CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1957 Sun Schedule <

1957 SESSIONS (4)
April 1, 1957 to April 30, 1957

Studio Session for Hayden Thompson, April 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Levester ''Big Lucky'' Carter, April 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ed Kirby, April 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, April 4, 1957 Probably Other Dates / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, April 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Barbara Pittman, April 5, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Barton, April 6, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ray Harris, April 7 / May 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Kenneth Parchman, April 10, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Blake, April 15, 1957 / RCA Records
Studio Session for Hannah Fay, April or May 1957 / 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 <

APRIL 1957

And then, Hayden Thompson's ''Rock-A-Billy Gal'' earns a mention as one of the very few 1950s song with ''Rock-A-Billy in the title. Set to a light mambo rhythm, the original was a west coast record by Jonathan Craig with the Colby Wolf Combo that had as little connection with rockabilly as Guy Mitchell's song ''Rock-A-Billy''. Sam Phillips left Thompson's ''Rock-A-Billy Gal'' on the shelf. Trivia note: Colby Wolfe's original record was released at the same time and the same label as Richard Berry's original ''Louie, Louie''.

APRIL 1, 1957 MONDAY

Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two performed at the High School Auditorium in West Monroe, Louisiana on 8:00p.m. show, and were sponsored by KUZN and West Monroe Jaycees. Appearing with Johnny Cash on this show were Jerry Lee Lewis, Onie Wheeler, and Paul Douglas.

A group of RCA recording artists departs for a tour of U.S. military bases in Germany. making the trip, Jim Reeves, The Browns, Hank Locklin, Janis Martin and Del Wood.

Merle Haggard's first daughter, Dana, is born. He misses the event, serving nine months in the Ventura County Jail for stealing a 1952 Oldsmobile.

Cadence released The Everly Brothers' ''Bye Bye Love''.

Jimmy Dean's recording contract with Columbia takes effect, though it takes another four years before he finally earns the label a hit.

Columbia released Ray Price's ''I'll Be There (When You Get Lonely)''.

APRIL 2, 1957 TUESDAY

Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis played at the Community Center in Sheffield, Alabama, just across the river from Florence. Perkins' record at number 82 on the pop charts and Jerry's still waiting to be released.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Sometime around March 1957, Flip Records of Hollywood issued a jazzy disc by the Colby Wolf Combo with vocalist Jonathan Craig. It was about a girl who became enthralled by the new rocking music and set off in pursuit of "the crazy rhythm" and the man who performed it.

Bob Colby and Jack Wolf's song ''Rock-A-Billy Gal'' was reviewed in the trade press in mid-April 1957 by which time it had already found its way to 706 Union Avenue in Memphis and a Slim Rhodes' recording session on April 3.

It is unclear who picked the song up, but the title was crying out to be given the Sun treatment. Surprisingly few songs from the 'rockabilly' era had that word in their title: although the phrase had been coined by record reviewers at the trade paper 'Billboard' around 1955, the performers from the mid-South who from left; Billy Hurt, Bill Gunter, Jimmy Hill were at the centre of the storm very rarely used the term.

Jack Clement recognised a good idea when he heard it though and he, Slim Rhodes, and Hayden Thompson meticulously worked up an arrangement of the song with Hayden singing lead, and they captured many versions on tape. Hayden thinks he ''may have added a verse to if something like that'', but all the surviving versions are identical. They feature a harmony vocal by Dusty Rhodes. Slim's brother, although somehow it wrongly became part of Sun mythology for many years that the second voice was that of Roy Orbison. We have included here two previously unissued versions of ''Rock-A-Billy Gal''.

He released ''Love My Baby'' and ''One Broken Heart'' in September 1957 in the first batch of releases on his newly-launched Phillips International label. Hayden's record was promoted well locally and everyone at Sun had high hopes for it, but another Phillips International disc, the instrumental ''Raunchy'' by Bill Justis, started to become a major hit. The Sun/Phillips promotional campaign swung behind Justis, good as ''Love My Baby'' was.

STUDIO SESSION FOR HAYDEN THOMPSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1960

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY APRIL 3, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

Jack Clement recognised a good idea when he heard about the disc "Rock-A-Billy Gal" it though and he, Slim Rhodes, and Hayden Thompson meticulously worked up an new arrangement of the song with Hayden singing lead, and they captured many versions on tape. Hayden thinks he "may have added a verse to it, something like that", but all the surviving versions are identical. They feature a harmony vocal by Dusty Rhodes. Slim's brother, although somehow it wrongly became part of Sun mythology for many years that the second voice was that of Roy Orbison.

01(1) - "ROCK-A-BILLY GAL" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Bob Colby-Jack Wolf
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-2 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1997 Gee Dee Music (CD) 500/200rpm 270131-2-7 mono
LOVE MY BABY

01(2) - "ROCK-A-BILLY GAL" - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Bob Colby-Jack Wolf
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957
Released: - 2008
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131-2 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(3) - "ROCK-A-BILLY GAL" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Bob Colby-Jack Wolf
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957
Released: - 2008
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16131-35 mono
HAYDEN THOMPSON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(4) - "ROCK-A-BILYY GAL" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Bob Colby-Jack Wolf
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957

There was another "Rockabilly Gal" issued on Hudson Records by Mearl Allen, but for some reason, Sun decided eventually that they wouldn't go with Hayden's "Rock-A-Billy Gal" and instead Sam Phillips dug out the best Hayden Thompson takes he had earmarked from the December 1956 sessions.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hayden Thompson - Vocals and Guitar
Dusty Rhodes - Harmony Vocals
Roland Janes - Guitar
Brad Scruggs - Guitar
Ethmer Cletus "Slim" Rhodes - Guitar
"Speck" Rhodes - Bass
James. M. Van Eaton - Drums

Band Chorus

For Biography of Hayden Thompson see > The Sun Biographies <
Hayden Thompson's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on 
> YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BIG LUCKY CARTER & ED KIRBY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 2: WEDNESDAY APRIL 3, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER & RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

In the increasingly sanitized world of rhythm and blues circa 1957, songs about gin, mean or not, weren't to get played. That doesn't mean this isn't appealing performance with an inebriate charm all its own. The 12-bar structure made it a different kind of blues; a boozy vocal group blues. Ed Kirby and his group played for a black-only crowd at the Fiesta Room in Memphis, and the exact circumstances under they came to record at Sun Records are unclear, and likely to remain so.

