CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1952 Sun Schedule <

1952 SESSIONS (12)
December 1, 1952 to December 31, 1952

Studio Session for Red Hadley, December 5, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, December 8, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis & Walter Horton, December 8, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Willie Nix, December 10, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Joe Willie Wilkins, December 10, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Love, December 11, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Doctor Ross, Late 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Henry Hill, Unknown Date 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for The Song Fellows, Between 1952-1954 / Sun Records

For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies <
Sun recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on 
> YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

DECEMBER 1, 1952 MONDAY

Capitol released Faron Young's fir hit ''Goin' Steady''.

Decca released Goldie Hill's first hit, ''I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes''.

Capitol released Ferlin Husky's first version of ''Gone'', credited to Terry Preston.

DECEMBER 2, 1952 TUESDAY

Attorneys for Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman ask a judge to delay a copyright suit filed by an Ohio woman who claims ''Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)'' infringes on her ''Sleepy-Town Journey''. Haldeman, say the lawyers, is recovering from a heart attack.

DECEMBER 4, 1952 THURSDAY

Eddy Arnold recorded ''Eddy's Song'' at the RCA Studios in New York.

Rabon Delmore dies of lung cancer one day after his 36th birthday. Along with older sibling Alton Delmore, The Delmore Brothers were one of the genre's strongest duos during the 1930s, entering the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

DECEMBER 6, 1952 SATURDAY

Roy Acuff ends a 20-year association with Columbia Records.

George Morgan recorded ''(I Just Had A Date) A Lover's Quarrel''.

DECEMBER 7, 1952 SUNDAY

Webb Pierce recorded the Marty Robbins-penned ''I'll Go On Alone'', plus ''That's Me Without You'' during a morning session at Nashville's Castle Studio.

DECEMBER 8, 1952 MONDAY

Jimmy Boyd sings ''I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus'' in an installment of ''The Perry Como Show'' on CBS.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR RED HADLEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: FRIDAY DECEMBER 5, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

Gailey ''Red'' Hadley and Jay ''Junior'' Hadley were from Covington, just outside Memphis and their playing and songwriting, which continues today, was certainly the equal of the nearby Nashville product. They recently (1977) recorded for Shelby County and Glo-Like Records respectively.

01 - "IF I HAD AS MUCH MONEY AS I HAVE TIME" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Red Hadley
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 5, 1952

02 - "I'D BE A MILLIONAIRE" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Red Hadley
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Orginally Issued
Recorded: - December 5, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104-A-3 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8181 mono
SUN HILLBILLY

The song "If I Had As Much Money As I Have Time" was the one Sam Phillips saw as a potential single. It had first been tried out at an earlier session on November 13, when Red Hadley also cut two piano instrumentals in the honky tonk style popularised by Del Wood on Tennessee Records out of Nashville. Red Hadley remained in Memphis after the abortive Sun episode, recording only twice more. In late 1954 or early 1955 he recorded "Brother That's All" for Meteor Records, and in 1974 he recorded "Rockin' With Red" for the Shelby County label.

Apart from the quality of Red's performance, main memory of that day is the argument that blew up from nowhere with Red's brother Jay about why he wasn't featured on the session. Maybe that had also been the point at issue back in 1952?

03 - "IF THIS IS LOVE''
Composer: - Red Hadley
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 5, 1952

04 - "PETTICOAT RAG''
Composer: - Red Hadley
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 5, 1952

05 - "I STOOD AND WATCHED YOUR WEDDING''
Composer: - Red Hadley
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 5, 1952

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Gailey ''Red'' Hadley - Vocal and Piano
Paul Brazile - Guitar
Jay ''Junior'' Hadley - Guitar
Dave Simmons Jr. - Steel Guitar
Houston Stokes - Drums

For Biography of Red Hadley: > The Sun Biographies <
Red Hadley's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOE HILL LOUIS
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 1: MONDAY DECEMBER 8, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) - "KEEP YOUR ARMS AROUND ME" - 2 - B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 8, 1952
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN CD 27 mono
BLOW IT TILL'YOU LIKE IT - MEMPHIS HARMONICA 1951-1954

If it was chilly on December 8, 1952, Joe Hill Louis did his best to heat up the studio with what is probably his most rollicking cut. He blasts away on vocals, guitar, and possibly drums. Never long subtlety, he works to his strength: pure, joyous rhythm. The logbook only notes Albert Williams on piano, suggesting that Louis might even play the harmonica, although, it's more likely that we're hearing Walter Horton.

01(2) - "KEEP YOUR ARMS AROUND ME" - 2 - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 8, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm SUNBOX 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-4 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

02 - "SWEETEST GAL IN TOWN)" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 8, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-3 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

03 - "SWEETEST GAL IN TOWN"## - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 8, 1952
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) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-5-12 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Joe Hill Louis took two shots of ''She May Be Yours''. The first, recorded on November 17, 1952, was eventually chosen for release on Sun 178. The second, noted in the logs as ''Sweetest Gal In Town'', was recorded December 8 and features some different lyrics. In place of Willie Nix's kick-ass drumming, we have Louis keeping time, and once again we have lead guitar and harmonica playing simultaneously, suggesting that Walter Horton hung around for this song as well. This is a notable alternate take (2). Aside from a very different kick-off, Louis's vocal is far more spirited. You've gotta love the way time rhymes with town.

