CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1958 Sun Schedule <

1958 SESSIONS 8
August 1, 1958 to August 31, 1958

Studio Session for Louie Robertson, August 12, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Larry Donn, August 13, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Rich, August 17, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Louie Robertson, August 21, 30, 31 &
September 4, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Vernon Taylor, August 27, 1958 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Roger Fakes, August 28, 1958 / Sun Records

- The Story About Roger Fakes -

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 - ©

AUGUST 1958

When ''Itchy''/''Thunderbird'' came out in August 1958 it was clear which title went which instrumental. ''Itchy'' was the slow side and ''Thunderbird'' (named after the rotgut wine that flowed freely in the studio) was the rocker. After 50 years of reissues, the titling has occasionally gotten confused after Jack Clement said that the titles had been reversed on the original 45s. There's no need for confusion any more. According to Mr. Albert E. Burgess of Newport, Arkansas. ''Itchy''. We recorded that one first. Got a nice bluesy feel on it. Then we did the fast one, ''Thunderbird''. But ''Itchy'' is the slow one. Don't let anybody tell you different''. And there, for the ten of you who still care, is the final word on Sun 304.

AUGUST 1958

Sam Phillips' brother, Jud Phillips, left Sun Records to start Judd Records, although he took over Jerry Lee Lewis' management from Oscar Davis early in 1959. After sets up the Judd Records label, among the 1959 signees are Ray Smith, Roland Janes and Gene Simmons. The label shows offices in New York, Hollywood, and Muscle Shoals. Two months later, Cecil Scaife is hired as Sales Manager, to replace Jud Phillips.

According to Bill Justis, ''One day, just prior to that, Sam came in; Jack and I were working and Sam said, 'Well, boys, I'm a millionaire', and I think that from that day on he wasn't so interest. He had radio stations, lead mines and good accountants. The releases got more and more scare. I think Sam was worried that the musicians were getting too expensive and there were a lot of tirades, although financially he was in good shape. The first break-up in the Sun structure was about six months before Jack Clement and I left. In the fall of 1958 Jud Phillips had a break-up with Sam and started managing Jerry Lee Lewis full-time. Jud had been Sun's promotion man for some time and he deserves a lot of credit for the development of the company. He and Sam were usually at each other's throats... they really had it going. But Jud picked up on Jerry Lee and he really did some fantastic promotion work. He altered the shipments from 30,000 a month in 1957 to hundreds of thousands. It it hadn't been for Jud Phillips, Sun would never have taken off at all. Talent alone is no use. You can't make anything unless you have the promotion right. Sun just didn't promote well. I felt real sorry for Cecil Scaife who was promotion manager after Jud and for Bill Fitzgerald who took over from Sam. They both tried real hard but they had nothing to back them up. Sam had no interest. When you had Sam who was an Ebenezer Scrooge type and Jud who was lighting cigars with dollar bills then it just kinda didn't work out''.

AUGUST 1958

A touching footnote to Sam Phillips' association with Elvis Presley came immediately after the death of Elvis Presley's mother in August 1958. It showed that Phillips the rural Southerner could approach Presley on a level that Colonel Parker and his other handlers never could.

''I called out to Presley's house one day just after his mother died'', recalled Phillips. ''Vernon Presley told me that there was a problem, that Elvis wanted to go to the funeral home with his mother's body for the embalming. He didn't want to let her go.

''I went out there with Dewey Phillips and I stayed all night. Elvis was with his mother, who was laid out, and he wouldn't leave her. After a time I persuaded him to come to the kitchen and we sat down and I just listened to him. He knew I wasn't going to give him any damn bullshit or try to make him artificially feel good about it. I just explained explained exactly what the mortician's field of work was, and I got him to accept what was right and proper and what the undertaker had to do now. Elvis kept talking abut the body and how he didn't want to give it up to anyone else.

''I eventually got Elvis away from the casket and we sat down by the pool. I'll never forget the dead leaves by the pool. I was able to convince him that he should let his mother go. I knew just enough to know which part of him to touch and in what way''.

Phillips' earlier training as a country mortician served him well that night by the pool at Graceland. Like Presley, Phillips had just made the quantum leap from borderline poverty to affluence. Phillips understood why Gladys Presley kept chickens in the gardens at Graceland. He understood the poor white ethos of the South because he, like Presley, had been born of it. To Phillips, there was nothing odd in Presley's behavior; that is why he was able to approach him on a level that few others - certainly not those who saw him simply as a meal ticket - ever could.

