the 1954 Youth Talent contest at the Mid-South Fair in Memphis, Tennessee on September 30. She was also first alternate to the Fairest of the Fair in 1956.
OCTOBER 1954
 
The Southern Melody Boys featured with Hayden Thompson, were managed by a local  promoter and disc jockey, Charles Boltop, who put on stage shows and radio shows in and  around Booneville, and who offered the band a step up from the schools, churches, and low  scale gigs they could find for themselves.
 
Hayden looks back on those days fondly: "One of the little theaters we played in  Booneville was the Von Theater, and on Saturdays that was the venue for the 'Dixieland  Jamboree' stage show that also went out over radio WBIP. It was organised by Charles  Bolton as a very miniature version of the Opry format. I led the stage band there, and we'd  have other local artists, and then there'd be a headliner from Memphis or somewhere, like  Johnny and Dorsey Burnette or Eddie Bond.
 
They would drive about 125 miles and barely  make gas money. I recall clearly the first time Eddie Bond came to town, he had a 1955 Pontiac, and to see someone come out of Memphis like that was really something. I was  totally impressed. Elvis Presley played the Von once, in a show with Johnny Cash, who  actually took the applause because people weren't always sure what to make of Elvis''.
 
Charles Bolton once confirmed that in the main people wanted to see country shows.  ''Hayden Thompson was doing country music - he sang the Elvis songs, but with a country  band. Johnny Burnette was doing country because his brother Dorsey was playing steel guitar and they had a fiddle player and a bass. You have to keep in mind that Presley and  Cash were country artists; all they had was electric guitar and bass. They didn't have loud  drums and all that back then''.
 
Bolton ran a company called 'Dixie Talent and he remembered that he had to pay a 'pretty  steep' cost of $350 to hire talent such as Elvis Presley. Johnny Cash, and David Houston  who came as a package one day in January 1956. He also told researcher Jim Cole that,  ''one week each month, we would do a special weeknight show and bring in some of the  Grand Ole Opry stars like Grandpa Jones or Flatt & Scruggs''. Bolton recalled that on  special holidays he would hire local singers like Hayden Thompson or Lloyd McCullough to  play a show in-between screenings of musical movies, a format Hayden would follow again.
 
Although he had the germ of a career going and was enamoured of Presley's new rocking  music, Hayden was well aware of his place in the pecking order in those days. He told Ken  Burke, "I met Presley several times in those days, and we talked, but he was three years older than me. Every single day there was something in the paper about what he was  doing and how his shows were going, so be just became family to everybody because we  all watched his career develop. We watched it happen and we all felt like we knew him''.
Hayden's own first recordings came about through the fledgling local company, Von  Records, that had grown out of the musical promotions at the Von Theater, Charles Bolton  explained. "The label was owned by Sam Thomas who performed as part of a blackfaco  comedian team called 'Rastus and Hastus'. He named the record label Von because of our  shows there and he recorded the people we were promoting: Johnny Burnette, Lloyd  McCullough, Hayden Thompson, Shorty Sullivan and so on''. 
 
Hayden's recording session was held not in Booneville but at the radio studio of WERH in  Hamilton Alabama. ''We played a country show over there regularly'', said Hayden. "It was  a live radio broadcast every Saturday afternoon at the skating rink there''.
 
The recording  engineer at the station was local disc jockey, recording artist and songwriter, Edgar  Clayton, a long-time mainstay of the Alabama music business.
 
The Von recordings had limited distribution but to Hayden, at the time, ''I thought it was  the greatest thing in the world. People in Booneville played it all the time and I became a  little local star for a while there''.
 
The recordings were ''Act Like You Love Me'' and ''I Feel The Blues Coming On'', both in the  typical hillbilly style that predominated in the years during and just after the heyday of  Hank Williams. They feature steel guitar and fiddle solos and are underpinned by a muted  walking guitar pattern on the bass strings similar to that played by Quinton Claunch on  contemporary country recordings by other mid-South performers such as Bud Duckelman  on Meteor and Carl Perkins on Sun. Claunch was, like radio jockey and recording engineer.  Edgar Clayton, a former member of the Blue Seal Pals who performed in a similar style on  Mississippi radio and then on WSM in Nashville a few years before.
 
The Von recording session was held at a time when Hayden was "throwing in" his little bit  of Presley's songs to the 'Southern Melody Boys' shows at little schoolhouses and dance  venues in Tupelo, Corinth and that area of northern Mississippi. He recently told Ken Burke, "Once Elvis came along, we all started singing what he was, and we could all sing it  just a little bit, not as good as he could, but everybody jumped on that bandwagon. The  guys in my band were just quivering when I started to do that stuff''. Charles Bolton remembered, "Hayden's voice resembled Elvis so much that people thought he was  mocking him, but he wasn't. That was just his natural voice''. But actually, that was  incorrect, to judge from the voice we hear at Hayden's first decade of recording sessions.  His voice was very much his own; just the occasional mannered hiccups hinted at his  Presley imitation, which must have been more visual than aural.
 
Anyway, Charles Bolton continued to book the 'Southern Melody Boys' in the local area  throughout 1955, and Hayden continued to build up the rocking element in their  performances, adding the music of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, and Bill Haley  to the band's stone country repertoire. They continued to hold down their regular spots in  their hometown. "On Saturdays". Hayden said, ''we'd be on the radio. There would be  several local bands coming on one after another in thirty-minute slots, filling up the local  radio time all day. We were sponsored by auto dealers. restaurants, and especially flour  companies, Sunshine Mills, and the like''.
 
Both Bolton and the band were not without wider ambition though, especially the band's  youngest member: "We went to Nashville sometime early on in 1955. We went around all  the music places to see what we could get. We couldn't get onto the Grand Ole Opry, but  we managed to find a slot on the Saturday morning Opry radio show on WSM. Then we  were on Ernest Tubb's 'Midnite Jamboree' radio show that was broadcast late Saturday  nights on WSM after the Grand Ole Opry was over. It was made right there in Tubb's store  on Broadway in Nashville''. Hayden told George Hansen of 'Screamin' magazine that the  band also passed an audition to be on the 'Louisiana Hayride' stage and radio show in  Shreveport, Louisiana. Unfortunately, it seems that the aims and ambitions of all the band  members were not the same, and instead Thompson split from the 'Southern Melody Boys.  '' 'I'd already made up my mind by that time that I wanted to make my living in the music  business. I didn't want to go to college at that time. I just didn't want to'', he told Ken  Burke.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Session Published for Historical Reasons
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR HAYDEN THOMPSON
FOR VON RECORDS
 
RADIO STUDIO WERH, HAMILTON, ALABAMA 1954
VON SESSION: OCTOBER 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN
 
Fresh from his life-changing wallflower experience in the twenty by twenty radio studio, Hayden Thompson's twist on the 'Southern Melody Boys' basic style was, as he says. ''You'll hear where I was throwing a little rock n' roll in there." He also says, It liked to drive the hand crazy''.
 
Although the overall sound of ''Act Like You  Love Me'' remains country, its provenance was a little more complicated than just throwing some Presley into a hillbilly tune. In fact, it wasn't a hillbilly tune at all, although the composer credit on the Von 78 was interestingly blank, the song was written by James A. Lane, also known as blues singer Jimmy Rogers, who recorded it and released it on Chess in 1953.
 
Of course, blues lyrics tended to go round and round and the opening lines of "Baby, that's all right, that's all right with yell: baby that's all right, that's all right with you, you treat me mean, that's the way you do" were just the words Hayden would also have heard on Presley's first Sun discs and his early live performances.
 
01 – ''ACT LIKE YOU LOVE ME'' - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - James A. Lane
Publisher: - Lyn Music
Matrix number: - B 7555
Released: - 1954
First appearance: - Von Records (S) 78rpm Von 1001-B mono
ACT LIKE YOU LOVE ME / I FEEL THE BLUES COMING ON
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131-24 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
''I Feel The Blues Coming On'' is the pick of the two Von sides, the playing being better balanced and Hayden's vocal more assured, with the twin speed effect working to good effect. "It was typical of the music we were playing in those days'',Hayden remembered.
 
"The rest of the band was much older than I was and they were all brought up as country musicians. Everybody was thinking country until Elvis came along. Country was the thing. They didn't care for the Presley records at all. They'd say, 'Aw, he won't last', but recognised straight away that this was something new and different, and was music I wanted to play''.
 
02 – ''I FEEL THE BLUES COMING ON'' - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Hayden Thompson-Charles Bolton
Publisher: - Lyn Music
Matrix number: - A 7355
Released: - 1954
First appearance: - Von Records (S) 78rpm Von 1001-A mono
I FEEL THE BLUES COMING ON / ACT LIKE YOU LOVE ME
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131-25 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Hayden Thompson – Vocal & Acoustic Guitar
Junior Johnson – Fiddle
Perry King – Steel Guitar
Bill Hurt – Bass
Clyde Hill – Guitar
Martin Grissom – Bass
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
OCTOBER 1954
 
Malcolm Yelvington came from country music, or more precisely western swing. He saw what was selling   and tried his damndest to get hip on his second and last Sun single, ''It's Me Baby''/''Rockin' With My Baby''   (Sun 246). Returning to Sun in 1957, he recorded ''Trumpet'', and it's still a mystery why it was left in the   can. Timing out at 1 minute, 22 seconds, it was a little short, but another solo would have taken care of that.
 
LaVern Baker records her first hit ''Tweedle Dee'', in the office of Atlantic Records.
 
OCTOBER 2, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Elvis Presley makes his only appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, singing ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' at Nashville's Rayman Auditorium. Opry manager Jim Denny allegedly tells him not to give up his day job. (See: Elvis Sun Sessions / Elvis 1954).
 
Guitarist Greg Jennings is born in Nicoma Park, Oklahoma. He joins Restless Heart, playing on such smooth hits as ''Why Does It Have To Be (Wrong Or Right)'', ''I'll Still Be Loving You'' and ''Bluest Eyes In Texas''. He also plays on hits by Dan Seals, Rob Crosby and BlackHawk.
 
''The George Gobel Show'' debuts on NBC-TV, a pivotal moment for the show's star, who first gained acclaim as a comedian on WLS Radio's National Barn Dance.
 
OCTOBER 3, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Hank Snow recorded ''Let Me Go, Lover!'', and he recorded with Chet Atkins the instrumental ''Silver Bell'' at Thomas Productions in Nashville.
 
OCTOBER 4, 1954 MONDAY
 
Decca released Bill Monroe's hyper-charged remake of his own bluegrass classic ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''.
 
OCTOBER 5, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Lefty Frizzell recorded ''I Love You Mostly''.
 
OCTOBER 6, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Guitarist David Hidalgo is born in Los Angeles. As a founding member of Los Lobos, he will co-write ''Will The Wolf Survive'', a country hit for Waylon Jennings.
 
OCTOBER 9, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Jo Walker-Meador, future executive director of the Country Music Association, marries Charlie F. Walker.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
During the 1950s, there were two other rockabilly singers in and around Memphis; those who copied Elvis Presley, often providing nothing in the way of originality, and those who pre-dated Presley with a style of their own that somehow became swept up into the rocking amalgam. 
 
Malcolm Yelvington was one of those who had something original to bring to the mix. His music had style, as well as a compelling energy, a real sense of swing. When put together with that unmistakeable Sun Records sound, his music exemplified all the best things that could happen to country music as a response to the oncoming rush of rock and roll.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR MALCOLM YELVINGTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY OCTOBER 10, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Malcolm Yelvinton's music exemplifies all the best things that could happen to country music as a response to the oncoming rush of rock and roll. Malcolm was never a great vocalist but he had an aptitude for what Sam Phillips wanted, country music with a rhythm and blues feel. 
 
Proving its worth in the white market, Sticks McGhee's rhythm and blues chesnut from the forties came up for air several times during the rockabilly groundwell. Sid King and The Five Strings latched on in Texas and The Rock And Roll Trio did the same in Nashville, but Malcolm Yelvington was the first off the mark in Memphis when the song made the topside of his debut Sun single this year. As a newly-signed artist, he had to know to the recently-launched Elvis Presley when it came to the promotional spend.
 
01 - "DRINKIN' WINE SPO-DEE-O-DEE"* - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Stick McGhee-J. Mayo Williams
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated - Universal-MCA Music Ltd
Matrix number: - U 134 - Master
Recorded: - October 10, 1954
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 211-A mono
DRINKIN' WINE SPO-DEE-O-DEE / JUST ROLLING ALONG
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-15 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
Malcolm Yelvington's first Sun record revealed that even after he had discovered Elvis Presley, Sam Phillips was still continuing to look for that elusive hybrid sound. Even middle aged country singers like Yelvington, with a flair for western swing, were given a shot. "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-0-Dee" is a revival of Stick McGhee's massive rhythm and blues hit from 1949, one of the first hits on the Atlantic label. For a moment there, during the first two bars of Yelvinton's record you might think you were at a rockabilly session. It happens again at the start of the guitar solo. There is also a slap bass buried somewhere in mix to keep the illusion going, but by then Red Winn's steel guitar intrudes to let you know this is still 1954 and these are the Star Rhythm Boys.
 
Recording first for Sun in the immediate wake of Elvis Presley's "That's All Right", Yelvinton and his Star Rhythm Boys came up with Sun 211, "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee", a blues song that was to become a favourite with rockabilly singers through the mid-1950s. The flipside said more about where the band was coming from - "Just Rolling Along" is a western-swing item that might easily have been recorded in prewar Texas.  "The time we cut that first record", recalled Malcolm Yelvington, "we went in the middle of the week. He was getting quite a few artists coming in, and the way Sam ran his studio you went when he said to come.

That is if you were interested in getting a record out and doing anything in music. It just happened at this time that it was in the middle of the week, daytime, when all of us was supposed to be working. We all took off from our jobs and went. At that time I was not yet living here in Memphis and all the rest of the boys lived back in Covington, which is about forty miles to the north, where I was born and raised. 

I moved to Memphis here just after the recording. I was here November 1954. We'd been playing music a long time by then. In fact I got started playing weekends with the boys back in Covington. We all lived there and came to Memphis just to record. By the time of the second record I had moved".
 
02 - "JUST ROLLING ALONG"** - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Lavern Fleming
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 135 - Master
Recorded: - October 10, 1954
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 211-B mono
JUST ROLLING ALONG / DRINKIN' WINE SPO-DEE-O-DEE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
"Just Rolling Along" serves as an adequate flipside, unlikely to deflect any attention from "Wine". This is really country and western music, with a strong emphasis on the latter term. The spirit of the Sons of the Pioneers was looming large during this session. Reece Fleming seems to have made an easy transition to western-swing music which is reflected in Sun 211, but it seems that he was no longer with Yelvington by 1955 when the group was retitled "The Warmed Over 4". 
 
There was little chance of ''Just Rolling Along'' becoming a hit, but ''Wine'' sold quite well and Yelvington was perhaps unlucky that Sam Phillips was able to compare his sales figures with those of Presley. It would be a year and a half before Sam found time to put another Yelvington disc.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Malcolm Yelvington - Vocal and Guitar
Gordon Mashburn - Guitar
Jake Ryles - Bass
Reece Fleming - Piano*
Miles "Bubba" Winn - Steel Guitar
Lavern Fleming – Piano**
 
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Malcolm Yelvington came from the area of Covington, Tennessee, some forty miles north of   Memphis, born on September 14, 1918 to Frank Yelvington and Sarah Edwards. Covington   is a country area, as famous for its Tomato Festival as much as anything else, but back in   the 1930s when Malcolm's musical interests were first formed, it was a very country area   indeed. The big musical influences back then were the string bands of barn dance radio   shows, the popular ballads of the day, Bob Wills' western swing music, and the emerging   honky-tonk sounds of Al Dexter or Ernest Tubb. When asked in later years, Malcolm would   normally list his musical interests as 1930s and 1940s popular swing and big bands and the  country music of Bob Wills and Jimmie Rodgers. Nearer to home, the Swift Jewel Cowboys  played jazzy western-swing on Memphis radio every week, while Reece Fleming and   Respers Townsend were a famous local duo who recorded blues and ballads for Victor and   Decca.

At some point, Malcolm decided that he would try his hand at performing in public. He  usually described a show at the Gem Theater in Covington in 1943 as his first public  appearance, singing and playing solo acoustic guitar.  He had played for years at family  events and suchlike, and had formed several alliances with other musicians. One of his  neighbours, Charles Yoakum, recalled: "We were both from Tipton County and played  music together.  We shared a common love of music and Malcolm was the genuine article''.  Around 1941, Malcolm met and married his wife, Lou Ella, who also encouraged him in his  musical ambitions. 
 
Soon after this, Yelvington got together with Reece Fleming, already a veteran recording  artist, to put together a small band in Covington with steel guitarist Miles 'Red' Winn, called  the Tennesseans. Fleming was the son of William Robert Fleming and Emma Raynor, the last  of eight children. He and Respers Townsend had first recorded for Victor in Memphis in May 1930, and over an eight year period they went on to see releases on Bluebird, ARC, and  Decca as well. Mostly they made vocal and yodelling duets with Fleming on guitar and  Townsend on harmonica. Drawing on blues and hillbilly folk traditions, they sometimes took  a salacious approach - ''I'll Tell You About Women'', ''Bad Reputations'', ''She's Just That  Kind'', and so on - but mastered a full range of folk and popular songs.
 