04 - "I GOT A NEW WOMAN"** - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 8, 1952
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - Rounder Records (LP) 33rpm SS 29* mono
SUN RECORDS - HARMONICA CLASSICS
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-5 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

05 - "I'M A POOR BOY" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 8, 1952
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - P-Vine Records (LP) 33rpm PLP 304 mono
THE BE-BOP-BOY
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-6 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

By the time this song was recorded on December 8, 1952, Sam Phillips may well have decided that Joe was going to relaunch Sun Records, and he'd begun to zero in on the sings which would make up the eventual single. In the meantime, he was also exploring other avenues. One, perhaps inspired by Howlin' Wolf's contract going to Chess Records, was to get Joe sing "like Wolf", something Sonny Boy Williamson was to do some years later at Chess. Joe even came up with a set of lyrics that Wolf would have had no trouble in learning: "Well, I'm lonesome and I'm troubled/I ain't got no place to go/I ain't got no mother/and my father throwed me out". Despite a strong performance by Joe, this remained unissued for several decades. Clearly, it's Albert Williams on piano, but there's also a lead guitar, harmonica, and drums. If Louis was truly singing and playing all instruments but piano, he was the hardest-working man in show business that day. Singing, playing rhythm guitar, harmonica, and drums is just about do-able, but playing lead guitar, harmonica and drums is damn near impossible. Louis played on a Walter Horton session that day, so it's likely that Horton hung around to play harmonica.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis - Vocal, Harmonica, Guitar and Drums
Albert Williams - Piano

Notes: "Keep Your Arms Around Me"# is a recording of Joe Hill Louis singing a unison vocal to the November 17, 1952 recording of this song. "Sweetest Gal In Town"## was mistakenly identified as the original issued version of "She May Be Yours" from SUN 178 on SUNBOX 105, and Louis blows his harp in a style reminiscent of Sonny Boy Williamson II (who was then recording for the Trumpet label in Mississippi). There is again vocal distortion on this track for reasons Sam Phillips was never able to remedy.

For Biography of Joe Hill Louis: > The Sun Biographies <
Joe Hill Louis' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOE HILL LOUIS & WALTER HORTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 2: POSSIBLY MONDAY DECEMBER 8, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

On this same day a continuation of previous session for Walter Horton. On SUN 178, Joe Hill Louis works with supporting musicians, eschewing his one man status. "We All Gotta Go Sometimes" is fine back country boogie with somewhat irregular timing. Louis contributes vocals, harp and guitar and is supported by the driving piano of Albert Williams. Unfortunately, Sam Phillips had problems miking Louis' vocals, since at any moment the performer was likely to blow the back off his harp, taking out a fair bit of sensitive circuitry in the process.

01 - "IN THE MOOD**" - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Andy Razaf-Garland
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Instrumental - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Rounder Records (LP) 33rpm SS 29 mono
SUN RECORDS - HARMONICA CLASSICS
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-7 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

On ''In The Mood'' Walter Horton thrived at this steady mid-tempo. As on the prior track (from the September session), you get the sense that he could have gone on awhile without repeating himself. He digs into the simple changes, spinning out variation after variation. The tune was one of the most familiar in American popular music after Glenn Miller popularized it in 1939 as ''In The Mood'', The signature riff that everyone can hum was older, though, and can be found in tunes going back to the dawn of recorded jazz, emerging fully formed on Wingy Manone's 1930 record of ''Tar Paper Stomp''. If not for Miller it's doubtful if Walter Horton would have lit upon it, though. The guitarist repeats the lick, giving Horton a solid underspinning.

02(1) - "WE ALL GOT TO GO (SOMETIME)(GRANDMOTHER GOT
GRANDFATHER THERE TOLD)"*/** - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Walter Horton-Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952
Released: - Unknown
First appearance: - (LP) 33rpm PV(J) LP 304 mono
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-2-14 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

It seems as if December 8, 1952 was a busy day at 706 Union Avenue. Marion Keisker logged a session with Walter Horton that yielded ''In The Mood'' and five or more cuts of ''We All Gotta Go''. Horton was backed by Joe Hill Louis and Albert Williams. That some day, there was a Joe Hill Louis session with Williams on piano. Marion noted ''Walter Horton, harp'' and then crossed it out. Joe Hill's recording of ''We All Gotta Go Sometime'' has never dated, but it seems as if Horton might be playing on Louis's record because there is harmonica under the vocal on a couple of spots. So the best guess from sixty years' distance is that both Horton and Louis recorded ''We All Got To Go Sometime'' on the same day, and Phillips chose Joe Hill's for release the following month. On release, the song was credited to Louis, but he'd done little more than add a few lines to (John Lee) Sonny Boy Williamson's 1941 song, ''Shotgun Blues''. A Big Bill Broonzy record from that year, ''I Feel So Good'', provided the bits of the melody that Williamson didn't.

02(2) - "WE ALL GOTTA GO SOMETIME (GRANDMOTHER GOT
GRANDFATHER AFTER TOLD"** - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Walter Horton-Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 57 Master Take 2
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952
Released: - January 30, 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Sun 178-A < mono
WE ALL TO GO SOMETIME / SHE MAY BE YOURS (SWEETEST GIRL IN TOWN)
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1-5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

SUN 178 was one of the discs issued in January 1953 as part of Sun's re-launch programme. A favourite theme of Joe Hill's, "Gotta Go" is a strong, uptempo performance laced with much harp, and some particularly forceful piano-playing from Albert Williams. The trio - Willie Nix is on drums - have a drive matched by few others of this era, and this country boogie has a ferocious swing which is doubtless attributable to their many sessions working together.

02(3) - "WE ALL GOT TO GO (SOMETIMES)" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Walter Horton-Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952
Released: - Unknown
First appearance: - (CD) 500/200rpm SUN CD 27 mono
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD 15524 AH-11 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

02(4) - "WE ALL GOT TO GO (SOMETIMES)" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Walter Horton-Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952

02(5) - "WE ALL GOT TO GO (SOMETIMES)" B.M.I.
Composer: - Walter Horton-Joe Jill Louis
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 5 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952

02(6) - "WE ALL GOT TO GO (SOMETIMES)" B.M.I.
Composer: - Walter Horton-Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 6 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Possibly December 8, 1952

Takes 1 and 2 of "We All Got To Go" significantly different from the others and the correct title would be "She Left Me A Mule To Ride". Session file shows no date on these recordings. A dub of "Keep Your Arms Around Me"/"Sweetest Gal In Town" was made December 13, 1852, suggesting that the above session was held shortly after that date, possible on December 29, when Joe came in and borrowed two dollars from Sam, or at one of the three previous sessions, but in any event, before January 30, 1953, the issue date of SUN 178.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Vocal* and Harmonica**
Joe Hill Louis - Vocal, Guitar and Drums
Albert Williams - Piano

For Biographies of Walter Horton and Joe Hill Louis see: > The Sun Biographies <
Walter Horton and Joe Hill Louis' Sun recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on 
> YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

DECEMBER 1952

Trumpet Records released three singles from sessions recorded by Sam Phillips; two by Tiny Kennedy and one by Sherman ''Blues'' Johnson.

