CONTAINS
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1955 SESSIONS (11)
November 1 , 1955 to November 30, 1955

Studio Session for Billy Emerson, November 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, November 1, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, Late 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Evans, Unknown Date 1955/1956 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Bernero &
Thurman Ted Enlow, November 4, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, November 22, 1955 / Vee-Jay Records 

For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies <
Playlists of the Artists can be found on 706 Union Avenue Sessions of > YouTube <
  

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 1955

Sam Phillips was on the point of going bankrupt. The banks would not lend him money against the dubious assets he had accumulated. The pressing plants were screaming for money and he owed publishing royalties, artist royalties, an unrecouped advance to Chess Records, unrepaid funds from the buyout deal with his brother Jud... and probably more. Exactly six months later Phillips was flush with money. The slim profit he made on every single hadn't made him a millionaire, but it enabled him to buy a new house and lay the foundation of a sizable fortune.

The experience of hard times, together with Phillips' innate frugality, meant this his overhead was very low. His rent on the property at 706 Union was still less than two hundred dollars a month. He paid Marion Keisker and his new assistant Sally Wilbourn less than twenty-five dollars a week, and the rest of his overhead was minimal. Most of his warehousing and shipping was done by the pressing plants. His only challenge was to collect from his distributors, and that was hardly a problem with ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and ''I Walk The Line'' in the charts. Phillips was approaching the volume of a major label, with the overhead of the smallest independent.

Phillips also owned the publishing rights to ''Blue Suede Shoes'', although meant that every record company who pushed a version onto the market owed Phillips two cents for every copy sold. The success of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' also enabled Phillips to assemble the nucleus of his foreign deals, which saw Sun product go to British Decca's London subsidiary for most of the world.

NOVEMBER 1955

During the first week of November 1955, RCA quietly finalized arrangements with Colonel Tom Parker and Sam Phillips to purchase Elvis Presley's Sun recording contract. RCA then set its publicity machinery in motion to make Elvis Presley into a superstar. On top of all the other factors influencing RCA's decision to sign Elvis Presley, there was finally a corporate consensus that he could be a moneymaking act. This may have funded a settlement between Sam Phillips and Jud Phillips. Jud's stock in Sun had been assigned to bankers, who had been threatening to foreclose.

It was becoming clear that rock and roll music was bursting onto the scene with such vitality and intensity that the profits from a standout exponent of this new musical form were potentially enormous. All the major record labels were aware of this trend, and were eagerly seeking out new rock and roll tunes.

NOVEMBER 1955

Started building studio of Fernwood Records, a Memphis record label located on 158 Fernwood Drive, founded by Truck driver Slim Wallace (who previously fronted a hillbilly band in Memphis called Slim Wallace's Dixie Rambles). Scotty Moore was production chief, with the studio located in the Wall garage. Some of the most sought after honky-tonk and rockabilly recordings of the 1950s were cut in this garage in Memphis. It was Scotty Moore who selected the song "Tragedy" for Thomas Wayne to record. The tape was brought over to Sun Records, where Scotty Moore added an echo on Sun's tape recorder. Jack Clement also produced some records at Fernwood.

WHBQ disc jockey Dewey Phillips even recorded for Fernwood Records, cutting "Beg Your Pardon"/"If It Had To Be You" (Fernwood 115).

NOVEMBER 1955

In 1955, at around the same time that Jerry Lee Lewis failed an audition to perform at the Grand Ole Opry, he was told by unimpressed Nashville record company execs that he should switch to the guitar. As usual, he didn’t listen. Instead, impressed by the output of the tiny Memphis Recording Service that was owned and operated by Sam Phillips, Lewis decided to see if he, too, could benefit from the production skills and career guidance of the Sun Records label owner.

As luck would have it, Phillips wasn’t in town when Jerry Lee and his father, Elmo, travelled to Memphis in November 1956, yet the story surrounding their trip has become part of rock and roll folklore. ''I took possibly the first vacation that I’d ever had in my life when I, my wife and our two young sons went to Daytona, Florida, for a week'', Sam Phillips recalled. ''Jerry Lee Lewis had been trying to see me, and while I was away, he and his father had apparently sold eggs to buy gasoline to come up here. You might think, Man, was anybody that poor in the '1950s?’ Well, they were''. Indeed, the Lewises funded their Memphis visit by selling 13 dozen eggs to Nelson’s supermarket in Ferriday.

''At that time, to earn a living, Jerry Lee was performing in a nightclub and playing the piano with his right hand and the drums with his left'', confirms Phillips' then-assistant Jack Clement who, after Lewis first walked into the building at 706 Union Avenue, was informed by office assistant Sally Wilbourn. She said, ''There’s a guy here who says he plays the piano like Chet Atkins''. This was quite a boast, since Atkins claim to fame was on the guitar. ''I said, 'Really?''', Clement recalls. ''I’ve got to hear that'. So Jerry Lee came into the studio and played ''Wildwood Flower'' on this little spinet, and he sounded like Chet Atkins playing the piano! When I asked him, 'Do you sing?' he said, 'Yeah', so I said, ''Well, sing something', and as soon as he did, I made a tape of it. He was singing these country songs by George Jones, ''Seasons Of My Heart'' and ''Window Up Above'', and I really liked what he was doing. The tape I made had four or five songs, and there wasn’t any rock and roll, so I told him, ''We don’t do much country around here. We're in the rock and roll business. You ought to go home and work up some rock and roll numbers'''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE NOVEMBER 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

In November 1955, Emerson returned to Memphis to make what turned out to be his last session at Sun Records. The band was the same Newborn combo used at the previous session. Emerson's opinion was that, "my last record in Memphis, ''Something For Nothing'', 'that was the best, man, that was when I really found my style. You listen to that and to ''Little Fine Healthy Thing'' and you're listening to the real Billy Emerson. That was Phineas' band again''.

