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1952 SESSIONS (11)
November 1, 1952 to November 30, 1952

Studio Session for Bobby Bland, November 2, 1952 / Duke Records
Studio Session for Red Hadley, November 13, 1952 / Trumpet Record
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, November 17, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Houston Stokes, November 18, 1952 / Sun 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 1952

In a flurry of Rosco Gordon releases, Duke Records release their third single, "Too Many Women"/"Wise To You Baby", recorded by Sam Phillips studio - and RPM Records counter with two singles within a week.

Sam Phillips records a Joe Hill Louis session, which will be used in Sun's re-launch.

Sam Phillips and Jim Bulleit are in discussion about setting up a new distribution network to facilitate Sun's re-launch.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected President of the United States in a landslide victory over Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson.

NOVEMBER 1, 1952 SATURDAY

Rosco Gordon's ''Dream Baby'' b/w ''Trying'' (RPM 369) released. ''Trying'' was a bizarre cover of The Hilltoppers' big pop hit.

Chuck Berry, the future author of ''Brown Eyed Handsome Man'', has his second daughter, Melody Berry, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dixie Lee, the wife of pop singer Bing Crosby, dies of ovarian cancer in Los Angeles' exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood. The previous decade, Crosby netted a country hit with ''Pistol Packin' Mama'', a duet with the Andrews Sist

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BOBBY BLUE BLAND
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE 1952 FOR DUKE RECORDS

PROBABLY SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: SUNDAY NOVEMBER 2, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

> NO BLOW, NO SHOW <
Composer: - David James Mattis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Lion Music Publisher
Matrix number: - ACA 2286 - Master (3:00)
Recorded: - November 2, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Duke Records (S) 78rpm standard single Duke 155-A mono
NO BLOW, NO SHOW / ARMY BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 564-9 mono
BOBBY BLAND - IT'S MY LIFE, BABY

> ARMY BLUES <
Composer: - David James Mattis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Lion Music Publisher
Matrix number: - ACA 2335 - Master (2:40)
Recorded: - November 2, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Duke Records (S) 78rpm standard single Duke 115-B mono
ARMY BLUES / NO BLOW, NO SHOW
Reissued: - 2010 Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 564-9 mono
BOBBY BLAND - IT'S MY LIFE, BABY

> WISE MAN BLUES <
Composer: - David James Mattis-Don Robey
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:51)
Recorded: - November 2, 1952
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 564-9 mono
BOBBY BLAND - IT'S MY LIFE, BABY

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Bobby Bland – Vocal
Johnny Board – Tenor Saxophone
Unknown – Alt Saxophone
Johnny Ace – Organ
Unknown – Guitar, Bass, Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 1952

Gailey D. Hadley, known as "Red", came to Sam Phillips' attention in 1952. An enthusiastic singer and honky tonk style piano player from Covington, Tennessee. Red Hadley was at one time scheduled by Sam to be the first country singer on Sun Records. He approached Sam Phillips toward the end of that year with several songs forged in then-popular country styles.

Sam Phillips was impressed enough to schedule two sessions, on November 13, and December 5, 1952. The Sun label had lain dormant for several months and Sam Phillips spoke to Red of resurrecting it with Red's songs. He also spoke of licensing the songs to another label, and it seems that in the end Sam decided to try the latter course.

He restarted Sun with three blues records, and he sent Red's country recordings to Lillian McMurry at Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi. Unfortunately they were not issued.

NOVEMBER 3, 1952 MONDAY

On the eve of the American presidential election, Roy Acuff leads a campaign rally for the Dwight Eisenhower/Richard Nixon Republican ticket at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.

Roy Acuff and Eddy Arnold host the first live telecast from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. The half-hour ''Celebrities For Eisenhower'', financed by the Republican party, airs in five Southern states.

Webb Pierce marries for the second time, to Audrey Grisham, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Danny and Annie Lou Dill have a daughter, Ava Tyanne Dill. The couple works regularly as an opening act for Ernest Tubb at the time, although Danny Dill goes on to write such hits as ''Detroit City'' and ''The Long Black Veil''.

Decca released Red Foley's version of ''Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes''

Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''The New Wears Off To Fast''.

NOVEMBER 4, 1952 TUESDAY

Dwight Eisenhower defeats Adlai Stevenson for President while singer-songwriter Stuart Hamblen, running on the Prohibition ticket, finished fourth. Because of Stevenson's loss, Ernest Tubb loses $200 in a bet with Eddy Arnold.

Ferlin Husky recorded ''Gone'' under the pseudonym Terry Preston. He recorded the actual hit version of the song under his own name four years later.

