On November 14, Sam Phillips paid Junior Parker and (Blue Flames leader) William
Johnson $50.12 in royalties. Two days later, he paid Floyd Murphy and Kenneth Banks for a Junior Parker session for a share of Parker royalties. On November 18, Phillips paid Houston Stokes two dollars for taxi fare in conjunction with a Parker session in
addition to a session fee, and paid James Wheeler a session fee nothing ''Blue Flames session''. Sun 192 was issued on November 1, so it's possibly that one or more of the Parker titles listed below were recorded on November 14, 16, or 18.
Junior Parker joins a package tour of Southern one-nighters headlined by Willie Mae Thornton and Johnny Ace. B.B. King joins them for a big Thanksgiving Day concert in Houston, Texas.
''Ebony'' magazine profiles the Prisonaires, a four-page spread extolling the manner in which the group was acting ''as goodwill ambassadors for a revolutionary and sometimes condemned prison
Jud Phillips is in Atlanta, reports that Southland Distributors want 1,000 copies of Sun 192 "Mystery Train", and urges Sam Phillips to press
up in significant quantities in anticipation of a major hit.
Jud Phillips moves through Nashville to New York. He talks to Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), in New York about
Sun starting its own publishing company. So far, Sun has assigned most original copyrights to Delta Music or its affiliates, owned by Jim Bulleit.
Thus far, Sun has assigned
most of its original copyrights to Jim Bulleit's Delta Music or its affiliates.
Jud Phillips also reports that distribution of Sun Records via Nashville is becoming too
intricately tied in with Bulleit's promotion of his own Delta and J-B product.
David James Mattis, founder of Duke Records, announced that he will launch Starmaker Records,
possibly in conjunction with WDIA, which calls itself the ''starmaker station''.
By the fall of 1953, even though Sam Phillips was again riding the kind of wave he had enjoyed with ''Rocket 88'' two summers earlier, he had not found the prosperity he had doubtless anticipated. Phillips' margin per single was small; his
profit was tied up in repressions, and with slow-paying distributors.
After ''Bear Cat'' broke, Sam's first move had been to bring his brother Jud into the picture. Jud
had the knack for promotion that Sam had for production. He was gregarious, flamboyant, and, given half an opportunity, extravagant. By the time he joined Sam, Jud had worked as a singer, a gospel promoter, a front man for Roy Acuff's tent show, and a production
assistant to Jimmy Durante.
In November 1953 Jud was on the road by himself, where he learned that some of the deals Bulleit had cut were not necessarily in Sun's best
interest. From Richmond, Virginia, Jud wrote, ''we've found the same thing here that I've found in several other places. Jim has promised them (distributors) free Sun records to compensate for the bad stock they were caught with on his other labels such as
J-B. They were very fed up with the way Jim had given them the runaround since he had been with Sun''.
By the end of 1953, Sam and Jud Phillips were pressuring Bulleit
to sell his share of Sun Records. In February 1954 Jud borrowed the money to buy him out. The amount, Bulleit later recalled, was ''twelve hundred dollars, but it really wasn't worth any more than that''. During that same month Sam and Jud got a license from
BMI to form their own publishing company, Hi-Lo Music, so they wouldn't have to place their copyrights through Bulleit.
The infrastructure that Sam and Jud had created-reliable
distributors, accommodating disc jockeys, and so on, was built on the assumption that the hits ' would keep on coming. As it happened, they didn't. Junior Parker left for greener pastures in Houston, Rufus Thomas could not recapture the novelty appeal of ''Bear
Cat'' and the Prisonaires, unable to support their records with many personal appearances, found their popularity hard to sustain. The new artists that Phillips recorded did not have the allure of those faded or departed
hitmakers. The most prolific artists during the demise of the blues era at Sun were Little Milton and Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson.
Cambodia declares its independence from France during November of 1953. King Sihanouk, having previously pushed for independence, took over as the country’s leader. Starting in 1946,
Cambodian resistance fighters had launched armed attacks against French occupation in a push for independence. Cambodia had been under French-colonial rule for ninety years prior to its independence. After achieving independence the country remained the Kingdom
of Cambodia until 1970 when Norodom Sihanouk was overthrown in a United States backed military coup.
