CONTAINS
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1952 SESSIONS 3
March 1, 1952 to March 31, 1952

Studio Session for Rosco Gordon, March 1951 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Johnny London, March 1, or 8, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Drifting Slim, March 21, 1952 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Sunny Blair, March 21, 1952 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Baby Face Turner, March 21, 1952 / Modern/Meteor Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, March 31, 1952 / Chess Records

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 1952

Sam Phillips' recordings of Harmonica Frank's "Howlin' Tomcat"/"She Done Moved" (Chess 1494) and Bob Price's "How Can It Be"/"Sticks And Stones" (Chess 1495) are released.

Sam Phillips records young local saxophonist Johnny London and offers the dubs to Chess Records, who refuse them. They are subsequently scheduled as the first release on Sun Records. Johnny London had found his way to the studio almost by accident. ''We saw the studio and wanted to record'', he told music historian Rob Bowman, ''so we went over and talked to Sam Phillips''. Sam was intrigued by the four high school musicians, all of whom had come under the influence of Melrose High School music director Tuff Green, a veteran Memphis musician and band leader who played bass with B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, and the Newborns, among others. They did some demo sessions, and then according to London, ''Sam fell in love with what we were doing, and he decided that he'd hire' us''.

Acetates of SUN 174 and 175 are aired on radio WHHM, introducing the new label. Sam Phillips cuts two further sessions on Joe Hill Louis, yielding "When I Am Gone (She Treats Me Mean And Evil", the cut with which the Chess brothers will launch their newly-formed Checker subsidiary.

Chess Records belatedly release Billy Love's "Drop Top" (Chess 1508).

MARCH 1, 1952 SATURDAY

Sun Records announced its first commercial release (SUN 174) "Blues In My Condition"/"Sellin' My Whiskey" by Jackie Boy and Little Walter, the decision had already been made not to release it. Not everyone understood why Sam Phillips pulled this record at the last minute. It was probably due to fear of failure. "Sam couldn't get the saxophone solo out of his mind", Marion Keisker remembered.

Faron Young holds his first recording session for Capitol Records in Nashville's Castle Studio, cutting the self-penned ''Tattle Tale Tears''.

Uncle Dave Macon makes his final appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

''The Last Musketeer'' appears in movie theaters, with Rex Allen and Slim Pickens in the starring roles. Woodwind player Darol Rice is part of the band, and Foy Willing writes one of the picture's song.

MARCH 4, 1952 TUESDAY

Ernest Tubb and his second wife, Olene, welcome their second daughter, Olene Gayle Tubb.

Decca released a cover of ''Wild Side Of Life'' by Burl Ives and guitarist Grady Martin And His Slew Foot Five''.

MARCH 5, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Keyboard player Alan Clark is born in Durham, England. In 1982, he becomes a member of the Mark Knopfler rockband Dire Straits, who orginate the future country hits ''The Bug'' and ''When It Comes To You''.

EARLY 1952

Leonard Chess called Sam Phillips and told him he would not be purchasing any more master tapes. When Phillips asked why, Chess stated that the big-selling hits like Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" were no longer coming from the Memphis Recording Service. In reality, Leonard Chess, as the Bihari brothers would do later that year, was trying to save money by recording the artist in local studios himself.

When Leonard Chess informed Sam Phillips that he would not be purchasing any more master tapes from the Memphis Recording Service, Phillips reacted angrily. It appeared that his friends were forcing him out of the record business. "I knew what it was like to be cheated", remarked Phillips. "Tenacity is one thing and I have that". Leonard Chess called back and attempted to save their friendship. It was too late.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROSCO GORDON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR RPM RECORDS 1952

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY EARLY MARCH 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 – ''NO MORE DOGGIN''' – B.M.I. - 3:11
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1786 Master
Recorded: - Early March 1952
Released: - March 22, 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 350-A < mono
NO MORE DOGGIN' / MARIA
Reissued: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-1 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

''I got a girlfriend, Pete'', said recalled Rosco Gordon. ''I took her with me to the dance. I meet another girl, Peggy. So Pete's sitting on the piano stool beside me. So I know her time is up. So I begin to sing, 'No more diggin', fooling around with you...'. Told the tenor player to take it up. And the next day we made the record ''No More Diggin'''. Ike Turner set up the thing at Tuff Green's house because of the Bihari Brothers' spats with Sam Phillips and Chess. I did ''No More Diggin'''and B.B. King did ''Three O'Clock Blues'' the same day.