Pop singer Perry Como recorded a remake of Skeets McDonald's country hit ''Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes''.

NOVEMBER 8, 1952 SATURDAY

Following two years with Capitol, Carl Butler signs a recording contract with Columbia.

NOVEMBER 9, 1952 SUNDAY

One day after signing a new contract with Columbia, Carl Butler holds his first recording session for the label.

NOVEMBER 10, 1952 MONDAY

Steel player Pat Severs is born in Camden, South Carolina. As a member of Pirates Of The Mississippi, he plays on the 1991 hit ''Feed Jake''.

NOVEMBER 11, 1952 TUESDAY

Guitarist Biff Watson is born. He becomes a prominent Nashville session musician, playing on hits by Alabama, Shania Twai, Reba McEntire, George Strait, Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride, among others.

NOVEMBER 12, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Musician Mark Johnson, known for his work in Bill Anderson's Po' Folks band, is born in Montgomery, Alabama.

NOVEMBER 1952

Sam Phillips maintained his connection with Lillian McMurry's Trumpet Records the next weeks. Sam continued to recorded tracks on performers who just happened to wander in.. ''He'd just listen to anything they wanted to play'', said Marion Keisker. At the beginning of November and December, Sam recorded some sides on a hillbilly piano player from Covington, Tennessee, named Red Hadley, who had a little band that Sam thought might have some potential. He brought in black drummer Houston Stokes, who played on many of his blues sessions, to add a little oomph to the sound, cutting two instrumentals on Red and a Lefty Frizzell ''answer song'' with a hard Hank Williams edge. He cut some nice sides on Joe Hill Louis and Walter Horton and even talked with Leonard Chess about the possibility of establishing a new basis for a business relationship. And on the recommendation of Buster Williams he sent out dubs to Jim Bulleit, the legendary record man whom Sam had first met at WSM when he was looking for a job at the Opry, who had only recently returned to Nashville and started up a new label of his own.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR RED HADLEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR TRUMPET RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: THURSDAY NOVEMBER 13, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

"In the early part of the 1950s", recalled Sam Phillips, "I mainly concentrated on the blues, but I always would spend time with a country artist or two if they had any potential. I recorded several people back before I opened my own Sun label. We had the basis here of some good talent. I just don't think I came up with the songs I'd have liked to have on them. I don't think I was able to devote the time to get out of them the intensity that I got from the bluesmen. We did have a few things - Red Hadley and Frank Floyd particularly".

Recorded in the winter of 1952, Red Hadley perhaps sought to emulate the successful honky tonk piano solos coming out of Nashville from artists like Del Wood and Johnny Maddox. Dave Simmons comes in halfway through with a welcome steel guitar variation on Red's piano theme while two guitars and some fairly minimal drumming provide the rhythm. This recording was made when Sam Phillips was in-between his first and second attempts at releasing records on Sun, and Phillips pitched Hadley's music to Lillian McMurry's Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi. Despite Hadley's obvious talent, no deal was made.

TENNESSEE DRAG
Composer: - G.D. ''Red'' Hadley
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - November 13, 1952

> TENNESSEE DRAG <
Composer: - G.D. ''Red'' Hadley
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (1:56)
Recorded: - November 13, 1952
Released: - November 1989
First appearance: - 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2/11 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-1/29 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Returning to his instrumental format, Red again leads throughout on the top range of his piano while steel and rhythm join in enthusiastically. ''Boogie \Ramble'' was something of a theme song for Red's band for several years until the onset of rockabilly made ''Rockin' With Red'' seem more appropriate.

> BOOGIE RAMBLE <
Composer: - G.D. ''Red'' Hadley
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:11)
Recorded: - November 13, 1952
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2/13 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-1/30 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

The addition of Red's raw vocalising toughens the sound of his band considerably. ''If I Had As Much Money As I Have Time'' was written by Red as an ''answer'' to the series of hits by Lefty Frizzell which were performed on a similar theme in his Texas honky tonk style. The steel guitar weaves in and out of Red's vocal and piano above a solid foundation from an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar played on the bass strings. The sound quality drops a little here and there but otherwise the sixty year old paper-backed tape has survived quite well

> IF I HAD AS MUCH MONEY AS I HAVE TIME <
Composer: - G.D. ''Red'' Hadley
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:41)
Recorded: - November 13, 1952
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2/12 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-1/31 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