01 - ''MEAN OLD GIN'' - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number
Recorded: - April 3, 1957
Released: - March 8, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-8-10 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Sam Phillips saved himself and his label a heap of embarrassment by not releasing this record in 1957. It's not clear what was going on here. The plodding vaguely jazzy band work, the 1940s proto-doo wop style, and the decidedly nonteen fare would have sunk the release like a stone and had critics talking in wonder about it for years. Nothing jells here. There are doo wop cliches, like the pervasive 1 - 6 minor - 4 - 5 chord changes, but teens wouldn't have been caught dead dancing to or buying music like this.

Someone forgot to clue in the sax player at the end of his solo that the song was headed back for the release. Likewise that augmented chord near the end (at 2:44 sec) is so jarring that the track almost becomes surreal. These may sound like technical criticisms, but their effect on even non-professional listeners is disorienting. The kindest thing that can be said about ''Blue Nights'' is that it is a (mercifully unissued) oddity in Sun's history, and a rather late one, at that.

02 - ''BLUE NIGHTS'' - B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number
Recorded: - April 3, 1957
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 11 - MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-8-11 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

''Blue Nights'' issued as ''Trouble'' on CR 30126.

03 - ''TAKE ME WHERE YOU GO'' - B.M.I.- 1:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957
Released: - May 15, 2012
First appearance: - Sun Records Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample mono
SUN ROCKABILLY ARCHIVE

04 - ''DIGGIN' THE CALYPSO'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957

05 - ''TROUBLE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 3, 1957

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Ed Kirby - Vocal & Saxophone
Levester ''Big Lucky'' Carter - Lead Vocal
Leroy Beckton - Vocal
Jimmy Ballard - Vocal
Chelsea Taylor - Electric Bass Guitar
Lindberg Nelson - Piano
Charles Ballard - Drums

For Biography of Ed Kirby and Big Lucky Carter see > The Sun Biographies <
Ed Kirby's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on 
> YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Johnny Cash had started to keep a grueling schedule on the road. In later years his concerts would become somber affairs, as Cash, dressed habitually in black, sang selections from his vast repertoire; in the early days, though, he put on a true hillbilly variety show in the manner of his contemporaries. He would do impersonations (including a very realistic parody of Elvis Presley), a calypso or two, and a comedy routine with Marshall and Luther.

As always, Luther was the butt of Cash's jokes, playing the role of the hillbilly still life, working away determinedly at his licks. If Luther thought about it, however, and he probably did, he was having the last laugh; the most accomplished pickers in Nashville were now being called upon to emulate his elemental style. It became doubly ironic when Luther, who had exquisite taste in picking, later upgraded his skills, but was called upon only to reprise his original bare-bones solos here.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY APRIL 4, 1957 AND
POSSIBLY OTHER DATES
SESSION HOURS: 12:00-15:00
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

01(1) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 1:38
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Incomplete Take 1, Chatter - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-23 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

There are not many tapes left intact that contained every take of a particular song but this is the case with "Don't Make Me Go", recorded in April 1957 and issued as a single later that month. It is interesting to note that none of these outtakes are like the released version, which featured some simple acoustic guitar work and a second guitar playing single note runs. Jimmy Van Eaton was also on hand and appears on some of these outtakes although they were destined to remain in the vaults. There are a number of false starts and incomplete versions witch seem to prove that this was not an easy song for them to put down on tape.

01(2) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 0:18
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start, Incomplate Take 2 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-24 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(3) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO"* - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start, Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517 EH-2-1 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-25 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE OUTTAKES

01(4) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) Sunbox 103 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-26 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(5) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 244 - Undubbed Master Take 5
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: -
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-27 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(5) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO"* - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 244 Overdubbed Master Take 5
Recorded: - April 4, 1957 - > Sun 261-270 Series <
Released: - April 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 266-A < mono
DON'T MAKE ME GO / NEXT IN LINE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

01(6) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 0:40
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Incomplete Take 6 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-28 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(7) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 7 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-29 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(8) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 8 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-30 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(9) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 9 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-31 mono
JOHNNY CAH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(10) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 10 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-32 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(11) - "DON'T MAKE ME GO" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 11 - Not Originally
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-33 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

On "Don't Make Me Go", Cash offers a beautiful acoustic guitar-led balled which, again, was a departure from his established style. The marketplace continued to be impressed with Cash's work, although the heights reached by "I Walk The Line" remained elusive.

02(1) - "NEXT IN LINE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1
Recorded: - Sun Unissued

02(2) - "NEXT IN LINE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - Sun Unissued

02(3) - "NEXT IN LINE" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 245 Master Take 3
Overdubbed for LP (SLP 1245) release on November 22, 1957
Recorded: - April 4, 1957
Released: - April 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 266-B < mono
NEXT IN LINE / DON'T MAKE ME GO
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Powerful as it is, this is one of Johnny Cash's least typical Sun records. Neither side features the classic boom-chicka-boom sound. "Next In Line" comes close, but the open acoustic guitar sound is quite different from the purely percussive style heard on "I Walk The Line" or "Train Of Love".

Billboard was also impressed with this outing, calling "Nest In Line" a "dirge-like theme with haunting guitar backing" and its flipside "another plaintive tune with hypnotic beat". They noted, accurately, that Cash delivered both sides with "sincerity and heart", characteristics that would remain intact for most of his Sun output.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal, Guitar and Percussion effect*
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant - Bass
Jack Clement - Guitar
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums

For Biography of Johnny Cash see > The Sun Biographies <
Johnny Cash's 
Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR NARVEL FELTS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY APRIL 5, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

"I remember the first session", recalled Narvel Felts, "Roy Orbison was in the control room with Jack Clement. Conway Twitty was still Harold Jenkins and had a chair pulled up by my microphone in the studio, listening to me. I had met Jerry Lee Lewis at Taylor cafe next door that morning, and Johnny Cash came in at the front office and watched us for a little while that day".