The stop leaves an imponderable question: What would have happened if Sam Phillips had retained a role in Presley's career? Could he have arrested the sad decline on either a musical or personal level?

Sun 302 ''The Ways Of A Woman In Love'' b/w ''You're The Nearest Thing To Heaven'' by Johnny Cash released.

AUGUST 1958

Phillips International promo sheet read:

ONE OF THE OUTSTANDING MELODY GROUPS OF 1958

Pictured from left to right, Ed Thomas, Jr., a 1958 Notre Dame graduate, who has composed and recorded several hit songs, one of which was their own recording, "I'm On My Way Home". He plays the piano. Next is their sister, Barbara, who helps in the background along with Ed. Cliff Thomas, a senior in high school, does the solo vocal and plays the guitar.

They have appeared on the popular TV program Dick Clark's American Bandstand.

AUGUST 1958

In any case, Sam Phillips sat down in his little studio on Union Avenue, probably poured himself a few more drinks, and started playing through all the sessions he had on Gene Simmons and company. That means he heard everything we can hear on all the Gene Simmons sessions and a few more alternates to boot.

And behold, Sam decided it was time to release a Gene Simmons record on Sun. He decided that the best of the lot was a coupling of "Drinkin' Wine" and "I Done Told You".

The next day, Gene was called in to sign a contract (it's notable that all of of this recording had been done without one). Next, the sides were mastered and 45rpm stampers were ordered. And, thus, SUN 299 was born. The trouble is, of course, it was born about a year and a half after it was conceived and the outside world, at least the music business part of it, has changed a lot in that time.

And so Sun and Sam release a single they have precious little chance of selling. Not surprisingly, it stiffed in the marketplace, receiving virtually no airplay and selling most of its initial pressing locally, where Gene Simmons had a solid fan base born of regular personal appearances. Years later, collectors discovered and admired it for the treasure it is. Its original release number, SUN 299 (released August 5, 1958), was something of a statement: It was the last of the 200s, the golden era of rockabilly. The 300 series, while surely including some good releases, reflects the toning down of popular music. More and more, saxes are in, stinging guitars are out. Worst yet, 'softening' is in - the dreaded Gene Lowery Singers will bring their shrieking wares to the party as Sun attempts to remain competitive in the marketplace. Had "Drinkin' Wine" been released when it was made, it would have borne a number close to SUN 255. That would have made much more sence.

AUGUST 1958

The Thomas family in the August 1958 ''Radio-TV Mirror Magazine.

AUGUST 1, 1958 FRIDAY

Johnny Cash sign an recording contract and became a Columbia Records artist. Sam Phillips placed advertisement in the trade papers assuring deejays and distributors that he had sufficient Cash product to keep the pipeline full for at least two years. In fact, prodigious recycling by both Phillips and Shelby Singleton ensured that no-one would ever want for one of Cash's Sun sides again.

AUGUST 1958

Charlie Rich might never have recorded for Sun were it not for two events, both beyond his control. First, Johnny Cash announced his imminent departure. That spelled the end of one of Rich's (and Sun's) meal tickets. Rich had placed his songs with Cash during the final months of his tenure at Sun. Cash would plainly be recording his own material when he began his career at Columbia.

Rich's second gold mine, Jerry Lee Lewis, had just returned from England in disgrace, and, with radio plays drastically curtailed, was no longer a prime target for pitching original material. It was starting to appear that Rich would have to look elsewhere to find a recording artist worthy of his compositions.

The obvious candidate was staring Charlie Rich in the mirror. It was plain that his talent extended beyond the jazz tunes of his club dates. Everyone seemed enthusiastic about the idea except Rich himself.

And his reluctance had little to do with the recording studio. The last thing on earth Charlie Rich wanted was to go on the road, appear on television, have to face hordes of screaming fans and sing his records over and over. He was simply terrified. He was also a grown man having to tell his wife, his colleagues and his ''boss'', if that's what Sam Phillips was, that he harbored such childish fears. Put this in context: there was a lineup of rockabilly wannabees at Sun's doorstep, pleading for the opportunity that Charlie Rich was doing everything in his power to sidestep.

Finally, in August, 1958, having squandered every excuse he could muster, Charlie Rich entered the studio to record his own debut single. What Rich lacked in ambition, his wife Margaret Ann could more than provide. She co-wrote one side of his single, ''Philadelphia Bay'' as an investment in stardom.