On his endeavours on this two occasion, Red was backed by the Wranglers and by a drummer brought in by Sam Phillips to give a little more drive to their sound. Although it seems incongruous, this drummer was in fact Houston Stokes a black musician who recorded blues with Rufus Thomas, Jimmy DeBerry and others on Sun. Interestingly, this same week as this Hadley session, Stokes recorded for Phillips as a featured singer backed by a band that included jazz alto saxophonist Frank Strozier. Stokes had certainly covered all the bases that week. Sam Phillips recalled recently: "Stokes wasn't an essential drummer but he had a feel for rhythm and blues and he also had a great desire to adventure a little bit. He would play anything with anybody, black or white".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Red Hadley - Vocal and Piano*
Paul Brazile - Guitar
Jay ''Junior'' Hadley - Guitar
Dave Simmons Jr. - Steel Guitar
Houston Stokes - Drums

"Red Hadley was a guy I hoped I could get a hit on", recalled Sam Phillips. "He was one of these type people - he would come in and sound extremely good, but he just wouldn't apply himself consistently so I could get the most out of him. He sold himself, you know. He had it. He could have made a great record, I'm sure".

Sam Phillips remembers Red with affection. "He had it, he could have made a great record. But he just wouldn't apply himself consistently". Other people have expressed the same views. Fellow bandleaders Malcolm Yelvington and Doug Poindexter both remember Hadley's Wranglers as a talented group of individuals who didn't get along with one another. Fiddle player and record man Bill Cantrell said, "Red Hadley was a really good artist. Maybe one of the very best Sam Phillips ever had. But he had this thing with his brother Jay, where there was always a lot of contention between them. It was hard to get them to work efficiently together".

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 15, 1952 SATURDAY

Rosco Gordon's new single ''Lucile'' b/w ''Blues For My Baby'' (RPM 373) released.

NOVEMBER 17, 1952 MONDAY

In November 1952 it was determined that the Presley's projected annual income had risen to $4,133 a year, well over Housing Authority limits, and on this date the Presley family got an eviction notice, requiring them to move out by February 28, 1953, of the Lauderdale Courts.

On the Presley family's 1952 two W2's tax return Gladys declares an income of $555.70 from St. Joseph's Hospital and Vernon $2,781.18 from United Paint. Vernon's mother, Minnie Mae, is declared a live-in dependent, and Gladys' retarded brother, Tracy Smith, is listed as a resident ten days a month. The income return is handwritten. Elvis is listed as a dependent. Both copies are on a standard withholding form, beige in color with brown lettering. Vernon's W2 is torn on the left bottom side. Also attached is a adding machine tape with the total amount of income, deductions, and amount due on the tape.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY NOVEMBER 17, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

The common thread running through the first five recordings is the presence of Joe Hill Louis. With the paint still drying on the Sun sign, this talented individual from the wryly-named Froggy Bottom, Tennessee, was crucial to Sam's gameplan. As well as playing just about any instrument thrust in front of him, Louis could fashion a decent song and he cut a trough of leased masters before the homespun doctrine heard here served as his one Sun single called "We All Gotta Go Sometime".

Playing harmonica fills between vocal lines while playing guitar necessitated a harmonica rack and the rack was positioned squarely between Joe Hill Louis's mouth and the microphone, hence the distorted vocal. Drummer Willie Nix and pianist Albert Williams were always perfectly attuned to Joe Hill Louis's music, never more so than here. It's hard to know which side of Sun 178 was considered the A-side, assuming Phillips even thought in those terms back then. Certainly, both were excellent rowdy blues. In its issue of March 28, 1953, Billboard picked this as the A-side, commenting on what was then the suggestive nature of the subtitle. The vocal sounds a little distant on the other side, ''We All Gotta Go Sometime'', but doesn't have the distortion heard here because there's almost certainly someone else playing harmonica. It's clear that Sam Phillips had his eyes on the prize with this one. Instead of using Louis in his customary One Man Band role, Phillips added a drummer and piano player to the session and the effect is quite positive. There's no mistaking the presence of a full drum kit and a musician who was able to concentrate on drumming, rather than singing, playing harp and guitar at the same time. The piano is far more in balance on this issued version as well. The One Man Band routine may have increased Louis's fortunes on the street, but when it came time to record, bringing in some other musicians to fill the sound was a wise decision.