01 - "A FOOL IN PARADISE" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 5, 1957
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15242-10 mono
NARVEL FELTS - A TEEN'S WAY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-9 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

02 - "KISS-A-ME BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - R.L. Cloud
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 5, 1957
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 10 513-8 mono
TEENAGE BOP
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-6 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

Early in 1955 blues harmonica player, Little Walter, scored an rhythm and blues chart-topper with his adaption of the gospel standard, "This Train". Retitled "My Babe", the song went on to pick up several rock and roller covers, in particular two highly contrasting versions by Dale Hawkins and Ricky Nelson. Albert Narvel Felts had broached the idea somewhat earlier, at his second try out at Sun, which came just a few weeks after he was auditioned by the ever-willing Jack Clement.

03 - "MY BABE" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Willie Dixon
Publisher: - Jewell Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 5, 1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30105-4 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 5 - REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16200-2 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

At the session of "My Babe" when Felts said the line, "when she's hot, there ain't no coolin'", Jack Clement and Roy Orbison had their heads popping around, looking at each other kind of in surprise when Felts said that, like it was a sort of shocking line at that time.

04 - "YOUR TOUCH"- B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: – None – False Start, Complete Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 5, 1957
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15242-13 mono
NARVEL FELTS - A TEEN'S WAY
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-4 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

After Narvel Felts finished the last session at Sun Records, Jack Clement said, "well think we've got a record here. It may take about a year to get around to releasing it because we've got so many in front of you".

05 - "A TEEN'S WAY" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Narvel Felts-Leon Barnett-J.W. Grubbs-Jerry Tuttle
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 5, 1957
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-13 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-10 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Narvel Felts - Vocal and Guitar
Leon Barnett - Guitar
J.W. Grubbs - Bass
Bob Taylor - Drums
Jerry Tuttle - Steel Guitar and Tenor Saxophone

At the session when Conway Twitty was also there, Roy Orbison called Conway and Narvel Felts off in a corner, and said, "Boys, if I were you, I would look elsewhere for a label. That's what I'm going to do when my contract's up, because Sam's not interested in me, he's not interested in you, he's not even interested in Perkins. He's only interested in Cash and this new kid, Jerry Lee Lewis".

For Biography of Narvel Felts see > The Sun Biographies <
Narvel Felts' 
Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BARBARA PITTMAN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY FRIDAY APRIL 5, 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

UNKNOWN TITLES (SUN UNISSUED)

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Barbara Pittman - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Smokey Joe Baugh

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Elvis Presley convinced Ernie that Memphis was the place to be, so he sold his house in Daytona Beach and built another one in the Memphis suburb of Frayser. In Barton's account, Jack Clement had just arrived at Sun. He was hired by Sam Phillips in early 1957 and had his first recording session on April 6, 1957. None of the tracks were released, but Barton went back into the studio in March 1958 and this resulted in the single "Stairway To Nowhere"/ "Raining the Blues", released on Phillips International PI 3528 in July 1958.

It's quite a likeable record, which also got a good review in Billboard: "Rockabilly is brightly handled by Barton, with fine group support. Action possible''.

That group support came from Roland Janes, Jimmy Van Eaton and Sid Manker, while Barton himself played rhythm guitar. The "doodley wop" riffing by the male chorus on "Stairway To Nowhere" works very well.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ERNIE BARTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY APRIL 6, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PROSUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

There are no dates on the tapebox, but it was probably recorded circa 1957.

Guitarist, vocalist, writer and producer, Ernie Barton had to forsake the Sunshine State and up sticks to Memphis before anyone at 706 Union would take him seriously. His persistence finally paid off and he recorded his primary sides at Sun early 1957. This first cut of "She's Gone Away" (the song was redone two years later) smoulders with an innate quality but the track served only as a stopgap prior to Barton's two singles appearing in the Phillips International catalogue.

01 - "SHE'S GONE AWAY" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 6, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1024-10 mono
HOT SOUTHERN BOPPERS
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-25 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

02 - "WEDDING BELLS" - B.M.I. - 1:15
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 6, 1957
Released: - 1986
First appearance: Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8181-10 mono
SUN HILLBILLY

03 - "OPEN THE DOOR RICHARD"
Composer: - Jack McVea-Dusty Fletcher-John Mason-Dan Howell
Publisher: - MCA Music Ltd
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 6, 1957

04 - "MY LOVELY ONE"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 6, 1957

05 - "STAIRWAY TO NOWHERE"
Composer: - Alan Wingate-Jo Ann Wingate
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 6, 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Barton - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

For Biography of Ernie Barton see > The Sun Biographies <
Ernie Barton's 
Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 1957

Sam Phillips wanted a follow-up for ''Come On Little Mama''. By this point, Ray Harris had taken on a second guitarist, Red Hensley, and it was Hensley who came up with an idea. ''He remembered this song, ''Greenback Dollar'' which was an old folk tune in the public domain'', said Harris. ''We decided to see if we could do anything with it. We all got to liking it and we started working on it real hard. Then we took it into the studio''. The party atmosphere was for real. ''To be perfectly honest we were drinkin' the night we cut it'', said Harris. ''The more we drink, the better it sounded''. From 30 years' distance Harris recalled that the background vocalists were Red Hensley and Roy Orbison. ''A lot of people thought I was gonna have a big one'', he said, ''So I got carried away and bought a car, a new Mercury. I ended up digging ditches for six months to pay for it''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Geographically speaking, Mississippi, (the Northern border lies just below the city of Memphis) was an ideal state from which to feed exuberant wannabes into the Sun domain. Homer Ray Harris was born there in 1927, which made him one of the more senior contenders to figure in Sam Phillips' growing rockabilly empire.

STUDIO SESSION FOR RAY HARRIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY APRIL 7, / MAY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Casting around for material, Ray Harris lighted upon the old hill country ballad "Greenback Dollar", and he worked up a surprisingly commercial version of the song. There was a contagious party atmosphere on the record, highlighted by whistles and hollers during the instrumental breaks. "A lot of people though I was gonna have a big one", recalled Harris, "so I got carried away and went and bought a new Mercury. Ended up diggin' ditches for six months to pay for it". Harris provides hos own epitaph on his Sun career: "I never did get a hit. Probably had too much country in my style. I tell everyone I sure had a good time trying', though".