Reece Fleming played both guitar and piano when the newly-formed Tennesseans played  club dates on weekends and the occasional theatre or school house. Fleming was married  to Lavern West, a good pianist, who often played with the band. One day in 1948 they cut  some western-swing demos direct onto an old acetate recording machine owned by  Fleming. Unfortunately these very first recordings by Malcolm Yelvington are now lost.
 
In 1952, the Tennesseans merged with another local band, the Star Rhythm Boys. Their  guitarist and leader, Gordon Mashburn, and bass player Jake Ryles joined Yelvington, the  Flemings, and Winn in the newly-named outfit, Malcolm Yelvington and the Star Rhythm  Boys. The group played wherever they could locally, but now they started a three-year  residency at the Clover Club. They also gained a half-hour slot on Covington radio station  WKBH on Sunday afternoons, and in 1954 they added a daily show of fifteen minutes. This  meant taping a weeks' worth of shows each weekend since most of the band members,  apart from the older Flemings, moved to Memphis in the winter of 1954/55 to gain  steadier day jobs in the city.
 
One day at the end of 1953 or early 1954, Gordon Mashburn learned from a friend in  Ripley, Tennessee that the Sun recording company of Memphis had just issued its first  country record, by a local band, the Ripley Cotton Choppers. (He probably didn't know that the Covington band of Red and Junior Hadley, who had the Saturday afternoon slot on  WKBH, had also recorded there two years earlier, as those sides remained unissued at the  time). Armed with this knowledge, Yelvington and Mashburn visited Sam Phillips at his Sun  studio on Union Avenue in Memphis sometime in the cold winter of 1953/54. "We went  down there and talked to Sam," Malcolm remembered, "and he asked us what we had. We  said 'country'. He said he wasn't so interested in pure country music, so I asked, 'well,  what do you want?' He said, 'I don't know yet but I'll know when I hear it.' Gordon told  him, 'Mr. Phillips, then you'll have to listen to every single person who comes in off the  street.' Sam said, 'I intend to."
 
Wielding a fine Martin acoustic guitar purchased a few years earlier from the Houck Pianos  store on Union Avenue, Yelvington pestered Phillips again and again that winter until  eventually a demo session was set up in the spring. Yelvington and the band taped several  songs including ''Yakety Yak'', but those earliest Sun tapes have apparently not survived.
Then one day in the summer of 1954, the band was putting some western-swing titles on  tape for Phillips when this happened: "Sam was getting quite a few artists coming in, and the way he ran his studio you went when he said to come, that's if you were interested in  getting a record out and doing anything in music'', Yelvington remembered.
 
"It just  happened that this time it was in the middle of the week, daytime, when all of us was  supposed to be working. We all took off from our jobs and went. We were going through  some material that we had, but we couldn't come up with anything that Sam wanted to  record. I would have preferred something like Hank Williams or Moon Mullican, but Sam  said 'No, that kind of music is already available'. He wanted rhythm and blues or something  with a solid beat to it. So then I decided to try ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-Odee'', because that  was a song we had done for dances years before and I could sing it in my sleep. I said to  the boys that we play it every week so we don't need to rehearse it. Gordon Mashburn  took off on it, and soon Sam poked his head round the control room door and asked, 'Where'd you get that one?' I said, 'Man, we've been playing that every week for a long  time. It's a blues record by a feller name of Stick McGhee'. Sam said, 'Let's cut that. That  sounds good. So we cut it and it took about six or seven hours to get it like he wanted. He was most particular. He went out and got some boys to sing in the background, along with  my friend Charles Yoakum from Covington. The group on the record was Reece Fleming,  who played piano on it, Miles Winn played steel, Joke Ryles was on bass, Gordon Mashburn  on lead, and me on rhythm. We didn't have drums on it. At that time I was not yet living  here in Memphis and all the rest of the boys still lived back in Covington. I moved to  Memphis just after the recording and I was here by November when the record came out''.
 
Almost immediately, Sam Phillips played our a similar scene with the young Elvis Presley  who also transformed an older blues song into a new Sun record that summer. The release  of ''Drinking Wine'' was delayed several months, but Yelvington was adamant: "Our 'Drinking Wine' was cut and ready to go by the time Elvis' first record was made''.
 
The Star Rhythm Boys eventually saw their disc issued on 10 November 1954. Drinking  Wine sold to a local market and was not heavily promoted due to the efforts Phillips was  putting behind Presley. The flipside of the disc was ''Just Rolling Along'', a song Reece Fleming had written years earlier and which the Tennesseans had used as a show opener  and signature tune. It was closer to Yelvington's day-to-day style, and it sounds like the  sort of thing recorded in pre-War Texas.
 
Up to this point, Fleming had been the Star Rhythm Boys' main songwriter and musical  director, but he took less of a role in the band through 1955 and 1956 as the band  gradually broke up. He did remain involved in recordings while the band, eager to record  more of their large repertoire, pressed Sam Phillips for a second Sun release. Early in 1955  they cut master versions of ''Yakety Yak'', a band favourite written by Fleming and guitarist  Mashburn, with a clever lyric, and the atmospheric ''Blues In The Bottom Of My Shoes'', which Fleming had adapted from one of his 1930s recordings. Sam Phillips remained  preoccupied with Presley, though, and the second Star Rhythm Boys disc never  materialised.
 
Eventually the waiting became too much and the enthusiastic band, now without steel  player Miles Winn and known as the Warmed Over Four, engineered themselves an  invitation to record ''Yakety Yak'' for a rival label. Meteor Records was owned by Lester  Bihari and based on Chelsea Avenue in the black part of Memphis. The disc appeared in the  summer of 1955 under the name Mac and Jake and the Esquire Trio, on one side, and Mac  Sales and the trio on the other. Sales was Malcolm's middle name, and its connotations amused Bihari who decided to use it on the label to sidestep any argument Sam Phillips  may have had about holding a contract on Yelvington. The Meteor disc sold steadily on a  local basis but Meteor's distribution system was geared mainly to rhythm & blues. It was a  really excellent honky-tonk country record, and deserved a for better fate.
 
Early in 1956, with Presley making a big splash on RCA and with Sun and Carl Perkins  breaking through in a big way with sales of ''Blue Suede Shoes'', the Yelvington band  decided to take a more focused tilt at the emerging rock and roll market. They got  together in a house in Ripley owned by the mother of their friend, Russell Crawford, and  gathered round Russell's tape recorder and one microphone. They demoed ''Rockin' With  My Baby'' and ''It's Me Baby'' to take down to Sam Phillips to try out one more time for that elusive second Sun release. Phillips was impressed with Yelvington's song Rockin', with its  references to popular song titles, and with the bluesy feeling of Fleming's ''It's Me Baby'',  and that spring Phillips recut the songs as Sun 246 along with ''Gonna Have Myself A Ball'', a  song that used the catchphrases of several local disc jockeys.
 
Up to now, Malcolm Yelvington had been in the habit of placing paper between his guitar  strings to deaden the sound and produce a drum effect. The Sun 246 session was the first  time that the band used a drummer, but Yelvington did not remember who he was. Evidence from Sun's files indicates that it was Billy Weir. Certainly the drums underlined  the shift in thinking towards the new rocking music. So did the change in Gordon  Mashburn's lead guitar style. Mashburn had been a classy and hot guitarist all along, but  now he was clearly trying to take on board the style of another Tipton County neighbour,  Carl Perkins. Yelvington told me: "My boys had sat in with his band some nights and Carl  was very unusual with a style all his own. He picked guitar very clean, one note at a time,  no chords, like a blues guitarist''. The trade paper, 'Billboard,' described Yelvington as a  talented rockabilly and his song as a 'jumper' while it found the swinging, bluesy flipside "a  good enough warble." The disc made healthy local sales but it was not the big hit Yelvington longed for.
 
Gradually, the original band was breaking up as its members found other pressures more  important than pursuing the recording dream. Frank Tolley replaced the Flemings on  piano, and Reece Fleming dropped out of the band completely. He died during the 1960s.  However, in 1957, Malcolm Yelvington was back at Sun hustling for another release. He  made at least two sessions that year, now working not with Sam Phillips but with Bill  Justis, a new producer Phillips had taken on. Justis was a trained musician who saw the  future for a smoother kind or rock and roll than Phillips had. He encouraged Malcolm to  use a different band and a different musical formula.
 
For a session in July 1957, which produced three songs, Yelvington brought in Frank Tolley  on piano and Bubba Winn on guitar, brother of the departed steel player, Miles. Justis  augmented this group with members of Phillips' studio bands. For a second session in  October that year, which produced two more songs, the hesitant Bubba Winn was  apparently replaced by Sun's star session guitarist, Roland Janes, and the guitarist's  spacey, ringing sound comes to the fore. It is just possible that Gordon Mashburn was back on this session, but the union payments went to Janes.
 
The songs Yelvington cut in 1957 were mostly upbeat ballads written by Louie Moore, a  young man from Alabama, who turned up at the Sun studio with a file full of good  unpublished songs. The first session worked up three rockaballads, ''Mr. Blues'', ''Did I Ask  You To Stay'', and ''First And Last Love''. A brooding, reflective mood was created on this  session but none of the songs was quite developed to final release standard. Yelvington  became particularly enthusiastic about ''Mr. Blues'', but its progress was blocked by Bill  Justis, who persuaded Phillips that this was not the song to go with. Maybe Justis  preferred songs he had some commercial interest in, or maybe it was the lack of an  authoritative guitar solo that made the difference. In any case, Yelvington's contract expired before the matter could be resolved and Phillips decided to drop Malcolm in  favour of his younger artists. This was despite the July session producing wonderful takes  of two memorable Louie Moore songs, the clever ''It's My Trumpet (I'm Going To Blow It)'', and ''Goodbye Marie'', where Yelvington really sings his heart out.
 
"I didn't try to imitate Elvis," Yelvington declared defiantly. "That's the one thing I didn't do  that all the younger guys came in and did. I had been playing music my way for years. I  couldn't have done it if I'd wanted to. I wanted to be on Sun Records. I was trying to do something upbeat that would be new to Sam Phillips. I called it boogie-woogie. Later, they  called it rockabilly."
 
Reluctantly, Yelvington started to accept that he wasn't going to be a recording star: "Carl  Perkins was the big artist at Sun in 1956. That style was very successful for him. Then in  1957, the big artist at Sun was Jerry Lee Lewis. First time I saw him, I was down at the studio one day and Sam wasn't cutting anything, he was just listening to Lewis. As soon as I  saw Lewis singing and playing piano the way he was and carrying on and going up and  down the keyboard, right then I knew my days as a recording artist were numbered."
 
Malcolm Yelvington continued to play his music through the later 1950s at Memphis area  clubs like the Wayside Inn, the Wagon Wheel, and the Gay Duck. As he moved into the  1960s, the opportunities started to dry up for his band and he eventually quit in 1961 to  concentrate on his regular job as a welder, on his developing passion for ten-pin bowling,  and on his family of five. Just before he gave up, he had been working on a song called  ''Disappointed'' - written years before by Reece Fleming - that was recorded in a local studio but not released. When first met him, he joked that the title summed up his career
in records.
 
It was in the frying heat of the west Tennessee August of 1971 that Colin Escott and Martin  Hawkins went to Malcolm Yelvington's house on Creston in Memphis. When we'd finished  talking about his career in music he got out his 1948 Martin acoustic, sat on his sofa, and  played all his songs. It was wonderful. ''Drinkin' Wine'', ''Rockin' With My Baby'', ''It's Me  Baby'', and the rest. We were straight out of University, writing our first book, and here  was a genuine legend of Sun Records playing a concert directly for us. He sounded the  some as on his records, and as he wormed up his voice became stronger and more fervent.  He kept the rhythm strongly, like a one-man western-swing band. He played ''Yakety Yak'',  ''A Gal Named Jo'', and then he went into unknown territory - ''Blues In The Bottom Of My  Shoes'', ''It's My Trumpet (I'm Going To Blow It)'', songs we'd never heard. They could have  been hits, he explained, if events had turned out differently. If Sam Phillips hadn't  dropped him in favour of promoting the music of younger men, and if his great cut on  ''Trumpet'' had actually been issued.
 
Then he changed the subject. He hadn't played his music for almost a decade, he said, but  he was ready to make a come-back. He'd get a stage suit and a hat or a wig and he'd be  there, if any promoter wanted to employ him. We smiled, reassuringly, nervously. Weren't quite sure what to say to this living legend, this obviously deluded old guy (he was only 53  but we were 21) sitting there sweating and smoking and playing guitar in his old white tee  shirt, with his thinning hair and lined face. We knew he was great. We'd just heard it. But  we knew that the music we liked was very far off the mainstream. We didn't know any  promoters, and we didn't think there was much call in the pop music world of 1971 for the  likes of Malcolm Yelvington. That moment has often haunted me. I really wish we had  known how to do something for him, but we didn't.
 
There is a happy post script to the Yelvington story, though. While he was apparently out  of music, in fact Malcolm kept his hand in all along, in gospel music. He joined a group  called the Carpenter's Crew at his local church, and even made some cassettes of their performances in 1993. He was also in a gospel group called the Dempsey's with Jimmy Van  Eaton and Mark Bell.
 
Then, in 1988, six months before his seventieth birthday, on the back of a decade of Sun  reissues, he was invited to play some rockabilly revival shows in England and Holland.  These were performed with Dave Travis's fine band to great acclaim from European fans of  the Sun sound, most of whom were young enough to be Malcolm's grandchildren. The  music was captured by Collector Records in Holland and issued three years later on the  CD, ''A Tennessee Saturday Night''. The disc enabled Malcolm to record Disappointed, at  last.
 
This kick-started something of a Yelvington revival, and when the old Sun Records studio  was revamped and opened to tourists, Malcolm took his turn with others at showing people  round, hanging out, and generally being revered. He continued to play special revival  shows and local events. For instance, in July 1998, when he appeared at the Lauderdale  County Tomato Festival, headlining with blues singer Little Milton, another veteran of Sun  and Meteor Records.
 
That year saw a Malcolm Yelvington CD album, '''There's A Little Life Left In This Old Boy  Yet'', appear on Freedonia Records. It was recorded in the old Sun studio and included a  country song, ''One Rose'', that Yelvington had been performing since his days at the Gem  Theater in 1943, a proper studio performance of ''Disappointed'', a number of Yelvington's  own songs and favourites, and some new songs written especially by Billy Swan and Billy  Lee Riley.
 
Singer Billy Swan, of ''I Can Help'' fame, said: "Malcolm Yelvington was one of the sweetest,  kindest men I knew. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone. He loved singing and  performing, and he talked a lot about the old days and about his church."
 
Malcolm Yelvington died at Memphis Baptist Hospital on February 21, 2001, press reports  variously blaming cancer, heart failure, or pneumonia but in truth it was all three. His  funeral service in Bartlett, Tennessee, included recordings of Malcolm's Christian songs, and was attended by his five children, eleven grandchildren, and two great grandchildren  as well as friends and fellow musicians.
 
Remarkably, and pleasingly, there is still an audience out there for Malcolm's music, rooted  in Southern country styles and recorded over half a century ago by a local band trying to  tailor their style to the popular demands of the moment. Malcolm Yelvington and the Star  Rhythm Boys created an effortless blend of western-swing and country blues that was  badged under rock and roll at the time, and is still well worth reviving today.
OCTOBER 1954
 
Sam Phillips worked alone with his blues artists, believing that no one else could do as good   a job rehearsing and recording them. But he had fewer reservations about entrusting some   of his country music production to the team of Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch.  ''They   were old friends I had known for many years'', recalls. ''We all lived in the same part of   Alabama when we starting out. I lived in Florence and they worked out of Muscle Shoals''. 
 
Claunch and Cantrell had formed a hillbilly band, the Blue Seal Pals, in the mid-1940s and   had played for a spell on WSM, the home of the Grand Ole Opry. By 1948 the group had   disbanded, and both Claunch and Cantrell had moved to Memphis to take up full-time jobs   outside music, retaining only a limited involvement.
 
In 1954 Claunch and Cantrell worked up a song called ''Daydreamin''', which they planned to   record with a local singer, Bud Deckelman. After they had auditioned it for Phillips, who   refused it, they went to see Phillips' local competitor, Meteor Records. With Meteor they   were able to make a deal-as part of the arrangement, Cantrell and Deckelman, both   engineers, agreed to fix Meteor's recording machine - and despite lukewarm reviews in the   trade press ''Daydreamin''' became a strong-selling record. Jimmy Newman quickly covered   the song and scored the hit, but Deckelman's version secured him an MGM contract.
 
Phillips realized his mistake, which must have been doubly galling given that he had   mastered the Meteor disc. By that point Elvis Presley was selling well in the country market,   and Phillips' thoughts turned quickly and seriously toward country music. He asked Claunch   and Cantrell to work with him rehearsing new country acts, and asked for first refusal on   their new material.
 
Claunch and Cantrell discovered some of the artists they worked with; Phillips found others.   Cantrell's protege included Maggie Sue Kimberly, a four- teen-year-old gospel singer from   Muscle Shoals, who sang a ''Daydreamin''' sequel called ''Daydreams Come True'' that   betrayed her tender years. After a subsequent session for Sun in a rock and roll vein, Maggie   Sue retired from secular music for a while, re-emerging as Sue Richards in the early 1970s.   She scored a few minor hits under her own name and then joined up with Tammy Wynette's   group.
THE STORY ABOUT THE TWO BLUE SEAL PALS - Bill Cantrell, described himself as a farm boy from  Hackleburg, Alabama, population 300. Among those 300 at one tim3 were the Loden family, including future  country star Sonny James. Cantrell first took up playing guitar and fiddle at square-dances back in the late  1930s, recalling such dances as the major source of entertainment out in the country where he lived. 
 