''I wanted to get Charlie on 'Bandstand' and I figured that song just might do it''. (Dick Clark's influential TV show American Bandstand' was broadcast each afternoon from Philadelphia). ''Charlie actually got the booking and we were all quite excited about it. Charlie was very nervous but we kept telling him that all he had to do was lipsynch the vocals. The day he was scheduled to appear there was some kind of tragedy and they canceled the show. He ended up not going on. I can't remember what happened, but I do recall being very disappointed''.

No one remembers why 'Bandstand' was pre-empted that day, but Charlie made his way to 'Bandstand' almost a year later when he was promoting ''Lonely Weekends'' (See Video Clips), and his appearance was every bit as nerve wracking as anticipated. Charlie's performance was flawless, thanks to the miracle of lip synching, but the brief interview between Charlie and Dick Clark that followed consisted mainly of the host asking painfully simple questions and Charlie perspiring profusely. Stan Kenton never suffered so much for his art.

AUGUST 2, 1958 SATURDAY

Pre-dating his country hit ''Old Rivers'' by four years, Walter Brennan occupies the cover of TV Guide.

AUGUST 3, 1958 SUNDAY

Cindy Nixon is born in Nashville. She becomes a member of The Girls Next Door, a female quartet that reaches the Top 10 in 1986 with ''Slow Boat To China'', released on Mary Tyler Moore's MTM label.

AUGUST 5, 1958 TUESDAY

The Louvin Brothers recorded the original version of ''If I Could Only Win Your Love'' in Nashville. The song goes on to become a hit for Emmylou Harris.

Songwriter Tim Nichols is born in Portsmouth, Virginia. Among his credits, Keith Whitley's ''I'm Over You'', Chris Young's ''The Man I Want To Be'', Dustin Lynch's ''Cowboys And Angels'' and Tim McGraw's ''Live Like You Were Dying''.

AUGUST 8, 1958 FRIDAY

Carl Perkins performed at the Annual Festival for the Southeast Missouri Farmers and Merchants Association at the Old High Gymnasium in Hornersville, Missouri. Also on the bill were Bud Deckelman, Charlie Feathers, Sun recording star Jimmy Haggett. Special guest of recording fame, such as Jimmy Edwards, Barbara Pittman, and Jody Chastain.

Buck Trent has a son, Charlie Trent.

Johnny Cash recorded ''All Over Again'' and ''Frankie's Man' Johnny'' in Nashville at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

Elvis Presley, living in Killeen, Texas, while with the Army puts his ill mother on a train for Memphis. She enters the hospital the next day.

Bing Crosby, who earned a country hit in 1944 with ''Pistol Packin' Mama'', has a son, Harry Crosby, in Hollywood. It's his first child with second wife Kathy Crosby.

The Louvin Brothers begin three days of sessions for the gospel album ''Satan Is Real''. Cut the first day is ''The Angels Rejoiced Last Night'' destined to be remade by Dolly Parton and Sonya Isaacs for ''Livin', Lovin', Losin', ''Songs Of The Louvin Brothers''.

AUGUST 9, 1958 SATURDAY

Bluegrass musician Frank ''Hylo'' Brown recorded his self-titled debut album for Capitol Records at the Bradley Recording Studio in Nashville.

George Hamilton IV guests on ''The Bob Crosby Show'' on NBC-TV, along with Edgar Bergen and The Andrew Sisters.

AUGUST 10, 1958 SUNDAY

The single ''Itchy'' b/w ''Thunderbird'' (Sun 304) by Sonny Burgess is released.

AUGUST 11, 1958 MONDAY

Ferlin Husky recorded ''My Reason For Living''.

Elvis Presley's ''Hard Headed Woman'' is certified gold.

AUGUST 12, 1958 TUESDAY

Faron Young recorded ''That's The Way I Feel'', written by George Jones and Roger Miller, at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

Stonewall Jackson recorded ''Why I'm Walkin''' and ''Life To Go''.

Waylon Jennings' second child, Julie Rae, is born.

Elvis Presley leaves basic training in Killeen, Texas, to see his mother in the hospital in Memphis. Gladys Presley is suffering from an undiagnosed liver ailment, and dies two days later.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR LOUIE ROBERTSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY AUGUST 12, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Child prodigies surfaced with a determined regularity when rock and roll was taking its first unsure breaths and Little Louie Robertson was the token boy wonder at Sun. A talented keyboard player, he was fresh out of Alabama and debuted in 1959 on Temple Records with The Del Rays - a sizeable combo that spawned most of Muscle Shoals' finest session men. "I'm Gonna Rock" comes from one of five pilot sessions cut at 706 Union with his schoolboy buddy, Travis Wammack, on guitar.