Ray Harris' second single, "Greenback Dollar, Watch And Chain", comes from the folksy end of public domain and features a young Roy Orbison in the chorus, and went on to make a pretty nice career for him self three years later. Although the session musicians were essentially the same as Sun 254, the results were quite different this time around. Featured again on guitar was Rhode Island native Wayne Cogswell and the drummer was Memphis resident Joe Reisenberg.

01(1) - "GREENBACK DOLLAR, WATCH AND CHAIN'' - B.M.I. - 2:54
Composer: - Ray Marris
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 254 Master
Recorded: - May 1957 or Probably April 7, 1957
Released: - June 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 272-A < mono
GREENBACK DOLLAR, WATCH AND CHAIN / FOOLISH HEART
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-13 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Greenback Dollar" is a loony tune, and no less lovable. And what a mixture of styles!. A doo wop chorus, and more of the wild and woolly guitar / drum sound from the flipside. Only this time around a piano and slap bass player have been added. A truly overproduced record by Sun's delightful 1957 standards. Everybody did his part live, right off the floor, with no overdubbing. As Wayne Cogswell recalls, ''I was singing and playing lead guitar at the same time. Nothing fancy on that record''. Part of the prodigious amount of energy in the room stems from Reisenberg's drumming. The whole record comes close to being a drum solo rather than conventional 2/4 rhythm. You can hear guys shouting and whistling in the background during the guitar and piano solos. It sounds like a party going on and the drums certainly contribute to the mood. When the piano solo starts, Joe moves to his crash cymbal for emphasis. And then there's that memorable fade on a drum roll! How many records do you know, Sun or otherwise, that end on a drum roll? If Sam hadn't faded it, Joe might have kept at it until moved uptown in 1960.

01(2) - "GREENBACK DOLLAR, WATCH AND CHAIN - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Ray Harris
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 1957 or Probably April 7, 1957
Released: - 1974
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat BLP 200-6 mono
WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - August 2000 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-4 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

Given the number of alternate takes in the Sun vaults, it is amazing how rarely one can second-guess Sam Phillips decision of which take release. Having said that, this may be one of those few cases where the alternate was stronger than the version originally released. What distinguishes this take of "Greenback Dollar" from the single? Clearly, both are full of enthusiasm and energy. However, this version - which was first issued nearly 40 years after it was cut - has some qualities missing from the original 45. Harris vocal is strong, perhaps more focussed and melodic than on the single. The guitar solo is noticeably more stinging here, but things really come together during the piano solo. On this version there is a decidedly bluesy edge to the playing that is wholly missing from the single. The final verse is different here ("Mama said..."), although it is hard to imagine that the lyric was cause to bury this version in the can for four decades. There is amazing drive on this take without any of the assertive drumming that graces the single. Also missing is the memorable ending of the original 45 - Joe Reisenberg's famous drum roll to nowhere.

02(1) - "FOOLISH HEART" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Ray Harris-Wayne Cogswell
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 255 Master - > Sun 271-280 Series <
Recorded: - May 1957
Released: - June 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 272-B < mono
FOOLISH HEART / GREENBACK DOLLAR, WATCH AND CHAIN
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-14 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Foolish Heart" is a wonderful loony tune of a record. A doowop chorus welded onto a minimalist bluesy ballad. Other than the voice, the sound is not appreciably different from Harris' previous outing (SUN 254), which was markedly under produced even by 1956 standards. Wayne Cogswell and Joey Reisenberg are all over this record. Every empty space is a personal challenge to be filled by guitar and drums. Their playing is so assertive that the missing bass player is hardly noticed.

Ray Harris contributes here on this session a fine vocal, even for a self-professed non-singer. The party atmosphere adds a delightful touch and enhances both instrumental breaks. The unknown piano player is suitably high spirited, although his style is notably un-Jerry Lee-like. If things weren't sufficiently off-the-wall, this record ends on a drum roll. Not exactly an everyday occurrence, made doubly bizarre by the studio fade. Precious few Sun record ended with fade-outs, despite how commonplace the practice was elsewhere. When we finally get a Sun fade, it focuses not on a repeated vocal or instrumental line, but on a drum roll. What a label!.

For many years it was thought that Elvis Presley played piano on both of Ray Harris Sun release. However, research has discovered that Charlie Rich was the piano player. The vocal backing was provided by Roy Orbison, Wayne Cogswell, and Red Hensley.

03(1) - "LONELY WOLF" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Ray Harris
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 7, 1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-21 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Ray Harris' second session for Sam Phillips was a rampant affair, akin to one of the famous Sun studio parties that, if folklore is to believed, were fuelled by copious amounts of Thuderbird wine. Although it didn't win a release at the time, the teeth-baring "Lonely Wolf" was too good to be left on the shelf and it fully deserves its place here. The title was a tab prophetic, as the entrepreneurial Harris would soon be on his way to helping set up the rival Hi Records label in Memphis.

04(1) - "I'M WINNING NOW"* - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Ray Harris
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 7, 1957
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - White Label Netherlands (LP) WLP 8801-9 mono
ROCK AND RHYTHM
Reissued: - January 1, 2013 Vintage Masters (MP3) Internet Sample mono
BLUES & ROCKABILLY BOOGIE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ray Harris - Vocal and Guitar
Wayne Cogswell - Guitar
Joey Reisenberg - Drums
Unknown - Piano
Red Hensley - Vocal and Steel Guitar*
Unknown - Bass
Wayne Cogswell, Red Hensley, Roy Orbison - Vocal Chorus

When "Greenback Dollar" stiffed, Ray Harris went into the construction business, then hooked up with Bill Cantrell, Quinton Claunch, and Joe Cuoghi at Poplar Tunes to form Hi Records. Among the acts he produced for Hi Records were Bill Black, Ace Cannon, and Gene Simmons.

Although Jimmy Van Eaton recalls playing on what may have been an earlier practice version of Harris's song, no tapes of that session remain and there is little doubt that the issued version of ''Greenback Dollar'' features Joe Reisenberg. In a 1960 conversation with Hank Davis, Ray Harris spoke about his drummer, Reisenberg, and how different he and Joe were. Harris seemed bemused, but proud of the association.