Billy Emerson's final release on Sun shows yet again why Sam Phillips continued to record this artist, even when Sun had virtually abanded the blues. Quite simply, Emerson was a potential crossover artist whose material had greater appeal than the rhythm and blues market to which it was confined. Sam Phillips must have shared that view, although he was up against the proverbial brick wall trying to implement such plans.

For this track, his concluding release, he called upon the talents of Phineas Newborn senior along with his younger son Calvin, to play drums and lead guitar. Also fleshing out the line-up was Billy "Red" Love, one of Sun's growing band of workaday sidemen, who took over the piano stool leaving The Kid plenty of room to conjure up the wolfish howls that introduce each chorus.

''Little Fine Healthy Thing", is perhaps the least perfect of Emerson's singles. The material is strong, containing a fine and healthy hook, but neither the arrangement nor the recording keep pace. For example, Emerson goes noticeably off mike during the first "I said oooo-weeee" and his voice breaks during the second, causing it to end abruptly. The band work behind him is rather unfocussed and does little to drive the recording. When the record ends following the second chorus, we are left with a sense of "Is that all there is?". No sax break? No resolution? As he showed on some of his later Vee-Jay work, Emerson was capable of bringing some fine ideas into the studio, but occasionally needed someone to pull the pieces together and take things to fruition. Sam Phillips wasn't that kind of producer. He was a master at bringing out the best in someone, but he wasn't about to construct sax lines and structural changes in the music. Emerson may have needed an arranger more than a producer, as this side reveals.

> LITTLE FINE HEALTHY THING <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 174 Take 1 - Master (2>29)
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - January 15, 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 233-A mono
LITTLE FINE HEALTY THING / SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1/9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

In any case, Billy The Kid's fate at 706 Union was sealed with the release of the very next single in Sun's catalogue, which all but ended Phillips' dwindling commitment to recording the blues.

LITTLE FINE HEALTHY THING
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - August 4, 2006
First appearance: - Titanic Records (CD) 500/200rpm TCR 6006 mono
RED HOT ABOUT THE BLUES - UNRELEASED SUN RECORDINGS

Emerson rates his work on this side extremely highly indeed - and with very good cause, as the record is a tight, jumping blues with more than a nod towards the urgency of nascent rock and roll. Emerson brought Phineas Newborn Sr's band in for this session, which meant that they had to work up the arrangement from scratch. Despite this there is a gloriously infections spontaneity to the performance.

Here, Billy Emerson has once again taken something from popular culture, an idiom or common expression, and built a catchy song around it. "Something For Nothing" featured an engaging mid-tempo that must have been welcome on the dance floor as well as the jukebox. His indictment of this woman and her one sided idea of a relationship is potent and clever stuff, the edge of which is masked by a happy, rolling tempo.

''Something For Nothing'' is certainly a wonderful record that works as a city blues, as a juke box favourite, and as a potential cross-over hit. It was well-ritten, confidently sung, and tightly played with just the right guitar and sax interventions.

> SOMETHING FOR NOTHING < 
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 175 Take 1 - Master (2:42)
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - January 15, 1956
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 233-B mono
SOMETHING FOR NOTHING / LITTLE FINE HEALTY THING
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1/10 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

''Little Fine Healthy Thing'' is also a fine song and concept, introduced in a low key anner by some jazzy piano and developing into a stop-time tale with unusual vocal effects and the memorable line - ''you must be an angel because women don't look that fine''. It didn't quite have the commanding presence and tightness of ''Something'' though. It was chosen for release over the session's other product, the rollicking if slightly chaotic ''Cherry Pie'', which returned to the theme of being satisfied -this time, so satisfied that Billy will call his girl ''Cherry Pie'' for ever. Once again, Emerson throws in all his favoured elements, including handclaps, time shifts, hook lines and riffs. Probably neither the theme nor the music was quite tight enough to make a single release.

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - August 4, 2006
First appearance: - Titanic Records (CD) 500/200rpm TCR 6006 mono
RED HOT ABOUT THE BLUES - UNRELEASED SUN RECORDINGS

> CHERRY PIE <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:58)
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 2009
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-13 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

> CHERRY PIE <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:59)
Recorded: - November 1955
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-14 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Billy Emerson - Vocal
Billy Love - Piano
Jewell Briscoe - Tenor Saxophone
Moses Reed - Tenor Saxophone
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Kenneth Banks - Bass
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Band Chorus

Billy described to Jim O'Neal how the memorable hook and title of his song was taken from one of his oldest influences in music, a duo he had heard on records years before, "That song, ''Something For Nothing'', came from a Butterbeans and Susie routine - 'Now look here Sue, you sure is tight. You ain't never gonna treat your papa Butter right'. She made a reply and then he would sing 'Somethin for nothing seem to be your plan, you ought to get yourself a monkey cause you sure don't need no man''. Joe and Susie Edwards had recorded these lines years before in a recording career that stretched back to 1924.

By November 1955, the time of the last Sun session, Sam Phillips had noted in his logs that Emerson had left his Cairo address, and he listed instead three Chicago addresses as contact points, first one on Prairie, then on 55th Place, and finally Ellis Street. He may or may not have known that on November 22, that same month, while he was still under contract to Sun. Billy had already made a session in Chicago for Vee-Jay Records. This was to be the start of some pretty convoluted recording wrangles surrounding Emerson over the coming years.

For Biography of Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson see: > The Sun Biographies <
Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson'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 CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1, 1955
SESSION HOURS: 8:00-11:00 PM
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Charlie Feathers had been working with composers like Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell on "Defrost Your Heart" (Sun 231) from late in 1954. Owing more than a little to the tune of Hank Williams' "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow" and sharing some of its bleak intensity, it must have struck Phillips as ideal when it was finished in 1955.