His first professional music jobs were with radio stations in Birmingham, followed by a stint in the Army  and then a move to Florence where he formed a country band.  It was at this time, in 1942, that he first met Sam Phillips who was then working as an announcer at radio station WLAY in Muscle Shoals. Cantrell's band, the Dixie Pals, gained a sponsor in the Blue Seal Flour Co. of Columbia, Tennessee and Cantrell  obtained a spot on the Florence radio station WJOI sometime after Sam Phillips moved to Decatur, Alabama  in 1943 and from there on to WLAC in Nashville.
 
Sam Phillips was still in Nashville in the early part of 1945 when Cantrell renamed Blue Seal Pals gained a  regular Saturday morning radio show on the rival Nashville station, WSM. Commuting to Nashville from  Muscle Shoals, the band had by now been joined by Quinton Claunch. Originally from Tishomingo,  Mississippi, Claunch had moved to Muscle Shoals in his teens and met Cantrell on a trip to Memphis.
 
Between 1946 and 1948 the Blue Seal Pals worked professionally in Nashville on WSM and as a backing  group on tour with WSM Grand Ole Opry acts. Their jobs included acting as strait men for country comics  Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield. Musically they were able to keep up with trends in country music on the  emergent Nashville scene.
 
Bill Cantrell moved briefly to Chicago by 1948 he and Claunch get settled in Memphis. They both found  Memphis a more convenient location for family reasons. They also quit full time work. Quinton Claunch  obtained a job as a salesman for a steel products company which he retained for 43 years.
 
In Memphis, Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell continued to play country music intermittently through the  early 1950s, mostly with singer Bud Deckelman and his brothers. This group would occasionally make live  performances or appear on radio but their activities were fairly low key. The leading country bands in  Memphis at the time were the Slim Rhodes Show, Buck Turner's Buckaroos, the Bob McKnight Band, the  Garrett Snuff Variety Boys, and Clyde Leoppard's Snearly Ranch Boys. Sometime during the fall of 1951, a childhood friend of Quinton Claunch named Price Twitty came to Memphis to play a few country music  gigs. (See The Sun Sessions: 1951 Sessions).
 
During the intercreding years, Claunch and Cantrell were writing songs with Bud Deckelman for use on their  evening and weekend country gigs. One song in particular, ''Daydreamin''', gained a good audience reaction  so in the summer or early fall of 1954 Claunch finally approached Sam Phillips with a view to recording the  song. ''I don't recall exactly when this was'', Claunch mused, ''but it was just before Elvis Presley broke onto  the market. Sam told us, 'I'm too busy with other things. That ''Daydreamin'''is a good song and I'd like to use  it someday. I intend to record more of that kind of music but right now I can't do it''.
 
In another conversation with John Floyd, Quinton added, ''We took the demo to Sam. He said, 'Well, I like  the concept but you need to do this and that'. I felt I knew as much about country music as he did''. And so  Claunch and Cantrell went elsewhere. Claunch continues: ''It happened that there was another studio in town,  Meteor Records, over on Chelsea Avenue, so we decided that we couldn't wait on Sam forever. We took the  song over to Lester Bihari at Meteor. He too was mainly recording blues up to that point, but he took a  chance with ''Daydreamin'' and it was a hit.
 
Bill Cantrell described the kind of chance taken by Lester Bihari, recalling that it was really a two-sided deal.  ''Les had not issued a record in a little while because his recorder was bust. Bud Deckelman was a mechanic,  and he had to patch up the old recorder machines that Les used before we could go in there and record''.
 
''Daydreamin'''was recorded in the latter part in 1954 by Deckelman with a band that included Bud's brother  Dood and Quinton Claunch on guitars, Bill Cantrell on fiddle, Dan Chambers on bass and Eddie Emanus on  steel guitar. The record was issued in January 1955 and charted locally before being covered by Jimmy  Newman on Dot Records in Nashville. Newman's version entered the national country charts in April 1955.  The song has since become a minor country standard. On the strength of the one record on Meteor, Bud  Deckelman was signed by MGM Records as one of the many next Hank Williams and went on to make  several good country discs.
 
Sam Phillips had been aware of the Deckelman saga, not least because he had mastered the Meteor disc on  his own equipment at 706 Union. The success of ''Daydreamin''' must have galled Sam, but it also helped to  convince him that his recently increased excursions into the hillbilly marketplace were justified. Before  ''Daydreamin''' hit, Sam had started to use Claunch and Cantrell on his sessions, particularly with Carl  Perkins. Now he called them and offered a more substantial deal. They would work either with his singers or find their own, writing and polishing the songs to be recorded and rehearsing bands up to session standard.
 
''We didn't have a contract'', Sam recalled, ''it was just a general understanding. They were trying to find an  outlet for their services. Their main interest was in scouting talent and songwriting. Plus, they could work on  a song as musicians which was very useful to me''. Claunch and Cantrell accepted this chance to make music  and money, though they both recall that there was more of the former than the latter. ''After the hard work  was done, mostly at night after we got off our regular jobs'', said Cantrell, ''and after the session itself, if Sam  found anything on tape he could use, then we'd get paid''.
 
Sun's push toward the country market commenced in the fall of 1954. Sam concentrated on the promotion of  Elvis Presley for most of the year and Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch concentrated on working with  several artists including Carl Perkins, Charlie Feathers, and the Miller Sisters who would start off Sam's new  Flip label at the turn of the year. Possible the first of Phillips' artists to work with Claunch and Cantrell was  Charlie Feathers. He had apparently contacted Sam Phillips during 1953 if not earlier, but found that Sam was too involved with blues recordings to commit time to him. The first, unissued, session of Feathers was  held in the fall of 1954 and apparently included ''Runnin' Around''. A Feathers song based on the Hank  Williams formula, the Claunch and Cantrell song ''I've Been Deceived'' and several titles since lost.  According to Claunch these included the rhythm and blues tune ''Corrine Corrina'' (since discovered and  released on Zu-Zazz) and several Claunch and Cantrell originals. It was some time later, in February 1955,  that Sam Phillips accepted cuts of ''I've Been Deceived'' and ''Peepin' Eyes'' for release on Flip 503 that April.  By then the country production deal had also yielded ''Turn Around'' and ''Movie Magg'' (Flip 501) by Carl  Perkins and ''Someday You Will Pay Someday'' (Flip 503) by the Miller Sisters. Claunch was enamored of  Feathers' talent, but realised the problems: ''If that guy had had a little education and common sense'', he told  John Floyd, ''he could have been where Carl Perkins had got, or a lot of those guys. He could feel a song, but man, putting up with him was something else''.
 
Carl Perkins, Charlie Feathers and the Miller Sisters had found Sam Phillips of their own accord, and in turn  had been passed on to Bill and Quinton to rehearse. Maggie Sue Wimberly, in contrast, was also a Claunch  and Cantrell protege (See Maggie Sue sessions). Through 1955, the Claunch and Cantrell productions  prospered with Sun's growing involvement in country music. They consistently made classically fine hillbilly  music. Their formula was a modified Hank Williams sound, and it was very effective. Quinton Claunch explained it this way to John Floyd: ''Bill and I were cutting pretty much straight country, but Memphis could  never cut down-home redneck country. They didn't have the engineers who understood it, didn't have the  musicians who could play it professional like the guys in Nashville. It was a lot more rough. I played that  peck rhythm, a thump rhythm on guitar. Sam asked me to do it, and it went over real well''. It was taken to its  logical conclusion when Luther Perkins recorded with Johnny Cash. No fiddle, no steel guitar, no electric guitar fills, just the peck rhythm.
 
Claunch and Cantrell liked full country productions. Around the simple bass and rhythm backdrop there was  the interplay of steel guitar, fiddle, and plaintive, high-pitched hillbilly vocals. Cantrell provided the fiddle,  but the key instrument was often the steel guitar. Usually, but not always, this was played by Stan Kesler  whose timely and inspiring solos served to put the finishing touch onto many of the Claunch and Cantrell  songs. Among the best of their music was ''Turn Around'' and ''Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing'' by Carl  Perkins, ''Finders Keepers'' and ''You Can Tell Me'' by the Miller Sisters, and ''I've Been Deceived'' and  ''Defrost Your Heart'' by Charlie Feathers.
 
The end of the road for this country music productions deal was signaled in December 1955 when the  Claunch and Cantrell song ''Sure To Fall'' was scheduled to appear on Carl Perkins' next record, backing  ''Honey Don't''. At the last moment, Sam and Carl decided to use a new rock and roll song Carl had come up  with titled ''Blue Suede Shoes''. Bill reluctantly agreed to leave ''Sure To Fall'' off the record: ''That little  mistake cost me about &140,000 in royalties. From that moment on Quinton and I decided we should put our  songs on the back of every record we could. The only way to control this was to have our own record  company. That was really the time when Hi Records was born, at least in our minds''.
 
''Sam wanted us to work with Barbara Pittman'', Claunch told Floyd. ''She couldn't sing. We worked with her  night after night, months after month, but couldn't get nothin' going. No voice, no range, no feeling. So Bill  and I left and went to work with another Memphis label, OJ. Then Bill and I and Ray Harris started Hi  Records with (record store owner) Joe Cuoghi''. Claunch was forced out of Hi for peddling a Bill Black  Combo sound alike to Chess, and he started Goldwax Records. Cantrell remained one of the Hi partners until  the label was sold to Cream Records in 1977.
OCTOBER 12, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Tommy Collins recorded ''It Tickles''.
 
OCTOBER 14, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Three Hurricanes strike United States in one year including Hurricane Hazel one of the worst hurricanes of  the 20th century U.S. Hurricane Carolstrikes New England killing 70 people.
 
OCTOBER 15, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Bill and Cliff Carlisle's father, Van Carlise, dies  Bobby Lord signs a recording contract with Columbia. The association yields his first hit within two years.
 
''The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin'' make it's debuts,  is an American children's television program. Beginning in October 15, 1954 until May 8, 1959, 166 episodes originally aired on ABC television network. It starred child actor Lee Aaker as Rusty, a boy orphaned in an Indian raid, who was being raised by the soldiers at a US Cavalry post known as Fort Apache. He and his German shepherd dog, Rin Tin Tin, helped the soldiers to establish order in the American West. Texas-born actor James E. Brown appeared as Lieutenant Ripley "Rip" Masters. Co-stars included veteran actor Joe Sawyer and actor Rand Brooks from ''Gone With The Wind'' fame.
 
OCTOBER 16, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Louisiana Hayride, singing ''That's All Right'' and ''Blue  Moon Of Kentucky'' two times each. Drummer D.J. Fontana performs with Presley for the first time, though  he's forced to play behind a curtain.
 
OCTOBER 18, 1954 MONDAY
 
Capitol released Faron Young's ''If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')''.
OCTOBER 24, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Carl Perkins signs a two-year recording contract with Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.
 
OCTOBER 25, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Justin Tubb and Goldie Hill recorded ''Sure Fire Kisses''.
 
Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''Time Goes By''.
 
Decca released Kitty Wells ''Thou Shalt Not Steal''.
 
Capitol released Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West's ''Stratosphere Boogie''. The recording is ranked among  country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Sun's country band in the studio, 1954, for a Maggie Sue Wimberly session. (From left, standing) Sam Phillips, Quinton Claunch, Dexter Johnson, unknown. (Kneeling and sitting) Stan Kesler, Bill Cantrell, and Kenny Lovelace.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Like Dolly Parton, country singer Maggie Sue began her professional career a bit younger than most. In Parton's case, she has spent most of her adult life trying to live down those horrid sides she left in Goldband's tape vaults. Maggie Sue had far less to be ashamed of. In truth, if you knew nothing about this record, you'd be unlikely to guess that the singer was barely a teenager when she recorded these sides. 
 
Maggie Sue Wimberly, was a Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell protege. Like Bob Price, Maggie Sue was known by Quinton for her ability to sing around the house back in Muscle Shoals. At one time she lived within a few streets of both Bob Price and Quinton Claunch.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR MAGGIE SUE WIMBERLY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY OCTOBER 25, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL CANTRELL
AND QUINTON CLAUNCH
 
It was on one of their trips home that Claunch and Bill Cantrell decided to take Maggie Sue to Memphis to see Sam Phillips. Maggie Sue, born in Muscle Shoals in 1941, was very young, only 14, but possessed an acceptably adult voice and sufficient talent to persuade Sam Phillips to record her.  "How Long" is perhaps the stronger of her two sides, although neither garnered much sales attention. Apart from the novelty of Maggie Sue's  youth, or the marketing of an answer record, these sides provide a  clear glimpse of the Memphis country sound circa 1954-1955.  It is a magic moment in music history. The crystal clear hillbilly  style heard here had all but vanished within the next year. 

It is captured to perfection on this record: Bill Cantrell's sawing fiddle,  Stan Kesler's melodic steel, and the muted walking guitar of Quinton Claunch.  The song was plucked from obscurity by Rita Robbins who recorded a cover version in the early months of 1956. 

01 - "HOW LONG" - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 166 - Master
Recorded: - October 25, 1954
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 229-B mono
HOW LONG / DAYDREAM COME TRUE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2
 
''How Long'', recorded the previous year, is perhaps the stronger of the two released sides, although neither garnered much sales attention. Maggie Sue recalled her Sun sessions, saying "I had never given much thought to country music before I went to Sun to cut "How Long". I was singing in a gospel choir, the Harmonettes, when Quinton and Bill asked me to change to country music.  I soon found that country was down to earth music. I felt comfortable singing it".
 
Apart from the novelty of Maggie Sue's youth, or the marketing of an 'answer record', these sides provide a clear glimpse of the Memphis country sound circa 1954-55. It is a magic moment in music history. The crystal clear hillbilly sound heard here had all but vanished within a year.
 
It is captured to perfection on this record: Bill Cantrell's sawing fiddle, Stanley Kesler's melodic steel, and the muted walking guitar of Quinton Claunch. Claunch's work would live on in Luther Perkins' minimalist picking on Johnny Cash records, but the rest of the Memphis country sound was soon to disappear into the ether. Maggie Sue didn't disappear with in, though. She reappeared as Sue Richards, scored a few country hits under her own name, including albums issued on Epic and Dot Records. She finally settled into a regular job in country music, singing years backup for Tammy Wynette. 
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Maggie Sue Wimberly - Vocal
Bill Cantrell - Fiddle
Stanley Kesler - Steel Guitar
Quinton Claunch - Guitar
Marcus Van Story - Bass
 
There is some uncertainty about the genesis of SUN 229 by Maggie Sue. The disc coupled two Claunch and Cantrell songs, How Long" and "Daydreams Come True" (recorded March 1955), and was evidently issued in December 1955 judging by the known release dates of other Sun singles. However, the filed session details give the recording date as March 18, 1955, some nine months before the release date.

It is possible that Sam Phillips was too busy with Elvis Presley and other artists to issue the record immediately it was ready. It is also possible that he only decided to put the record out at all when he learned that Les Bihari at Meteor had also recorded a version of "Daydreams Come True". The Bains' version came out on Meteor early in 1956.

Sam obviously would not have wanted to lose out on the sequel to "Daydreamin'" as he had on the original song. One other twist to the story is that demo tapes of Carl Perkins singing "Turn Around", dating from October 25, 1954, also contain two cuts of Maggie singing "How Long". It is not clear whether this was the true date of the Wimberly session or whether, tragically, some of the Perkins tape was re-used for Maggie's session in March 1955. In any event, the changing musical climate at the dawn of 1956 doomed "Daydreams Come True". It only sold a little over two thousand copies.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 27, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
By the time of Billy Emerson third session at Sun, on October 27, 1954, he was no longer a local musician. He told: "I was in Chicago when I cut ''When It Rains It Pours'' for Sun. I came back to Memphis to make the session on that''. ''We brought some fellas, some musicians, all the way down, car broke down, rain storm, it rained like water pouring out of a barrel, never seen it rain that hard... And you're talking about when it rains it pours, I sang that song from my heart that day''. Emerson went to describe how the car broke down and they stopped at a club they knew in Arkansas. They owner drove them to Memphis the next day to make the session.
 
Sure enough, the recording logs from Sun show that this time Ike Turner was not involved and that Emerson and drummer Prindell were augmented by the rhythm and horn players they had joined up with in Cairo some months earlier. The session had an accordingly different sound and, Billy said, ''it was the next two records that really were hits for me''. By it's, what he meant was not action on the national sales charts, but that his songs regularly became 'Pick Hits' when reviewed in the trade press and tipped for success in regional markets.
During the early 1950s in the world of rhythm and blues, if one performer annexed another's work it wasn't considered a cardinal sin. The odd lawsuit might result (as in the case of Rufus Thomas' "Bear Cat") but Jesse Stone who had authoured the famed "Shake Rattle And Roll", kept a low profile when Billy Emerson transformed his song into "Move, Baby Move". Following a shift to Chicago, "The Kid" (as he'd become known) then worked his way through most of that city's independents. 
 
Look at it this way. Perhaps the only rip-off of Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle And Roll", better than this was Turner's own "Flip, Flop And Fly". Emerson and his tight little combo have crafted an infectious rolling groove on "Move Baby Move", as well as a clever new lyric. 
 