01 - "I'M GONNA ROCK" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Eddie Bond
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 12, 1958
Released: - 1985
First appearance: – Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita 125-8 mono
ROCK 'N' FEVER
Reissued: - 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-5-16 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

02 - "ROCK MY BLUES AWAY''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 12, 1958

03 - "IT WAS A TEARDROP''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 12, 1958

04 - "TEENAGE DOLL''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 12, 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Louie Robertson - Vocal and Piano
Travis Lavoid Wammack - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

In an interview Larry Donn recalled, ''In September 1957, I met Billy Riley when his band, The Little Green Men, performed at the Craighead County Fair in Jonesboro, Arkansas, about 9 miles from Bono, Arkansas. Because my cousin was Riley's neighbor, he and I became good friends. My band and I did an album with him for Mojo Records in 1979. I played piano and assisted in the production''.

''After I met Riley, I began singing his songs. The first rock and roll song I say was "Pearly Lee". I sang it at a party and the girls went wild! I decided then and there that I would do rock and roll from then on. I began to do all rock and roll and rockabilly in our shows around Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. For the next few years I was heavily influenced by Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Billy Lee Riley, Roy Orbison, Jerry lee Lewis, Sonny Burgess, Warren Smith and Ricky Nelson.

In early 1958, I say in with Bobby Brown and The Curios at a local club. They were from St. Louis and had been playing in our local area for a few weeks. Bobby was originally from Arkansas, but had moved to St. Louis several years before. He and I became good friends, and when my band broke up later that year, I joined his band as bass player. Soon afterwards, Bobby booked a tour of Canada, and since all musicians had to be over 21, I could not go because I was only 17. After Bobby left for Canada, Benny, Scotty, and I got back together, and we were joined by Sam Creason, who is now drummer for Kris Kristofferson. Late that year, we were invited by Billy Lee Riley to go to Sun Records in Memphis and record. We recorded "That's What I Call A Ball" in the old Sun studio at 706 Union. A second song was also recorded, but we decided it was not good enough to release, so we went home with plans to write more songs and finish the record later''.

And then in the summer of 1958 and according to Larry Donn, ''I hitch-hiked back to Memphis, 65 miles southeast of Bono, and went to the Sun Studio again to see Billy Lee Riley. Unfortunately, he was out of town that day, but hadn't told anyone at the studio that he wouldn't be in. Bill Justis was there, and he suggested that I wait a while, that Riley would probably be coming in before noon, or shortly after. We called his home, but got no answer''.

''During my wait, I helped Bill fix a loose tile in the floor of the outer office. Shortly before noon, Johnny Cash, Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant came in. A few minutes later, Justis turned on the speaker in the office, and I heard "Down The Street To 301", and "Forty Shades of Green".

''I did not know if it was an actual session, or merely a playback from a previous session, but they played both songs several times. Later that afternoon, I decided Riley wasn't going to show up, so I left about 3:00pm and hitch-hiked back to Bono, Arkansas''.

STUDIO SESSION FOR LARRY DONN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – BILLY RILEY

Larry Donn recorded ''That's What I Call A Ball'', but the second song was several steps removed from the "greatest" category, and after a couple of cuts, Billy Riley told them to go write another song as good as the first and Sun would release the record. For one reason or another, they didn't pursue it. Billy Lee has since told that they rarely erased tapes with finished cuts, so it's possible that the cut of "That's What I Call A Ball" is still in existence somewhere in the boxes of old Sun tapes.

01 - ''THAT'S WHAT I CALL A BALL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Richard Manning
Publisher: - Arva Music - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 13, 1958

''That's What I Call A Ball'' was written by Richard Manning, who also played piano on Bobby Lee Trammell's ''Arkansas Twist''. He now lives in Williford, Arkansas, which is near Hardy in the "foothills" of the Ozarks. Musicians are Richard and Jimmie Coleman on guitar; Gary Creason on drums; Jay Arnold on upright bass and Larry, were trying to come up with some songs a session at Sun, which was to be produced by Billy Lee Riley. They band went through a couple of mine, which gave everybody a good laugh, then Richard told to get out and he would write something. They were rehearsing in a back room at Jimmie's house in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at 2209 Circle Drive. It was about eight o'clock on a Saturday morning on August 13, 1958, and they were due at Sun with two good songs at eleven. It took Richard about fifteen minutes to write it, and another ten to write one called ''Molly-O'', both on an unlined blue writing pad with a blue ball-point pen. According to Larry Donn, he still have both originals.

