August 3, 2012 Follow That Dream Records (CD) 500/200rpm 506020 975049 mono
A BOY FROM TUPELO - THE COMPLETE 1953-1955 RECORDINGS

Includes for the first time in one collection every known Elvis Presley Sun master and outtakes, plus two private records Elvis Presley paid for with his own money, as well as thrilling radio and concert performances from the period. This 3 CD package features 10 previously-unreleased cuts. The accompanying book written by Ernst Mikael Jørgensen, is in essence, a fully-illustrated travelogue. It thoughtfully details the birth of Elvis Presley's career through facts, anecdotes, documentation, many rare photos, and a succinct narrative. Independence Day 1954 is when this uniquely American saga begins, less than 24 hours before his first professional recording session, and it ends in December 1955, when the rights to Elvis Presley's Sun tapes officially expire, and the singer leaves Sam Phillips to record for RCA. This is Elvis Presley before he becomes world-famous, and the mystery of how this amazing young man readies himself for stardom, achieving success on a level that no one could have dreamed possible.

All audio has been re-mastered and restored best as could, but Disc 3 has pretty rough audio. The book is 512 pages in 12'' by 12'' format and includes more than 500 photos of which about 200 are previously unpublished. If you are not an expert in this period of Elvis Presley's career, a lot more photos will be new to you. Many familiar photos will be seen in best ever quality, but since this is a historical document, there will also be many images of less quality, included for their rarity value and support of the story. The book also includes, for the first time, Steve Sholes’ original notes on the Sun tapes. The project will come in a slip case that holds both the book and the CD holder, a double album type package.

''A Boy From Tupelo - The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings'' (2013) Follow That Dream 506020-975049 (1-2-3) is Sold Out!

For more Elvis Presley information see: > Elvis Sun Schedule <
Elvis' Sun recordings can be heard on the playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1935-1955
Music In The Air

When Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, the music he would one day make famous was already all around him. It was in the churches, in the juke joints, on street corners, on the radio, wherever friends gathered. All of the elements he would eventually incorporate into his music, however he and the passing of time would transform them, were already part of the lifeblood of East Tupelo, Mississippi, and of the American South.

Coming up on thirty-nine years after that January day, Elvis found himself in Memphis's Stax Studios, one of the many musical melting pots that had sprung up in the twenty years since he had first tried singing professionally. Into his head popped a few lines of a half-remembered tune, "Columbus Stockade Blues'', and as he had so many times before he crooned them out loud, as much for himself as for anyone else who was listening. His cousin Billy Smith was there, and Elvis joked, "Hey man, that song is old. I did that when I was three old''. Chronologically, at least, it was possible: The song was already well established by 1938, having first been recorded by Thomas Darby and Jimmie Tarlton in 1927, the same year Henry Burr and Al Jolson both had big hits with "Are You Lonesome To-Night?" The music Elvis absorbing in 1938 and every other year of his childhood, the music he loved and sang and recorded, came from every genre and walk of life.

Nothing meant more him than the music of the church. In a quote reproduced in the liner notes of his first religious album, his mother, Gladys, recalled, "When Elvis was just a little fellow, he would slide off my lap, run down the aisle, and scramble up to the platform of the church. He would stand looking up at the choir and try to sing with them. He was too little to know the words, of course, but he could carry the tune''. While Elvis was still in knee britches, the Golden Gate Quartet was preparing to make their first recordings, including a number of songs Elvis would later sing and record. "I know every religious song ever written'', he was known to say. Elvis frequently cited country and western, rhythm and blues, and gospel as his musical inspirations, but he also knew and loved the work of pop stars such as Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, and even semi-operatic singers such as Mario Lanza. All through his life, in private and professionally, he would hum, sing, play, and record songs dredged up from his musical memory, as if to remind himself and everyone around him of where it had all come from.