Lines like "Stop that catting and gives this dos a break" are worth remembering. In case there was any doubt, Robert Prindell is a drummer who likes to have the last word. Upon release in January 1955, Billboard picked ''Move Baby Move'' over ''When It Rain It Pours'' saying, ''This hand-clapping, foot-stomping opus is tailore made for the current trend... solid, irresistible beat sell this side''.
 
01 - "MOVE BABY MOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - William R. Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 138 - Master
Recorded: - October 27, 1954
Released: - January 8, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 214-A mono
MOVE BABY MOVE / WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-21 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1 
 
The melody is a note-for-note reconstruction of Joe Turner's massive contemporaneous hit - although that song most certainly did not originate with Turner. However, "Move Baby" is a wonderful and driving performance, no the worse for its derivative origins. Once again Billy sets Bennie Moore up for a memorable sax solo - mind you, it's a good thing the rhythm was propped up by some percussive handclapping, as this track is not of Phillips' better efforts in the art of criply-recorded drums.
 
Drummer Robert Prindell certainly made a solid contribution to the disc, but so did guitarist Elven Parr and then there is the all too brief sax solo to admire. Despite his attempts at a rocking sound, it was the beautifully crafted stop-time blues on the flipside that became the real hit in several territories and went on to be what Emerson recalls as his best-selling record. ''When It Rains It Pours'' is a desolate song. strongly sung and with some marvellous jazz-based sax playing by Luther Taylor.
 
02 - "WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - William R. Emerson
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 139 - Master
Recorded: - October 27, 1954 (Or September 18, 1954)
Released the same day as Elvis' third Sun single, "Milcow Blues Boogie", (and also a  favourite of the Hillbilly Cat's) this captures the kind of foreboding bluesiness that  was already beginning to disappear from the Sun gameplan.
Released: - January 8, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 214-B mono
WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS / MOVE BABY MOVE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3-22 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
Emerson's version stands up well. The riffing is fairly aggressive, whilst the instrumental break is simply one of those beautiful moments in Sun rhythm and blues folklore: Emerson's cry of "All right" sets up tenor saxman Bennie Moore's powerful solo, which begins with a tense, sustained note. Reportedly, Moore was angry with Phillips for having to do so many takes and his frustration was put to good use here. Elven Parr's guitar has a fine, dirty tone, and his incessant showcases Moore's impassioned honking.
 
Emerson includes a wonderful little slice of black patois in his lyric to "Rains". With the exception of Elvis Presley, who covered this song both on Sun Records and RCA Victor, it is unlikely you will ever hear a white man say "She really opened up my nose". The meaning is simply: I was on her case once I got her scent. One can only wonder if Sam Phillips had to ask Billy what it meant.
 
The hit that got away. Marion Keisker remembers that Elvis Presley continually coming into the Sun studio asking whether he could do cover versions of the current hits. Sam Phillips usually had two reasons for refusing - either he didn't own the publishing rights, or there were already enough versions on the market competing for airplay. This Phillips fed Presley Hi-Lo copyrights whenever possible, most notably Emerson's
 
"When It Rains", which Billy cut three months after Presley's first Sun session. Elvis Presley duly recorded the number for Sun Records, although it remained unreleased until its inclusion on an early 1980s Legendary Masters compilation. More surprisingly, perhaps, Elvis Presley re-cut the song for RCA Victor in 1957.
 
03 - "INTERVIEW BILLY EMERSON" - B.M.I. - 1:01
Billy Emerson was hardly over-interviewed. 
His harrowing tale of how he journeyed to Memphis to cut the record, 
stems from a chat we had during his maiden visit to the
United Kingdom at the beginning of the Eighties.
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-12 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002
 
The version "Shim Sham Shimmy" presented here is an alternate to that issued on the Sun Blues Sunbox 105. It remains a real mystery as to why this side was never released: it's among the most instantly catchy of Emerson's songs, made all the more memorable by the band chanting the refrain. Admittedly the pure blues content here is low, but this was a solid commercial effort - and was resurrected by Emerson as "Do The Chicken" some three years later at a Vee-Jay session. (The take used here is different to that used on the original Sun Box).
 
04(1) - "SHIM SHAM SHIMMY" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - William R. Emerson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1  - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 27, 1954
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30148 mono
SUN SOUND SPECIAL - SHOOBIE OOBIE
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-9 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
No music stands still without atrophying and dying, and this bears evidence of the changes overtaking rhythm and blues.  White kids were picking up on the music.. In fact, a few weeks after this session, one of them would walk into Phillips' studio. Rhythm and blues disc jockeys loved the commercially savvy music pouring forth from Atlantic Records in New York. As the gutbucket era receded into the past, Billy The Kid Emerson could and made it. 
 
04(2) - "SHIM SHAM SHIMMY" - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - William R. Emerson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 27, 1954
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm SUN 36 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1992 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-22 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Billy Emerson - Vocal and Piano
Bennie Moore - Tenor Saxophone
Luther Taylor - Alto Saxophone
Charles Smith - Trumpet
Elven Parr - Guitar
Robert Prindell - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
''When It Rains It Pours'' and the story about Elvis - "That song'', Billy Emerson said of  ''When It Rains It Pours'', "was nearly a monster seller. Sam Phillips loved it but he didn't  concentrate on it, he didn't push for it. He wanted Elvis Presley to cut it as a single, and  he later did record it for RCA''.  In fact, Elvis Presley recorded the song for Sun sometime in 1955 and it lay in a tape box  unissued until included in an RCA boxed set in 1983. Presley recorded the song again for  RCA in 1957, though that version did not appear until 1965, when it brought Billy Emerson  some deserved credit as a songwriter.
 
Although there was fairly limited connection between black musicians and white in the  Sun studio. There is no doubt that the paths of Billy Emerson and Elvis Presley crossed on  more than one occasion in 1954 and 1955. Certainly enough for Emerson to have some  first-hand stories and some opinions. Billy told that he first met Elvis in the Sun studio  during 1954, and it is the case that the recordings of a song called ''Shim Sham Shimmy''  that Emerson made at the same time as ''When It Rains It Pours'', in October 1954, were  found on the same tape as a take of Elvis Presley's ''I Don 't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'',  made just a month before. ''Shim Sham Shimmy'' was introduced by some churchy piano  but soon developed into a fully-fledged rocker with growling guitar figures, riffing saxes,  punctuating guitar and sax solos, handclapping and general enthusiasm all round.
 
Emerson has more than once recounted how "Sam would let Elvis go out with us, but  there's not printed anywhere where Elvis Presley was associated with Phineas Newborn,  Calvin Newborn, Kenneth Banks, and Billy Emerson. Pee Wee Crayton was playing at the  Flamingo, upstairs there on Hernando, and he went with us down there to hear Crayton  play. Ah man, he thought that was something, and it learned him about stage personality.  He was just watching, learning how to do it. And so I understand, he went out to West  Memphis with Phineas Newborn's band''.
 
The trip of Elvis to see Crayton was probably not in the fall of 1954 but may have been  made around May 31, 1955 when Emerson returned to Memphis to make his fourth session  for Sun, this time backed not by his own band, but by that of Phineas Newborn. He was  paid 25 dollars for the session and Newborn 90, but it was at this low budget session that  Billy made what turned out to be his most lasting contribution to rock and roll.
OCTOBER 1954
 
There is an enduring belief among Carl Perkins' diehard constituency that if fate had just  taken a few different turns, if he had not suffered an automobile accident at a critical juncture in his career, if he had only had a manager as wily as Colonel Tom Parker, if Sun had  not deserted him to concentrate on Jerry Lee Lewis, then Carl would have been as big as  Elvis Presley. 
 
Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins leaped into the public consciousness at approximately the  same time, each with a brand of music that broke down well-established barriers. Indeed,  both were nourished by the same musical wellsprings; but the similarity ends there.
 
It's not  that Perkins was an inferior musician to Presley, for in many ways he was superior; it's not  even that Perkins' potential was sapped by his fifteen minutes of fame back in 1956.
 
Rather,  the fact is that Presley had the personal and musical malleability to sustain a career in an  orbit beyond the one that had spawned him. Carl Perkins did not. His music was born and  bred in the barrooms of the mid-South. The rhythms that underpinned his music and the  images in his songs were pure honky-tonk. He got lucky with one song near the dawn of his  long career, and he certainly deserved that luck, but you could never take the country out  of Carl Perkins.
OCTOBER 1954
 
The Perkins Brothers Band headed for Memphis. Marion Keisker apparently showed them  away, but they met Sam Phillips outside on the street. Perkins was impressed by Sam Phillips'  new car and his matching suit and shirt. For his part, Sam Phillips encountered someone  whom he later decided as "one of the greatest plowhands in the world", adding, "There was  no way Carl could hide that pure country in him - although pure country can mean an awful  lot of soul". "Sam later said he felt sorry for me", recalls Perkins. "He said I looked like I  would have died if he hadn't listened to me.
 
And I might have. He said he liked "Turn Around"  although he later said that he wasn't knocked out by anything else I did". Sam Phillips  remembers seeing more promise than fulfilment: "He was a tremendous honky-tonk picker.
 
He had this feel for pushing a song along that very few people had. I knew that Carl could  rock and in fact he told me right from the start that he had been playing that music before  Elvis came out on record. I was so impressed with the pain and feeling in his country singing,  though, that I wanted to see whether this was someone who could revolutionize the country  end of the business. That didn't mean we weren't going to rock with Carl. That was  inevitable because he had such rhythm in his natural style".
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE OCTOBER 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL CANTRELL & 
QUINTON CLAUNCH
 
Sun label boss, Sam Phillips, heard in Carl Perkins: "a voice that could have revolutionised the world of country music, if his guitar playing hadn't revolutionised rock and roll first". Sam knew that he had gained a unique acquisition. A young man who could sing either ballads or rockers while playing his own searing lead guitar licks. A man whose background in gospel, country and blues music up in Lake County, Tennessee was so uniquely moulded in his own style that an entirely new form of Southern music resulted. During his all too brief 3-year association with Sun, Carl Perkins cut some of the most commercial rockabilly discs ever, like "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Glad All Over", and some raw tunes like "Dixie Fried" that he could have hardly expected to sell across the state line. He also left behind some of the most heartrending hillbilly songs, some of which appear in previously unissued versions.
 
"My daddy", recalled Carl Perkins, "would say, don't play so fast, son, you'll never amount to nothing playing like that. But I said, daddy, that's the only way I like to play. That's the way I feel. Later on, Sam Phillips told me that was what was important, to play what you feel. And I believe it's true today".

Carl Perkins first recording session appeared at Sun came a bare three months after Elvis Presley in October 1954, and it yielded a fully-developed rockabilly sound, hillbilly songs with the Perkins rhythm. He recorded "Honky Tonk Gal" and "Movie Magg" with his trio before Sam Phillips placed him in the hands of Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch to work upon a hillbilly single with a fuller instrumentation.

01(1) - "HONKY TONK BABE (GAL)" - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-9 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311 FK-2-13 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959
 
01(2) - "HONKY TONK BABE (GAL)" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2- Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - April 27, 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-1-2 mono
CARL PERKINS – THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES
 
01(3) - "HONKY TONK BABE (GAL)" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - April 27, 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240 ER-1-3 mono
CARL PERKINS – THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES
 
01(4) - "HONKY TONK BABE (GAL)" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 4- Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - April 27, 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240 ER-1-4 mono
CARL PERKINS – THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES
 
01(5) - "HONKY TONK BABE (GAL)" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 5 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 028 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 4 - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311 FK-6-22 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959 
 
''HONKY TONK BABE / GAL''
 

In late October or early November 1954, the Perkins Brothers Band made its second trip to the Sun studio. The first trip had been to audition for Sam Phillips, this trip was for a recording session. The second song they recorded at this session was ''Honky Tonk Babe/Gal'' (the title is taken from the tag tag line but, like so many other lyrics in Carl's early performances, it didn't always come out the same). The band had been performing the song for a whale in the bars around Jackson, Tennessee.

At the session, they did the song five times but Sam, though he said he laked it, didn't think they'd got It perfect And so these recordings remained unheard for decades.

And what's wonderful about these takes is the enormous infectious energy that drives all of them from start to finish. The seeds of rockabilly were sown early. Listening to them more than half a century later, we can see that both of Sam's opinions were correct - they never nailed ''Honky Tonk Babe'' and this band was destined to make a lot of stunningly wonderful recorders.

Even though the Perkins band had been playing this song in the bars for years, we can hear the arrangement evolve over these five takes One notable change is that in the first of the five, Carl's vocal opens the song but he adds a guitar introduction In the following four. The one guitar solo in the first take proves to be his favorite after he tries a different approach in the second take. The later takes have two solos and eventually they're all alike - repeats of the one from the first take. That chosen solo has an exciting aggressive opening, similar in feel to what Scotty Moore plays on the second solo of Elvis's ''Baby Let's Play House''. Carl and Elvis were playing shows together and we shouldn be surprised that two first-class guitar pickers who were inventing a new style of music would draw inspiration from each other.

The song's structure seems to be made up on the spot. Sometimes there are two verses after a solo, sometimes three. The lyrics change as well. Of course, there's the shift from ''Honky Tonk Babe'' to ''Honky Tonk Gal''. Verses come and go. One notable verse in the first take (''they took the sand from the dance floor''), never reappears. But it raises a possibility that could resolve an old mystery: Is the ''sand from the dance floor'', the source of ''you got that sand all over your feet'' in ''Honey Don't''.

One constant in all the takes is the verse where Carl scat sings two lines, ending ''la dah dee doh'' (which rhymes with ''floor''). We guess he picked that idea up from Elvis' record of ''That All Right''. It works tine here too. What's remarkable about these five recordings ís the way they give hints of what was to come - the blended of country music with other forms of pop music. Surely, this is a country song. The theme of the lyric is a country staple - woman seduced by the bright lights and honky tonks ''downtown''. Carl's singing starts out very country - he cracks his voice in a near-yodel as was common for country singers of the day. But over the course of the five takes, the vocals become more energetic and more confident and tie cracked-voice trick disappears. Also, notice the tune. In the second line the melody is anchored on a ''bluesy'' note - the flatted third surrounded by a IV chord. In these ways, ''Honky Tonk Babe/Gal'' is not nearly so pure a country record as the other song they recorded that day, ''Movie Magg''.

'MOVIE MAGG''
 
Carl Perkins was a virtual unknown when all first record appeared in early 1955 and hiss name wasn't even on a sun label. In some way, neither side of Flip 501 pointed to what was to make Carl famous or endear him to generations of rockabilly fans. But in other ways this song gave us lots of clues about what made Carl so special.

According to Carl's bio ''Go Cat Go'', the earliest version ''Movie Magg'' was written when Carl was just 14. Although the lyrics were tweaked over the years, the song remained fundamentally unchanged until the day Carl recorded it in 1954. In ''Movie Magg'', Carl has presented us with what might be a movie script. The story couldn't be any more rural, and it takes us back to an earlier time. Here's a good old, hard-working form boy who ''slicks himself for a Saturday night'' and ''polished up his old horse Becky'' as takes his girl Maggie into town to see a ''western picture show''. Even in 1954, there were memories of an earlier, gentler America.

In this very early recording, we can hear fraces of Carl's underiably lyrical gift. The song title is a tellin play on words, although its not clear at this point who created it. By his own admission, Carl ''was not good with titles''. Perhaps it was Sam's shorthand way of referring to the song. W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland s recalls, ''I don t think that song even had a title before we auditioned it and recorded it at Sun. It could very well have been Sam who names it''. In any case, back in the 1950s, movie magazines were all the rage. They were referred to as ''movie magg''. Here, Mag becomes Magg, short for Maggie. That alone was worth the price of admission. And the story line, including a reference to Maggie's suspicious father who waits behind the door with a shotgun, added humor and depth to the story line. The irony is that from where we sit, it's hard to imagine what Maggie's dad could object to about Carl (who inserts his own name into the lyric). Maybe he didn't like the fact that Carl didn't motor up to his gate in a 1952 Ford. He was making Maggle ''climb upon old Beckie's back'' in order to get into town. Maybe dad wanted more for his daughter, but at least he didn't have to worry about any backseat shenanigans with Carl at the reins. Beckie didn't have a backseat. For that matter, she didn't have a front seats either.
 
This early outtake, the only one that has survived, has a more country feel than the issued version. Carl shambles over some of the lyrics and phrases them a bit awkwardly. The take also includes some alternative lyrics that wisely never made it to release. (''Look out dad, just back up boy, cause you are in the way''). The last four bars of the guitar break strongly suggest the presence of Stan Kesler's steel guitar, an instrument that was unknown and uncredited on the issued version of the song. At the least, Kesler is playing a muted duet with Carl.
 
A small coda to the story: W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland observes today that its hard to imagine how a bunch of unknowns, including a boy who had never played the drums before, could walk into a recording studio with a song about a boy taking his girl to the movies on a mule, and walk out with a recording contract. Of course, barely a year later they were all making more money than they ever thought possible.
 
02(1) - "MOVIE MAGG" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - March 1982
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494 EH-1-2 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
 
No, "Blue Suede Shoes" wasn't Carl Perkins' first record. It was preceded by two less revolutionary efforts. Flip 501 was the first of these and, while it might not have jolted folks to attention many miles from Memphis, it reveals Perkins to be a talented artist with unmistakable leanings towards 'hillbilly bop'.
 