02 - ''MOLLY-O'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Richard Manning
Publisher: - Arva Music - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 13, 1958

Possible more tracks were recorded

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Larry Donn - Vocal, Piano & Guitar
Probably Richard Coleman - Guitar
Probably Jimmie Coleman - Guitar
Probably Gary Creason - Drums
Probably Jay Arnold - Upright Bass

For Biography of Larry Donn see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 14, 1958 THURSDAY

August brought sad news to those of the Sun Records family who had been a part of the launch of Elvis Presley as the hottest young entertainer in America. Elvis Presley's mother, Gladys, died on this day, bringing the young star loss that haunted him during his own short life. Gladys was only forty-six when she died, but she had been in poor health for a long time.

Elvis was in Memphis on emergency leave from Fort Hood when she passed away, but had gone home from the hospital to Graceland for a short rest. From the time he received the call about his mother's death, Elvis was beside himself with grief. This news was brought to Sun by some buddies who had been with him at Graceland. Far from respecting the family in their time of mourning, throngs gathered at Graceland, Memphis Funeral Home, and Forest Hill Cemetery for a glimpse of Elvis and the events surrounding the funeral and burial.

At home, Elvis found little consolation in the presence of the friends who gathered there. Sally Wilbourn reported that Elvis's father, Vernon, had asked Sam Phillips to come and talk to Elvis. When it came time for the body to be moved from Graceland for the funeral service, Elvis was so bereaved that he refused to let the funeral home take Gladys casket. He had been sitting beside it in a state of near-paralysis for two days, utterly desolate.

Sam’s early experience in Alabama working in a funeral home had prepared him for situations like this one. Elvis trusted him, and Sam could be very persuasive. According to Sally, Sam talked with Elvis several hours and finally convinced him to go to bed and rest to allow the body to be removed the next morning so that services could be held as scheduled.

During the funeral and burial service, he struggled to accept that the great love of his life was gone. At the interment, Cliff Gleaves told the Sun employees later, Elvis became very emotional when her casket was lowered into the ground. He was near collapse, and they believed he would be the same again because his mother's demise seemed more than he could bear.

AUGUST 15, 1958 FRIDAY

Release date of Jerry Lee Lewis' Sun 303 ''Break Up''/''I'll Make It All Up To You''.

Buddy Holly marries Maria Elena Santiago in Lubbock, two weeks after they met first.

Elvis Presley's mother, Gladys, is buried at Memphis' Forest Hill Cemetery. Gladys funeral is held at 3:30pm. Elvis sobbed hysterically while Gladys' favourite gospel group, the Blackwood Brothers, performed at the service in the Memphis Funeral Home, and he was equally inconsolable at her Forest Hill Cemetery grave site, crying out, 'Oh God, everything I have is gone'. Elvis leans over the grave, crying out, inconsolably, 'Goodbye, darling, goodbye. I love you so much. You know how much I lived my whole life just for you'. The mourning continued through the next few days as Elvis was granted extended leave. Evidently his fans were grieving too, they sent him more than 100,000 cards and letters, around 500 telegrams, and more than 200 floral arrangements to express their sympathy for his loss.

AUGUST 16, 1958 SATURDAY

Pop singer Madonna is born in Bay City, Michigan. Coming to prominence via dance music in 1983, she's name-checked in Brooks and Dunn's 1993 country hit ''Rock My World (Little Country Girl)''.

AUGUST 1958

According to Barbara Barnes, ''Jud Phillips was in town, though I didn't know if he had come in for Mrs. Presley's funeral or just to take a break from traveling, and when he came into the office, it was a chance for me to find out what the plans were for a new artist I was particularly taken with''.

''Charlie Rich has been coming in a lot, writing for Cash. But I've heard him sing, and he sounds good to me. If we got a strong record and you gave him a big push, I bet he could make it'', I said. I didn't add that I was getting very worried about Cash, Lewis, and Orbison being either gone or commercial poison. How long could the back catalog keep us afloat? Jud said, ''Sam doesn't want that. He doesn't want to promote him as an artist. Charlie is a good songwriter and Sam wants him to concentrate on that''.

''Well, I can't see that he has to do just one or the other'', I objected. This sounded like Roy Orbison all over again, I thought in disgust. ''I'm not too sold on him, either'', Jud said. ''I don't like his looks''. True, Charlie didn't look like a teen idol exactly, rather brawny instead with a streak of white running through his hair. To me, this was sort of romantic'', Barbara said.