Reisenberg's story has never before appeared in the annals of Sun archaeology. ''Little Joe'' Reisenberg was born to an immigrant Jewish family in 1912 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He began playing drums at an early age and, according to his son Gene, ''would have played 24 hours a day. seven days a week if he could''. But he couldn't. He had a wife and three kids to support. Sun recording logs show no record of Reisenberg doing any session work other than with Ray Harris. However, he seems to have done semi-regular session playing in Nashville during the mid-1950s, just before Nashville became a major recording hub for so-called countrypolitan music.

Reisenberg's younger cousin Ronald Harkavy recalls Joe travelling to Nashville for sessions with mainstream artists including Perry Como and Kay Starr. There is also a strong indication that Joe played drums with Bob Wills in Texas during the 1940s although we can't back that one up with photographs or recordings.

In an interview with Colin Escott and Martin Hawkins, Ray Harris recalled, ''Joe Reisenberg owned a scrap yard and used to smoke cigars all the time. He'd be playing drums and the cigar would burn plumb up to his lips''.

Reisenberg, who died in 1987, was by all reports an extremely likeable man. His cousin Ronald recalls him as being personally ''very down to earth and humble'', although in larger social situations he could become the gregarious life of the party. Gene recalls, ''My father love to joke and dance around and on stage he'd twirl his drumsticks''.

One of Joe's early friends in the music business was the King, himself. ''Elvis loved Joe'', recalls Harkavy. ''He used to come by the house and give the two sons rides on his motorcycle. He was very generous with Joe and gave him presents, which really made a difference. Joe wasn't rich and every little bit helped. Joe played drums with Elvis at local shows, maybe in 1954 or early 1955, before Elvis was a star. Elvis asked him to come on the road with him but Joey refused. He was very devoted to his wife and family (two sons and a daughter) and he wouldn't just pack up and go off with them. He was in the 40s by then and it just didn't

For Biography of Ray Harris see > The Sun Biographies <
Ray Harris' 
Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR KENNETH PARCHMAN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: APRIL 10, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 – "GET IT OFF YOUR MIND" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Kenneth Parchman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 10, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-4-5 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKNG YEARS - I FEEL LIKE ROCKIN'
Reissued: - May 27, 2013 Bear Familly Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-3-5 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

02 - "WHAT'S THE REASON"* - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Kenneth Parchman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 10, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-4-5 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - I FEEL LIKE ROCKIN'
Reissued: - 1999 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16311-3 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 16

Parchman generally worked with local bands, and it might be his brother Ronnie we hear dueting with him on "What's The Reason".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Kenny Parchman – Vocal & Guitar
Ronnie Parchman - Vocal
Richard Page – Guitar
Willie Stephenson – Bass
Bobby Cash – Drums
Jerry Lee Smith - Piano

For Biography of Kenny Parchman see > The Sun Biographies <
Kenny Parchman's 
Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 7, 1957 SUNDAY

Future country producer Jimmy Bowen sings ''I'm Stickin' With You'' on CBS-TV's ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Also appearing, Fred Astaire, Buddy Knox and Ferlin Husky, who performs ''Who''.

APRIL 8, 1957 MONDAY

''Country Style'', hosted by Jimmy Dean from the WTOP studios in Washington, D.C., debuts as a daytime program on CBS-TV, where it remains until December. The cast includes Billy Grammer.

Billy Walker recorded ''On My Mind Again'' with two members of The Crickets at the Norman Petty Studio in Clovis, New Mexico.

APRIL 9, 1957 TUESDAY

Eddy Arnold recorded ''Gonna Find Me A Bluebird'' at Webster Hall in New York.

APRIL 10, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Songwriter Harlan Howard meets Lula Grace Johnson through mutual friend Wynn Stewart in Los Angeles. The two marry one month later, and she goes on to become country singer Jan Howard.

"I'm Walking" by Ricky Nelson is heard on ABC-TV's "The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet''. The performance launches a musical career.

APRIL 11, 1957 THURSDAY

Singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale is born in Troutman, North Carolina. The Americana icon writes George Strait's ''I Gotta Get To You'', Mark Chessnutt's ''Gonna Get A Life'' and Patty Loveless' ''Halfway Down'', among others.

Johnny Horton recorded ''The Woman I Need'' in an evening session at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

APRIL 12, 1957 FRIDAY

Vince Gill is born in Norman, Oklahoma. After work with the pop group Pure Prairie League, he becomes a solo country artist, with his songwriting, guitar work and warm voice making him a frequent Grammy winner and Country Music Hall of Famer.

RCA manager Steve Sholes appoints Chet Atkins as the label's musical director.

Dot records, a leading independent record company is founded by Randy Wood in the back room of his record store in Gallatin, Tennessee, is sold to ABC-Paramount.

APRIL 14, 1957 SUNDAY

Webb Pierce recorded ''Bye Bye Love'' and ''Missing You'' at the Bradley Recording Studios in Nashville.

APRIL 15, 1957 MONDAY

"Next In Line" b/w ''Don't Make Me Go'' (Sun 266) by Johnny Cash is released. It reaches number 9 on the country charts.

The singles Sun 269, Wade and Dick (The College Kids) ''Bop, Bop baby'' b/w ''Don't Need Your Lovin' Baby'' and Sun 271, Rudy Richardson's ''Fools Hall Of Fame'' b/w ''Why Should I Cry'' released.

"So Long I'm Gone" b/w ''Miss Froggie'' (Sun 268) by Warren Smith is released and enters the Memphis chart at number 6. Billboard's review states: "Another of the solid Sun performers is unveiled on this great pairing. Watch both of these sides".

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR TOMMY BLAKE
FOR RCA RECORDS 1956

RCA VICTOR STUDIO
METHODIST TELEVISION RADIO & FILM COMMISSION
1525 MCGAVOCK STREET, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
OR RADIO TTAE STUDIO, TYLER, TEXAS
RCA SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 15, 1957 1956
SESSION HOURS: 14:00-17:00
PRODUCER – CHET ATKINS
RECORDING ENNGINEER - SELBY COFFEEN

Carl Adams remembered: ''Together we had material galore. Carl, Blake, and I loaded in an old station wagon and headed for Nashville in search of a record deal and some publishing contracts. Webb Pierce owned Cedarwood Publishing. Next day we went over to Tree Publishing and Buddy Killen also wanted our material. He introduced us to Chet at RCA Victor. Chet wanted to sign us to RCA and asked us to return to record four songs''. Driving back to Nashville, Hall ran a stop sign in Humbolt, Tennessee, and Blake had to wire Chet Atkins for the ten dollars to get them out jail. The relationship with Chet had gotten off to a bad start, but it would get worse.