Billboard announces that Lester Bihari has moved to Memphis and started Meteor Records. The first release by Elmore James is probably released in December. It charts in February 1953.

DECEMBER 10, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Studio session with Willie Nix at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee. Probably a studio session on the same date with Joe Willie Wilkins at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR WILLIE NIX
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 10, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

01 - ''SOLDIER BOY BLUES'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Willie Nix
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 10, 1952

02 - ''UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Willie Nix
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 10, 1952

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Willie Nix - Vocal & Drums
Joe Willie Wilkins - Guitar
Albert ''Joiner'' Williams - Piano
George Lawson - Tenor Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Above: Joe Willie Wilkins perform on the King Biscuit Time radio show at KFFA radio station circa 1942 in Helena, Arkansas (left) and Floyd Jones and Joe Willie Wilkins at Wilkin's home at 1656 Carpenter Street in North Memphis, Tennessee, March 31, 1974 (right).

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOE WILLIE WILKINS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 10, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

01 - ''BIG FOUR''
Composer: - Joe Willie Wilkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably December 10, 1952

02 - ''MR. DOWNCHILD'' - B.M.I. - 4:30
Composer: - Joe Willie Wilkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - December 10, 1952
Released: - October 30, 2006
First appearance: - Red Light Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - THE DEVIL'S MUSIC - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Willie Wilkins - Guitar
Joe Hill Louis - Drums
Bill Johnson - Piano

For Biographies of Jow Willie Wilkins and Joe Hill Louis see: > The Sun Biographies <
Joe Willie Wilkins' 
Sun recording can be heard on his playlist  from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on 
> YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

According Robert Henry, ''Now I'm speakin' from 335 Beale. I've been on Beale Street for more than forty-seven years. I've seen Beale Street to its peak at three o'clock in the mornin' that you could hardly get through it. I knew when the musicians on Beale Street was only gettin' two dollars and sixty cents for their work. A dime of it was for car fare and the rest for musicians''.

''W.C. Handy and I was very good friends. We stayed together, run together for years to come. We had a place - they called it Pee Wee's where Handy come from. Pee Wee's place was a great spot for musicians - all the musicians hung out there. And when Handy used to say, ''Boys, get together''! he would put a cap on anybody who was a musician and say he belong to Handy's Band. Now at that particular time we what you call Midnight Shows: we had one night for White and the others for Colored. We had Charlie Williamson and his band - they called it the Palace Band.

Aw, but they were wonderful, and it was a great day when they give that Midnight Show. The white people packed the street and nothin' too much happened, they got along fine, when they come to that Midnight Show. Charlie Williamson he passed, and the Palace is a picture-show place now. The Monarch - the Monarch was a place wide open. This was on 340 Beale and the Monarch was a place where we called it a gamblin' house at that particular time. They played piano there, blues goin' all the time. They searched you just like you would be if you were goin' to jail. It was a great time then, the streets were full of gamblin' houses where they shot craps. You could do nothin' then to control gamblin'. While we mention about gamblin' there - if you got out of order, that's what it was - Bad Sam! Feller there who'd deal with you and everybody called him Bad Sam. We had another crap house, they called it the Panama. A boy named Howard Evans operated it for years. Aw, it was great in those day''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

On December 11, 1952, Love came in with another band altogether to record his new song, ''Early In The Morning''. Schoolteacher and bassist Tuff Green was one of the longest established bandleaders in town and often supplied groups to Sam Phillips and other record companies. It may have been Green who put this group together, including drummer Nolen Hall, sax players Robert Hamp and Charles Walker, trombonists Walter 'Tang' Smith and Charles McKinstry, and trumpeter Floyd Shannon.

'Tang' Smith also, fronted a session at around this time which Sam Phillips leased to his partner Jim Bulleit for use on J-B Records in Nashville.

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY LOVE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY DECEMBER 11, 1952
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) – ''GEE I WISH'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - December 10, 1952

01(2) – ''GEE I WISH'' - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Take 2 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 11, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-1 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17149-9 mono
GEE... I WISH

From the session tapes it seems likely that Sam Phillips also recorded two versions of a song called ''You Could Have Loved Me'' and and two early versions of ''Gee I Wish'' at this session. ''You Could Have Loved Me'' is a reflective blues about a man who has sat alone too long and now doesn't want his baby's loving. Charles Walker takes a breathy sax solo that complements Love's vocal.

''Gee I Wish'' was a tune Love would return to later and he recorded it in a number of styles. This early version has a slightly Latin rhythm that alternates with boogie piano and riffing saxes. It's one of those songs that strings together a few vocal phrases in praise of a little girl walking by - themes Rosco Gordon, Billy Emerson and others also recorded for Phillips - but is really a vehicle for the band to rock on out, On this version there is an extended sax solo by Charles Walker and a Trumpet solo by Floyd Shannon.

02 - '' YOU COULD HAVE LOVED ME'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 11, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-1 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17149-10 mono
GEE... I WISH

03(1) - "EARLY IN THE MORNING" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 11, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-1 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4

''Early In The Morning'' was a strong song about how the blues come tumbling down after hours. Love's voice starts quietly while he employs band members to is along to give the effect of a vocal group. His voice then strengthens and, while the full band comes in with impressive sax solos and horn riffs. There is a good sax solo from Charles Walker or Robert Hamp and the song swings along to its conclusion.