The lyrics to "Movie Magg" are decidedly back country, although the title gives an early glimpse of Perkins' cleverness with language. Soda mountains in the early 1950s, even in Jackson, Tennessee, usually housed racks of 'movie mags' geared to star struck kids with a few cents in their pockets. Perkins has managed to name a song, even a woman, after the genre.
 
02(2) - "MOVIE MAGG" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - F 18 - Master Take 2
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - Flip Records (S) 78rpm standard single Flip 501-A mono
MOVIE MAGG / TURN AROUND
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-21 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland - Drums
 
Probably more than one session.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE OCTOBER 1954
SESSION FILED AS SATURDAY JANUARY 22, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL CANTRELL & 
QUINTON CLAUNCH
 
''TURN AROUND''
 
When Sam Phillips mixed ''Honky Tonk Babe/Gal'' for release, he told Carl that he wanted a good country ballad to go on the flip side of ''Movie Magg''. The result was ''Turn Around''. Sam gave it that title; Carl had been calling it ''I'll Be Following You''. Sam brought in Quentin Claunch (guitar), Bill Cantrell (fiddle) and Stan Kesler (steel) to join the Perkins band on the session. He wanted a real country record.
 
The song is absolutely gorgeous - simple, heartfelt, and honest with a sing-along melody. Jerry Lee Lewis noticed that and included the song on his 1957 Sun EPA 107. If it had been a bigger hit, it would have been a natural for Ray Charles to resurrect in the early 1960s when he was recording country songs like ''I Can't Stop Loving You'' with a full orchestra and chorus. And Carl wrote it because Sam asked for a good country ballad. Sam should have sent in a request every week.
 
On the one complete outtake, Carl's vocal is every bit as pure and earnest as it is on the released version. The instruments - mainly the fiddle - are not all tuned up together, providing some truly uncomfortable moments which we guess were recognizable only when the tape was played back. This one belonged in the outtake box.
 
There is also a few fragments and some studio chatter among musicians. At one point in the chatter there's a discussion of Elvis and someone, probably Cantrell, says he doesn't like that sort of music. The old guard passeth.
 
01 – "TURN AROUND / DIALOGUE BILL CANTRELL & CARL PERKINS" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Fragment 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494 EH-1-6 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240 ER-1-6 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES
 
02(1) - "TURN AROUND" - B.M.I. - 3:17
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - March 1982
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494 EH-1-5 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
 
The coupling of "Turn Around" with "Movie Magg" was issued in February 1955 on Phillips new Flip subsidiary. The sincerity that Sam Phillips responded to was plainly on view in "Turn Around". It owed a measure of debt to Hank Williams in terms of both composition and execution but Phillips' hopes for Carl Perkins in the country market were not without foundation.
 
"Turn Around", is a solid country outing that Jerry Lee Lewis recorded four years later, and Carl himself continues to feature on his personal appearances some forty years later.
 
02(2) - "TURN AROUND" - B.M.I. - 0:51
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Fragment 2
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240 ER-1-8 mono
CARL PERKINS – THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES
 
02(3) - "TURN AROUND" - B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - F 19 - Take 2 - Master
Recorded: - October 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - Flip Records (S) 78rpm standard single Flip 501-B mono
TURN AROUND / MOVIE MAGG
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-21 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland - Drums
Quinton Claunch - Electric Guitar
Stanley Kesler - Steel Guitar
William E. Cantrell - Fiddle
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

CARL PERKINS – THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES - Carl Perkins had eight singles and one LP released  on the original Sun label. The LP contained five previously unissued tracks so that's a total of 21 songs, his entire released Sun legacy.  When Carl left the label in 1958 he left numerous additional titles, many of which would  eventually find their way into commercial release as Sun archacologists dug more deeply  into the tape archives. Not all of those original unissued titles were gems, but many were strong compositions and performances that had been worthy of release the first time  around. Carl also left outtakes of most of his issued titles. They, too, deserved attention.

Here for the first time, almost all that previously unissued material in one place together  with some never-issued home recordings from the era and release it about as systematically and complete as it is likely to appear. This project is a labor of love, and because it is far  from a Greatest Hits compilation, its marked will be as small as it is dedicated. In any case, a collection of ''Hits'' was hardly viable. Carl Perkins did not have enough hits, Greatest, or  otherwise, to sustain a project of this description. Once you get past ''Blue Suede Shoes'',  the recognition factor declines pretty rapidly. 

What doesn't decline is the quality of the music. Carl made a lot of good recordings. We  were repeatedly remanded in compiling this boxed set of just a how fine a guitarist, singer  and songwriter Perkins was. It is our hope that listening to these sides will remand you of  the same. There is a prodigious amount of raw energy on these tapes, some of it admittedly  fueled by alcohol. Much of this music will rivet your attention. Carl Perkins was truly a major  talent, whether allowing the Hank Williams side of his Hillbilly roots to come up for air;  working the bluesy edge of rockabilly that drew collectors to him; or attempting to be a teen  poet, much as Chuck Berry had done during the same decade. Carl Perkins was about as  deeply involved in teenage life as Chuck Berry was - which is to say ''not''. But that didn't  stop either man from speaking to that audience in credible images.
 
In barely over 3 years, Carl Perkins made the transition from pure hillbilly singer to aspiring  teen idol. Of course, he never succeeded in the latter. Despite the best promotional efforts  behind him, Perkins was never really teen idol material. Sam Phillips had it right the first  time he met Perkins in mid-l954. ''I thought he was one of the worlds greatest plowhands''.  Phillips wasn't being in any way demeaning. He simply saw how intractably country the  young man standing before him was. It was going to be a full time job separating Carl from a  life of sharecropping and singing in the rough-hewn honky tonks of Jackson, Tennessee. It's a  long way from that life to the stage of the Brooklyn Paramount or the Dick Clark TV show.  The question was whether Carl could make that journey and retain the feeling and  originality that Phillips detected even before the first recordings had been set down on tape.
 
You won't find a detailed Carl Perkins biography in the book. That work has already been  done and, fortunately, most of it is still in print. David McGee, with a lot of input from Carl,  wrote his biography ''Go Cat Go'' and Carl's own (with Ron Rendleman) book ''Disciple in Blue  Suede Shoes'' covers much of the same ground. Bear Family's Carl Perkins Box (BCD 15494)  contains a wealth of biographical material by Colin Escott and Bill Milar, and Bear Family CD  ''Carl Rocks'' (BCD 16752, compiled by Hank Davis) does as well. In shorts there's no shortage  of information about Carl's life.
 
Rather the needlessly recreating a biography, there have devoted almost all of our attention  to the music. As you'll see, we have examined it in considerable detail. As we mentioned  before, this is far from a (Greatest' Hits' package, and that tells us something about you and  your interest in Perkins and Sun Records. It's also likely you are no stranger to Bear Family's  Box series, which ranges from Johnny Cash (BCD 16325 ) and Billy Riley (BCD 17122 ) to the  Everly Brothers (BCD 15931). There may not be hundreds of thousands of us fans and  collectors out there any more, but it is a fair to say that with this boxed set, you have come  to the right place.
 
As we all known Sun Records has a social place in music history. The combination of country  musical feeling with blues musical structure changed - popular music. Much of that  happened in the Sun studio, accomplished by a long list of musicians, most of whose names  you know. And Carl Perkins has a special place in that list. Many of those musicians, and  others of the era, earned and received admiration, respect, and success. But Carl, in  addition to those, inspired something more in lots of the people who came to know his music: affection for the man himself. Many of those people took his music and incorporated  various aspects of it into their own contributions to popular music. Most prominent of those,  of course, were the Beatles. But there were many others. Elvis had imitators. Carl had  descendants.
 
As we old earlier, you will learn or be reminded that Carl had command of all aspects of his  music. He wrote a lot of terrific songs – beautiful ballads, danceble rock and roll numbers,  slices of the rural southern life he knew. His guitar stylings ranged from the hard-edged to  the frankly pretty and the slightly jazzy, and he played what the music needed (with a level  of versatility and virtuosity that will surprise some people when they get to Disc 5.) He sang
straight-ahead or stylized as befitted the song but it was always recognizably him. And the  combination of all these approaches, as you will hear, remind us that he was far more  sophisticated the he's generally thought to be, and far more sophisticated the casual listening would reveal. You're in for a treat.
 
Hank Davis & Scott Parker, 2012
A CONVERSATION WITH W.S. ''FLUKE'' HOLLAND - ''My first name is WS.. That's my actual  name. Those aren't initials for anything. A lot of people also know me the Fluke. That's a  childhood name. When I was a kid I used to hang around this service station. I 'd help put gas  into cars, stuff like that. I had this expression I used: instead of saying, 'What's that thing  over there, I'd say, 'What's that that thing over there . I thought it made me sound smart.  The boy at the service station pinned that name on me and it stuck. It's gone around the  world with me.
 
Carl Perkins asked me on a Saturday night to go to Memphis with him and play drums. He  said, 'We got an audition with Sam Phillips next Thursday'. This was some time at the end of  1964. Elvis and Scotty and Bill had already been there in the middle of that year. I had never  thought about playing drums before. It never crossed my mind. I was working for an air  conditioning company here, but the next day I went and borrowed some drums. I never  played them before. The next Tuesday we took the drums down to a club and I played them,  if you could call, with Carl. I used the brushes. Two days later we drove to Memphis to  audition for Sam Phillips.
 
''Sam didn't really care anything about drums, but for some reason, he didn't run me off. We  set up and played in the middle of the floor there, and I used my brushes. I wasn't doing  much and at took both hands to do that. That's the way we recorded the first couple of  records''.
 
''But then I was starting to learn to play a little bit better. The big thing I learned we to use  the drum sticks. So I was learning to play more and more., and other guys around us were  also starting to use drums more and more. It was about that time that Sam started to like the  drums. (laughs) That was also about the point where you could start to hear me on those  records. Before that, putting it simply, Sam didn't like drums all that good and I wasn't  playing all that good''.
 
''We'd go into the studio abound the middle of the day. We'd record all afternoon and into  the night. When we left it'd be midnight. Sometimes daylight was coming up as we drove  home. By the time we got home it we the next day. Needless to say, none of us ever got paid  a penny for all that overtime. Looking back many years later, I wish Sam had known about a  record session and known about a time clock. But that's of the way it was in of those days''.
 
''One thing about Carl, and I'd say this if he were still alive and setting right here He would  tell stories. It got to be a joke. Some of the stories he'd tell, and some of the stuff that's  written out there, it's just not true. Here's one example. There's a story about the first time  we went to Sun Record. It says we sat there and saw a big old Cadillac in the parking lot. We  figured it either belonged to Sam or Elvis. Well, that story may sound good but it never  happened. I don't think Elvis had him a Cadillac in 1954 and I now for a fact that Sam Phillips  didn't. And there was no parking lot at Sun. You left your car out on the street like  everybody else''.
 
''There's stuff in that ''Disciple in Blue Suede Shoes'' book that just ain't true. Carl was like  John cash in that way. They both loved to make up stories. They had great imaginations.  Trouble is, sometimes they were giving interviews and those stories stuck. They got taken  seriously. There's stuff written about Cash that's totally wrong. John had this saying: I hear  him say it probably a hundred times: 'When you're writing stories, don't let the truth get in  the way of a good story'. When people ask me why I haven't written a book about those days.  I tell them, Í don't have enough talent or imagination to make up stories about what  happened''.
 
''The Million Dollar Quartet was something none of us planned. That was typical for Sun  Records. At least Sam did think to call in a photographer had just panned his camera over a  few feet, he would have fit me into the photograph and I'd be famous too''.
 
''I remember when we finally got to New York for the Perry Como show, we were staying at a  hotel in Times Square. I think it was called the Astor Hotel. When we checked in, I can still  picture this, Clayton walked up to the desk without a suitcase. He had his clothes in a pillow  case. It was a big long sack. And he drug his clothes across the floor in the lobby of that big  fancy hotel in Times Square''.
 
''A lot of people don't like the stuff Carl did at Columbia as much as Sun, but I think he did  some of his best recordings there. At first they had us upstairs right in the middle of that big  Bradley studio and it may have been too large for us. But later when I went there with John  Cash we recorded some stuff downstairs in the smaller room. That sounded a lot better''.
 
''If I had been from a wealthy family, if I had been able to go to a private teacher and learn  how to play drums correctly, I would never have been in the music business this long. So  many players at Sun Records like myself really didn't know what we were doing in the usual  sense. Musicians at Sun were often doing the only thing they knew how to do. Best example  of that is Johnny Cash's guitarist, Luther Perkins. Here is a guy who knew nothing about a  guitar. He could never play anything except what he did on Johnny Cash's records. We'd be  on tour with Johnny cash in the 1960s and Luther 'd find himself in the middle of a jam  session with guys like Roy Clark and Chet Atkins... It was just hilarious. I used to kid him. I'd  say, 'Luther, if you 'd just leave that guitar in the case except when we're up on stage,  nobody'd ever know you're not a good guitar player''.
 
''When I borrowed that set of drums the first time Carl asked me to play I never had seen a  drum set-up. So when I took the drums out to my mom's house, I set ém down wrong. I had  the high hat on the right side and the bass drum with my left foot. It felt like it was the way  it ought to be. When I saw some other drummers, I tried to change. But then I said 'Wait a  minute, I don't think I'm the one who's wrong'. I did a sow last night with my band and I did  some things I simply couldn't do if I had the high hat set up over there on the left where  most drummers have it. I'm a right handed drummer but I play a left handed setup. What I'm  saying is, me not knowing how to set the drums up and not knowing how to play, is one of  the reasons that I've been playing drums for 57 years''.
 
Interview by Hank Davis, September 2011
A CONVERSATION WITH STAN PERKINS - The oldest of Carl's Perkins' four children, was born  on September 17, 1953.
 
''I was born before my dad and his brothers ever went to Sun Records. That part of their  lives began about a year alter I was born. 'My father's main love was playing the guitar. It was  more important to him than singing or songwriting. He we a very big Chet Atkins and Les  Paul. Their records were often played around the house. In the early days, my uncle Jay was  the primary singer in the band. My dad was the guitar player; he was in the background''.
 
''Around 1954 my father bought a 1953 Les Paul guitar. He was paying it off at $5 a week.  That was a lot of money back then, or it certainly was in our family.  Sam Phillips commented  when he first met that Carl had a pretty fancy guitar for a country boy. Prior to that, Carl  played a Harmony electric guitar. It we a pretty terrible cheap brand and he we so ashamed  of it he put tape over the head to cover the brand name''
 
''After ''Blue Suede Shoes'', dad went almost overnight from making $30 w week and living in  Government Housing to being a star and making $4000 a week. That wasn't an easy change  to make. He got two artist royalty checks from Sun for ''Blue Suede Shoes''. The first was for  $14,000 and the second was for $12,000. He gave the second one to his brothers and W.S.  Dad sued Sam successfully in 1978 to get the rights to his songs returned to him. That's when  we established Carl Perkins Music.''
 
''My father bought a home tape recorder about the same time he got his first Cadillac in  March or April 1956. He said it we about the best you could get at the time, although that's  obviously none too good by today's standard. The recorder we located in the den, right near  the piano, just off from the kitchen. You can hear me an my brother playing in the  background on some home recordings. We were just kids''.
 
''My, mother Valda, didn't like country music very much, although that was my father's  favorite. She played piano and liked pop music. We had an old upright with the front taken  off so you could see the strings. If you heart piano on any of the home recordings, that's her''.
 
''My father's version of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' differs from Elvis 'largely in the introduction with  the stops. Elvis version is mob conventionally rock and roll. My father's was slower and more  country. My father actually abandoned his own version at personal appearances very early  and started using Elvis' arrangement. (Notes: When Perkins did his now-famous jam session  with Paul McCartney backstage at the Liberty bowl in Memphis, Paul insisted on performing  ''Blue Suede Shoes'' in the original style of Sun 234, which had helped to shape his musical  consciousness back in the 1950s).
 
''I grew up in the midst of my father's alcoholism. There were some pretty dark times for all  of us. I think the worst of his alcoholism was between 1958 (right after his bother Jay died  of cancer) to 1966. When dad was drunk he could get into Pity Mode pretty easily. He was  frustrated: he had no money; there were no hit records; his brother had died and they were  to close as any two brothers could be''.
 
''My father got into an accident in 1964. He caught his left hand in a ceiling fan hanging over  the stage at a political rally. He nearly bled to death and the doctor thought they were going  to have to amputate his hand. I can remember seeing him sitting at home with a cast on his  hand. It had wires coming out of it. The doctor set his hand to accommodate holding the  neck of a guitar, rather than being in a normal position. I can picture him sitting around  squeezing a ruber ball to strengthen his hand as he recovered''
 
Guitar fans may note an interesting parallel between Carl's experience and that of one of  his idols: Les Paul. In January 1948, Paul shattering right arm and elbow in a near-fatal  automobile accident. Doctors told Paul they could not rebuild his elbow so that he would  regain movement; his arm would remain permanently in whatever position they placed it.  Paul instructed surgeons to set his arm at an angle - just under 90 degrees – that would  allow him to cradle and pick the guitar. Like Carl, Les Paul favored playing the guitar over  a semblance of normal life.
 