It's impossible to be sure exactly when Elvis first decided to become a musician. He recalled later that his father told him, "I haven't met a guitarist who was worth a damn''. But it was his father whose lovely baritone voice could be heard around the Presley house throughout Elvis's childhood, singing gospel and country songs. His parents were the ones who gave him his first guitar; his uncles gave him his first few lessons. Perhaps the earliest indication came at the age of ten when he climbed on the stage at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair, stood on a chair, and came in fifth singing Red Foley's "Old Shep" before a talent-show audience. Later, we know, hung around WELO, Tupelo's radio station, hoping the local celebrity and singer Mississippi Slim would show him a few chords or tell him a few stories about the stars he'd met. By those early teenage years, he seems to have singled music out as his future.

The little family - Vernon, Gladys, and Elvis - moved to Memphis in 1948 and into new musical surroundings. Memphis was cosmopolitan; Beale Street was full of the blues, and the region's radio stations played "race records" featuring the music that became known as rhythm and blues. There are many stories of the teenage Elvis hanging around in various musical spots around town - some substantiated, others not - but everyone remembers hearing him sing and seeing him with his guitar, and many noticed his changing appearance. By his last year in school he'd made a point of setting himself apart from his classmates, assuming a personalized dress code right out of the Lansky Brothers' window. But even as he was starting to align himself with the look of rhythm and blues (and honky-tonk) stars, the only things seems to have sung himself were ballads. After he became famous, he recalled never having "sung a fast song" until his first official recording session. Dixie Locke, his steady girlfriend in those years, remembers hearing nothing from him but songs like "Tomorrow Night" and "My Happiness''. At the Lauderdale Courts, where he and his family lived during his early high school days, neighbors heard him sing songs made famous by Bing Crosby, Eddy Arnold, and Joni James. He made passing attempts to get some of the older, more proficient aspiring musicians in the Courts to teach him a thing or two, but it wasn't so easy: His neighbor Lee Denson recalls being forced by his mother (a friend of Gladys) to help Elvis out with a few guitar pointers, and remembers his young pupil's slow progress.

Over the years, most of Elvis's friends and acquaintances came in contact with his shy but always persistent attempts at singing. To them it might have seemed like a dream, but Elvis's wish to become a singer was always more of a hope, a hope to make something good or even glorious out of his undefined future. To many he seemed like a loner, but he was always hanging around, watching, listening - waiting to make his move.

The story of that move is legendary. One day in the summer of 1953, Marion Keisker was sitting at her desk at the Memphis Recording Service studio at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. Out of 706 Union, studio owner and operator Sam Phillips ran a record label called Sun; the Alabama native had opened the facility in 1950, looking to record some of the many African-American players around Memphis and the rich farmland of the Mississippi Delta south of the city. What he tapped into was an exploding rhythm and blues scene, already one of America's most exciting. The music had become increasingly popular with the fading popularity of big bands after World War Il, and all over the area in Memphis, across the river in West Memphis, Arkansas, and down in Helena, Arkansas, and Clarksdale, Mississippi - black acts were doing good business luring new and exciting sounds out of their rich blues heritage. Sam Phillips recorded B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Junior Parker, Joe Hill Louis, and many others at 706 Union. He had even recorded what would later be deemed the first rock and roll record, Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner's "Rocket 88''. The little studio also had a service facility where anyone off the street could make a two-sided acetate record for $8.25. There were other, cheaper, less professional places to make recordings around town, places other young musicians used, but Elvis chose Sun. He would later say that he wanted to surprise his mother. Perhaps; more likely, though, what moved him was his burning, unexpressed desire to make music and to become a star.

Marion Keisker worked for Sam, and with him. She also had her own radio talk show, and a feeling for music. When she asked the nervous, almost unintelligible young man, "What kind of a singer are you?" responded instantly, "I sing all kinds''. "Who do you sound" she persisted. "I don't sound like nobody'', was his response. He was hoping, said, that she could recommend someone who was looking for a singer. Maybe he was just trying a little salesmanship; in fact, he sang very little but ballads, and to the untrained ear, we now know, he sounded like plenty of other local singers. To Marion, though, there was something there - a stronger yearning? A deeper passion? A greater determination? Whatever it was, she wanted to keep an eye on it; after the kid had made his acetate she made herself a note: "Good ballad singer. Hold''.