> SHE MAY BE YOURS (BUT SHE COMES TO SEE ME SOMETIME) <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 58-1 - Take 1 - Previously Unissued (3:01)
Recorded: - November 17, 1952
Released: - March 8, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-4/8 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

> SHE MAY BE YOURS (BUT SHE COMES TO SEE ME SOMETIME < 
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis- Sam C. Phillips
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 58-2 Take 2 - Master (2:58)
Recorded: - November 17, 1952
Released: - January 30, 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single Sun 178-B mono*
SHE MAY BE YOURS (BUT SHE COMES TO SEE ME SOMETIME /
WE ALL GOTTA GO SOMETIME
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

If nothing else is clear, Joe Hill Louis recorded this song on at least two different occasions with different results. This early alternative (number 2 here) to the Sun single fades in, a sort of ''joined in progress effect'', and the harp and guitar are never quite in sync. If Louis played both instruments, the effect is odd; it's hard to imagine a musician going out of sync with himself but the effect is unmistakable. There are only three chords in this blues progression but these instruments seem to be in different places.

The ''all right'' before the instrumental solo makes this take distinctive, as does the increase in guitar level during the solo, which marks this as a warm-up version. The very end of the recording features the sound of a piano, which was apparently there all along, although not particularly audible in the mix.

> SHE MAY BE YOURS (BUT SHE COMES TO SEE ME SOMETIME) <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 58-3 Take 3 - Previously Unissued (2:40)
Recorded: - November 17, 1952
Released: - March 8, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-9/7 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

> KEEP YOUR ARMS AROUND ME (1) <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:10)
Recorded: - November 17, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-23 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis - Vocal, Harmonica and Guitar
Albert Williams - Piano
Willie Nix - Drums

For Biography of Joe Hill Louis see: > The Sun Biographies <
Joe Hill Louis' 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 HOUSTON STOKES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: TUESDAY NOVEMBER 18, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Houston Stokes was one of several singing drummers in Memphis, and proves to be a competent vocalist as he fronts what was, in many respects, a Memphis junior all-star jazz band. Trumpeter Matthew Garrett was an educator at Manassas High School (the city's preeminent school for music, where Jimmie Lunceford once taught). Garrett taught modern jazz trumpeter Booker Little as well as avant garde hero Charles Lloyd, and he's the father of jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. The Garretts left Memphis for Flint, Michigan soon after this session, but it was Garrett who assembled this band for Stokes, and it features some of the kids he taught. Alto saxophonist Frank Strozier was just fifteen years old. After leaving Memphis, he became a renowned hard bop jazzman and a sideman for Miles Davis, Chet Baker, among others. Pianist Evans Bradshaw was once touted as highly as Phineas Newborn. He made a couple of fine LPs for Riverside in 1958 and 1959, and died in 1978. Saxophonist Gilmore Daniel was born in Memphis in 1935, and gigged around the city with Rufus Thomas before leaving town with Percy Mayfield and Lowell Fulson.

After some years in Milwaukee, he returned to Memphis in the early 1970s and recorded for David Evans' Highwater Records. He died in Memphis in 1986. Gilmore, incidentally, told Evans that the pianist on Stoke's session wasn't Bradshaw, but another jazz titan-in-training, Harold Mabern. It's unlikely, though, that Marion Keisker would have logged Bradshaw if Mabern had actually been there. The mystery man is guitarist Erskine McClellan, of whom we know nothing. Gilmore told Evans that McClellan moved to New York and changed his name. Colin Escott talking at length about the sidemen in part because most of them went on to carve out in careers in music and in part because their arrangement is the best thing about this record. The chart behind the sax solo is deftly executed Clearly, these were some very accomplished guys.

> YOU'LL BE SORRY SOMEDAY <
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:18)
Recorded: - November 18, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4/1 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

For a couple of years Houston Stokes was virtually house drummer at Sun Records, so its hardly surprising that he eventually got a session to himself - even if the fruits of that session remained largely unreleased until the appearance of the original SUNBOX. Stokes appears to have been one of several singing drummers in Memphis, and proves himself to be a competent (if unremarkable) vocalist as he fronts a jumping City-styled combo. Evans Bradshaw and Erskine McLellan on piano and guitar respectively are pretty much the stars of the show on this boogie, which also features some bootin' sax from Gilmore Daniels.

> WE'RE ALL GONNA DO SOME WRONG <
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:14)
Recorded: - November 18, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-14 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-4/4 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

From the delibarate, loping beat set by Bradshaw's piano, this would seem to be an attempt to emulate the Rosco Gordon school of blues. The cliché in the title is the singer's ham-fisted way of trying to get his baby back: "Now I know you didn't mean a word you told him/don't cry about that/you were just excited, baby/you were talking through your hat". Exit baby, hatless. After a suitably intense crescendo, Gilmore Daniels steps up for another solo, this one struggling to get away from its home chord. By the last verse, Stokes' self-justifying belief that his baby will return only reinforces the message in the song's title.