03(2) - "EARLY IN THE MORNING" - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 – Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 11, 1952
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17149-11 mono
GEE... I WISH

03(3) - "EARLY IN THE MORNING" - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - December 11, 1952
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17149-19 mono
GEE... I WISH

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Love – Piano & Vocal
Tuff Green – Bass
Nolen Hall – Drums
Charles McInstry – Trombone
Walter ''Tang'' Smith – Trombone
Floyd Shannon – Trumpet
Robert Hamp – Saxophone
Charles Walker - Saxophone

Nothing apparently came of the December session and Phillips's files are completely silent on Billy Love for almost the whole of 1953. It was a strange year for Phillips because his deal with Chess fell apart at the end of 1952 and he relaunched Sun Records in earnest in the spring of 1953, soon hitting chart success with Rufus Thomas and others. Phillips issued a wide range of material on Sun in that first year and the fact that he had accumulated recordings by Billy Love but not issued them seems odd, particularly given his expressed admiration for Love's music. Again we can only conclude that Love was touring or playing music somewhere on his own account or with Rosco Gordon or others.

For Biography of Billy ''Red'' Love see: > The Sun Biographies <
Billy ''Red'' Love's 
Sun recording can be heard on his playlist  from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

POSSIBLY DECEMBER 1952

Lester Bihari forms Meteor Records in Memphis. The label record blues, country, gospel and rockabilly, providing the final impetus for Sam Phillips to revive the Sun label.

DECEMBER 11, 1952 THURSDAY

Hank Williams discharges himself from a Shreveport sanitarium and promptly gets arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct.

DECEMBER 12, 1952 FRIDAY

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''That's The Kind Of Love I'm Looking For''.

DECEMBER 13, 1952 SATURDAY

Hank Williams performs on The Louisiana Hayride in what turns out to be his final appearance on the show.

DECEMBER 15, 1952 MONDAY

Tommy Sosebee recorded his only country hit, ''Till I Waltz Again With You''.

DECEMBER 16, 1952 TUESDAY

A sickly Hank Williams cancels a show in Victoria, Texas. Friends believe he may have had a heart attack, or an overdose.

Hank Thompson recorded ''Rub-A-Dub-Dub'' in an afternoon session at Capitol's Melrose Avenue studios in Los Angeles.

DECEMBER 17, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Hank Thompson recorded ''Yesterday's Girl'' at the Capitol Recording Studio on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

While on tour in Dallas, Hank Williams takes in a Bob Wills performance. It also marks the last that Williams sees his former roommate, Ray Price.

DECEMBER 19, 1952 FRIDAY

Hank Williams gives his final public performance at Austin's Skyline Club, attended by Justin Tubb. Williams admits to Tubb that the ''walking the floor'' line in ''Your Cheatin' Heart'' was inspired by Ernest Tubb's ''Walking The Floor Over You''.

DECEMBER 22, 1952 MONDAY

Robin Gibb's future second wife, Dwina Murphy, is born in Kilskeery, Northern Ireland, three years to the date after Robin's birth. He will write such country hits as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's ''Island In The Stream'', Olivia Newton-John's ''Come On Over'' and Sisie Allanson's ''Words''.

DECEMBER 24, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley performed in the December 1952 Humes High Christmas Talent Show. He sang his standard repertoire "Keep Them Cold, Cold Icy Fingers Off Of Me" and "Till I Waltz Again With You". Elvis Presley was the only act awarded an encore; he performed his good luck song, "Old Shep".

Elvis Presley's history teacher, Mildred Scrivener, remembers how nervous Elvis was performing in front of his classmates. "He was standing on the edge of the stage, half-hidden by the curtain when I told him, it's you, Elvis, go out and sing another song". Suddenly Elvis' stature and popularity hit a new high.

After Christmas, as Elvis Presley sat outside Kay's Drive Inn on Crump Boulevard, his newfound confidence was demonstrated in casual banter with close friends. Frequently ensconced at Kay's Drive Inn, Elvis Presley got many invitations to perform at house parties. When he sang for friends at these dimly lit affairs, he covered recent rhythm and blues tunes. These gatherings gave Elvis Presley a chance to perform the rhythm and blues hits that he spent so much time listening. Yet, as we know, this was only one form of music that interested Elvis Presley.

"Well, I had a nice red flannel shirt with white buttons and Elvis wanted to wear it on the show", recalled Buzzy Forbess, "He had the shirt on a hanger and when he put it in the closet and closed the door, a small hole was torn in one of the sleeves of the shirt. He was probably afraid of how I would react when I learned of the hole in my nice shirt, so when he went on for his number, he had the sleeves rolled up and before he began singing, he said, 'I want to dedicate this number to Buzzy Forbess".

"He was confident in himself, in his abilities", recalls Billie Chiles Turner, a classmate. "It seemed every time we had a talent show at school, every year we had a school carnival, Elvis seemed to be one of the performers. He seemed to always be involved in these things". "Each time Elvis would go on stage", she said, "his classmates would whisper among themselves, 'Not again Elvis'".

DECEMBER 25, 1952 THURSDAY

Doug Dillard receives a banjo for Christmas. He grows up to co-found The Dillards, a bluegrass band that influences The Eagles and makes regular appearances on ''The Andy Griffith Show'' as The Darlings.

Eight-year-old Larry Collins receives a guitar for Christmas. He grows up to write David Frizzell and Shelly West's ''You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma''.

The movie ''Ruby Gentry'', starring Jennifer Jones, debuts in New York. The picture inspires Roberta Streeter to adopt a stage name, Bobbie Gentry.

DECEMBER 27, 1952 SATURDAY

Karla Bonoff is born in Los Angeles. The pop singer/songwriter is best known for her 1982 single ''Personally'', remade as a country hit by Ronnie McDowell. Bonoff also writes Lynn Anderson's ''Isn't It Always Love'' and Wynonna's ''Tell Me Why''.

Hank and Billie Jean Williams attend the Blue-Gray Football Classic at Cramton Stadium in Montgomery, Alabama. They leave before half-time of the NVAA game, a 28-7 win for the Gray team.

Rhythm guitarist David Knopfler is born in England. He's a founding member of Dire Straits, appearing on the band's 1978 debut album, featuring ''Setting Me Up'', a song destined to become a country hit for Highway 102.