In way Feathers was odd from the outset and he had an old soul. His two singles for Phillips, one on Sun, the other on its Flip subsidiary, taken with all the material he stockpiled at that time, do not come from the parallel universes mentioned earlier but from some third anterior dimension.

"Wedding Gown Of White" would sit quite easily on Harry Smith's antiguarian Anthology Of American Folk Music alongside Clarence Ashley's curious "The Coo Coo Bird" while "I've Been Deceived" could rub shoulders with the Reverend Gates' "Oh Death".

Sun 231 remained a highly elusive item for Charlie Feathers collectors. The longer these titles remained on numerous wants lists, the stronger the legend surrounding them grew. And then one day it happened. Someone actually found one of the nine hundred or so copies of "Defrost Your Heart" that had been sold, which dashed all hope of an undiscovered rockabilly classic.

By now, the truth is known. Charlie Feathers was first and foremost a hillbilly singer. Although he later developed an arsenal of hiccups and glottal shrieks, his recorded work for Sun Records reveals the true roots of all those King and Meteor singles.

In fact, it is an unmistakeable irony that Charlie Feathers - the prototypical rockabilly singer, recorded for Sun - the world famous rockabilly label, and all that was ever released was country music. Excellent country music, though.

The melody of ''Defrost Your Heart'' owes some debt to Hank Williams 1951 hit ''I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow'' but if all plagiarism were as sweet as this, it would no longer be a crime. Sam Phillips could never understand why this single was not a hit, and it's a mystery still. Phillips also insisted that Charlie could have been as big as George Jones if he'd stuck with country music, and, on the evidence of this record, it's flattering George Jones to say that he was as good as Charlie Feathers. Once again, Stan Kesler shows why the steel guitar found a place in country music. Its wordless cry precisely echoes the sentiments of so many country songs, none more so than this. Claunch's deadened bass strings provide all the pulse that these two sides need. After Elvis Presley was signed to RCA, Sam Phillips concluded a deal that saw songs he published go to Presley's new publisher, Hill & Range, for exploitation. The Aberbachs, who owned Hill & Range, sent ''Defrost Your Heart'' to Canadian country artist Bob King.

> DEFROST YOUR HEART <
Composer: - William "Bill" Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 164 - Master (2:30)
Recorded: - November 1, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 231-A mono
DEFROST YOUR HEART / A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1/5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Seen for what it was, another example of Memphis hillbilly circa 1955, this record is an unadulterated success. The classic band sound of Cantrell, Kesler and Claunch is in all its glory on these side, and Feathers' vocal is... well, its impossible to parody. This is backporch adenoidal country singing so achingly pure and embarrassingly direct that it really does transcend parody. Billboard gave the sides relatively low ratings, while nothing that "A Wedding Gown Of White" had "quiet, simple appeal".

"Wedding Gown Of White", coupled with "Defrost Your Heart", it trickled out in January 1956 and sold less than a thousand copies. Listen to either side and they could just as easily have been recorded in Bristol, Tennessee, in 1927, which would hardly recommend them to the chrome dreams of post-war America. That said, they remain stunning artifacts and a ringing endorsement of Sam Phillips' aesthetic judgment at least when he said that Feathers was a hugely talented country singer. "Wedding Gown Of White" was an especially cunning celebration of something which hadn't happened yet and typical of the quirkiness which would define Feathers' life. His singing is purest sound, some miraculous instrument ringing changes, and yet he never loses sight of meaning!

> A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE <
Composer: - William "Bill" Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 165 - Master (3:08)
Recorded: - November 1, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 231-Bmono
A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE / DEFROST YOUR HEART
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1/6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

In a sense, ''A Wedding Gown Of White'' was more a follow-up to ''Daydreamin''' than to ''Peepin' Eyes''. This time, our hero has moved on to daydreamin' about his forthcoming marriage. You won't find a less cluttered storyline in country music: ''I love you, I'm going to marry you; Oh boy. Claunch and Cantrell certainly thought that this was a vein they could mine indefinitely. The dismal sales ( a shade over 900 copies) obviously proved them wrong. Feathers provides a wonderfully hard-edged vocal in a style that could strip paint off the wall, while full of earnest love. In fact, it goes beyond love to the point of adoration. Kesler's steel guitar is also outstanding, bracketed by the signature phrase from Wagner's ''Wedding March''. The bass player is either Bill Black, augmenting his meagre earnings with Presley, or his brother Johnny. Bill Black's name was filed with the AFM but Johnny recalls playing the session and was not a member of the AFM, which would have necessitated substituting his name with an AFM member on the session log.

> A WEDDING GOWN OF WHITE <
Composer: - William "Bill" Cantrell-Quinton Claunch
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued (3:11)
Recorded: - November 1, 1955
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (CD) 500/200rpm ZCD 2011-9 mono
THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF RARE AND UNISSUED RECORDINGS 1954 - 1973
Reissued: 1991 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 278-4 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS - GONE, GONE, GONE

"Charlie Feathers made some fine, fine records" recalled Sam Phillips. "That "Wedding Gown Of White", what a song that was. I never felt we quite got the cut on it I wanted but it was still a hell of a record. But of course Charlie was always a little difficult to get along with, and that was how we never managed to work closely and get the very best out of him. He always felt he knew more than everyone else - Charlie has always got in his own way. He had also many stories he got to believe them himself''.

''It got where he became a pathological liar, which is too bad because Charlie was a damn talent. I don't care who gets the accolades if they're due, but all that bullshit about Charlie inventing rockabilly''. '' No way. No, Charlie's talent was in country music, in the blues feeling he put into a hillbilly song. Charlie should have been just a superb top country artist. Charlie could have been the George Jones of his day - he's a superb stylist".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal and Guitar
Bill Cantrell - Fiddle
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Quinton Claunch - Guitar
Bill Black or Johnny Black - Bass

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Mack Self was always a stone country singer at heart and the songs on his sessions are as good as any country music you will hear. Mack also tried a variety of other styles at Sun varying degrees of success, but he always retained a country purity in his vocal and his band was never going to let anyone knock off too many rough edges. The take-off lead guitar of Therlow Brown is a delight and combines with the slap bass playing of Jimmy Evans to support Mack in giving us all that was best in 1950s hillbilly music, Memphis style.