So, in fact, what a record! So why didn't this find a home with one of the labels Sam routinely pitched product to? The voice is fine. The piano cloned Rosco Rhythm which was doing business at the time. So what's left? Could it have been the message? was it too progressive for its time?

> 4 O'CLOCK BLUES <
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate - Not Originally Issued (3:06)
Recorded: - November 18, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-15 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUNBOX 7 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

> BEST FRIEND BLUES <
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:56)
Recorded: - November 18, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-16 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4

> GOING CRAZY <
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:38)
Recorded: - November 18, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-18 mono
THE SUN BLUES ACHIEVED - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4

> THE HAMMER <
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:10)
Recorded: - November 18, 1952
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-19 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4

UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - November 18, 1952

UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL
Composer: - Houston Stokes
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - November 18, 1952

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Houston Stokes - Vocal and Drums
Frank Strozier - Alto Saxophone
Gilmore Daniels - Tenor Saxophone
Matthew Garrett - Trumpet
Evans Bradshaw - Piano
Erskine McLellan - Guitar

Houston Stokes served largely as a studio drummer at Sun, although Sam Phillips did work up a number of vocal sessions with him. Many of Stokes' performances were in a mellow/sophisticated groove that collectors rarely associate with Sun. Nevertheless, tracks such as "4 O'Clock Blues" and "Best Friend Blues" were part of the Memphis scene at this time. In fact, it was this music, not Wolf or Sammy Lewis, that one was likely to hear in the Memphis clubs.

In any cases, Stokes took one of his mellow blues compositions, "We're All Gonna Do Some Wrong", reset it to a Rosco Gordon rhythm, and left it in the Sun vaults. The earlier slow version, probably more typical of Stokes' style, remains in the vaults. The song features some surprisingly enlightened sentiments for macho Memphis culture circa 1953.

"Best Friends Blues" suggests that Stokes was paying considerable attention to the Charles Brown(*) - Nat Cole School of Balladry, an honourable tradition at the time. The alto solo here is by Memphis jazz stalwart Frank Strozier, who would go on to make some fine records for Riverside. "The Hammer" shows the post- bop/nascent rhythm and blues side of Stokes' session work. A couple of loose reed squeals suggest this track wasn't quite ready for prime time, but it is a fine cooker nonetheless. Another take or another day, and this was releasable material in the Griffin Bross. mould.

"Going Crazy" is a very melodic bluesy tune from the Ivory Joe Hunter school of composition. Stokes' vocal is quite mellow and in stark contrast to the driving sax work during the break. Again, one or two more takes (and maybe a tune-up for the guitar) and this might have been a commercial single.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NOVEMBER 18, 1953 TUSDAY

Faron Young is inducted into the Army, at $87.50 monthly. During his two-year stint, he performs on 200 radio stations weekly with Special Services.

NOVEMBER 20, 1952 THURSDAY

Gene Autry buys Los Angeles radio station KMPC for a reported $800,000.

NOVEMBER 21, 1952 FRIDAY

MGM released Hank Williams' ''I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive''.

Tawnee Hall, a guitarist for Lefty Frizzell, dies at age 25 in Eastman, Georgia.

NOVEMBER 22, 1952 SATURDAY

Radio station WSM hosts first disc jockey convention in Nashville. The event eventually metamorphosis into Country Music Week, a series of events that include the Country Music Association awards show.

NOVEMBER 23, 1952 SUNDAY

''Town Hall Party'' debuts on radio station KFI in Compton, California. It becomes a staple of radio and TV in the Los Angeles market for the next nine years, providing exposure for Merle Travis, Tex Ritter, Freddie Hart and Joe Maphis, among others.

NOVEMBER 26, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Marty Robbins recorded ''I Couldn't Keep From Crying'' at the Him Beck Studio in Dallas, Texas.

NOVEMBER 27, 1952 THURSDAY

Hank Williams checks back into a Shreveport sanitarium to battle addictions.

NOVEMBER 29, 1953 SATURDAY

Mercury released The Carlises' ''No Help Wanted''.

Rosco Gordon and The Beale Streeters' new rhythm and blues ''Too Many Women'' b/w ''Wise To You Baby'' (Duke R-109) released.

NOVEMBER 30, 1952 SUNDAY

Gene Autry goes north of the border to work on a dude ranch as the western ''Blue Canadian Rockies'' debuts. Along for the ride is his faithful buddy, Pat Buttram.

> Page Up <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©