Unfortunately, Jud wasn't going to be around to see if Charlie Rich could make it as an artist, because he and Sam had a disagreement that led to his departure from Sun Records. Sam didn't say anything about it to me, but Jud later told Barbara that he had asked Sam for the financial settlement they had agreed upon when he went on the road, and Sam refused to pay him what Jud felt was due. ''Sam said I'd already spent my part'', Jud avowed.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE RICH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY AUGUST 17, 1958
PRODUCER - BILL JUSTIS AND/OR CHARLIE RICH
RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

With this recordings begins the recording career of Charlie Rich, one of the towering figures of contemporary popular music. Certainly there was no one recorded by Sam Phillips who equalled the musicianship of Rich. Whether as a jazz pianist, rockabilly or soul singer, Charlie Rich had no equals at Sun. Ironically, it was his multi-ranging talents that made it difficult to record or merchandize him in a consistent manner.

Charlie Rich had been working as a session pianist and house composer for several months when he began to receive pressure to record his own material. In truth, Rich would have been happy to contribute material and musicianship to other people's records, and never venture forth into the spotlight. But by August 1958, Rich finally entered the magical confines of 706 Union to produce his own release. The man who grew up listening to Stan Kenton found himself composing and singing a piece of teen fluff, consciously geared to Philadelphia in order to secure a gig on American Bandstand.

01(1) – "WHIRLWIND"* - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - David Kelly
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 331 - Overdubbed Master
Recorded: - August 17, 1958
Released: - October 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3532-A < mono
WHIRLWIND / PHILADELPHIA BABY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

Hardly anyone outside of Memphis knew what they were dealing with here. That that sexy virily voice belonged to a guy who could also turn heads and hearts with his blues and soul vocals. And fewer yet had a clue that the driving piano work, especially audible on "Whirlwind", was performed by Charlie Rich himself. Within two more releases, the world would come to know a lot more about Charlie Rich.

01(2) – "WHIRLWIND" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - David Kelly
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Version - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 17, 1958
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16152-1-1 mono
LONELY WEEKENDS - THE SUN YEARS 1958 - 1962

We can hear the original recording of this tune, before the sax and chorus were added on for single release. Even with the sax and voices, no one would have described this record as overproduced. But hearing just the tight little combo as it sounded at 706 Union Avenue on that for off day in August 1958 is a revelation.

03 - "PHILADELPHIA BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 332 - Master
Recorded: - August 17, 1958
Released: - October 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3532-B < mono
PHILADELPHIA BABY - WIRLWHIND
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-4-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

On "Philadelphia", all things considered, the record ain't half bad. The instrumental work is solid, the drumming of Jimmy Van Eaton, yet again, is driving, the harmony vocal work is virile and - best of all - Rich demonstrates to an unsuspecting world that he is possessed of a fine, even startingly good, rockabilly voice. In fact, "another Elvis" was the phrase most often used by critics and disc jockeys to describe both sides of Rich's premier disc.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Ronald Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
J.M. Van Eaton - Drums

* - Overdubbed version for release with Martin Willis on Tenor Saxophone
Unknown Vocal Chorus

For Biography of Charlie Rich see: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun/PI recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 19, 1958 TUESDAY

Billy Riley and his band performed at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis newspaper headline said:''Crowd At Overton Hears Season's Final Musicale'' by reporter Ben S. Parker.

An overflow crowd which spilled over the onto grass turned out last night for the final concert of the 11th season of free summer musicales at the Overton Park Shell. As usual, the last one was a jazz event, with four local dance bands and combos giving their all.

On the program, in order of appearance, were hillburn ''Pappy'' Graves and his orchestra, Bob Taylor and his orchestra, Billy Riley and his orchestra, and Colie Stoltz' orchestra. The evening included a variety of popular music ranging from sentimental ballads to Dixieland, from rhumba to rock and roll.

AUGUST 20, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Using the pseudonym Simon Crum, Ferlin Husky recorded ''Country Music Is Here To Stay'' at the Bradley Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

Riley's group was responsible for most of the latter , and that seemed to be what the crowd came to hear. This five-man combo practically tore the stage loose from its moorings, and took the audience right along with it. Particularly popular was Jimmy Van Eaton, Riley's demon drummer.

Stoltz's widely-known dance orchestra also offered the crowd quite a bit of the kind of torrid tempos it craved , plus a spot of variety in programming , Mary Martin was this orchestra's comely soloist.