Carl joined the Johnny Cash troupe in 1966 and remained with them for 10 years. An  interesting footnote to the story is that Cash had made a similar offer to another Sun  Records alumnus about six years earlier. When Warren Smith first left the south and moved to California in 1959, he was befriended by John and Vivian Cash. Smith was offered a spot  on the Cash show. Cash was working steadily at the time and it would have meant a regular  income, not to mention wide exposure for his music, but Warren declined the offer. Warren  Smith's widow Doris recalls, ''I guess it was pride. Warren was sure he could be a star and  have his own show. He wasn't willing to play second fiddle for anybody; which is how he saw  Johnny's offer. Carl Perkins said yes to the same deal and toured with Cash for years, during  good times and bad. I always felt Johnny was trying to bring has old friends together, trying  to help the ones that hadn't been as fortunate the he was''.
 
In any case, the touring association between Perkins and Cash began began in an unusual  way. Stan Perkins recalls, ''My father had a very serious hunting accident. He nearly blew the  back of his foot of. His recovery was long and painful and he was sitting around the house  driving himself and everyone around him crazy. John Cash heard about at and came to visit  my father. When he got there, my mother said to him. 'You've got to get him out of the  house. He cant 'sit here like this anymore. It's going to kill him, if it doesn't drive him crazy  first. Cash had a gig up in Chattanooga. I think. He told my dad, 'Pack a suitcase, you 're  coming with me for a few days'. That few days turned out to be ten years''.
 
''Cash probably saved my father's life by giving him steady work during that period. I thank  my father and Johnny Cash challenged each other to get and to stay sober and straight in. In  that sense at was very good for both of them. But I also think that Carl forfeited his chance  to be of star in his own right. I believe he was primed for a comeback around 1969-1970 but  he settled for being a sideman. He had a Top 20 country hit in 1969 with ''Restless''. 'I'm sure  that gave him to reminder of what it was like to have a hit record and I know he missed it.  But he stayed on with Cash. If that record had gone to number 1, think it would have been  easier for him to leave.0 That would have been good in some ways, but there's no telling  what it would have led to. (Perkins also supplied Johnny Cash with his 1968 hit, ''Daddy Sang  Bass''). I know some good things came his way like doing the soundtrack for that 1970 movie  with Robert Redford, ''Little Fauss & Big Halsy''. He wouldn't have had That opportunity if he  weren't with Cash. But I think he also lost a lot by being there''.
 
''The four of them traveling on the road must have been horrible. Can you imagine it? The  three brothers and W.S. Packed into that Cadillac. Smoking and drinking and fighting in the  car. Sometimes Clayton would pick up some bum when he was out drinking and he'd bring  him along the next day, wherever they were headed. Five of them in that car. Just  unbelievable''.
 
''Clayton was terrible when he was part of the Cash troupe. He'd do just about anything  when he was drunk, and he was drunk a lot of time. Cash loved to have him along. It kept  him entertained. He'd dare Clayton to do things and he rarely said no. At first it was up to my father to clean up the damage, but dad finally put his foot down. He told John he  couldn't afford to keep buying Clayton out of all the trouble he'd get into. Told John he had  to stop encouraging him. John said no, but he did agree to pay for the damage instead, which solved things for a while. Finally, my father couldn't take it anymore and packed up  Clayton and his bass and drove him back to Jackson. It just got to be too much. That was the  last time they played together''.
 
''Jay said his biggest fear when he was dying was that Carl and Clayton would kill each other.  He wouldn't be there to separate them or keep the peace. It seems like they came pretty  close at times. Clayton ended up killing himself in 1973, at Christmas time. I found his body.  There was an empty bottle and an unopened half a pint by the bedside when I found him. He  had shot himself with a .22 pistol He. had tried to kill himself two or three times before. He  we 38 years old when he died''.
 
''Johnny Cash fired my father in 1975 after about ten years. He just put in a letter and had  his chauffeur deliver it. I can picture daddy setting there holding that letter. He was  devastated. The first five years with Cash were great. The next five weren't so good. The ten years that followed were black''.
 
''I finally confronted him and told him it just couldn't continue. In 1985 I took over  management of his career. He made more money in the next 12 years - 1985 - 1997 – than  he ever did before... And he was treated better too''.
 
Stan Perkins was on road and played drums with his father from 1976 until the end, 22 years  later. He recalls, ''The first few years working with my dad were tough. I had him on a  pedestal and he always fell off it. I had to learn to love him for who he was. It took work  from both off us to build the relationship we had. We were very close. Even now, I don't  remember where we played or how much or how little we got paid. I remember the  relationship I had with him. When he died, I lost my dad, my best friend and my career''.
 
The last few years were really rough for my father. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in  1991. He had several strokes in 1997. I was taking him for daily therapy and he told me, 'If I  can't play the guitar anymore, I don't want to live'. A month or two later he was gone''.
 
''When he was in Jackson, Tennessee, Carl Perkins didn't have to put a fence around his  yard. He lived to be 65 years old. I know that's not old, but he smoked and drank for much of  his life. I can honestly say he had as good a life as any of them. Probably a lot richer than many''.
 
''My daddy never could just never accept how good he was. He could write songs in 15  minutes. It was like a brainstorm. It all came to him at once. He was a very gifted man. But  at the end of the day, it seems like his insecurity was even bigger than his talent. When he died in 1998 a lot of famous people came to his funeral. George Harrison was there, Garth  Brooks, Billy Ray Cyrus, Wynona Judd, Sam and Jerry were there too''.
 
''If there's one word that describes my father it's Survivor''. That's what he was. A survivor.  He went from the bottom to the top to the bottom again. He ended up somewhere around  the middle. I think he was at peace with himself. At the end, he was content''.
 
''I think my dad really wanted another big hit. He was frustrated. He kept making records  and trying. He wasn't really content just to be a sideman. He was humble, but he wasn't that  humble. He had tasted what it meant to have a number 1 record early on. It's hard to put  that behind you completely. He wanted a comeback. But toward the end he said to me,  Another ''Blue Suede Shoes'' might have caused me not to care, about people, about things'. I  think he made peace it with and who he was''.
 
''When my dad left Sun to go to Columbia, Sam said o him, 'They won't know what to do with  you there. They won't know how to record you. It'll be OK with John (Cash), but you'll get  lost in the shuffle and they'll do it all wrong''. Sam was right. That's exactly what happened.  Those first Columbia records sound awful. I remember my dad telling me he was driving  home from that first or second Columbia session (June 1958) with Eddie Cisco (known as  Eddie Starr) and dad said to him, 'That was all wrong. They just didn't get it at all''. Can you  imagine that? Right from the start and he saw the problem. But what could he do? He had  just signed the contract. His confidence was low. His self-esteem was way down. He was still  grieving over his brother (Jay). So he did nothing for the next three years. It was a bad  combination: he was drinking too hard, even during the sessions. There were some  musicians on there who didn't understand the music. The studio itself was wrong for him. I  don't think the producer ever understood dad's music the way Sam did. Drinking can be OK  during a session. There had been plenty of it at Sun, including Sam, himself. But there's a  thin line between creative and being drunk. That line got crossed at Columbia''.
 
''I remember my dad saying to me, Í should never have found a reason to leave Sun Records.  If I was ever going to have another ''Blue Suede Shoes'', it would have come from there''.
 
Hank Davis interview with Stan Perkins, September 2011
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - © 
 
Session Published for Historical Reasons
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR ONIE WHEELER
FOR COLUMBIA RECORDS 1954
 
CASTLE RECORDING STUDIO, TULANE HOTEL
EIGHT AVENUE / CHURCH STREET, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
COLUMBIA SESSION: THURSDAY OCTOBER 28, 1954
SESSION HOURS: 15:30-18:30
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – DON LAW
 
01 – ''CUT IT OUT'' – B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Crowe
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : NASH 1930 / CO 52672
Recorded: - October 28, 1954
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Columbia Records (S) 78rpm standard single Columbia 21454-4 mono
CUT IT OUT / I'M SATISFIED WITH MY DREAMS
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-13 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP
 
02 – ''I'M SATISFIED WITH MY DREAMS'' – B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Crowe-Strange
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : NASH 1931 / CO 52673
Recorded: - October 28, 1954
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Columbia Records (S) 78rpm standard single Columbia 21454-4 mono
I'M SATISFIED WITH MY DREAMS / CUT IT OUT
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-16 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP
 
03 – ''THAT'S WHAT I LIKE'' – B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Onie Wheeler-Tracy Lee
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : NASH 1932 / CO 52674
Recorded: - October 28, 1954
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Columbia Records (S) 78rpm standard single Columbia 21418-4 mono
THAT'S WHAT I LIKE / SHE WIGGLED AND GIGGLED
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-14 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP
 
04 – ''SHE WIGGLED AND GIGGLED'' – B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Onie Wheeler-Tracy Lee
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number : NASH 19323/ CO 52675
Recorded: - October 28, 1954
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Columbia Records (S) 78rpm standard single Columbia 21418-4 mono
SHE WIGGLED AND GIGGLED / THAT'S WHAT I LIKE
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15542-15 mono
ONIE WHEELER – ONIE'S BOP
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Onie Wheeler – Vocal, Harmonica, Guitar
Alden J. Nelson – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Doyal Nelson – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Delbert ''Dub'' Hale – Fiddle
Ernest G. Thompson - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Session Published for Historical Reasons
 
DEMO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
UNKNOWN STUDIO AND RECORDING LOCATIONS 1954
PRODUCER - JOHNNY CASH
 
From 1954 to 1957, Johnny Cash, alone with his acoustic guitar, recorded a substantial number of undated demos, tamer, shorter versions of songs in development. There are hints that some tunes may have been intended for others to record (Cash sings the opening verse of the ''I Walk The Line'' demo in a higher register to perhaps match the key of another vocalist) and it can be assumed that these tracks preceded the final, produced versions of such tunes as ''Get Rhythm'', ''Train Of Love'' and ''Country Boy''.
 
01 – ''I WALK THE LINE'' – B.M.I. – 3:03
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-12 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
03 – ''GET RHYTHM'' – B.M.I. – 2:02
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-13 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
04 – ''TRAIN OF LOVE'' – B.M.I. – 1:53
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-14 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
05 – ''COUNTRY BOY'' – B.M.I. – 1:48
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-15 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
06 – ''MY TREASURE'' – B.M.I. – 1:18
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-16 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
07 – ''BELSHAZZAR'' – B.M.I. – 2:20
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-17 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
08 – ''HE'LL BE A FRIEND'' – B.M.I. – 1:47
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-18 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
09 – ''WHEN I THINK OF YOU'' – B.M.I. – 1:42
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-19 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
10 – ''I JUST DON'T CARE ENOUGH (TO CARRY ON)'' – B.M.I. – 2:06
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-20 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
11 – ''I'LL CRY FOR YOU'' – B.M.I. – 2:28
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-21 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
12 – ''YOU'RE MY BABY'' – B.M.I. – 1:37
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - 2011 Columbia Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1-22 mono
JOHNNY CASH - BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash – Vocal & Guitar
More Details Unknown
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
OCTOBER 29, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Carl Smith recorded ''Kisses Don't Lie'' during an afternoon session at the Castle Studio is downtown Nashville.
 
OCTOBER 30, 1954 SATURDAY
 
T. Graham Brown is born in Atlanta, Georgia. Infusing country with a blue-eyed soul style, Brown finds favor in the late-1980s with such hits as ''Don't Go To Strangers'', ''Darlane'' and ''Hell And High Water''.
NOVEMBER 2, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Jerry Lee Lewis becomes a father, as wife Jane Mitcham delivers Jerry Lee Lewis Jr.
 
NOVEMBER 4, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Ferlin Husky recorded ''I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere's Else)'' and ''Little Tom'' at the Castle Studio in Nashville.
 
NOVEMBER 6, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Elvis Presley signs a one-year contract to play The Louisiana Hayride every Saturday for $18-a-week.
 
Future country hitmaker George Burns and his wife, Cracie Allen, appear on the cover of TV Guide.
 
NOVEMBER 7, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Johnny Horton leaves ''The Louisiana Hayride''.
 
NOVEMBER 8, 1954 MONDAY
 
Columbia released Lefty Friszell's ''I Love You Mostly''.
 
NOVEMBER 9, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Carl and Valda Perkins have their second child, Debra Joye.
 
NOVEMBER 10, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
The Iwo Jima Memorial, the world's largest bronze statue, is dedicated in Washington, D.C. Attending is Ira Hayes, one of the flagbearers depicted in the monument. Hayes will die two months later, inspiring the Johnny Cash hit ''The Ballad Of Ira Hayes''.
 
Rex Allen makes the first of several appearances as a narrator on ABC's ''Disneyland'', voicing a storyline about migrating seals.
 
NOVEMBER 10, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Sun Records released  (Sun 211)  Malcolm Yelvington's much-delayed debut with a hillbilly version of Stick McGhee's rollicking novelty blues smash from 1949, ' 'Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' backed with ''Just Rollin' Along'',  and a new single by sometime one-man-band Doctor Ross, whose ''The Boogie Disease'' backed with ''Jukebox Boogie'' (Sun 212) captured all the qualities of uninhibited good time, emphasized even more by the slapback effect, as applied to an already overamplified guitar, that chareacterized so much of the early catalogue. Neither record did a thing.
 
NOVEMBER 13, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Jeannie Kendall is born in St. Louis, Missouri. With her father, Royce, she takes part in the duo The Kendalls, whose gospel-based harmonies and cheatin' themes are exemplified by their million-selling signature song, 1977s ''Heaven's Just A Sin Away''.
 
NOVEMBER 16, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Faron Young's stint with the Army comes to an end.
 
Jimmy Martin recorded ''20/20 Vision'' with The Osborne Brothers in Nashville. The bluegrass classic is ranked among the 500 greatest country singles in history in the Country Music Foundation's 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.
 
NOVEMBER 17, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Chet Atkins recorded ''Mister Sandman'' at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
The city of Atlanta observes Faron Young Day.
 
NOVEMBER 18, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Red Foley recorded ''Hearts Of Stone''.
 
Teresa Brewer recorded the pop version of Jenny Lou Carson's ''Let Me Go, Lover''.
 
NOVEMBER 19, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Slim Whitman recorded ''Cattle Call'' at the KWKH studios in Shreveport, Louisiana.
 
Faron Young makes his first Grand Ole Opry appearance since ending a two-year stint in the Army.
 
Charlie Walker recorded his first charted hit, ''Only You, Only You''.
 
NOVEMBER 20, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Gene Autry make his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry,  at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
June Carter signs a one-year solo recording contract with Columbia Records.
 
NOVEMBER 22, 1954 MONDAY
 
Decca released Justin Tubb's duet with Goldie Hill, ''Sure Fire Kisses''.
 
June Carter holds her first solo recording session, cutting ''Let Me Go, Lover''.
 
NOVEMBER 26, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Les Paul and Mary Ford suffer a tragedy when she has a miscarriage.
 
Movie writer/director/producer Joel Coen is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He and brother Ethan Coen create the 2000 film ''O Brother, Where Art Thou?'', which yields a multi-platinum soundtrack full of American roots music, including bluegrass.
 
The McGuire Sisters recorded the pop hit ''Sincerely'', which becomes a country hit for The Forester Sisters in 1988.

DECEMBER 1954

The biggest-ever annual Goodwill Revue is staged by radio WDIA. Regulars on the station at   that time include the Brewsteraires, the Jones Brothers, Dave "Honeyboy" Edwards, Rufus   Thomas, Phineas and Calvin Newborn. Outside acts appearing include the El-Dorados and   Eddie Boyd. Leonard Chess flies in for the occasion.
DECEMBER 1954
 
THE SINGER IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE SONG - When the barriers that separated pop  and country music began to crumble in the wake of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash was one of the first young country artists to take his place in the pop charts. Ironically, as hillbilly  music slicked itself up in search of the wider market, Johnny Cash broke through with a  sound so spare and underproduced that it must have seemed anachronistic even to the  more conservative elements of Nashville establisment.  Cash arrived at Sun Records with a sound that altered remarkably little throughout a long  and often troubled career. 
 
It was essentially a sound born of necessity: the minimal backing and the limited range of Cash's vocals defined the full extent of the group's ability.  However, where other producers might have tried to disguise the shortcomings, Sam  Phillips made a virtue of necessity and in so doing he helped to create one of the most  distinctive sounds in country music.
 
The fundamental problem with the sound that Cash and his group forged with Phillips lay  in the tendency towards sameness. With that problem in mind - and the pop market within  their grasp - Phillips gave over the producer's chair to Jack Clement, whose confection  were a contradiction of the essential nature of Cash's music. However, Clement's  productions pointed the way towards Cash's salvation in the newly emerging country-pop  market. By the time Cash quit Sun in 1958, he had established an enviable track record.  He had also become a "stylist" (the hihest accolade bestowed by his label-mate Jerry Lee  Lewis); the singer was more important than the song.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
In late 1954 Johnny Cash went to the Sun Studios on his own to audition for Sam Phillips. Cash introduced himself to Phillips initially as a gospel singer, and Sam said he loved gospel music himself but he didn't have any way to sell it. He told Marion Keisker all he wanted was a change, and Marion said Sam didn't have the time for him. Finally he just sat down on the curb one day and waited until Sam showed up ''and I stood up and I said, 'I'm John Cash, and I've got my guitar and I want you to hear me play'', and this time he said, 'Well, come on in'. I sang for two or three hours, everything I knew. Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Bill Monroe, I remember singing ''I'm Going To Sleep With One Eye Open (From Now On)'' by Flatt and Scruggs, I even sang an old Irish song I'd been singing all my life, ''I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen'', just to give him an idea of what I liked. He said, 'You're really got a range of material you understand and have a feel for''. He said, 'You say you got a group? Come back and bring those guys and let's put something down''.
 