Disc 1
Memphis Recording Service Acetates

1 - My Happiness 2:33 > Acetate <
(Betty Peterson-Borney Bergantine)
Recorded July 18, 1953 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar)
*- The Great Performances 2227-1-R (A-1) (August 1990)

2 - That's When Your Heartaches Begin 2:52 > Acetate <
(William Raskin-George Brown-Fred Fisher)
Recorded July 18, 1953 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar)
* - The Complete 50s Masters 07863-66050(6) (6-1) (June 23, 1992)

''That's When Your Hearteaches Begin'' ends (with the words ''that's the end'') just after what would normally have been a midsong recitation, although it's not clear whether this was intentional.

That day, with only the most fundamental of guitar skills, Elvis strummed and sang a twenty-year-old ballad called "My Happiness'', following it up with the 1951 Ink Spots hit "That's When Your Heartaches Begin''. The sound must have been exactly what his family, friends, and neighbors had been listening to for years, while the repertoire reflected a music business where the lines of genre, race, and social origin were already being blurred. "My Happiness" had been a pop record, a country record, and a jazz record before Elvis got to it; his version was sung as a kind of half-confident plaint. The other side - a song he'd return to for years - was filled with aspiration. If he had hoped for instant recognition, or for Sam Phillips to come out of the control booth to talk to him, he was sadly disappointed. Marion duly noted his name and number, but
weeks and months went by and he heard nothing.

January came - or possibly several months after that; these dates are still elusive - and finding he couldn't stand it anymore he started dropping by the studio to talk with Miss Keisker. Around the same time he tried out for a place with the Songfellows, a kind of apprentice group connected to Memphis's very popular gospel quartet the Blackwood Brothers. He was rejected; he couldn't sing harmony, they said, and that was that. He didn't make any other outright moves to further his career. He never joined a band, or formed his own group, or tried out on the radio. But eventually he did make it back to Sun and paid to cut another acetate.

3 - I'll Never Stand in Your Way 2:06 > Acetate <
(Hy Heath-Fred Rose)
Recorded January 4, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar)
* - Platinum - A Life In Music 07863-67469(2) (1-1) (July 15, 1997)

4 - It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You 2:09 > Acetate <
(Jimmy Wakely-Fred Rose)
Recorded January 4, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar)
* - Sunrise - Elvis Presley 07863-67675(2) (2-4) (1999)

This time he chose a new pop song from Joni James, "I'll Never Stand In Your Way'', which was also out in a country version. For the other side he sang "It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)'', from a record by the respected country singer Jimmy Wakely. There had been little progress since the last recording. The plaintive, insecure, but strangely passionate voice seemed to hold no commercial promise whatsoever. And so Elvis went back to waiting, stopping by the studio every now and then, determined for something to happen. It had to, he wanted it so much.

Then, on June 26, Marion called. Could he be there by three? "I was there by the time she hung up'', he later joked; she suspected he'd run all the way, all charged up with the idea that Mr. Phillips might have found something for him.

The previous year, Sun had had a sizable hit with a group called the Prisonaires, all residents of the state penitentiary in Nashville. Their song, "Just Walking In The Rain'', had been written by another prisoner; now Sam had a tune from yet another in-mate, this time a ballad called "Without You'', and he thought it might suit the quiet young singer. It might have, but Elvis couldn't find a way to do it; nevertheless, Sam invited him to keep singing - to let him hear whatever other songs he knew. The older man encouraged the boy, listened and tried to understand him, but when it was all over he didn't really know what to suggest. He only knew there was something there. "I have one real gift'', Sam Phillips later said, "and that gift is to look another person in the eye and be able to tell if he has anything to contribute, and if he docs, I have the additional gift to free him from whatever is restraining him''. It didn't happen that afternoon, but sometime over the next ten days it did. Sam's insight and his patient persistence would help make him one of the most inspired and productive record producers of American vernacular music.