Starting, the Saturday Night Jamboree in Marshall, Texas, was the week's top event (if not the only event), and the show's manager A.T. Young, featured his son, Buddy, for whom he started the label. The show ran from Marshall's City Hall, and was broadcast over KMHT. Future Sun artist Tommy Blake probably appeared on Young's show often enough for Young to give him a shot on his little label. ''Koolit'' became Tommy Blake's first single, cut for Buddy Records in Marshall, Texas in 1956.

DECEMBER 28, 1952 SUNDAY

Bob Wills' father, John Wills, dies of a heart attack in Houston, Texas.

Hank Williams gives his final performance, for 130 people at a holiday party for members of the Musicians' Union in Montgomery.

An episode of NBC's ''The Roy Rogers Show features a young Charles Bronson in the role of a killer. Titled ''The Knockout'', the episode naturally includes Dale Evans and Pat Brady.

DECEMBER 31, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Hank Williams sets out from Birmingham to Charleston, West Virginia, for a New Year's Eve show. Slowed by snow, he tries to grab a flight in in Knoxville, but the flight is canceled. Williams gets a shot of morphine, then takes what proves to be his final ride in the back seat of his blue Cadillac.

Guitarist Chuck Berry plays for the first time with piano player Johnnie Johnson in East St. Louis, Illinois. The two are bonded during the time Berry writes ''Johnny B. Goode'', ''Maybellene'' and ''(You Never Can Tell) C'est La Vie''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DOCTOR ROSS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S) LATE 1952
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Four songs survive from the second Doctor Ross session, ''That Ain't Right'' sung by the mysterious pianist Henry Hill (see Hill's session below), and three vocals by Ross. On the first, ''Shake 'Em On Down'', Reuben Martin's washboard sounds remarkably like a slapped bass and for the first time, Ross himself is playing guitar. Henry Hill's piano is down in the mix, but reinforces the heavy-duty rhythm track. Ross said about ''Shake Ém On Down'', ''That was an old song recorded by Bukka White and in later years I thought I'd cut it again. I met him playing in a juke joint house in Mississippi when I was about 14. Sometimes my cousin and him played together''.

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: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4-9 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-9-21 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Essentially identikit Doctor - i.e. the sort of thing he could (and probably did) play all night - what this track lacks in variety it certainly makes up in sheer drive. Even forty years on it is easy to understand why Phillips took such delight in recording the music of Isaiah Ross; the sound of his harmonica has an unusual, and altogether pleasing accordion-like quality - a perfect match for his percussive acoustic guitar. Quite a tight little combo, was Doctor Ross.

02(1) - "SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Bukka White
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4-10 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-1-16 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Of the three takes of this number, this first one is the most confident and full-blooded. A pair of brief tape faults happening just before Ross' vocal begins are obviously the reason for the subsequent retakes. The tune is a Mississippi blues standard: Bukka White recorded "Shake 'Em On Down" in September 1937, Big Bill Broonzy replied with a "New Shake 'Em On Down" in the following May, and Tommy McClennan chose the same title for his recording two years later. Doctor Ross gives it a new dimension with some sterling harmonica work, including a lung-testing single note held for several measures. Henry Hill's piano is frequently lost during these takes, but he's able to make his presence suitably felt here. This is dance music at its best, proving that lyrics are overrated, and sometimes one chord is all you need.

Alan Lomax recorded a woman named Lucille Walker singing it in the Sewing Room at the Women's Camp at Parchman. After the War, it survived in one form or another. Led Zeppelin included bits of it in ''Hats Off To (Roy) Harper, Savoy Brown'' and Fred McDowell cut it, and Jim Dickinson's early sixties punk blues version is an under-regarded classic. And this is as good as any of them.

02(2) - "SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Bukka White
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065-1 mono
DR. ROSS HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-21 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

02(3) - "SHAKE 'EM ON DOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Bukka White
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 37 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-19 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

03 - "DOWN SOUTH BLUES (AKA LACEY BELLE)" - B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065-2 mono
DR. ROSS HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4-12 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1959

Once again, the Doctor proved himself a skilled adapter of earlier works. The first part of ''Down South Blues'' is Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson's song about his wife, Lacey Belle. He deliberately mush-mouths the woman's name in the first verse to obscure the song's origins. By the second verse, he has decided to call her Miss Elvira. Did Doctor Ross own this 1947 record? we vote yes because he also recorded the flip side, ''Polly Put The Kettle On''. In an anthology titled ''Ramblin' On My Mind'', Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff wrote, ''The creative process of Southern folk blues songs construction was initially guided by the capacity for unrestricted recombination of commonly shared ingredients''. In Doctor Ross's case he brought that approach to recorded and copyrighted music, and in today's litigious world, his ass would have been sued repeatedly. The slow, deliberate tempo leaves little for Reuben Martin to do and as usual Henry Hill's piano only makes an impression when Ross pauses for breath. Even with strong amplification, its possible to assess the effort that goes into his harmonica playing, since many of the notes are sounded on the intake of breath, the only time that a note may be 'bent'.

04 - "MY BE BOP GAL" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065-13 mono
DR. ROSS HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-20 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

05 - "GOIN' BACK SOUTH" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065-7 mono
DR. ROSS HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 1992 Arhoolie Records Internet iTunes MP3-13 mono
DR. ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE

The song ''Polly Put The Kettle On'', an old nursey rhythm, might seem an odd choice for a juke joint bluesman but it was recorded in 1947 by Sonny Boy Williamson on Victor and it is an infectious rhythm item in Ross's hands. The song had an influence on others too: James Cotton recorded it some years later.

06 - "POLLY PUT THE KETTLE ON" - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 27 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-11 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charles Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Harmonica and Guitar
Henry Hill - Piano
Reuben Martin – Washboard

Note: Doctor Ross recorded other versions of these songs at this session.