Three songs from this audition here, ''Wide Open Road'', ''You're My Baby'' and ''My Treasure'', all Cash originals, impressed Sam enough to invite him back with his band. There was another song recorded, ''Show Me The Green'', but regrettably this tape has never been located.
 
When the barriers that separated pop and country music began to crumble in the wake of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash was one of the first young country artists to take a place in the pop charts. Ironically, as hillbilly music slicked itself up in search of the wider market, Johnny Cash broke through with a sound that was so sparse and underproduced that it must have seemed anachronistic even to the more conservative elements of the Nashville establishment.
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE POSSIBLE LATE 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Johnny Cash arrived at Sun Records with a sound that, in the ensuing years of his long, often troubled career, would change remarkably little. It was a sound born of necessity; the minimal backings and the limited range of Cash's vocals defined the full extent of the group's ability. But where other producers might have tried to disguise the shortcomings, Sam Phillips made a virtue of necessity.
 
"One day, we decided that we were ready for a shot at the record business", recalls Johnny Cash. "I had met Elvis Presley's guitarist, Scotty Moore, and I called him and asked him about the possibility of getting an audition with Sun". Moore probably told Johnny Cash that the best approach was simply to go to the studio. It was an approach that had worked for Elvis Presley.
 
Three songs from this session are recorded, "Wide Open Road", "You're My Baby" and "My Treasure" all Cash originals, impressed Sam Phillips enough to invite him back with his band. There was another song recorded, "Show Me The Green", but regrettably this tape has never been located.
 
01 - "WIDE OPEN ROAD" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Late 1954
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 103-1 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517 EH-1-1 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958
 
02 - "YOU'RE MY BABY (LITTLE WOOLLY BOOGER)" - B.M.I. - 1:45
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Overdubbed before first release on LP 1255 but deleted.
Recorded: - Late 1954 - False Start & Complete Take
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 103-1 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517 EH-1-2 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958
 
03(1) - "MY TREASURE" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None  - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Unknown second voice
Recorded: - Late 1954 - False Start & Complete Take
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 103-1 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517 EH-1-3 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958
When Johnny Cash recorded his simple demo of "My Treasure", perhaps for Ernest Tubb, he had no idea that Sun, in their growing quest for releasable product, would issue it in commercial form. One minute and 14 seconds does not a single make, and so promotional efforts were focused quite clearly on a flipside. Ironically, a longer version of Cash's song, complete with a second verse, existed in the vaults. It doesn't contain the quiet intensity of the version we have before us, however, and was wisely passed over. In a flourish of good taste, only a simple guitar overdub was added to the original demo before releasing it. 
 
There was a note of humour tied to the original appearance of this song. All copies of the record were labelled "My Treasurer", making it sound as if Cash had written a love song to his accountant.
 
03(2) - "MY TREASURE" - B.M.I. - 1:14
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 446 - Take 2 - Overdubbed and echo added before release.
Recorded: - Late 1954
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 363-B mono
MY TREASURE / SUGARTIME
Reissued - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-3-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
04 - "SHOW ME THE GREEN" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Probably Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Shown as record on notes inside tape box but tape missing.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Upright Bass
Unknown - Second Voice
 
"Sun Records was between my house and the radio-announcing school. I just started going by there and every day I'd ask: could I see Mr. Phillips. And they'd say, 'He's not in yet', or 'He's at a meeting'. So really it became a challenge to me just to get inside that studio. Finally, one day I was sitting on the stoop just as he came to work, and I stood up and said, 'I'm John Cash and I want you to hear my play'. He said, 'Well, come on in'. I sang two or three hours for him. Everything I knew - Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Flatt and Scruggs... I even sang "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen".
 
"I had to fight and call and keep at it and push, push, push to even get into Sun Records. I don't feel like anyone discovered me because I had to fight so hard to get heard".
 
"When they came in", recalled Sam Phillips, "Cash apologized to me for not having a professional band, but I said that he should let me hear what they could do and I would be able to tell whether they had a style I would be able to work with. I was immediately impressed with John's unusual voice. I was also interested in Luther's guitar playing. He wasn't a wizard on the guitar. He played one string at a time and he wasn't super good - but he was different, and that was important".
 
"Their material was all religious at that time. Songs which Cash had composed. I liked them, but I told him that I would not at that time be able to merchandise him as a religious artist and that it would be well if he could secure some other material or write some other songs. I told him that I was real pleased with the sound we were getting from just the three instruments", according Sam Phillips.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
JOHNNY CASH – THE OUTTAKES - Over the years Johnny Cash's Sun recordings have been  released on countless compilations and there is no doubt that the releases on Bear Family  have been the definite record of his short career with the label. With this new collection we  can listen to those outtakes along with a wealth of previously unreleased alternate takes,  undubbed masters, false starts and studio chat that give the listener an insight into the  creative process behind those legendary recordings. 
 
Unfortunately many of the original  session tapes have been lost or recorded over and there are many songs for which we were unable to locate any outtakes, but a handful have survived the passage of time and it is from  those tapes that this set has been put together.   During the compilation of this set we have  tried to offer the material in chronological order. However, Sam Phillips did not keep records  of take numbers and dates so we have used the excellent research undertaken by Colin  Escott and Martin Hawkins along with our own additional research.
 
As you sit and listen to  these CDs you can imagine that you are there in the studio with Johnny Cash, Luther Perkins  and Marshall Grant as they recorded these classic tracks over fifty years ago.
DECEMBER 1, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Uncle Dave Macon's career is commemorated with a marker on U.S. Highway 70, near Woodbury, Tennessee.
 
Fred Rose dies in Nashville of a heart attack. Rose founded Acuff-Rose Publishing with Roy Acuff and wrote ''Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain''. He is one of the first inductees in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
 
DECEMBER 3, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Bass player Paul Gregg is born in Altus, Oklahoma. He joins Restless Heart, whose big, pop-tinged harmonies earn them a series of smooth country hits in the late-1980s and the Academy of Country Music's Top Vocal Group award in 1990.
 
In his second stab at the song, Webb Pierce recorded Jimmie Rodgers' ''In The Jailhouse Now'' at the Castle Studio in Nashville's Tulane Hotel.
 
DECEMBER 4, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Roy Acuff begins a one-months USO tour of Alaska, performing for American troops.
 
Former ''National Barn Dance'' star George Gobel appears on the cover of TV Guide.
 
DECEMBER 6, 1954 MONDAY
 
Capitol released Ferlin Husky's double-sided hit ''I Feel Better All Over (More Than Anywhere's Else)'' backed by ''Little Tom''.
 
DECEMBER 7, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Marty Robbins recorded a remake of Elvis Presley's ''That's All Right'' during an evening session at Nashville's Castle Studio.
 
DECEMBER 9, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Set to debut in movie theaters in January, ''Unchained'' premieres on a Los Angeles TV station. Starring NFL player Elroy ''Crazy Legs'' Hirsch, the film introduces ''Unchained Melody'' a future country hit for LeAnn Rimes and for Elvis Presley.
 
DECEMBER 12, 1954 SUNDAY
 
Marty Robbins recording contract with Columbia is renewed for another three years.
 
DECEMBER 13, 1954 MONDAY
 
John Anderson is born in Orlando, Florida. Borrowing vocally from Lefty Frizzell, he earns the Country Music Association's Horizon award in 1983 and nets hits with ''Swingin''', ''Money In The Bank'' and ''Straight Tequila Nights''.
 
Decca released Red Foley's ''Hearts Of Stone''.
 
Hank Thompson recorded ''Most Of All'' and ''Breakin' In Another Heart'' at Capitol's Melrose Avenue studios in Los Angeles.
 
Columbia released Carl Smith's two-sided hit, ''Kisses Don't Lie'' and ''No, I Don't Believe I Will''.
 
DECEMBER 14, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Hank Thompson recorded the instrumental ''Wildwood Flower'' in the early morning hours with the help from Merle Travis at the Capitol Recording Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
 
DECEMBER 15, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
ABC-TV ''Disneyland'' begins a three-part portrait of Davey Crockett, setting off a national fascination. Tennessee Ernie Ford and Mac Wiseman each score hits with the ''Ballad Of Davey Crockett''.
 
DECEMBER 16, 1954 THURSDAY
 
Jim Reeves begins a USO tour of Europe that takes him overseas until January 3, 1955.
 
DECEMBER 18, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Pee Wee King begins a weekly TV show on Chicago's WBBM.
 
Justin Tubb recorded ''I Gotta Go Get My Baby''.
 
DECEMBER 19, 1954 SUNDAY
 
The Chordettes performs the future Emmylou Harris hit ''Mister Sandman'' on the Ed Sullivan-hosted CBS variety show ''Talk Of The Town''.
 
DECEMBER 20, 1954 MONDAY
 
Songwriter Marc Beeson is born in Chapaign, Illinois. He authors Restless Heart's ''When She Cries'', Billy Currington's ''We Are Tonight'', Exile's,  Even Now'' and Pat Green's ''Let Me'', among others.
 
DECEMBER 21, 1954 TUESDAY
 
Steel guitarist Gary Morse is born in Lansing, Michigan. He plays on Sara Evan's ''Suds In The Bucket'', Steve Azar's ''I Don't Have To Be Me ('Til Monday)'' and Dierks Bentley's ''Lot Of Leavin' Left To Do''.
 
Maxene Andrews, of The Andrews Sister, is treated at Valley Receiving Hospital in Chatsworth, California, after swallowing 18 sleeping pills. She insists it was an accident and not a suicide attempt. The sisters had country hits by collaborating with Bing Crosby and Ernest Tubb.
 
DECEMBER 24, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Chicago area residents Nate and Pearl Rubenstein adopt a baby boy, naming him Sandy Rubenstein. He discovers in 1992 that his biological father is late guitarist Sammy Pruett, a former member of Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboys.
 
DECEMBER 25, 1954 SATURDAY
 
Rhythm and blues singer Johnny Ace shoots himself backstage in a game of Russian roulette at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas. Ace dies the next day.  His single "Pledging My Love" stays at number 1 in the   rhythm and blues charts for ten weeks in 1955. Later his single  ''Pledging My Love'' is covered as a country hit 30 years by Emmylou Harris and Elvis Presley.
 
Steve Wariner is born in Noblesville, Indiana. The singer/songwriter/guitarist arrives in Nashville as Dottie West's bass player at age 17, acquiring a recording contract in 1978 which yields a string of smooth singles that stretches more than two decades.
 
Jim Reeves spends Christmas Day at Orly Field, near Paris, France, during a USO tour in Europe.
 
The TV Guide Christmas cover highlights the Nelson family, including soon-to-be singer Ricky Nelson.
 
DECEMBER 26, 1954 SUNDAY
 
The Mutual Broadcasting Network airs ''The Shadow'' for the last time. The radio mystery, noted for the catch phrase ''Only the shadow knows'', is hailed in the lyrics of The Statler Brothers' 1972 hit ''Do You Remember These''.
 
DECEMBER 27, 1954 MONDAY
 
Columbia released Marty Robbins' remake of ''That's All Right''.
 
DECEMBER 29, 1954 WEDNESDAY
 
Pop and rhythm and blues drummer John ''J.R'' Robinson is born in Creston, Iowa. Known for his work with Rufus Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, he also plays on several country hits by Clint Black.
 
DECEMBER 31, 1954 FRIDAY
 
Bill Monroe recorded ''Wheel Hoss'' in Nashville. Ricky Skaggs wins a Grammy award in 1985 for his recording of the song.
 
Singer/songwriter Charlie Major is born in Aylmer, Quebec. The Canadian star writes Ricky Van Shelton's 1992 hit ''Backroads''.
 
FALL 1954
 
Old Memphis' patron, E.H. "Boss"Crump lay dying and Elvis Presley is just beginning to enjoy  some local success with his first Sun singles, W.C. handy, by then totally blind, was honored  as a guest performer with the Dixieland band at Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe nightclub in  Manhattan.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR THE PRISONAIRES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954/1955
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: END 1954 OR EARLY 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
01 – "SURLEEN" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - End 1954 or early 1955
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-24 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
 
02 - "ALL ALONE AND LONELY" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - End 1954 or Early 1955
Released: - 1979
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30176 mono
FIVE BEATS BEHIND BARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-25 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
 
03 - "ROCKIN' HORSE" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None   - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - End 1954 or Early 1955
Released: -  1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15523 AH-26 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN
Reissued: -  2011  Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-26 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - BABY PLEASE
 
As Sun entered the rock and roll era, the Prisonaires recorded several songs with 3 more prominent beat and we have included a version of ''Rockin' Horse'' from one of their last, undated Sun sessions, probably held in the penitentiary in the late summer of 1954. They were backed by trumpeter George Williams, pianist Henry Jones, drummer Hubbard Brown, and a guitarist, probably L.B. McCollough, all from the prison band.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Lead Tenor
Possible John Drue - 2nd Tenor Vocal
William Steward - Baritone, Vocal and Guitar
Possible Marcell Sanders - Bass Vocal and Lead Vocal
Ed Thurman - Tenor Vocal
L.B. McCollough - Electric Guitar
Hubbard Brown - Drums
Henry "Dish Rag" Jones - Piano
George Williams - Trumpet
 
The Prisonaires Sun career has another postscript, though. At some point in late 1954, or possible early 1955, the group returned to Sun Records with a tougher rhythm and blues stance and their own backing group to record "Surleen" (written by Bragg about his first girlfriend), "All Alone And Lonely" and the sexually charged "Rockin' House".
 
Short of tape as unusual, Sam Phillips pulled a reel of Elvis Presley's out-takes of "Good Rockin' Tonight", and recorded over the top. Little taste of "We're gonna rock, rock, rock...", can be heard between the Prisonaires' cuts. Around this time, the group started breaking up. Drue and Sanders were released, followed by Steward and Thurman. 
 
Seven years later, Johnny Bragg formed Elbejay Records in partnership with Raymond Ligon and Cyril Jackson, and recorded three singles for them. By his account, he forgave Red Wortham for cheating the Prisonaires out of publishing royalties on "Just Walkin' In The Rain", and brought him in as Artist and Repertoire manager at Elbejay.
 
Bragg's troubles didn't end upon his re-release, though. He was returned to prison for shoplifting, and released on parole (for the third time) following the death of his wife, leaving him a single parent. With his faith and his health still more-or-less intact, though, he has done better than the other members of the Prisonaires. They all died in varying degrees of poverty or distress. The saddest case was that of William Steward who died of alcohol poisoning in a cheap motel room in Florida. Only Robert Riley managed to eke a more-or-less successful career in the music business. Before his death he became a contracted writer at Tree Music and cranked out country-soul songs for Nashville-based labels such as Dial, Todd and Sound Stage Seven.
 
The Prisonaires gained their moment of fame as a novelty act, but, their work transcends more novelty appeal. Bragg had a stilling lead tenor that ranks alongside that of his idol, Bill Kenny of the Inkspots.  The music they cut for Sun Records was quite unlike anything else on the label - sophisticated and urbane, largely lacking the raw edge that Sam Phillips cherished.  
 
Certainly, there were some performances that missed the mark, but there's also "Just Walkin' In The Rain", a classic by any criterion.  There is fierce pride in Johnny Bragg - evident in the way he spits out the word "Penitentiary". There is also darkness within him, which he laid aside to produce some hauntingly beautiful music.
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Just southwest of Huntington, Tennessee there is a store with a sign that reads Groceries-Guns. A little further up Route 70 there is an unmarked dirt road. Although this is usually lush lodging country, there has been a drought for a month and diving down the road is like re-living a scene from ''The Grapes Of Wrath''. Abut half-a-mile down the dirt road there's a large log ranch house with a late model. Cadillac and a Toyota pick-up parked outside. The cars, the house, the land surrounding it and the sawmill down the road are the property of Carl Mann.
 
Carl grew up a little further down this dirt road, but he left his home in the summer of 1959, when he was barely seventeen years old. He traveled to cities he had only read about and saw his record juggle for space in the Top 20 with records by the likes of Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Paul Anka and other forgotten hit makers from that far-off year. At the age of eighteen, his career was fading fast. By the time he was nineteen, the party had all but ended and Carl Mann had taken the little for a friend.
Through it all, Carl Mann has never lost the urge to perform. The feeling that comes from standing in front of an audience, basking in the applause still resonates within him. So does the thrill of standing in front of studio playback monitors and listening to what hugest been recorded.
 
Carl accepts with resignation, though, that the heady times will never come again. He is nothing if not a realist. The lumber business isn't without its ups and downs, but it s still a safer at than the snapshot known as the music business. 
 
His love affair with the bottle ended and his Christian faith renewed, Carl Mann has come to cherish the value of home and security, and if the doubts ever nag at him he can look at Eddie Bush, his guitarist and fellow circuit-rider from the old days. Bush is still drifting and dreaming, and he's been living that way for thirty years.
 
''I was born and raised on this road'', says Carl. ''My dad was in the timber business. We didn't have electricity until I was ten. We had a battery radio in the house that ran off a big old dry cell. That's where I listened to the Grand Ole Opry on a Saturday night. The whole family would listen sometimes, but they mostly went to church services on Saturday night, but me and my cousins would get together and listen to the Opry. Everyone's dream was to be on the Opry''.
 