NOVEMBER 1, 1953 SUNDAY
The singles Sun 191 ''A Prisoner's Prayer'' b/w ''I Know'' released by The Prisonaires, this one with accompaniment on one side by Ike Turner on guitar, but despite the continued allure of Johnny Bragg's voice,
and Sun 192 ''Mystery Train'' b/w ''Love My Baby'' by Little Junior's Blue Flames are released. Action is split between the two sides of 192, although Billboard picks out "Mystery Train" as the likely hit. ''Mystery Train'' become a rhythm and blues hit for
Elvis Presley two years later.
Jud Phillips was out for over a month promoting the two singles. Jud's letters continue to show a steady pattern of success both in collecting
money owed and reorganizing the distribution system, most of all in helping to restore Sun's good name. ''I don't plan to leave a stone unturned'', Jud wrote on November 15, describing the pervasive sense of mistrust ''of any organization that Jim Bulleit
was connected to''. It might look to Sam Phillips like he was ''taking a lot of time in each location'', he continued, ''but I'm taking no more than I feel is absolutely required''. But there is no sign of any emotional reciprocity on Sam's part.
Songwriter Max D. Barnes marries Patsy. Barnes' credits include Vern Gosdin's ''Chiseled In Stone'', Conway Twitty's ''Red Neckin' Love Makin; Night'' and George Jones' ''Who's Gonna Fill
Producer/songwriter Keith Stegall is born in Wichita Falls, Texas. Stegall produces Alan Jackson, The Zac Brown Band and Craig Campbell, and writes such
hits as ''Don't Rock The Jukebox'', Minkey Gilley's ''Lonely Nights'', Glen Campbell's ''A Lady Like You'' and Mark Wills' ''I Do (Cherish You)''.
NOVEMBER 2, 1953 MONDAY
Pee Wee King appears on NBC-TV's daytime show ''The Kate Smith Hour''.
NOVEMBER 3, 1953 TUESDAY
Pee Wee King recorded ''Bimbo'' and ''Changing Partners'' in an afternoon session at the RCA Studios in New York.
Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette both perform in the debut of ''Last Of The Pony Riders'', a western built around the Pony Express. It's the last movie to feature Autry as a singing cowboy.
NOVEMBER 4, 1953 WEDNESDAY
Pee Wee King debuts a weekly program on WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio.
Van Stephenson is born in Hamilton, Ohio. He writes Lee Greenwood's ''You've Got A Good Love Comin''' and Restless Heart's ''Bluest Eyes In Texas'', and has a pop hit as an artist with ''Modern Day Delilah''
before joining the 1990's trio BlackHawk.
NOVEMBER 5, 1953 THURSDAY
begins a daily radio show on WCOP in Boston.
NOVEMBER 6, 1953 FRIDAY
Brothers perform publicity for the first time.
NOVEMBER 7, 1953 SATURDAY
Gordon's single ''Ain't No Use'' (Duke 114) enters the local charts in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sam Phillips lost Little Junior Parker to Don Robey at Duke Records in
December. Junior had been out on tour with Duke artists Johnny Ace and Big Mama Thornton since the beginning of September, which Sam Phillips had originally thought could be a big boost to Little Junior's career. But then it was reported in Cash Box on this
date, just as ''Mystery Train'' was beginning to break, that the ''terrific little blues belter currently being groomed by Peacock and Duke prexy Don Robey for mighty big things''. Sam immediately made a person-to-person call to Robey, his nemesis in the ''Bear
cat'' lawsuit, but Robey was not one to be easily deterred, and Sam heard that he had Little Junior in the Duke studio in December. At this point Sam Phillips had his lawyer, Roy Scott, fly to Houston to confront Robey directly, and when that, too, failed
and there was a subsequent announcement in Cash Box in December that Robey had signed Little Junior and the Blue Flames to an exclusive recording contract, Sam informed Cash Box that ''such a contract could not legally exist and that Sun Records Co., Inc.
would take whatever action was necessary to protect our rights''. Which Sam followed up on with a $100,000 lawsuit.