02 – ''MARIA'' – B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1787 Master
Recorded: - Early March 1952
Released: - March 22, 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 350-B < mono
MARIA / NO MORE DOGGIN'
Reissued: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-10 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

03 – ''NEW ORLEANS WIMMEN'' – B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1845 Master
Recorded: - Probably Early March 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 358-A < mono
NEW ORLEANS WIMMEN / I REMEMBER YOUR KISSES
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-11 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

04 – ''I REMEMBER YOUR KISSES'' – B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1841 Master
Recorded: - Probably Early March 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 358-B < mono
I REMEMBER YOUR KISSES / NEW ORLEANS WIMMEN
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-12 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Probably The Beale Streeters:
Ike Turner - Piano
Bobby Bland - Guitar
Billy Duncan - Saxophone
Earl Forrest - Drums

For Biographies of Rosco Gordon see: > The Sun Biographies <
Rosco Gordon's RPM/Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The record that finally got Sun off the ground was cut a week after the Walter Horton and Jack Kelly session, by a sixteen-year-old alto saxophonist named Johnny London. He recorded two tunes on the afternoon; the better was an original instrumental, "Drivin' Slow". Sam Phillips ran dubs for Dewey Phillips, who aired them on WHBQ the same night to test the reaction. Four days later, Phillips sent dubs to Chess - which rejected them. On March 8, 1952 he brought London back into the studio to recut "Drivin' Slow" and sent out another set of dubs to local disc jockey's to test out his hunch that Chess was wrong. Obviously encouraged, Sam Phillips shipped the masters for processing two days later, together with the Jackie Boy and Little Walter cuts. By the time the stampers arrived back, he had decided to place all his energy behind "Drivin' Slow". The first records were pressed on March 27, 1952, and the Sun label made its low-key debut that day.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY LONDON
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MARCH 1 OR 8, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

This, of course, was the first Sun record to actually make it into the stores. London was a local rhythm and blues/jazz musician who walked in off the street to cut some demo's, and in time-honoured fashion was promptly snapped up by Sam Phillips. His haunting, sinewy alto sax is heard to great advantage here: with minimal support from tenor sax player Charles Keel and pianist Joe Hall, London unfurls a tortuous improvisation, drenched in the blues. Sam Phillips achieved a recording balance here which contrives to create the illusion that London is playing in the next apartment - all of which adds to the disc's "after hours" charm.

It was indeed a brave step releasing and instrumental as the first offering on Sun in April 1952, but the record actually topped several of the local charts, in particular, WHBQ. A copy of the 78rpm was mounted and remained affixed to the studio entrance at 706 Union for many years. London's principal recollection of the session is that Sam Phillips had holes in his shoes when he put his feet up on the desk! "man, he was scuffing!".

01(1) - "DRIVIN' SLOW"** - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Johnny London
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 51 Master
Recorded: - March 8, 1952
Released: - April 1952
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single > SUN 175-A < mono
DRIVIN' SLOW / FLAT TIRE
Reissued:- 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

01(2) - "DRIVIN' SLOW"** - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Johnny London
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1952
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 38-18 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - VOLUME 6 - TOO BLUE TO CRY

The young 'alto wizard saxophone' Johnny London was a member of Joe Hall's popular local jazz group. The very first Sun record to hit the streets in early 1952 was a poor predictor of what lay ahead. SUN 175 was a curious record by any reckoning. London's alto sax was supported by minimal riffing from tenor sax player Charles Keel. Keel's lines, especially on "Drivin' Slow" might ordinarily have been supplied by a guitar player. But no one ever accused Sun Records or Sam Phillips, for that matter, of being ordinary. London's bluesy improvisation is recorded in a sea of echo that creates the illusion that this performance is coming from the next apartment. London always cited Charlie Parker as his major influence, but on the evidence here he's more within honking distance of Earl Bostic or Lynn Hope.