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS LATE 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: LATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

"Easy To Love" is the crown jewel in Mack Self's recording and songwriting career. This song retains its considerable power more than 50 years after it was conceived. Sam Phillips didn't need much convincing. It was Mack's ticket to appear on the Sun label and one of Sam's few dalliances with pure country music as late as June, 1957. Although the later released version was pure country. Sam made the right choice in allowing the arrangement to evolve as it did. Bill Cantrell's fiddle was not the best way to showcase the song. In fact, everything that is most powerfull about the released version happened only after the fiddle and more rural vocal were shelved.

Mack's vocalizing on the released single version is powerfull, suggesting but not overwhelming us with country mannerisms. Stan Kesler's steel adds a wonderfull 2-minor chord (B-minor in the key of A), and the dramatic ending we have all come to know and love only saw daylight after Cantrell's paked up his fiddle. Thurlow Brown's lead guitar part is pretty well set regardless of who or what was going on around him. This is for the best.

Brown's part offers counterpart both to Mack's vocal and the other instruments. Sam may only have known that the original session was too rural to sell. But by edging the later session uptown just a little bit, he assured its status as one of the most beautiful and enduring recordings in Sun's country legacy.

> EASY TO LOVE <
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:49)
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearances: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-9/1 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE COUNTRY YEARS
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5/19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

EASY TO LOVE
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955

"Goin' Crazy", its surprising that this song never saw release on the original Sun label. If the amount of tape remaining in the vault is any indication. "Goin' Crazy" received more attention any of the songs Mack recorded at Sun Records. There are at least a dozen full takes of Goin' Crazy" and half that many false starts stored on various session reels. Somebody must have seen some merit in the material. This was a candidate for release Day 1, yet somehow never made the cut. Unfortunately, by the time Mack and Sun parted company, the style of songs like this had simply faded too deeply into Hillbilly Heaven to warrant release.

> GOIN' CRAZY <
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:29)
Recorded: - Probably Late 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-9/2 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5/20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Like "Easy To Love", "Goin' Crazy" began life as a pure country tune driven by Bill Cantrell's fiddle. Jimmy Evans slap bass is also prominently miked. The arrangement gradually evolved in the direction of pop/rock and roll and ended life with a prominent drum part that owes a substantial debt to Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue". You can almost hear the arrangement shedding its pure country roots and moving further toward the mainstream.

The fiddle is packed away, the drums become hotter and the steel is mixed further and further away. Mack simply goes on singing about "skinning saplings", "eating paw paws" (a small, sweet fruit that grows wild in Arkansas) and "rooting like a hog", seemingly unaffected by changes in arrangement. You can bring in all the hot guitars you want to; he's still proud to be a country boy.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Thurlow Brown - Lead Guitar
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Jimmy Evans - Bass & Second Vocal
Bill Cantrell – Fiddle
Johnny Bernero - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

PROBABLY AT SUN STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY EVANS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955/1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955/1956
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS

Many musicians from Arkansas came across the river to Memphis in order to try their luck in the lively music scene, hoping to get as famous as the young boy named Elvis Presley, who found success at Sun Records and rose to stardom at RCA Victor from 1956 on. When Jimmy Evans came to Sun, he was in good company. Billy Lee Riley was on Sun as well as Sonny Burgess, Johnny Cash, and others such as Charlie Rich would follow.

> THE JOINT'S REALLY JUMPIN' <
Composer: - Jimmy Evans
Publisher: - B.M.I. - E&M Beatnic
Matrix number: C-492 B - Master (1:52)
Recorded: Unknown Date 1955/1956
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Clearmont Records (S) 45rpm Clearmont C 502 mono
THE JOINT'S REALLY JUMPIN' / I JUST DON'T LOVE YOU
Reissued: - July 24, 2012 Rolled Gold Classics (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - ROCKABILLY ON A SUMMER'S DAY

'NO MORE
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: Unknown Date 1955/1956

HAWAIIAN WEDDING DAY
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: Unknown Date 1955/1956

Probably more tracks recorded.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Evans – Vocal & Bass
James Ray ''Jimmy'' Paulman - Guitar
Robert ''Bob'' Wilhite - Steel Guitar
George Paulman - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
James ''Jimmy'' Wilson - Piano

Born on November 23, 1938 in Mariana, Arkansas, Evans began to sing at an early age. He first auditioned at Sun in 1954 when his aunt arranged a meeting with Sam Phillips but Evans was turned down, because he was too young and his voice was too high. Evans then returned to Arkansas and formed a band, which had a radio show on local KXJK in Forrest City, Arkansas. When he finished high school, Evans came back and Phillips hired him as a studio musician because of his ability to play lead guitar, bass, piano, drums, and steel guitar. He became friends with another Sun musician, piano player Jimmy Wilson, and moved with him into an apartment over the Sun Cafe, not far from the Sun Studio on Union Avenue.

Evans was mostly used as a session musician for singers who stepped into the studio to cut audition tapes. Evans was hoping to get a record release on Sun on his own but at that time, he was still singing country music and Phillips concentrated on rockabilly. He also played bass in Mack Self's band and in Harold Jenkins' Houserockers. When Jenkins moved to MGM and became Conway Twitty, Evans went with him on the road and stayed with his band until 1958.