There's no shortage of churches in and around Huntingdon, Tennessee, and future Sun recording artist Carl Mann's family belonged to the Pentecostal faith. They had Saturday night, Sunday mornings and Sunday night worship services and sometimes Wednesday night prayer meetings. That's were Carl Mann started singing in church sing some of Hank Williams' religious songs like ''I Saw The Light''. Surprisingly, though, Carl encountered very little opposition when he started singing wordly music. He started when he was ten or eleven years old on local amateur hours broadcast over Radio WDXI in Jackson, Tennessee. Carl Mann recalls, ''I did some old Webb Pierce songs like ''Slowly'' and ''Even Tho'', and I did a Skeets McDonald song called''Let Me Know''.
 
As an aside, ''Let Me Know'' was a song that needed a pretty formidable vocal range, and when McDonald couldn't reach the high notes his producer disguised the fact with echo, Carl's problem was the precise opposite – at ten years old, he couldn't handle the low part. He remembers one disc jockey telling him to keep the window open at night so he'd catch a cold and be able to hit the low notes.
 
LIVE RECORDING FOR CARL MANN
 
PROBABLY RADIO BROADCAST AT WDXI RADIO, JACKSON, TENNESSEE 1954
LOCAL AMATEUR HOUR: UNKNOWN DATE 1954
 
01 - ''EVEN THO'' – B.M.I. 2:09
Composer: - Willie Jones-Curt Peebles-Webb Pierce
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number – None- Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954
Released: - January 1, 1994
First appearance: - Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 5 mono
GONNA ROCK 'N' ROLL TONIGHT
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Mann – Vocal & Guitar
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
DECEMBER 1954
 
Roy Orbison signed up to attend the fall seminar at the North Texas State College in Denton,  returned home for Christmas and played the New Year Dance on December 31, 1954 with the Wink Westerners, and than Roy subsequently transferred to Odessa Junior College for his  second year. 
 
He studied geology in Denton, preparing to follow his father into the oilfields if  all else failed, but, after flunking his geology exams, he switched to English and History.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE BOOKER
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Charley Booker had previously recorded for Modern Records under the auspices of Ike Turner... not Sam Phillips, and it was Turner who arranged Booker's solitary Sun session. Dating that session isn't easy. It was assumed to have followed swiftly on the heels of Booker's Modern recordings as leader and sideman in January 1952, but it was recorded over an out-take of the Prisonaires ''Baby Please'' from June 1953. It seems likelier that this dates to late 1953 or more likely 1954. In Greenville, Mississippi, Jesse ''Cleanhead'' Love and ''Little Bill'' (Walace), had a band with Otis Green and Willie Dotson on tenor saxes, J.W. Walker on piano, T.J. Green on bass, and Junior Blackmon or Blackman on drums, and it seems as if those were the guys who accompanied Booker on his trip to Memphis.
 
01(1) - "WALKED ALL NIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Charlie Booker
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1954
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4-22 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17310 JK-7-19 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
Booker isn't worth a mention in the story of Sun Records, "Good Rockin' Tonight", a small injustice but an injustice nonetheless. His grounding in traditional Mississippi blues is evident from his adaptation of a Tommy Johnson guitar lick in amongst his steam-piston chord playing. Charlie referred to this song as "Walkin' In The Valley" though this doesn't appear in the lyrics. His trenchant guitar style is reinforced by the restrained but forceful bass and drums, while John "Big Moose" Walker's piano struggles to be heard.

The harsh vibrato in Charlie's voice and his penchant for singing minor notes against the major tonality of the piece adds to the tension instilled by the deliberate tempo.  In many ways, this track epitomises all that is excellent Sun blues. Taut and urgent, this song's spiritual home was in the Delta. Booker said it was his shot at updating Charley Patton, and it was indeed rooted in Patton's 1929 recording of ''Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues'', issued under the pseudonym of the Masked Marvel. Most of the lyrics and the guitar vamp come from that Patton record.

Clearly, the Masked Marvel's identity was no secret to Charley Booker. It's really too bad that Booker's Sun recordings weren't issued. They prove once again how capricious the music business can be. As good as he clearly was, Booker didn't record for nearly twenty years.
 
01(2) - "WALKED ALL NIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Charlie Booker
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1954
Released: - August 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-B-7 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 12 - UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310 JK-9-22 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
It's a shame this song (Take 2) never found its way into a satisfactory take. It flirted with being one of Sun's strongest blues outings, but ultimately fell short. Booker's timing is ragged and his lyrics don't quite pass the ''logic'' test, but the overall effect of this track is compelling. It sounds as if he's vowing eternal love and devotion to this woman in verse 1, but by verse 2 he's claiming that his old grayhaired folks warned him that she'd mistreat him something awful. It's a tough place to be. 
 
02(1) - "BABY I'M COMING HOME" - 1- B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Charlie Booker
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1954
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4-23 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17310 JK-7-18 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
This bears the hallmarks of having been based on B.B. King's recent single, "Woke Up This Morning", which juxtaposed mambo and fast 4/4 rhythms. It was, of course Booker who played the grainy electric guitar.   Oliver Sain and Willie Dodson's saxes riff away happily and its probably Sain taking the brief tenor solo. Charlie sounds completely at home in this modern setting. This first take is marred, but only slightly, by drummer Junior Blackman neglecting to return to a mambo rhythm over the final verses. 
 
02(2) - "BABY I'M COMING HOME" - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Charlie Booker
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 -  Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1954
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17310 JK-9-23 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958
 
03 - "RECONSIDER BABY" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Lowell Fulsom
Publisher: - Arc Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably 1954
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Chris ''Charlie'' Booker - Vocal and Guitar
Oliver Sain - Saxophone
Otis Green - Saxophone - 1
John W. ''Big Moose'' Walker - Piano
Willie Dodson - Bass Guitar
Junior Blackmon - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
END 1954
 
Isaiah Doctor Ross spent the rest of his life as a permanent employee of General Motors, fitting in musical  gigs when he could and recording occasionally. It was in 1955, now he was apart from guitarists Gatlin and  Troy, that he upgraded his own guitar playing - left handed and upside down - and went on to perfect his act  as a one-man band. He had encountered problems with musicians in Memphis. ''Wiley, he'd mess around  (He'd say) Oh I ain't gonna get drunk. You playing about two in the morning, Wiley done fall drunk many  times. I had to have somebody to pack him up. I'd say, 'It don't look good'. A musician trying to entertain the  public and he got to get drunk himself, oh no''. Also, the musicians ''would always want to go on their own,  so I'd have to go looking for new guys and then break them in. I just got tired of doing it''. Also, when he  moved north, he found there wasn't the pool of blues talent to draw on: ''I couldn't get the band I anted in  Flint so I had to get the one-man band going''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Sometime in late 1954 or early 1955, while Ross was still under contract to Sun, Ross made four solo sides, playing acoustic guitar and apparently using a harmonica rack to enable him to combine vocal verses with harp solos. On this session his guitar has a ringing tone and the harp sounds almost accordion-like. The sound of the session is very different from Sam Phillips' studio and the engineer calls out the take numbers before the songs, something Phillips never did. It is likely that the master tape was mailed down to Memphis from Flint as part of Ross's commitment to his renewed Sun contract.
 
Ross told researcher Mike Leadbitter a decade later that he had made the sides at ''the Bristow Bryant studio'' in Flint in December 1954. Four songs were recorded. ''Left Job Boogie'', an extended instrumental workout that uses the oft-repeated lick from ''Chicago Breakdown'' and its antecedents. It is unclear whether the title refers to Ross having left his place of work, or to Ross's lefthanded guitar playing.
 
Session Published for Historical Reasons
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR DOCTOR ROSS
 
PROBABLY BRISTOW BRYANT STUDIO, FLINT, MICHIGAN
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE DECEMBER 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER – ISAIAH ROSS
 
''Left Job Boogie'', this track was in the original LP boxed set as a Sun recording, but it now seems likelier  that Doctor Ross recorded it in his new home town, Flint, Michigan, and sent it to Sam Phillips sometime in  1954. Hence it appears here. From a distance of nearly 60 years, we can still appreciate why Phillips took  such delight in the music of Isaiah Ross. What this track lacks in variety, it certainly makes up in sheer drive.  The oft-repeated lick is one that the doc had already called ''Chicago Breakdown''. On this recording, the sound of Ross's harmonica has an unusual, almost accordion-like quality and it's a perfect match for his  percussive acoustic guitar. Quite a tight little combo was Doctor Ross.
 
01 - "LEFT JOB BOOGIE" - B.M.I. - 3:45
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
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 7-4-9 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
02 - ''INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE '' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Late October 1954
 
''Industrial Boogie'', a song about Ross's new home up north, because that appears again at Ross's next session. The titles included here are ''Going To The River'', taken from Blind Lemon Jefferson's ''Wartime Blues'' issued in 1926, and ''Good Thing Blues'' with the engaging line ''my baby makes good things come to my remind'', based on the popular ''Gold Chills'' recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson in 1946 and then popularised further by John Lee Hooker. Any of the titles from this session would have made a fine third Sun single, though ''Good Thing Blues'' was too long in this form, but Sam Phillips may have decided that Ross's commitment to life up North should send him to the end of the queue for Sun releases, particularly since Sun was preoccupied with Elvis Presley's career and the development of other hillbilly and rockabilly singers. For his part, Ross maintained, ''it was a long time that he wanted me to come back and so some recording. But I saw no future with him''. He told Chris Baird, ''the ''Boogie Disease'' was a real popular record and I asked Sam, 'Is this all we're going to get - about a hundred and fifty dollars'? 'That's all of it''. Said he had costs to pay and the first two records were for him and that the rest would be ours from the third record on''. 
 
03 - ''GOING TO THE RIVER'' - B.M.I. - 3:25
Composer: - Doctor Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Late October 1954
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun CD 37 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE – THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES VOLUME 5
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-21 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
04 - ''GOOD THING BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 4:45
Composer: - Doctor Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Late October 1954
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-22 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS
 
Note: Doctor Ross recorded other versions of these songs at this session.
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charles Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica, Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
 STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE SNOW
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954/55
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE LATE 1954/ EARLY 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Eddie Snow first appeared on the doorstep at 706 Union in 1952 as the pianist and vocalist with Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys. They had journeyed from Osceola, Arkansas to make a demo for Chess. Snow reappeared at least twice more without Parr, probably once in 1954 and again at a logged session in 1955 that yielded his only Sun single.
 
Seemingly taking his cue from Ray Charles' ''Mess Around'', on this track Snow kicks off three songs that probably come from this 1954 session. All of his songs are on tape together, but the mix on this and the two songs that follow is too sloppy and the recording quality too muddy for it to belong with the single. And it's unlikely that Phillips would have cycled Snow's vocal through tape delay on the single, but left it dry on these three cuts. 
 
01 - "DON'T DOG ME AROUND" - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Late 1954/Early 1955
Released: September 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm B 1061 mono
RED HOT AND BLUE
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-8-14 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
A muddy sound and a key which puts more than the usual strain on Eddie Snow's vocal chords renders some of what he sings unintelligible. Its pretty clear he loves his baby, but she seems to be spending his money. "Well, I love you baby, don't fool around with my dough/if you fool with my money, baby, you know you can't live no more". A guitar solo follows which makes a solid virtue of brevity compared to the thundering herd behind him, or can we hear the posse as well?
 
02 - "MEAN MEAN WOMAN" - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Late 1954/Early 1955
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 8-7-15 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Although not assigned to a specific session, its fairly safe to identify the proto-rockabilly guitar style of Floyd Murphy on ''Mean Mean Woman'', although he seems to have lost the fighting edge to be heard on Junior Parker's sides. The other possibility is that this is another guitarist attempting the Murphy style. The song's sentiments are roughly equivalent to the preceding track, and Snow makes it clear that if he can't be his woman's boss, he won't be her man at all. On those terms, he's likely to have remained a bachelor for the rest of his natural life.
 
Before Floyd Murphy was sidelined by a stroke, he remembered working a session with Eddie Snow, so it could very well be him. Snow was an unsubtle vocalist without much range, and on the evidence here his act probably worked better in clubs than on records, a judgment underscored by the fact that he didn't record again until late in life.
 
03 - "STAY WITH ME BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -  Late 1954/Early 1955
Released: - October 1985
First appearance: - Krazy Kat Records (LP) 33rpm Krazy Kat KK 7427 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES - UNISSUED TITLES FROM THE 1950S
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) CD SUNBOX 8-7-16 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS YEARS 1950 - 1958
 
Snow doesn't seem to be able to make up his mind whether to sing "Stay" or "Stick with me baby" he sings both during the course of this take and on the one that succeeded it. With the exception of a verse about the adverse consequences of playing the numbers, the singer spends his time ruing his previous actions in a manner that seems to guarantee his baby's departure. As the performance falls apart at its end, the drummer goes into whirlwind mode to prove it wasn't his fault. The sax man, probably Eddie Davis, here sounds so fluent and brimful of ideas that he could very well be jazz titan Eddie ''Lockjaw'' Davis. In 1956, Davis made some solo recordings for King Records. In New York leading a prototypical sax-organ combo, and he worked on and off with Count Basie from 1952 until 1955, so it's at least possible that it's him. It's clear that Eddie Snow had solidly commercial songwriting chops, but simply didn't have the distinctiveness as a singer needed to compete in rhythm and blues circa 1955.
 
04 - "I GOT TO PUT YOU DOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: -   Late 1954/Early 1955
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 11- MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Snow - Vocal & Piano
Probably Eddie Davis - Saxophone
Bennie Moore - Saxophone
Floyd Murphy - Guitar
Jeff Greyer - Drums
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
STUDIO SESSION FOR LITTLE MILTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S) 1954/1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCED AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
01 - ''I'LL SEE YOU DOWN THE ROAD''*
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: n- None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954/1955
 
02 - ''I WANT YOU BABY''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: n- None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954/1955
 
03 - ''PLAY THIS BOOGIE WOOGIE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: n- None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954/1955
 
04 - ''COME ON BABY''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: n- None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954/1955
 
05 - ''STANDING AT THE GREYHOUND STATION''**
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: n- None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954/1955
 
06 - ''COME BACK PRETTY BABY''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: n- None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1954/1955
 
Tapes not heard. Possible a mistitling of another performances *
Possibly Houston Boines, Vocal **
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Milton Campbell - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
By 1954, Johnny Burnette had a young family to raise. He's married Thurley Ruth Dángelillo in 1952, and   their first son, Rocky, was born on June 12, 1953. Randy followed on October 28, 1954. At some point in   1954, Johnny Burnette was working as an appliance salesman alongside Johnny Cash. ''The manager nagged   when we couldn't sell television sets or screen doors or metal siding''. Johnny told Helen Bolstad, ''but we   braved it out. It was the unbreakable dishes that busted us. The manager said, 'Just throw s saucer down at   the woman's feet. Don't say a word. She'll be so amazed when it doesn't break, she'll but every time'''.
 
Johnny Cash knocked. A woman came to the door, and Cash told her about the unbreakable dishes. Burnette   threw a disc onto the steps as hard as he could and it shattered. The woman shrieked and her husband came   to the door and asked them what they were doing. Cash replied that they were trying to sell unbreakable   dishes. ''Unbreakable!'' said the man. ''You couldn't sell dollar bills for a dime''. Dorsey Burnette cared no   more for his life an apprentice electrician. ''I worked for six years to get my license'', he said. ''I was crawling
up into buildings and getting that fiberglass insulation down in your rear end where you can't scratch. I just   hated it''.
 
PROBABLY DEMO SESSION FOR THE BURNETTE BROTHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954
 
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE LATE 1954 / EARLY 1955
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS
 
Dorsey Burnette recalled that they recorded a demo session for Sun Records. ''We took Sam Phillips some   songs and he turned 'em down'', he told Sanford Brokaw, ''but they weren't very good anyway''. Paul Burlison   cannot remember going to Sun, but if the Burnettes didn't audition there, they were one of the few Memphis   bands not to do so.
 
Al Vescovo worked a few sessions at Sun. He's on the books playing a Ramsey Kearney session in March   1954 and recalls working there on other occasions, but can't remember if he went there with the Burnettes.   The Burnett Rhythm Rangers were a loose aggregation until 1956, so it's possible that they auditioned at Sun   Records without Paul Burlison. Johnny certainly remembered going there. In an article for TV Radio Mirror   in 1961, he told Helen Bolstad that he and Dorsey had auditioned ''Go Mule Go/Go Along Mule'' for Sun, but   were tossed out onto the street when the fiddler's bridge broke. Paul Burlison recalls the same incident, but   places it during the recording of ''Go Mule Go/Go Along Mule'' for Von Records. Music was not a fulltime  occupation. Paul Burlison said that he and Dorsey were working day jobs with the Crown Electric Company   as journeyman and apprentice electrician respectively, although Dorsey appears in the city directories   working for Tri-State Electric and Philwood Electric, not Crown. Johnny held down a number of jobs. After   door-to-door salesmanship didn't work, he became a repo man and debt collector for Severance Corporation.
 
01 - ''GO ALONG MULE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Burnette
Publisher: - Old Judge Music - Sun Unissued - Lost
Recorded: - Unknown Date Late 1954 / Early 1955
 
UNKNOWN TITLES & LOST
 
Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Burnette – Vocal & Guitar
Probably Al Vescovo – Steel Guitar
Dorsey Burnette – Bass
More Details Unknown
 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©