02 - "FLAT TIRE"** - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Johnny London
Publisher: - Hi Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 52 Master
Recorded: - March 8, 1952
Released: - April 1952
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single > SUN 175-B < mono
FLAT TIRE / DRIVIN' SLOW
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

03 - "WHEN I LOST MY BABY''*
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably March 1, 1952

The first "official" session was probably on March 1, 1952: London's combo played a version of "Drivin' Slow" and also backed Phillips' wife on "When I Lost My Baby". Sam Phillips was excited with the results and made acetate dubs of both sides, which he rushed over to disc jockey Dewey Phillips at WHBQ. Dewey played them the same evening, and Sam cut masters the following day. On March 5 sent dubs by Air Express to Leonard Chess in Chicago.

''Sam just knew I liked to sing on ''When I Lost My Baby'', Becky recalled years later. ''I can't remember the song exactly but I remember the beat of it''.

The 16-year-old London's principal attribute was his lung power: beyond that his technique was basically unremarkable - which is proved on this track, which like the A-side, has no real theme. Phillips' "down the hall, round the corner, by the ice-machine" echo chamber effect on London's alto sax means that Charles Keel's tenor, monotonously honking out its boogie pattern, distracts the ear from what is supposed to be the main interest. When he isn't emitting long wailing single notes, London's lack of invention sounds as flat as the tyre in the title. This is particularly true of the last choruses, which consist of minimal variations based around the root note and end on a desperate seventh.

An undated entry in Sam Phillips' check register notes that he paid Plastic Products $135. For most of the 1950s, Plastic Products charged $0,135 per pressing so it seems as Phillips ordered one thousand copies of the first Sun Record.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Becky Phillips - Vocal*
Joe Louis Hall - Piano
Johnny London - Alto Saxophone**
Charles Keel - Tenor Saxophone
Julius Drake - Drums

Even on this first release, all the hallmarks, of a Sam Phillips Sun record were in place: the raw sound, the experimental origin, the dark texture, even the trademark echo. Phillips and London created the illusion of a sax heard down a long hallway on a humid night by rigging something like a telephone booth over London's head while he played. The record's appeal had more to do with feeling than virtuosity - in short, it offered everything music buyers could expect from Sun for the remainder of the decade. A copy of "Drivin' Slow", was mounted on the studio wall near the door after its release, where it remained until the old studio was closed in 1959.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 1952

Johnny London's haunting and almost themeless improvisation it onto some local charts, by the rewards for Phillips were meager. He released a mediocre blues record by Forrest City, Arkansas, disc jockey Walter Bradford at the same time, and then temporarily folded the Sun label to contend with a new set of problems. The first concerned the company's name. Another Sun label had been founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at about the same time, and there was a dispute over the right to the name.

''Sun'' had been used before, by a Yiddish record company in New York during the 1940s, and by a Detroit label that had come and gone in 1947, but the Albuquerque label (below) posed a more direct problem. The trade magazines never reported the outcome of the dispute, but it's safe to assume that Phillips won, by default if nothing else.

A bigger problem was posed by Mattis and Fitzgerald's Duke label, which looked set to steal much of Phillips' thunder. They began by recording Roscoe Gordon, who was still under contract to the Biharis. Then Mattis signed a local pianist, John Alexander, whom he dubbed Johnny Ace. His first record, ''My Song'', became a number 1 Rhythm & Blues hit, comfortably outselling every record that had emerged from Memphis since ''Rocket 88''. In the wake of Ace's success, Mattis signed Bobby Bland, whom Phillips had recorded briefly for Chess, and Duke seemed poised to become a big factor in the rhythm and blues market. But, again, success brought more problems than rewards. In July 1952, unable to collect on their shipments of Johnny Ace records, Mattis and Fitzgerald were forced to sell most of their interests in the label to Don Robey at Peacock Records in Houston

As a Memphis-based entity, Duke Records had come and gone in a matter of months. Lester Bihari's Meteor label, on the other hand, was better equipped to survive. It had the Biharis' expertise and distribution network behind it, although it was technically separate from RPM/Modern. Launched during the last days of 1952, Meteor began on a higher note than Sun: its just release, ''I Believe'' by Elmore James, cracked the national Rhythm & Blues charts in February 1953.

Phillips knew that he must infuse Sun with both capital and instant expertise if he was to relaunch the label with success comparable to that of Duke and Meteor while avoiding the problems that had beset Duke Records. Fortunately, he was able to solicit instant expertise from Nashville in the form of Jim Bulleit (pronounced ''Bu-lay'' by Bulleit himself but ''Bullet'' by everyone else). Bulleit had been a pioneer in the independent record business in Nashville, recording a variety of music for the Bullet label, which he co-owned. That label had scored one of the biggest hits of 1947 with Francis Craig's ''Near You'', shortly before Bulleit was forced out.