The use of piano at this sessions is intriguing, and the full identity of Henry Hill is unresolved. Hill's rough house style does not appear at all consistent with the smoother sounds of another Henry Hill was recording on Federal at around the same time. Ross's man could easily have been the Henry Hill who owned clubs and roadhouses in Clarksdale and whose son Raymond Hill recorded for Sam Phillips, had Raymond not told researcher Bill Greensmith, ''my father never played piano''. This counters the view of another musician, Houston Stackhouse, who told researcher James LaRocca that he had known Hill's father, ''who was a pianist and juke joint operator''. Doctor Ross never said either way, but from the patter to be heard between songs on the session it seems that Ross and Hill were very familiar with each other's music. None of the songs from their session was issued at the time, and this is a little surprising for Phillips was about to relaunch his own Sun Records label that had released just one disc in 1952.

For Biography of Doctor Ross see: > The Sun Biographies <
Doctor Ross' Sun recording can be heard on his playlist  from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

DECEMBER 1952

Sometimes in 1952 Isaiah Ross was married (he said, to a first cousin of musician Willie Love) and he briefly gave up the music in favour of a move to find work, first to Indianapolis and then to Champaign, Illinois where he worked for General Motors. His marriage did not last though and his wife left him in March 1953, prompting him to return to Memphis. He had already made a trip to 706 Union Avenue at the tail of 1952 when he made his second recording session for Sam Phillips. This time he was accompanied by Reuben Martin op washboard and by a pianist, Henry Hill. It is probably that Phillips was glad to record Ross again, even though his Chess disc apparently did little business, because his down-home mix of blues and good-time rhythms would help to fill the hole left when Modern Records, with whom Phillips had fallen out, started to record Joe Hill Louis themselves rather than use Phillips' studio.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR HENRY HILL
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S) LATE 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4-11 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued"- March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-2-23 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

From Doctor Ross's ''Shake 'Em On Down'' session, the doc allows his pianist, Henry Hill, to step into the spotlight. Every one of the eight takes has a different spoken intro. On this version (Take 1), Hill has got a bottle ''of that old kitchen stuff'', one for him and his baby, and one for Doctor Ross too. Armed thus, he tells his girl, ''we gonna play these woogies baby, just for me and you''. And they made good on the promise. The wonderfully jaunty rhythm section comprised Ross, Reuben Martin playing the washboard, and Hill himself filling in erratically on piano. The song is a litany of grievances, and must have gone down well on club dates.

01(2) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN 37-1 mono
BACK COUNTRY BOOGIE
Reissued"- March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-9-6 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

At least eight takes of this song exist and each one begins with a different Hill soliloquy: "Yeah, Doctor Ross, you know one thing?/Boy, I want you to cut it out, 'cos you done stole my girl from me/but, anyway, I want you to get on down on these here woogies with me". Which is exactly what Ross does, maintaining the rhythm when Hill confuses himself with his verbal asides. Reuben Martin's washboard is so closely miked that a time it sounds as though he's tap-dancing rather than thimble-picking. Later takes find Hill obsessed with bottles of Woldcat, one of which may well have bitten the dust before the session started.

01(3) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - August 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-11 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 12 - UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: November 4, 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-24 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953-1956

01(4) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - November 4, 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1-25 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953-1956

01(5) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 5 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - November 4, 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-8 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953-1956

01(6) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 6 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - November 4, 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-9 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953-1956

01(7) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 7 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - November 4, 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-18 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953-1956

01(8) - "THAT AIN'T RIGHT" - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Henry Hill- Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 8 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1952
Released: - November 4, 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2-19 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953-1956

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Henry Hill - Vocal and Piano
Charles Isaiah Ross - Harmonica and Guitar
Reuben Martin – Washboard

For Biography of Henry Hill see: > The Sun Biographies <
Henry Hill's Sun recording can be heard on his playlist  from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The Song Fellows were the junior quartet - the minor league training ground, if you will - for The Blackwood Brothers. The group was started by Cecil Blackwood, nephew of James, who had founded the senior Blackwood Quartet. Joining Cecil in the Song Fellows was Jimmy Hamill, son of the founding pastor of the Assembly of God Church, a Memphis institution known for its Pentecostal fire. Elvis Presley had his heart set on joining the Song Fellows until he was turned away, rather unceremoniously, by Jimmy Hamill who didn't hesitate to share his low estimate of Elvis' singing style.

Within a year or two, when Cecil had moved up to the Blackwoods Quartet, there was an opening in the Song Fellows and some possibility that Elvis might be a candidate. By this time, however, Elvis' first Sun record had come out and his ambition to join the quartet that had once snubbed him had cooled considerably.

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE SONG FELLOWS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952-1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: BETWEEN 1952-1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

01 - "I NEED JESUS" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Kelsey Marie Stacy
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Between 1952-1954
Released: - 1988
First appearance: P-Vine Special (LP) 33rpm PLP-387-B-8 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - SOUTHBOUND GOSPEL TRAIN
Reissued: - 2000 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16387-24 mono
SUN GOSPEL

The three tracks left by the Song Fellows in the Sun tape archives have never before been released. Although the tape box is undated, it is almost certain that these recordings were made between 1952-1954. While better rehearsed than many, The Song Fellows represent a style of white southern gospel music that remains essentially unchanged a half century later. There were literally hundreds of groups performing in this manner, playing local church programs and traveling the south in beat-up station wagons. Often at the mercy of poorly tuned church pianos, their vocal arrangements can be described as complex or cornball, depending on your point of view.

02 - "EVERY SUNDAY MORNING'' - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Between 1952-1954
Released: - 1988
First appearance: P-Vine Special (LP) 33rpm PLP-387-B-9 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - SOUTHBOUND GOSPEL TRAIN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Song Fellows - Vocals Harmony

For Biography of The Song Fellows see: > The Sun Biographies <
The Song Fellows' Sun recording can be heard on his playlist  from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

CARL PERKINS' LITTLEJOHN SESSIONS 1952 - 1953
Liner notes by Shawn Pitts.

Nothing much would have been stirring in the sleepy little hamlet of Bethel Springs as Carl Perkins passed through. The bustling McNairy County seat, five miles farther south, was another story. He would have slowed down to observe the posted speed limit signs approaching the courthouse in Selmer. Entering the square, it's likely he shot a quick glance left to see if anything was happening at the Latta Ford Motor Company. He had been there often. The owner, Earl Latta, staged one of the best music jams for miles around right there in the spacious garage of his Ford dealership. A good picker could just show up on a Saturday night and count on playing with some of the best musicians anywhere, always in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd. The kid had learned a good lick or two from some of those old timers. South of town, the road rose slightly and flattened out, running straight on into Eastview, Tennessee, near the Mississippi state line, the young guitarist's final destination.