Evans then joined Ronnie Hawkins' background group, the Hawks and toured with them for another two years. Finally, Evans issued his own record in 1962. At the advice of singer Gene Simmons, who had also recorded for Sun, Evans took his song "The Joint's Really Jumpin'" to Clearmont Records, a small label in Memphis, and cut it along with "I Just Don't Love You."

On the recordings, Evans was backed by Gene Simmons' brother Carl on lead guitar, Jimmy Wilson on piano, Jesse Carter on bass and an unknown drummer. Actually, there are some inconsistences about the single. Jimmy Wilson left Memphis for California in 1958 and nobody knows what happened to him and nobody ever claimed he came back to Memphis in the 1960s. Also, Evans cut the record before he joined the Hawks, thus around 1958. But the record was released in 1962, which is confirmed by a Billboard review on November 17, 1962.

Between 1965 and 1980, Jimmy released a few country singles, sometimes using the name Jimmy Dale Evans, and for the single "Nashville Woman"/"45 Until" (Rivertown 103) the pseudonym Lattie Lane. In 1982, Jimmy wrote and recorded the extraordinary 1950's throwback "Pink Cadillac" (Twin TR 11982). An amazing record for its time. It is currently available on the CD "Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies & Honky Tonkers, Vol. 5" (Stomper Time STCD 21), which came out in 2006. The CD also includes - along with seven other tracks by Jimmy - an alternative version of "Pink Cadillac", featuring harmony vocals by two members of the Beach Boys, who happened to be in the studio at the time Jimmy recorded his masterpiece. Evans plays all instruments on "Pink Cadillac", except drums.

In 1994, Bert Rookhuizen of Rockhouse Records in the Netherlands, released a 16-track CD by Jimmy, called "The Joint's Really Jumpin'" (Rockhouse 9409). The 1960s recordings were complemented by "Pink Cadillac" and titles recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis in 1994. A CD with new country and rockabilly material, "Arkansas' Been Rockin'" appeared in 2004 (JAG Records 009). The title track relates his experiences at Sun in the fifties. In 2000, Evans was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and sadly Jimmy Evans died on August 3, 2011 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 3, 1955 THURSDAY

Marty Robbins recorded ''Singing The Blues'' and ''I Can't Quit (I've Gone Too Far)'' during a late-night session at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

NOVEMBER 4, 1955 FRIDAY

Broadway hosts a country show for the first time, as Roy Acuff, Kitty Wells and Johnny and Jack begin a one-week run at the Palace Theater.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY BERNERO & THURMAN TED ENLOW
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Until comparatively recently, Johnny Bernero was a virtuel unknown in the history of Sun Records. His own recordings were not known to have existed and his standout drumming on records by Elvis Presley, Warren Smith, Smokey Joe, The Miller Sisters, and several others was usually attributed to someone else. The real misfortune was that Bernero's preferred style of music became overlooked in the rush to record rockabilly.

Toward the end of Bernero's affiliation with Sun, Sam Phillips allowed him to bring his own band, featuring singer-pianist Thurman ''Ted'' Enlow. If categorized, those tapes would be filed under western swing, and, for that reason, they sat in a session reel box marked ''Bernero's Band'' for upwards of thirty years. If Bernero had shown up at Sun a year or two when Phillips was finding his way in the business, he might have seen his name on a Sun record, but he arrived a little to late.

Both Bernero and Enlow left town for extended periods in the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually returned home. Enlow had just undergone cancer surgery when Colin Escott spoke to them both in Bernero's modest house in the north end of Memphis. Bernero was selling insurance, traditionally the musician's nightmare, but a career that Bernero insisted suited him just fine.

> IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE NOW <
Composer: - Floyd Tillman
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued (2:08)
Recorded: - November 4, 1956
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-14 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-2/3 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

The song, "It Makes No Difference Now", composed by Floyd Tillman in 1938, has one of the finest pedigrees in country music. In Billboard magazine's first-ever country hit parade listing in 1939, this tune was number 1. Later versions by Jimmie Davis (who added his name to the composer credit) and Eddy Arnold hit the charts as well, and it was even crossed over into pop music with Bing Crosby and rhythm and blues with Ray Charles.

Music sleuths will notice that the first line here is the melodic inspiration for the first line of Harlan Howard's "Heartaches By The Number" - a megahit in 1959. This kind of unconscious plagiarism is the essence of country songwriting. Fortunately for Howard (and Ray Price and Guy Mitchell), the fleeting memory of "It Makes No Difference Now" evaporated after only one line.

"One time I was sitting in the 81 Club restaurant waiting for Smokey Joe", recalled Johnny Bernero. "I looked at the jukebox and there were maybe five or six Sun records on it and I'd played on them all. Those guys were driving Cadillacs and I was getting $15 a session. So I'd gotten to be real good friends with Sam and I talked him into letting me bring my own group in".

The Johnny Bernero band cut at least two sessions at Sun which were rooted in a different style from the music that was selling for Sam Phillips at that point in time. As a result, they sat on the shelf for thirty years.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Thurman Enlow - Vocal and Piano
Buddy Holobaugh - Guitar
Bill Tarrance - Bass
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Dick Horton – Saxophone

For Biography of Johnny Bernero Band see: > The Sun Biographies <
Johnny Bernero Band's Sun  recordings can be heard on their playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube<

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 1955

New York City now has seven television stations: the four networks - WABC (ABC, 7 West 66th Street), WABD (DuMont, 205 East 67th Street), WCBS (CBS, 485 Madison Avenue), WRCA (NBC, 30 Rockefeller Plaza) - and three independents - WATV (Empire State Building), WOR(1440 Broadway) and WPIX (220 East 42nd Street).

NOVEMBER 7, 1955 MONDAY

Songwriter/producer Rafe VanHoy is born. Among the songs he write, Patty Loveless' ''Hurt Me Bad (In A Real Good Way)'', Michael Martin Murphey's ''What's Forever For'' and George Jones and Tammy Wynette's ''Golden Ring''.