''Jim'd had hits that were real door-openers for independent labels'', recalled Phillips. ''He really helped me an awful lost as much as understanding what the problems were and could be, and he gave me most of the early insight into what I was confronted with, and that was frightening in Sun, also handled Phillips' music publishing. With his help, Sun was relaunched in January 1953 with three singles by local musicians, followed closely by the first classic recording on the Sun label.

MARCH 8, 1952 SATURDAY

Radio station WHHM played the songs by Jackie Boy, Little Walter and Johnny London. It was the public response to these dubs which further persuaded Sam Phillips to release Johnny London's "Drivin' Slow". By giving local disc jockey’s acetate dubs of key songs, Sam Phillips could estimate sales before he pressed copies of a record. In this way he could save money by pressing only those records he believed would sell.

MARCH 11, 1952 TUESDAY

Hank Williams leads a Grand Ole Opry road show at the Municipal Auditorium in Jackson, Mississippi. The audience includes Billy Ray Raynolds, who will play guitar on numerous Waylon Jennings hits, including ''Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way''.

MARCH 14, 1952 FRIDAY

Columbia released Ray Price's ''Talk To Your Heart''.

MARCH 17, 1952 MONDAY

Susie Allanson is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An original cast member of ''Jesus Christ Superstar'', she collects four Top 10 country records in the mid-1970s, including remakes of Buddy Holly's ''Maybe Baby'' and ''The Bee Gees' ''Words''.

MARCH 18, 1952 TUESDAY

Gene Autry fights corruption among the Texas Rangers in the debut of ''Night Stage To Galveston'' with Pat Buttram in a supporting role.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR DRIFTING SLIM,
SUNNY BLAIR & BABY FACE TURNER
FOR RPM/MODERN/METEOR RECORDS 1952

MARTIN SCROGGIN'S MUSIC CENTER
106 WEST WASHINGTON AVENUE, NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY MARCH 21, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - IKE TURNER
AND/OR MARTIN SCROGGIN

Back on the road again, Ike Turner turned up at Martin Scroggin's record shop and music center, located at 106 West Washington Avenue in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Ike had rounded up the local talent who had performed as a band and played regularly. Each member (except the drummer) got the opportunity to shine while Ike held it together on piano. The star turn was guitarist Baby Face Turner who on ''Blue Serenade'' adopts the Elmore James riff and ''Gonna Let You Go'' is his take of ''Worried Life Blues''. He reserves his best playing, however, for Drifting Slim's ''Good Morning Baby'' with excellent Muddy Waters style slide. The band up the tempo on Slim's roll and tumble themed ''My Sweet Woman'' and on Sunny Blair's ''Please Send My Baby'', a version of John Lee ''Sonny Boy'' Williamson's ''Step Back Baby''. Blair's side was issued on the Bihari's Memphis based subsidiary Meteor Records operated by Lester Bihari, with the flip side being a second release of Baby Face Turner's ''Gonna Let You Go''.

01 - ''GOOD MORNING BABY''* - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Elmon Mickle
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1874
Recorded: - March 21, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 370 mono
GOOD MORNING BABY / MY SWEET BABY
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1-22 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

02 - ''MY SWEET WOMAN''* - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Jules Taub-Elmon Mickle
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1875
Recorded: - March 21, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 370 mono
MY SWEET BABY / GOOD MORNING BABY
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1-23 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

03 - ''PLEASE SEND MY BABY BACK (STEP BACK BABY)''** - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Sonny Boy Williamson
Publisher: - Wabash Music Company
Matrix number: - MM 1878
Recorded: - March 21, 1952
Released: - 1953
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5006 mono
PLEASE SEND MY BABY BACK / GONNA LET YOU GO
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1-24 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

04 - ''BLUE SERENADE''*** - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: - Edgar Turner
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number - MM 1876 - Take 2
Recorded: - March 21, 1952
Released: - 1953
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 882 mono
BLUE SERENADE / GONNA LET YOU GO
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2-13 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