Chet Atkins scheduled a session for April 15, 1957. Waiting around, Blake and the Rhythm Rebels didn't have enough money for a hotel, so they camped out in the station wagon, using gas station restrooms to wash. They found a spot on the side of a mountain near Nashville where they could camp without being bothered. Ed Hall believes that their session was the first in the now-famous Studio B, but the studio official opening wasn't until November that year. It's likelier that Blake and company were at the studio on McGavock Street where Elvis Presley had recorded ''Heartbreak Hotel''. Atkins paired Blake, Adams, and Hall with another Shreveport alumnus, pianist Floyd Cramer, and Nashville big band drummer Farris Coursey. Tree Music’s Buddy Killen was there to play bass and ensure that they didn't record any of the songs they'd sold to Cedarwood.

01 – ''HONKY TONK MIND (THE WOMAN I NEED'' – B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Eddie Hall-Carl Adams
Publisher: - Cedarwood Music Publishing
Matrix number: - H2WB-0683 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 15, 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Country Music Foundation (LP) 33rpm CMF 014-20 mono
GET HOT OR GO HOME – VINTAGE RCA ROCKABILLY 56-59
Reissued: 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16797-2 mono
TOMMY BLAKE - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

''Freedom'' was a Johnny Cash-styled ballad with a lovely vocal arrangement that was better suited to Blake's style than the uptempo songs. Atkins later got a little additional mileage out of it when he persuaded Hawkshaw Hawkins to record it. Carl Adams' stinging guitar got a workout on ''Mister Hoody'', but unbeknownst to Atkins, the song he liked the best, ''Honky Tonk Mind'', was already spoken for.

Ed Hall remembers how the deal went down: ''When we took literally hundreds of songs Blake and I had written to Nashville in search of whatever we could get. Cedarwood was our first stop. Wayne Walker listened and Webb wanted publishing rights to some of our songs. ''Honky Tonk Mind'' was one of the songs we pitched that they wanted so we signed the publishing rights to the song with them.

''Honky Tonk Mind'' was also one of the songs Chet Atkins liked and wanted us to record. It didn't seem right for Tree not to have publishing rights to all four songs since Buddy Killen got us the recording contract.

That sent us back to Cedarwood to see if they'd release us from that contract we signed on ''Honky Tonk Mind''. They agreed to relinquish publishing rights. With that we went back to Tree and signed the song with Buddy.

That gave Tree publishing rights to all four songs RCA wanted us to record. All seemed great. We thought we were headed for great things. Between the time we signed with RCA and went back to Nashville, Tillman Franks and Johnny Horton invited us over to Johnny's house to pitch some of our songs. We went into great detail about our trip to Nashville and our luck at landing an RCA contract. We made it clear which four songs on the demo tape were the ones we were to record with RCA and which ones were available for them to record. Letting them have a tape with the four songs we were to record for RCA proved to be the dumbest thing I have ever been party to. Franks figured the song would be a big hit for Horton so he rushed through a recording session (on April 11... four days before Blake's session) and got it released before RCA could release the song. Horton recorded and released it under the title ''The Woman I Need'' and listed Lee Emerson as writer with Cedarwood Publishing as the publisher. Anyhow, Cedarwood paid us songwriter royalties on the song over the years. As far as I know Tree Music never once pushed the issue with Cedarwood. The fact remained that Horton's release of the song we promised RCA ended our romance with RCA, Tree, and Cedarwood. Tommy Blake and The Rhythm Rebels were history as far as performing artists in the town of Nashville, maybe rightfully so from Nashville's point of view''.

02 – ''FREEDOM'' – B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Eddie Hall-Carl Adams
Publisher: - Tree Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - H2WB-0684
Recorded: - April 15, 1957
Released: - May 1957
First appearance: -RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6925-A mono
FREEDOM / MISTER HOODY
Reissued: 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16797-4 mono
TOMMY BLAKE - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

03 – ''MISTER HOODY'' – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Eddie Hall-Carl Adams
Publisher: - Tree Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - H2WB-0685
Recorded: - April 15, 1957
Released: - May 1957
First appearance: -RCA Victor (S) 78/45rpm standard single RCA 20/47-6925-B mono
MISTER HOODY / FREEDOM
Reissued: 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16797-10 mono
TOMMY BLAKE - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

04 – ''ALL NIGHT LONG'' – B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Tommy Blake-Eddie Hall-Carl Adams
Publisher: - Tree Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - H2WB-0686 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 15, 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Country Music Foundation (LP) 33rpm CMF 014-21 mono
GET HOT OR GO HOME – VINTAGE RCA ROCKABILLY 56-59
Reissued: 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16797-5 mono
TOMMY BLAKE - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Chet Atkins sensed a troublemaker and dropped Tommy Blake after one single, ''Freedom''/''Mister Moody''. The two unissued cuts, ''Honky Tonk Mind'' and ''All Night Long'', didn't appear until the Country Music Foundation unearthed them for their rockabilly anthology, ''Get Hot Or Go Home'' in 1988. For this part, Tillman Franks insists that Blake double-crossed him. It was part of Horton's deal that most if not all of his songs had to be drawn from Cedarwood, and Tillman says that he thought he was getting a Cedarwood song without strings attached. Tillman also insists that Blake threatened to kill him after he released Horton's version under another title. Off RCA, Tommy Blake signed with Sun Records in Memphis around the same time he was signed as a regular to the Louisiana Hayride.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tommy Blake – Vocal & Guitar
Carl Bailey Adams – Guitar
Edward Eddie Hall Dettenheim – Guitar
William D. Buddy Killen – Bass
Farris Coursey – Drums
Floyd Cramer - Piano

For Biography of Tommy Blake see > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 15, 1957 MONDAY

Two weeks after Rick Hall lost his wife in a car accident, his father dies when a tractor overturns. Devastated, Hall gives up a steady job, starts playing music, and ends up establishing Fame Recording Studio in Florence, Alabama, becoming a producer.