''Pappy'' Graves' group got the program rolling, specializing in Dixieland and sweet music. He also introduced ''for the first time'', as he said, a composition by Gwenn McEwen, his vocalist. Sung by ''Pappy'', its title was ''Me Without You'', and was well received.

Bob Taylor and his four-man group brightened the remainder of the first half of the program with varied rhythms and tempos.

Vincent E. Skillman, president of the Memphis Federation of Musicians, was the evening's master of ceremonies. He sorta halfway promised another season of the popular, free open-air concert next summer. They have been sponsored jointly by the Federation, with an assist from the Recording Industry Trust Fund and the Memphis Park Commission.

AUGUST 23, 1958 SATURDAY

''Splish Splash'' singer Bobby Darin appears on the NBC summer replacement series ''The Bob Crosby Show''.

AUGUST 25, 1958 MONDAY

Patsy Cline has a daughter, Julia Dick.

Jimmy C. Newman recorded ''You're Makin' A Fool Out Of Me'' in an early-evening session at Nashville's Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

Don Gibson's ''Blue Blue Day'' ascends to number 1 on the Billboard country chart.

AUGUST 27, 1958 WEDNESDAY

Two days after the birth of daughter Julie, Patsy Cline writes about the experience to fan club president Treva Miller, ''I feel like a real woman now''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR LOUIE ROBERTSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY AUGUST 21, 30, 31, &
SEPTEMBER 4, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "WHY GO ON?''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 21, 1958

02 - "ASHES OF LOVE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 30, 1958

03 - "I'M GONNA ROCK
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 30, 1958

04(1) - "UNKNOWN INSTRUMENTAL''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 30, 1958

04(2) - "UNKNOWN INSTRUMENTAL''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 30, 1958

04(3) - "UNKNOWN INSTRUMENTAL''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 30, 1958

05 - "IN YOUR OTHER LOVER'S ARM''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 31, 1958

06 - "PUT ME DOWN''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 31, 1958

07 - "WHITE SILVER SANDS
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 31, 1958

08 - "UNKNOWN INSTRUMENTAL''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 31, 1958

09 - "FABULOUS''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - September 4, 1958

Note: ''Fabulous'' recorded at the same time as the Ken Cook session of the same day. Possibly similiar personnel.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Louie Robertson - Vocal and Piano
Unknown Musicians

For Biography of Louie Robertson see: > The Sun Biographies <
Louie Robertson'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 VERNON TAYLOR
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 27, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL JUSTIS

Vernon Taylor doesn't get much respect as a Sun artist. His two Sun releases did not inspire many major reissue projects or invitations to European festivals. Taylor came a little too late and brought too little to the party (a tepid sax-based remake of ''Mystery Train'' wasn't likely to stir up the troops. Too bad some of the other titles he recorded were never released at the time. The verdict might have been different.

01 - ''YOUR LOVIN' MAN''
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 27, 1958

02 - ''TODAY IS A BLUE DAY''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 27, 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal
Unknown Musicians

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The years have been kind of Roger Fakes. He didn't belong among the tortured souls who made so many of the recordings at Sun. He didn't see music as his one chance for deliverance from a bleakly predictable future on the farm or in the factory. He wasn't prone to crippling bouts of alcoholism or depression. Life held more.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROGER FAKES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY AUGUST 28, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL JUSTIS

01 - "SOMEHOW WE'LL FIND A WAY" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 28, 1958
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-11 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-8 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT - VOLUME 14

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Roger Fakes - Vocal and Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

''Sam Phillips had the unique ability to put people at their ease and get the best out of them'', Roger said in 1986. ''I respect him a lot for that''.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

THE STORY ABOUT ROGER FAKES - With just a little lack of luck, Roger Fakes (pronounced FAYkiss) would not even have been at Elvis Presley's concert of July 4, 1956, in Russwood Park in Memphis. Living at 219 Rose Road, Memphis, Tennessee, with just a little luck, he was there and today he still has the diamond-laden ring he won from Elvis as an attendance prize!

"I was dating a girl named Eleanor McGinnis at the time", Fakes recalls. "We were dating fairly steady and we were going somewhere that night. It was the 4th of July. I don't recall we had any place specific picket out.

But a friend of Eleanor's Lynn Williams, had a bunch of tickets to Elvis' concert. It was a charity event and Lynn's uncle, Jim Robinson, was a charitable type person and had bought a block of tickets".

"A big group of us all went together. The seats we had were not exceptionally good. Elvis sang on a stage out at about the picher's mound at Russwood. The place was packed. I had no idea Elvis would be giving away a ring as an attendance prize during the concert".