An affable fiddler by the name of Stanton Littlejohn was a regular at the Latta jams. Littlejohn was an astute and knowledgeable observer of the local music scene who had a little family band that played the occasional dance or picnic. He knew all the players on the local music circuit and everybody loved Stanton. Those connections came in handy when he picked up a secondhand recording console around 1947 and started one-offing acetate discs in the front parlor of his Eastview, Tennessee home. Almost immediately, musicians and vocalists started showing up at his doorstep, most often unannounced. For the few cents it took to buy the blank discs used in the process, artists could walk away with their very own records. Stanton never charged for his services, but rather insisted on keeping the alternate recordings as payment, or sometimes requested a second recording for his collection when he took a liking to a particular artist or song, which he often did.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS & SOUTHERN PLAYBOYS

RECORDED AT STANTON LITTLEJOHN'S HOME RECORDING CONSOLE
EASTVIEW, TENNESSEE
SESSION: UNKNOWN DATES 1952/1953
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – STANTON LITTLEJOHN

"DEVIL'S DREAM" - B.M.I. - 1:48
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1952/1953 - Acetate
Released: - November 8, 2019
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BAF 14007-4 mono
DISCOVERING CARL PERKINS, EASTVIEW, TENNESSEE 1952-53

"THERE'S BEEN A CHANGE IN ME" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Cy Coben
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1952/1953 - Acetate
Released: - November 8, 2019
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BAF 14007-2 mono
DISCOVERING CARL PERKINS, EASTVIEW, TENNESSEE 1952-53

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins – Bass
Charley Cox - Fiddle

Perkins's nerves were probably a little threadbare when he turned onto Littlejohn's muddy gravel driveway and snaked his way down to the modest, white timber frame house. When things got underway, Charlie launched into one of his old favorites, ''Devil's Dream''. Whether it was nerves or just the rare gaffe from the virtuoso fiddler, Charlie fumbled the intro so bad the band didn't know where to come in. He nailed it the second time. Stanton lifted the record and scrawled the date onto the label and added ''Devil Dream'', and the band's name, Southern Playboys. At the bottom he wrote Charley Cox / Violin. He flipped the acetate over and reseated it on the turntable.

e confident retooling of a country classic by a novice guitarist from Jackson, Tennessee, must have impressed Littlejohn. He marked the label: Carl Perkins & Southern Playboys. On the B-side, they recorded ''There's Been A Change in Me'', a tune that was just then making its way onto the playlists of mid-South radio. Eddy Arnold's dulcet ode to the transformative power of romantic love would top the country charts later that year, but this version was different. It had all the elements of the hit single but with a confident electric guitar intro instead of the requisite hillbilly pedal steel. And it was rawer, much rawer, in a way that seemed to punch holes in the sentimentality of the original. The short novelty quips between each verse also followed Arnold's lead but seemed, somehow, more salacious. Near the end of the tune, the vocalist whistled to emphasize the lyric about his growing popularity with the neighborhood girls. Where Arnold's version suggested something like a playful, knowing wink, this one was all honky-tonk catcall. It was the kid from Jackson who had stepped to the mic and confidently delivered that memorable vocal and instrumental performance. Littlejohn held onto it for the rest of his life. The confident retooling of a country classic by a novice guitarist from Jackson, Tennessee, must have impressed Littlejohn. He marked the label: Carl Perkins & Southern Playboys.

It was Littlejohn's second session with Carl Perkins that best illuminated the sustained cross-pollination between the region's black and white musical traditions. From the first pickup notes into two songs from this session, ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' and ''Good Rockin' Tonight'', it is evident that this is something far different from anything Eddy Arnold or any of the white old-time players might have done - far different, in fact, from any other recording yet discovered from the Littlejohn archive. This is unmistakably rock and roll. Some point to ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' as a portent of the rock and roll revolution. Trifling speculations about what might be the first rock and roll recording aside, ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' is certainly numbered among the most influential tunes that seemed to presage the seismic cultural shifts of the rock and roll era. A vulgar jump blues number performed by Granville Henry ''Stick'' McGhee to entertain his army buddies, and later toned down for the commercial market, ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' is an exuberant testimonial to the New Orleans party spirit and one libation that fueled it.

A single with a similar history, ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' entered the charts twice in 1947 as an rhythm and blues sensation, recorded first by its composer Roy Brown and later by blues shouter Wynonie Harris. Harris's single would top the charts and remain in the number one slot for six months. The lasting popularity of the tune is demonstrated by a rare second appearance on the rhythm and blues charts in 1949, this time with Brown's original recording. Like ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'', ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' eralded a sea change in popular music and seems to make everyone's top ten list of prototypical rock and roll singles. Those inclined to make such lists sometimes go so far as to suggest that Brown's composition was the first to use ''rock'' or ''rockin''' to describe music rather than high-spirited fornication, though that is far from clear to the casual listener. ''I'm gonna hold my baby as tight as I can, tonight she'll know I'm a mighty, mighty man''. You be the judge.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR CARL PERKINS & SOUTHERN PLAYBOYS

RECORDED AT STANTON LITTLEJOHN'S HOME RECORDING CONSOLE
EASTVIEW, TENNESSEE
SESSION: UNKNOWN DATES 1952/53
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - STANTON LITTLEJOHN

"GOOD ROCKIN' TONIGHT" - B.M.I. - 1:48
Composer: - Roy James Brown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1952/1953 - Acetate
Released: - November 8, 2019
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BAF 14007-1 mono
DISCOVERING CARL PERKINS, EASTVIEW, TENNESSEE 1952-53

"DRINKIN' WINE SPO-DEE-O-DEE" - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Stick McGhee
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1952/1953 - Acetate
Released: - November 8, 2019
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BAF 14007-3 mono
DISCOVERING CARL PERKINS, EASTVIEW, TENNESSEE 1952-53