Tommy Blake recorded ''Honky Tonk Mind'' for RCA, with Chet Atkins producing. Johnny Horton has a hit with the same song, under the name ''The Woman I Need''.

Decca released Kitty Wells' ''Three Ways (To Love You)''.

Columbia released Stonewall Jackson's debut single, ''Don't Be Angry''. It's not a hit, but a remake of the song brings him into country's Top 10 seven years later.

Sonny James recorded ''Lovesick Blues''.

APRIL 21, 1957 SUNDAY

Johnny Cash's fifth single is shipped, coupled the brooding "Next In Line" with a beautiful vulnerable ballad, "Don't Make Me Go". Despite a brief appearance in the pop charts at number 99, the single did not sell at all well. It only reached number 9 in the country charts, Cash's worst showing since his first record.

Jerry Lee Lewis on tour in the North West and Canada with Wanda Jackson, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash.

APRIL 22, 1957 MONDAY

Columbia released Johnny Horton's ''The Woman I Need''.

A European tour headlined by Jim Reeves comes to a close. Also in the entourage, Hank Locklin, Del Wood, Janis Martin and The Browns.

APRIL 23, 1957 TUESDAY

George Jones recorded ''Tall, Tall Trees'' at the Bradley Studios in Nashville. It becomes a hit for Alan Jackson in 1995.

APRIL 24, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Verve Records released Ricky Nelson's first single, ''Teenager's Romance''.

A $270,000 tax lien is issued against Red Foley, charged with underpaying his taxes from 1948-1955.

Harry McClintock dies in San Francisco. The mountain singer was responsible for the early recording classic, ''Big Rock Candy Mountain''.

APRIL 25, 1957 THURSDAY

The reverend Andy Jenkins dies. A member of The Jenkins Family, one of the first country acts to appear on the radio, he wrote Jimmie Rogers' 1928 release ''Ben Dewberry's Final Run''.

Gene Sullivan recorded ''Please Pass The Biscuits''.

After starting a fast friendship with Bill Justis, Charlie Rich started playing with Bill's big band at the Peabody and the Hotel Claridge, and with a five-piece jazz combo, too, Sam Phillips signing him to a three-year recording contract, followed by a formal songwriting contract on June 1 that carried with it an advance of $550.

APRIL 28, 1957 SUNDAY

Bill Haley and His Comets appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show"

It is reported in the music press that sale of 45 r.p.m. records juke box operators account for 50-60% of all 45 r.p.m. record sales. Consequentially a juke box hit is virtually guaranteed a top ten slot on the record sales charts.

APRIL 29, 1957 MONDAY

Columbia released Marty Robbins' first album, ''A Song Of Robbins''.

Bill Carlisle wins ''The Arthur Godfrey Talent Search' on CBS-TV.

Decca released Warner Mack's ''Is It Wrong (For Loving You)''.

Vaudeville actress Belle Baker dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles. She had been married to songwriter Maurice Abrahams, the author of the 1947 Eddy Howard country hit ''Ragtime Cowboy Joe''.

APRIL 30, 1957 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''Jailhouse Rock'' at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.

APRIL 1956

From a very different place in Mississippi, both geographically and spiritually, Hannah Fay came to Sun from the Gulf coast and recorded a few songs. Her mother refused to sign the proffered contracts, thereby ensuring that Hannah's chances, already slim, were reduced to zero.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Even if we hadn't found Hannah Fay, rather dramatically at the 11th hour, the search for her would have been a story worth telling. It began routinely when a previously unopened tape box containing two titles turned up during our search of the Sun vaults. Hannah Fay was not a name familiar to any of us.

The music on that tape was cause for celebration. Two good songs, with solid performances by both the vocalist and her sidemen, all of which were well preserved and professionally recorded at 706 Union Avenue. These tapes were immediately destined. Now we were faced with identifying and finding the singer. Surprisingly, her sides had escaped the Sun reissue boom and her name appears in no Sun discography.

Who was Hannah Fay? The best clue we had was an obvious connection to Biloxi, Mississippi. One of her songs, ''The Miracle Of You'' was known to us.

It was composed by Biloxi songwriter and producer Pee Wee Maddux. Ernie Chaffin, also from the Biloxi Gulf port area had recorded a version of "Miracle Of You" for Sun in June, 1958, which was released on SUN 320 the following year.

STUDIO SESSION FOR HANNAH FAY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SESSIONS FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: APRIL OR MAY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

A search of the data bases revealed that two records by Hannah Fay (or Hana Faye, as she had been billed) appeared on the Fine label in 1956 (Fine 1008, "It Pays To Be True"/"Easy To Remember'' and Fine 1012, "Oh Why"/"Searching For Someone Like You"). Fine Records was owned by three Biloxi residents: Yankee Barhonovich, Marion "Prof" Carpenter, and Pee Wee Maddux. Unfortunately, all three principals are deceased.

Winona Carpenter, prof's widow who still administers Singing River Music, remembered Hannah Fay as a "very attractive slim brunette". How did Hannah Fay come to record for Sun Records? By late 1956, at which point Hannah had already had two releases on Fine Record, producer Pee Wee Maddux had developed a good business relationship with Sam Phillips. Pee Wee had already brought Ernie Chaffin to Sun along with some first rate original material and local Biloxi musicians. Sam was mightily impressed with the package.

It is reasonable to assume that when Pee Wee called in the spring of 1957 and told Sam he had discovered a dynamite girl singer, a good looking 16-year old with a great voice, Sam would have told him to bring her on up to Memphis. The trip was made some time in April or May, 1957. From Maddox’s point of view, Sun Records was a bonanza. Elvis had gone, but Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash were there, and Jerry Lee Lewis was just starting to make noise.

Sun Records were getting played on the radio. Having two of his compositions on a Hannah Fay Sun single would have been a darn sight more lucrative than watching his material die a slow death on the Fire label.