05 - ''GONNA LET YOU GO''*** - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Jules Taub-Ike Turner
Publisher: - Universal Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1877
Recorded: - March 21, 1952
Released: - 1953
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 882/Meteor 5006 mono
GONNA LET YOU GO / BLUE SERENADE
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2-14 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elmon Mickle (Drifting Slim) - Vocal *
Sunny Blair (Sullivan Jackson) - Vocal ** & Harmonica
Ike Turner - Piano
Edgar ''Baby Face'' Turner - Vocal *** & Guitar
Bill Russell - Drums
Unknown Vocal Interjection ''My Sweet Baby''

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 21, 1952 FRIDAY

Nine months after he began his Rhythm and Blues show on radio WJW at Cleveland Arena, 3717 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, disc jockey Alan Freed felt the time was right to whip up the emerging scene with a big live event. He assembled a lineup that included the Dominoes, Tiny Grimes and His Highlanders, Danny Cobb, and Varetta Dillard for a show to take place at this hockey rink. A day before the gig, some 2,000 of the 13,000 tickets were unsold, so on the eve of this show Freed enthusiastically promoted what he called the Moondog Coronation Ball over the air. Some 10,000 young people, most of them black, turned up for the extra tickets. As soon as the first act, Paul Williams and His Hucklebuckers, hit the stage, a massive crowd broke down the doors, and the police were kept busy for the remainder of the evening.

The media accused Freed of deliberately overselling the show, with some papers calling for him to be dumped in jail. The most vociferous criticism came from the city's black newspaper, the Cleveland Call and Post, whose editorial denounced the music as "gut bucket blues", referred to the "weed-smoking elements that crashed the doors", and accused Freed of building his act on a "foundation of immorality, vulgar suggestion, and hidden indecency". Proving that all publicity is good publicity, Freed's radio show got syndicated throughout the Northwest and mid-West, and his concert became better managed and more popular. He later assembled a 23-piece orchestra to back the musicians, and regularly included the Cleveland-based quintet the Moonglows, a band he managed himself, as well as the Drifters, Joe Turner, and Fats Domino.

The Cleveland Arena also hosted a 1972 fund-raiser for George McGovern's presidential campaign featured James Taylor and Paul Simon, soon after the latter's split with Art Garfunkel. The building is now gone, and the local Red Cross headquarters is here.

MARCH 22, 1952 SATURDAY

Rosco Gordon's new rhythm and blues record released, ''No More Doggin'' b/w ''Maria'' (RPM 350/RPM 496), Rosco Gordon's follow-up to "Booted", is issued. Meanwhile, on March 15 the Chess recording of "Booted" tops the Rhythm and Blues charts.

Uncle Dave Macon dies at Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The singer/songwriter-comedian/banjo player became one of the Grand Ole Opry's first members while in his 50s, entering the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966.

MARCH 24, 1952 MONDAY

Columbia released Marty Robbins' debut single, ''Love Me Or Leave Me Alone''.

MARCH 26, 1952 WEDNESDAY

NBC's ''The Kate Smith Evening Hour'' presents a package of country guests; The Carter Sisters, Ray Acuff and Hank Williams, who performs ''Hey, Good Lookin'''and ''I Saw The Light''.

MARCH 27, 1952 THURSDAY

Sam Phillips' Sun Records released its first record (Sun 174), ''Blues In My Condition'' and ''Sellin' My Stuff'' by Jackie Boy and Little Walter. Sam Phillips also pressed one thousand copies at a cost of $135 of Johnny London's Sun Record (Sun 175). It's hard to know what became of the other two releases, most likely they were never pressed, let alone issued, but Johnny's was given Sun catalogue number 175, with Jack Kelly and Walter Horton's collaboration (as Jackie Boy and Little Walter) assigned the arbitrary starting position of 174 (above), and Walter Bradford and the Big City Four following as Sun 176. Of the four missing tracks, just one minute of the A-side of the Jack Kelly single has survived, a rollicking but somewhat nondescript jug band number called ''Sellin' My Stuff''. From the evidence of a later recording session, the Walter Bradford record was probably no more distinctive, and one can only surmise that after test-marketing the acetates on various local radio programs, including Walter Bradford's own radio show in Forrest City, Sam simply, and altogether uncharacteristically, lost his nerve.