NOVEMBER 8, 1955 TUESDAY

The Everly Brothers sign their first recording contract with Columbia. In their inaugural session, conducted the following day, they recorded four songs in 22 minutes.

Hank Locklin recorded the George Jones-penned ''Why Baby Why'' at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission in Nashville.

NOVEMBER 9, 1955 WEDNESDAY

The Everly Brothers recorded ''Keep A Lovin' Me'', their first single, with Carl Smith's backing band at the Castle Studio in Nashville's Tulane Hotel.

NOVEMBER 10, 1955 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley left Memphis with Bob Neal and drove to Nashville for the Annual Country And Western Music Disc Jockey Convention at the Andrew Jackson Hotel, 231 6th Avenue North.

From Florida, Mae Boren Axton drove to Nashville with a new song in and, "Heartbreak Hotel", a tune co-written with Tom Durden after he had read a poignant newspaper article in the Miami Herald. Under with a headline: "Do You Know This Man?" was a story describing the suicide of a man who had scrawled a one-line note before his death: "I walk a lonely street". The line became the lyrical focal point for "Heartbreak Hotel", and it was not long before the song was a crucial part of Elvis Presley's contract talks with RCA.

A friend of Mae Boren Axton, Colonel Tom Parker had hired her as a publicist during a number of Hank Snow's tours. She had also been responsible for booking Elvis Presley in Jacksonville, Florida, a number of times. "Mae was a well-known and respected figure in the music business", Johnny Tillotson remarked, "it was only natural for her to approach Elvis Presley with "Heartbreak Hotel".

Axton had witnessed the reaction to Elvis' music, and realized that Elvis Presley held the ticket to great wealth. Johnny Tillotson remembers how excited Axton was over the prospect of Presley recording her song. "She realized early on", Tillotson remarked, "that Presley was going to be a huge act".

By the time Axton brought "Heartbreak Hotel" to Nashville, a demo of the song had already been turned down by the Wilburn Brothers. They thought it was weird. After listening to country singer Glenn Reeves'(1) demo tape of the tune, Elvis Presley told Axton that he loved it. As Elvis Presley practised it, Tom Durden noticed that Presley was copying the demo singer's style exactly. "Elvis was even breathing in the same places that Glenn did on the dub", Durden remarked. "Heartbreak Hotel" was an important song for Elvis Presley; heneeded original songs, and it definitely fit his style".

To make sure that this song was right for Elvis Presley, however, Colonel Tom Parker played the demo for a number of music people. They all agreed it was excellent. The Colonel wasn't convinced, and Mae Axton and Tom Durden were about to take the song elsewhere when Glenn Reeves convinced Parker that the song had enormous commercial potential. The Colonel believed that Reeves had an ear for hit songs and the deal was consummated. To sweeten the deal, Axton and Durden agreed to give Elvis Presley a share of the songwriting credits, a common practice in the music industry in the 1950s. Although Elvis Presley didn't pen one word of this tune, the fact that Mae Axton went so far as to offer Elvis Presley a third of the songwriting credits if he would record it helped increase Colonel Tom Parker's enthusiasm for the song.

For his part, the deal made Elvis Presley nervous because he prided himself on his artistic integrity. Colonel Parker was proving to be too manipulative even at this early point in Presley's career, pressing Elvis Presley to record songs that would add to his royalties. To woo his singer, Colonel Parker expressed confidence that "Heartbreak Hotel" had a special quality, musically speaking; the real reason behind his interest in the song was the extra royalty money that Elvis Presley would collect. In the end, Elvis Presley accepted the Colonel's plea that they had to work with songwriters who would allow them to share in the royalties.

As significant as the drama surrounding the acquisition of "Heartbreak Hotel" for Elvis Presley was, the RCA deal overshadowed the events of the day. As negotiations over the song went on quietly and without fanfare, there were rumours everywhere at the Andrew Jackson Hotel that Elvis Presley was about to sign the most lucrative recording contract in history, rumours which would obscure the fact that the deal Colonel Tom Parker negotiated for his young protege was really rather average.

"Hot dog, Mae, play it again", recalled Bob Neal, "and she played "Heartbreak Hotel" it over and over, it was really different, a little like Roy Brown's "Hard Luck Blues", only this was about a hotel, a heartbreak hotel, where the bellhop's tears kept flowing and the desk clerk was dressed in black. He knew the whole song before he left the room. 'That's gonna be my next record", he said.

NOVEMBER 10, 1955 THURSDAY

Roy Drusky signs with Columbia Records, his second stint with a label. He has four sessions over the next two years but fails to connect commercially.

NOVEMBER 11, 1955 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley's second one-year contract with The Louisiana Hayride takes effect. He receives $200 weekly, the same amount paid to Hank Williams three years earlier.

Songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin, of The Blasters, is born in Downey, California. The roots-rock band influences the alternate country movement. The band's 1985 song ''Little Honey'' is covered by Kelly Willis for the soundtrack to ''Thelma and Louise''.

Broadway composer Jerry Ross dies of a lung infection in New York. His credits include ''Hernando's Hideaway'', a song from the musical ''The Pajama Game'' that became a country hit the previous year when parodied by Homer and Jethro.

NOVEMBER 12, 1955 SATURDAY

Songwriter Walt Aldridge is born in Florence, Alabama. Among his songs, Heartland's ''I Loved Her First'', Earl Thomas Conley's ''Holding Her And Loving You'', Ricky Van Shelton's ''I Am A Simple Man'' and Ronnie Milsap's ''(There's) No Gettin' Over Me''.

NOVEMBER 13, 1955 SUNDAY

Al Hibbler performs ''Unchained Melody'' on the CBS variety show ''Toast Of The Town''. The song will become a country hit twice, for Elvis Presley in 1978, and for LeAnn Rimes in 1997.