01(1) - "MIRACLE OF YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Pee Wee Maddux
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April or May 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-13 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-5-21 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

It is fair to say that Hannah Fay's version of "Miracle Of You" eclipses Chaffin's original. On the basis of these sides, it is clear that Hannah could effortlessly embrace both country and blues material into a crossover pop style. "Miracle", featuring a guitar background reminiscent of "Sentimental Journey" is a highly effective outing that was taken twice. Both are usable masters.

01(2) - "MIRACLE OF YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Pee Wee Maddux
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April or May 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-2-15 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

02(1) - "IT'S LOVE BABY (24 HOURS EVERY DAY)" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Ted Jarrett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April or May 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-4-1 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

"24 Hours Every day", is part of the time-honored blues tradition in which non-top love and lust are guaranteed around the clock. Hannah Fay sounds surprisingly confident and in total control of this adult material. She certainly projects herself more like a worldly, and sexy, young woman than the virginal 16-year old high school girl she was.

02(2) - "IT'S LOVE BABY (24 HOURS EVERY DAY)" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Ted Jarrett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April or May 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-4-24 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-5-22 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

We can only wonder why the two sides recorded by Hannah Fay did not appear on Sun Records in 1957. She was an attractive young woman - a saleable commodity, if you will - with a highly ambitious parent working for her in the wings. Both songs were strong and the recordings effective. Sam Phillips and Pee Wee Maddux had an ongoing business relationship. Nevertheless, something went wrong. We may never know what it was, or how things might have evolved if these two sides had appeared on a yellow Sun label in the summer of 1957.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Hannah Fay Harger - Vocal

Probably
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

For Biography of Hannah Fay see > The Sun Biographies <
Hannah Fay's 
Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

SEARCH FOR THE ELUSIVE HANNAH FAY IS SUCCESSFUL
By Kat Bergeron, Sense of Place

Hannah Fay mesmerizes the music experts at Sun Records, where she is in the middle of a recording session. It's 1957 and this is the same Memphis studio where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and others got their start. Her confident, sensual voice defies her 16 years, her lack of formal training and an inborn shyness.

"There's a sun up in the sky. Rising each day new. A moon to light the darkest night. In a heaven blue. Oh, so many mysteries. I may learn a few. Though I'll never understand. The miracle of you".

The brunette - 100 pounds, 5-foot-1 with an 18-inch waist and gorgeous - doesn't miss a beat. The recording is definitely saleable in this era of bluesy-country singers and 45 records.

Why "The Miracle Of You" was never released remains a mystery. What is known is that it and another song, "24 Hours Every Day", became buried in a wealth of masters and demos of other 1950s singers who tried to break into the male-dominated Sun Records.

Several months ago Hank Davis, a music journalist and former recording artist who specializes in that era, discovered Hannah's masters in the Sun vaults while researching an upcoming release of "Memphis Belles: The Women of Sun Records".

The Canadian psychology professor was working with Bear Family Records of Germany for an six CD boxed set and book that features 35 singers and more than 150 songs that he culled from Sun archives to bring to life the music of these little-known singers. This boxed set was released in 2002.

Hannah Fay, merely a name scrawled on the outside of the tape box, demanded to be found. In Hank's words: "Her music was cause for celebration, two good songs, with solid performances by both the vocalist and her sidemen. It is clear that Hannah could effortlessly embrace both country and blues material into a crossover pop style".

One thread led to South Mississippi. Hank recognized "Miracle" as a song written by M.M. "Pee Wee" Maddux Jr., who with two Biloxians, owned the Fine Record Company.

Thinking that meant Hannah might be from here, Hank called The Sun Herald with his history mystery. There were no quick answers, but after following dozens of unsuccessful leads, I asked our readers for help.

At 5:26 p.m. on the Sunday my column pleaded, "Where are you, Hannah Fay?" my phone rang. It was Howard Harger of Biloxi, who suspected she was his long-lost cousin from Louisiana. The irony here was that Pee Wee's daughter suggested Hannah might be a Harger, and Hank had phoned dozens of Hargers in the South east before giving up.

Howard's military travels caused him to lose touch, but he thought he could track her down: "But I'll only let you find Hannah if she gives me the permission. She may not want to be found".

My heart sank. What if she wanted anonymity? I, too, was captured by her music and felt compelled to join Hank's search. The clock ticked loudly but within an hour, the Hannah hunt ended as we chatted on the phone. She admitted that she didn't mind being found - with reservations.

"Could you perhaps just say that you found me, happily married 42 years with two sons and seven grandchildren?" she suggested. "We have a great, quiet life here, full of family, and we don't want anything to jeopardize that".

Hannah - she long ago dropped the Fay - quit singing in 1960. She'd been appearing on Baton Rouge television and radio since she was 11. In her early teens she did the country music circuit that was budding in the Deep South, but always under the watchful eye of a mother who lived her own love of music through young Hannah. After studies at Louisiana State University and marriage, the singer stopped to concentrate on being a wife.

"I didn't have a fire burning in me to be a star", Hannah reflected with the wisdom of 62 years. Pee Wee and his partners Yankie Barhonovich and Prof Carpenter, however, had great faith in her talent, and they released two other records by "Hana Faye" on the Fine label. At the Sun recordings session in Memphis, Hannah remembers "they were talking like they'd turn me into a female Elvis".

Was it music politics that kept her Sun songs from release, or something her manager mother said or did? That question likely will never be answered because it is not in Hannah's memory. One of her recordings, "Searching For Someone Like You", was heard by Kitty Wells, who sang it herself and turned it into a hit, relegating Hannah's original to the dustbin.

Her last performance was at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, then she settled down in an old farmhouse on 12 acres in east central Louisiana where she and her banker husband share a passion for antique hunting.

"As I was raising my family, I didn't think a great deal about that part of my life", she admitted. "I always enjoyed it when someone would remember me and recall 'Li'l Hannah Fay', but she was somewhere back there in my past". "However, as I have gotten older, she had begun to creep back little by little. I wanted to reach back and recall those days - to visit them and remember. I called the radio stations and TV stations last year to inquire about tapes or anything that they might have. I hit a dead and everywhere I turned and finally told myself that it was hopeless.

So, when my cousin Howard called and read your article, it touched me in a way you cannot imagine. It valilated that little girl that I had lost somewhere in the middle of living my life".

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Sun recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

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