Even if that is the case, however, the one single that Sam did issue, made up of Johnny London's two instrumentals, is no less problematic. The B-side, ''Flat Tire'', is little more than a cute, conventional blues tricked up with a very odd sound in which London's alto lead sounds as if it's coming from an echoey cave far, far away. On ''Drivin' Slow'' the sound is no less odd, but much closer at hand, as Johnny plays a harsh, almost sonically distorted lead while the tenor plays a bluesy riff over and over in the background and the piano supplies steady support. From what Johnny has said, there seems little question that Sam knew what he was looking for. He made them do it over and over until ''he found the sound that he wanted'', a ''hollow sound'' that, Johnny was certain, he had never tried before. ''He created a chamber that he didn't have, something similar to a telephone booth. It was a home-made thing, 8' by 4', something like that''.

The real question is why. It's a pleasant enough blues, and according to Johnny London it got a lot of airplay in Memphis as well as booking dates for the band. But even by Sam Phillips' standards it was weird, not so much unique as just plain weird, and more to the point it was far from the straightahead blues with which one might have thought Sam Phillips would want to inaugurate his new label. ''I never heard Sam speak about this; in all the years I knew him, and all our far-ranging conversations'', said Peter Guralnick, ''I never heard him bring up this record, or any of the first three scheduled releases on the Sun label. The most I ever heard him say, when I asked about ''Drivin' Slow'' directly, was that he knew that ''as an instrumental number it would be more difficult to sell. Nor am I aware of any other interviews in which he explained his reasoning''.

Sam Phillips promptly scheduled new recording sessions for Joe Hill Louis and Rosco Gordon. In the end, it appears that Phillips opted for a more mellow, middle-of-the-road record as Sun's first release. With pride in his eyes and a smile on his face, Sam Phillips mounted Sun Record number 175 on his wall. The Sun sound, which would revolutionize rock and roll, was on its way. Sam Phillips officially starting operations of Sun Records.

MARCH 28, 1952 FRIDAY

MGM released Hank Williams' ''Half As Much''.

Pee Wee King recorded ''Busybody'' during a late-morning session at the RCA Studios in New York.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY MARCH 31, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "ONE MORE DRINK"
Composer: - Unknown Possible Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - March 31, 1952
Released: - Sun Unissued - Tape Lost

02 - "WHEN I AM GONE ''SHE TREATS ME MEAN AND EVIL''"* - B.M.I. - 3:42
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - C 1036A Master 
Recorded: - March 31, 1952
Released: - November 1952
First appearance: - Checker Records (S) 78rpm Checker 763 mono
WHEN I AM GONE (SHE TREATS ME MEAN AND EVIL) / WHEN I AM GONE
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-1 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

This is in fact the full-length take of this track, Checker having released an edited version. A slow, menacing blues, driven along by some serious "back in the alley" - styled guitar with the thumping drummer Nolan Hall, this is among the nastiest of Joe Hill Louis' blues sides - quite unlike the more genial ebullience for which he was rather better-known.

03 - "WHEN I AM GONE"** - B.M.I. - 3:45
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - C 1036 A Master 
Recorded: - March 31, 1952
Released: - November 1952
First appearance: - Checker Records (S) 78rpm standard single Checker 763-B mono
WHEN I AM GONE / WHEN I AM GONE / DOROTHY MAE
Reissued: - 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956

The latter is actually quite an inferior performance with a tortuously slow boogie guitar break that goes out of tune at the ninth bar. Joe had a habit of doing this on slow numbers but none had reached release before. It appeared simultaneously with a Phillips produced record Checker. This was period of change as Phillips shifted a tough combo outing with Joe only on guitar for ''Dorothy Mae'. '' 'When I Am Gone'' features Joe's dangerously amplified guitar accompanied only by the insistent thud of his bass drum.

04 - "WHEN I AM GONE"*** - B.M.I.
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 31, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Rhino Records (LP) 33rpm R2 70962-15 mono
BLUES FLAMES - A SUN BLUES COLLECTION

05 - "DOROTHY MAE" - B.M.I. - 3:45
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - C 1036 A Edited version 
Recorded: - March 31, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Checker Records (S) 78rpm standard single Checker 763-A mono
WHEN I AM GONE / DOROTHY MAE
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-1 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

06 - "I'M GOING OVER THE SEA"
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - March 31, 1952
Released: - Sun Unissued - Tape Lost

Only the very end of an untitled boogie still exists on tape and while it appears to be from a fast instrumental, it could be from a vocal, and possible a remnant of "One More Drink".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis - Vocal and Guitar
Nolan Hall – Drums

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

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