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass

Perkins's versions of ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' and ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' are virile cuts that give the listener some sense of what it must have been like to hear the Perkins brothers live at the Cotton Boll, El Rancho, or the other West Tennessee honky-tonks where the band hammered out its signature sound between brawls. The tracks are manifestly drawn from the recordings of McGhee and Harris. Both bristle with the same raw sexuality and intemperance that characterize the earlier recordings and utilize nearly identical call and response motifs in the chorus. ''Elderberry Wine!'' Perkins shouts and the chorus answers, ''Wine! Wine! Wine!'' or ''Hey buddy, let it rock!'' he calls, and the band responds, ''Rock! Rock! Rock!'' Perkins even stamped his own moniker on ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee'' with the exultant shout, ''better pass that bottle to Perk!'' (He had used a similar device in the earlier recording of ''There's Been a Change in Me'' by inserting the lyric ''Carl, there's been a change in you.'') In the last chorus of ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee,'' Perkins spurs the backup singers on with, ''You're singing mighty pretty, boys,'' and the track concludes with a withering solo that leaves little doubt as to how the young man first established his reputation as a top-notch guitar picker. ''Good Rockin' Tonight,'' which Perkins lyrically rebrands ''everybody's rockin' tonight,'' is rendered in an almost identical style: same key, same stop section in the verse, same call and response in the chorus, and an equally impressive guitar solo.

These tracks unquestionably demonstrate that Perkins had a penchant for merging blues and country at an early age. By the time Littlejohn's informal recording sessions were underway, the arbitrary, catchall designation ''race music,'' for any release by a black artist (as compared to hillbilly and country western, which had become, what else?—white music) was already deeply ingrained in the commercial recording industry. Taken together, the racial stratification of the commercial recording industry and growing racial tensions of the postwar period may account, in part, for the absence of African American voices in the Littlejohn archive. But if Littlejohn's collection is missing black artists, it is not without their influence. Elvis Black and Waldo Davis, two of the area's most renowned and often emulated elder statesmen of old-time music, were favorite subjects for Littlejohn. Both fiddlers incorporated elements of jug band and blues music into their repertoires with popular regional success from the early twentieth century onward. Black's most striking recording with Littlejohn was an energetic fiddle rendition of the old Gus Cannon jug band classic ''Pig Ankle Strut,'' while Davis recorded at least two smoldering versions of James ''Kokomo'' Arnold's ''Milk Cow Blues,'' a tune which also found its way into the canons of western swing, country, and rockabilly. Like other old-time musicians across the South, they unabashedly adapted and appropriated black identified music into what we now think of as white styles with alacrity, well before the rock 'n' roll revolution fixed such a notion in the popular imagination.

Stanton Littlejohn's recordings of artists like Davis and Black, who came of age in the first half of the twentieth century, are clear evidence that the white old-time musicians of the region had already begun to incorporate styles and tunes that drew liberally from the repertoires of black artists into their own music. Perkins's rural, West Tennessee ranging had put him in contact with musicians, both black and white, who covered one another's songs and drew from a well of common experiences. Similar—though more subtle—strains had already been heard in the music of well-known white, southern artists from Jimmie Rodgers (Mississippi) to Hank Williams (Alabama), but what set Perkins apart was the unvarnished African American influence evidenced in his earliest creative choices. His recordings of two popular rhythm and blues tunes must have seemed more like a natural evolution than a revolution to everyone involved, but make no mistake: it was one thing for a white fiddler to adapt melody or structure from a traditionally black tune, and quite another to sing and perform in the style of black artists. Where the older generation's relationships to black culture had been more ''imitative,'' Perkins's sound was clearly ''assimilative.'' There was potential danger in the difference. Had his honky-tonk following felt like protesting, however, there was just enough twang to win over white audiences.

If rock 'n' roll is, as some suggest, the illegitimate offspring of hillbilly and rhythm and blues, Stanton Littlejohn's recordings demonstrate that Perkins was well ahead of the commercial curve. These tunes are probably better known now as standards from Sun Records's grittiest early rockabilly recordings. Sun had taken root in the fertile soil of Memphis, Tennessee, where the company's founder and producer Sam Phillips recorded an incredible roster of regional blues artists. The immediate success of Elvis Presley—a white country performer with a blues-inflected sound—drastically altered the company's course. ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' was, of course, Elvis Presley's second Sun single. ''Wine'' is probably most identified with Jerry Lee Lewis as a mainstay of his live shows dating back to his earliest days as a performer. Both tunes remain stock selections for many contemporary rockabilly and other roots music artists.

The music was alive and well long before there was a Sun Records or a national appetite for rock 'n' roll. Rock 'n' roll was alive in the blues. It was alive in country. It was alive in men like Carl Perkins who didn't care much about making such distinctions.

If the rooster on Sun's now familiar yellow label was meant to evoke authentic rustic origins, what Littlejohn captured feels like the unadulterated item. And it was much more than that. The ease with which rural artists blended black and white styles was no revelation in itself—certainly not to southern musicians and audiences who were accustomed to such practices. But Perkins's unapologetic, driving delivery of rhythm and blues tunes in a hillbilly style evinced a greater degree of black influence in the postwar generation than his elders might have imagined. The list of Sun artists and the astonishing sonic legacy Sam Phillips bequeathed to posterity speak for themselves, but narratives that cast him and Elvis Presley in the role of rock's progenitors are not only reductive; they fail to recognize something vital about the musical milieu in which they did their best work. The music was alive and well long before there was a Sun Records or a national appetite for rock 'n' roll. Rock 'n' roll was alive in the blues. It was alive in country. It was alive in men like Carl Perkins who didn't care much about making such distinctions.

This essay appears in the Winter 2017 issue (vol. 23, no. 4). To read the full essay, access via Project Muse.

Shawn Pitts is a former president of the Tennessee Folklore Society and serves on the boards of Humanities Tennessee and the Tennessee Arts Commission. In 2012 he was awarded by the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress for documentation and preservation of the Stanton Littlejohn recordings.

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