When they announced it was time to draw for the main prize - Elvis' own diamond-studded ring with the initials EP - one of the crowd poked the 17-year-old Fakes in the ribs and said, "Better get out your ticket stub. You might win something". Roger Fakes retrieved the stub from his shirt pocket and was amazed as Dewey Phillips began reading the lucky number 9-7- 3-6. Fakes held his breath. The rest of the numbers matched. He had won Elvis' ring.

"I went down on the stage and Elvis took the ring off his finger and gave it to me". "We chatted for awhile and I told him I was a musician, too. And then I went back to my seat". Fakes was attending East High School, the same school as actress Cybill Shepherd, who later dated Elvis Presley.

"When I got to Memphis State, I wore the ring a lot", said Fakes. "I was a member of the Epsilon Phichapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity. Wink Martindale was a fraternity brother of mine, though he had graduated earlier. I would wear the ring and when people asked me about it, I would either tell them the EP stood for Elvis Presley, or Epsilon Phi, depending on the situation. It was kind of fun".

After a few years, the novelty of heaving Elvis' ring wore off and the ring went into safekeeping. Now and then people still ask Fakes if he has the ring. He does. Some, including his brother-in-law, Scott Fisher, who sometimes does Elvis impersonations for the fun of it at private parties, have asked to borrow the ring. No doing! It it for sale?

"At the right price, yes", said Fakes. "The problem is, I don't have a fair way of evaluating what it's worth. It's a nice ring. Heavy. Gold. It's got 17 nice little diamonds in it that form the letters EP. In and of itself, it's not that valuable. The fact it was once Elvis' $600 ring (1956 price) makes it valuable".

Roger Fakes had actually met Elvis before the concert. "We used to hang out at the old Toddle House drive-in on Poplar Avenue", he recalls. "One night Elvis came in there on his motorcycle. He was just becoming famous then. He didn't seem to be really taken with himself. He got off his bike and visited with people. He seemed to be the most unassuming guy in all the world".

Fact is, Elvis played a dance at the old Chisca Hotel one night and Fakes, a guitarist, sat in with him on stage. "We used to sit in a lot in those days. Not anymore", said Fakes. Roger Fakes just about appeared on Sun Records. He was part of a group called the Spinners that sung on some Bill Justis cuts, included a vocal on "Midnight Man", on the flip-side of the Bill Justis Sun hit, "Raunchy". In June 1957, Fakes, became a session guitarist at Sun Studio, and Elvis by now at RCA, would come in to visit and chat. Fakes most memorable achievement at Sun Records was a recording session at Sun with Sid Manker on guitar, Jimmy Wilson on piano, Billy Riley on bass, and J.M. Van Eaton on drums. Fakes' "Somehow We'll Find A Way" (Sun Unissued SUN BOX 106) are released in 1997 by Bear Family Records. Its not hard to tell that rock and roll wasn't Fakes' first love. Harry Belafonte was his idol. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1938, Fakes moved to Memphis with his family at age 11.

Roger Fakes' singing career got off the ground when he appeared on Top Ten dance Party, a television show hosted by the Memphis State University fraternity brother, Wink Martindale. He soon gave up on music, though, "I didn't want to stay in it if I couldn't be as successful as possible", he said in 1986. "I looked at where I wanted to be in the long term, and music didn't fit in with my goals".

Roger Fake became vice-president of a company that sells and services washing machines. "I've no regrets", he said. "I play the Hammond organ at home and sing at church. That's as close as I want to be to the music business".

Looking back, on July 4, 1956, on Independence Day, he says, "At that time, the ring fit my ring finger. Now, it's too small for my ring finger; too loose for my little finger".

Elvis Presley spent the remainder of July enjoying a well-deserved vacation. Much of the time, he relaxed in and around Biloxi, Mississippi. He renewed his romance with June Juanico, whom he had met when he performed in Biloxi in June 1955.

AUGUST 28, 1958 THURSDAY

Olympic skater Scott Hamilton is born in Bowling Green, Ohio. He appears in 2005 in the background chorus on Brad Paisley's hit ''Alcohol''.

AUGUST 29, 1958 FRIDAY

Michael Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. He recorded the pop hit ''She's Out Of My Life'', which becomes a country duet for Johnny Duncan and Janie Fricke. Jackson also co-writes and helps organise the sessions for USA For Africa's ''We Are The World''.

AUGUST 31, 1958 SATURDAY

Jim Reeves and Bill Haley are featured on ''The Dick Clark Show'' on ABC-TV.

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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 - ©