NOVEMBER 14, 1955 MONDAY

Decca released Kitty Well's double-sided hit ''Lonely Side Of Town'' and ''I've Kissed You My Last Time''.

NOVEMBER 15, 1955 TUESDAY

This day was the last day of the option, Sam Phillips got a midmorning call from Colonel Tom Parker notifying Sam that RCA had come up with the money for the sale of Elvis. Parker asked Sam if he wanted the money wired to him, in order to conform strictly to the terms of the deal, but Sam said no, just send it special delivery for arrival by midnight the following night, and sent a telegram to that effect. They would have to get together in the next week or so to finalize all the arrangements, and that would, naturally, take place in Memphis.

NOVEMBER 16, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Guitarist Jack Pruett joins the American Federation of Musicians in Nashville. He goes on to play on such Marty Robbins hits as ''Knee Deep In The Blues'', ''Devil Woman'' and ''El Paso''.

"The white people of Memphis have never understood just what Beale Street really meant and means to my people". W.C. Handy in an interview at his home in New York in theMemphis Press-Scimitar.

NOVEMBER 17, 1955 THURSDAY

Ray Charles is busted backstage in Philadelphia for the use of narcotics. The rhythm and blues singer later makes wave in country with his 1962 album ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music'' and his 1985 duet with Willie Nelson, ''Seven Spanish Angels''.

NOVEMBER 18, 1955 FRIDAY

Seven months after the first attempted it, Webb Pierce recorded the single version of ''Yes, I Know Why'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

With $5,000 in hand, Sam Phillips put in a rush order at all three of his pressing plants for the new Johnny Cash and Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson singles.. Sam also planned Sun releases for Charlie Feathers and Maggie Sue Wimberly, a fourteen-year-old from Florence, Alabama, whom Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell had discovered, through fellow former Blue Seal Pal Dexter Johnson, singing with a family group in church, his first in six months, but this time, with Elvis no longer in the picture, with an eye toward finally capturing Carl's contagiously upbeat, shimmering ''bop'' style.

NOVEMBER 19, 1955 SATURDAY

Ivory Joe Hunter recorded ''A Tear Fell'' in New York. In 1977, Billy ''Crash'' Craddock re-recorded the song as a country hit.

Johnny Cash writes ''I Walk The Line'' in Gladewater, Texas, in 20 minutes prior to a remote broadcast of The Louisiana Hayride. Also appearing on the bill, Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.

NOVEMBER 20, 1955 SUNDAY

Having promised to perform the current country hit ''Sixteen Tons'', rhythm and blues act Bo Diddley instead does ''Bo Diddley'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'' from New York. The CBS host never invites Diddley to sing on the program again.

NOVEMBER 20, 21, 1955 SUNDAY/MONDAY

Elvis signs his first contract with RCA Records in Sam Phillips' office at Sun studio. Colonel Parker negotiates the sale of Elvis’ Sun contract to RCA, which includes his five Sun singles and his unreleased Sun material. The price is an unprecedented $35,000, with a $5,000 bonus for Elvis. RCA soon re-releases the five Sun singles on the RCA label.

At the same time, Elvis signs a contract with Hill and Range Publishing Company, which is to set up a separate firm called Elvis Presley Music, Inc. Elvis will share with Hill and Range the publishing ownership of songs bought by Hill and Range for him to record. Elvis is the hottest new star in the music business.

Colonel Tom Parker, Hank Snow, and Elvis Presley all came over to radio station WHER at South Third Street in Memphis, after the signing for RCA. For the first and only time in its existence WHER played an Elvis Presley record, ''Mystery Train'' ans Marion Keisker introduced Hank Snow, whom she considered a vainglorious little popinjay, and put him on the air, almost wincing when Snow claimed credit for discovering Elvis Presley, when, as she recalled, he couldn't even remember Elvis' name when he introduced him on his segment of the Opry little more than a year earlier.

NOVEMBER 21, 1955 MONDAY

Flip Records is phased out at the end of the year due to pressure from Max Feirtag's west coast label of the same name.

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ;;Thirty Days (To Come Back Home)''.

Columbia released Ray Price's ''Run Boy''.

NOVEMBER 22, 1955 TUESDAY

Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded ''That's All'' in the Capitol Recording Studios on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
FOR VEE JAY RECORDS 1955

UNIVERSAL RECORDING STUDIO
46 EAST WALTON STREET, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
VEE JAY SESSION : TUESDAY NOVEMBER 22, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CALVIN CARTER

According to Billy Emerson, he had been in Chicago in the early summer of 1955, working at a club at 55th and Prairie, owned by Frank Taylor, and ''When It Rains'' had been out for some time. He said: ''I went by VJ which was on 48th and Cottage at that time, and I asked Calvin Carter there 'Can I look at some of your Billboards' to check what it was doing? He saw ''When It Rains'' listed in Dallas and New Orleans and so on. 'Say, there's a reward out for Billy The Kid''. Emerson went out on tour for the summer but remembered this exchange after his last, apparently acrimonious, dealings with Sam Phillips in November. ''By December 1955 my contract with Sam was out. I called up Ewart Abner at Vee-Jay and said 'If you give me $1000 I'll sign with you'. So they brought me in and recorded me''.
The first Vee-Jay session produced four songs, both sides of the first two Emerson discs issued the label. For the first time, Emerson was working in an environment where there was a studio band and people other than himself producing the session. While he had worked out his own arrangements at Sun, now he had Hobart Dotson and Bill Harvey to work with at Vee-Jay.

He remembered, ''It was the VJ studio band. I used to use two guitars on sessions or I'd have the guitar double with the bass to catch the bass sound better for the radio. I never wanted to be exactly like everybody else. Calvin carter at VJ often used to say ''that's a wonderful record you cut for us. It's ten years ahead of its time'. He'd always say that''.

In January 1957, Vee-Jay took out ads for five new discs, including Vee-Jay 219 ''Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout Automobiles)'' and ''Tomorrow Never Comes''. These were the other two titles from this November session and arguably they were a much stronger coupling. ''Tomorrow Never Comes'' is based on the same tune as ''When It Rains'', but it has a memorable lyric about grabbing the moment. It has a fine sax solo and an altogether more produced feel than the Sun sides.

TOMORROW NEVER COMES'' – B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-370 - Master (2:44)
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: - January 1957
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 219 mono
TOMORROW NEVER COMES / EVERY WOMAN I KNOW
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-19 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

''Don't Start Me To Lyin''' sounds like a Chicago blues club favourite, a song about taking his woman back if he could. It's a vehicle for Emerson to slow things down then cut loose, his voice soaring above a steady riffing beat. ''If You Won't Stay Home'' is a wilder song with a memorable sax solo by Red Holloway. These two songs were issued as Vee-Jay 175 in June 1956, and featured in a block ad the label took in Billboard that month. It seems that Emerson was not able to undertake much promotional work or to benefit from any interest in him the disc might have generated because that same month, Billboard also reported in its Chi Town Chatter section: ''Billy The Kid Emerson recuperating in the hospital, is expected back on his feet about November''. This proved an accurate estimate because in December, it was reported that ''blues chanter Billy the kid Emerson has just been signed by the Evelyn Johnson Agency''.

DON'T START ME TO LYIN'
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-371 - Master (2:43)
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: June 1956
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 175 mono
DON'T START ME TO LYIN' / IF YOU WON'T STAY HOME
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-16 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

IF YOU WON'T STAY HOME
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-372 - Master (1:37)
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: June 1956
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 175 mono
IF YOU WON'T STAY HOME / DON'T START ME TO LYIN'
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-17 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Musically, ''Every Woman I Know (Crazy 'Bout Automobiles)'' is also a familiar Emerson-type tune, with a very deliberate beat, stop-timing, and a soaring but classy sax solo. As such, it is firmly within the rhythm and blues world of the mid-1950s, but it is also one of the classic songs of rock and roll. A potential cross-over song for the white drive-in movie market. This was the era when walking women home was a thing of the past, and riding and loving just can't be beat. Billy's problem is that he's standing here with nothing but rubber heels. The iconic words of ''Every Woman I Know'' proved durable over the years; in the 1960s, Sam The Sham recorded the song as an uptempo shouter, and then Ry Cooder made it a slower bluesy shuffle. On the strength of his new disc, Billy Emerson spent much of February touring through Florida and Georgia with the groups that included the The Orioles.

EVERY WOMAN I KNOW (CRAZY 'BOUT AUTOMOBILES)
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Conrad Music
Matrix number: - 55-373 - Master (2:41)
Recorded: - November 22, 1955
Released: - January 1957
First appearance: - Vee-Jay Records (S) 45rpm standard single VJ 219 mono
EVERY WOMAN I KNOW / TOMORROW NEVER COMES
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-18 mono
BILLY EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Robert Emerson – Vocal & Piano
William ''Lefty'' Bates – Guitar
Milton Rector – Bass Guitar
Quin Wilson – Bass
Vernell Fournier – Drums
Horace Palm – Piano
McKinley Easton – Baritone Saxophone
James ''Red'' Holloway – Tenor Saxophone

Emerson worked on the road with bands that included those of Dave Bartholomew, Bill Harvey, and Pluma Davis, and when he was back in Chicago he had a series of regular gigs as such clubs as the 708 club, Peppers, McKie's and ''Spruce's Lounge, which was basically a jazz club. ''I came in there and I had good musi8cians with me. We played a little jazz, we just mixed it up. I had a very good saxophone player, George Coleman''. Then he went to the Trocadero Club, where he worked off and on for four years.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 23, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Bruce Hornsby is born in Williamsburg, Virginia. The singer and piano player mixes jazz and pop in a lengthy career, but also contributes to The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's million-selling country project, ''Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Volume II'' and recorded bluegrass with Ricky Skaggs.

NOVEMBER 26, 1955 SATURDAY

Jean Shepard joins the Grand Ole Opry, singing ''A Satisfied Mind'' and ''Beautiful Lies'' at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

NOVEMBER 28, 1955 MONDAY

Kristine Oliver is born in Manhattan Beach, California. Along with older sister Janis Gill, Oliver, who becomes Kristine Arnold after she's married, forms Sweethearts Of The Rodeo, securing a string of rockabilly-tinged hits in the 1980s.

''I Love Lucy'' characters Fred and Ethel Mertz audition for a rodeo show at Madison Square Garden with Darby and Tarton's ''Birmingham Jail''. The CBS episode also features a rendition of ''Home On The Range''. Also appearing, Dove O'Dell.

Decca released The Wilburn Brothers' ''You're Not Play Love''.

Capitol released The Louvin Brothers' ''I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby''.

NOVEMBER 30, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Ray Charles recorded ''Hallelujah, I Love Her So'' at the Capitol Studios in New York. Years later, the song becomes a country hit for George Jones and Brenda Lee.

FALL 1955

By the fall of 1955, Roy Hall's status as Webb Pierce's road manager and confidante translated into another shot at the recording business. ''It was Webb Pierce who got me onto Decca. He got me that contract there. Paul Cohen was the head of Decca and he had a strong link into Nashville. He used the Bradley brothers to arrange his sessions and musicians, and they knew everyone in town, in music. Of course, Owen Bradley knew that I liked to drink a little too, so he was never on my side really. But Webb Pierce wanted to have support acts who were on records to boost up his road show, and Paul Cohen, he was always willing to take a chance with you if you were a little different. I told him I had something he didn't have. Then I had to figure out real quick what that was''.

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© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©