At around the same time a young guitar player, Winfield Scott "Scotty" Moore Ill, was also hanging around the studio, and eventually Sam gave his band, Doug Poindexter's Starlite Wranglers, a chance to record. Scotty had ambition - he wanted to work in the record business - and Sam liked him a lot. One day over coffee he suggested that Scotty contact a young ballad singer Sam was thinking of recording, to see if they could work something up for a session. Scotty wasn't given any further direction, but he knew that if he wanted to get something going with Sam he should at least give it a shot. He called the young singer and arranged to meet him. Bill Black, the Wranglers' bass player, would come along too, Bill's younger brother, Johnny, was one of the young musicians Elvis had hung around with in Lauderdale Courts, in a loose group that also included Lee Denson and the Bernette Brothers, Johnny and Dorsey.

Because everyone worked during the week, the trio met at Scotty's house the following Sunday and began by working their way through all the songs that Elvis could think of. The two older musicians were left with no distinct impression of his singing ability, but they were impressed with his outrageous appearance. He had arrived dressed in a black shirt, pink pants with a black stripe, white shoes, and a slick hairdo, all sideburns and ducktail. The very next evening, after work, the trio took their rehearsals to the studio, where a determined Sam Phillips seemed ready to get to the bottom of the situation - to try to understand why it was that he couldn't seem to shake the idea of this kid.

Sun Masters

5 - Harbor Lights (2:38) > CPL1-1349 (A-1) <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Legendary Performer - Volume 2 Album CPL1-1349 (A-1) (January 8, 1976)

6 - I Love You Because (Unprocessed Master Edit) (2:43) > LPM-1254 (A-5) <
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis Presley LPM-1254 (A-5) (March 23, 1956)

The RCA master of "I Love You Because" is a splice of Takes 2 and 4, leaving out the spoken part. When Elvis transferred to RCA, the company received a tape referred to in Steve ShoIes' notes as " 'That's All Right' plus two other selections"; it is unclear whether these "other selections" were Presley recordings.

7 - That's All Right (45rpm Master) 2:00 > Sun 209-A <
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Single Sun 209 (July 19, 1954)

8 - Blue Moon of Kentucky (45rpm Master) (2:07) > Sun 209-B <
(Bill Monroe)
Recorded July 7, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Single Sun 209 (July 19, 1954)

Back in the studio, this time with Scotty and Bill, Elvis once again tried everything he could think of. Sam recorded him singing Leon Payne's country hit, "I Love You Because'', with little success; it wasn't that Elvis was bad (save for the dismal recitation in the middle), but what was the point in Elvis doing the song when it had already been done better? Then, toward the end of the night, Sam was in the control room doing something when he got caught off guard by what would become the most significant musical moment in his, Elvis's, Scotty's, and Bill's lives. Patience might not have been the frenetically busy Sam Phillips' most obvious virtue, but it was one of his most important, as the hours he spent with Elvis and the boys were finally proving. In four years of work with local black musicians, he'd found their talent was frequently obscured by a lifetime of insecurity, and waiting for musicians to shake those feelings of "in-inferiority" and get beyond their natural fear of failure naturally took patience. Sam had always believed in the amateur spirit; to him it was only with fresh, unaided nonprofessional musicians that truly creative and innovative work could be done. Now - if he could believe the sound coming over the monitor - his patience was finally paying off. After all his failures, Elvis was starting to warm up.

Scotty and Bill weren't yet comfortable themselves, exactly, but they were falling in right behind Elvis, giving it their best shot, catching up with him as best they could. Clowning around was definitely second nature to both Elvis and Bill, so it shouldn't have been much of a surprise when the two of them started fooling around with a familiar blues song, Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right''. When the normally reserved Scotty joined in, Sam sensed that the patience part of his job was over. This was something truly unexpected, something original; it had a logic of its own, even if Sam recognized elements that were borrowed from his own recordings of Jackie Brenston or Junior Parker. It was the "something different" he'd been looking for, the beat the music had always been lacking, and without hesitating Sam finally made his move. Stopping the group in mid verse, he asked them to start over as he pushed the record button on the tape machine. Relaxed and loose at last, Elvis injected a bright, breezy, more melodic feel into the traditional blues, and with only two guitars plus the slap of Bill's bass, a sound came through that got Sam's eyes dancing. Suddenly, they were making a record.

Perhaps they tried other material that night, tried working up other songs in the same vein as "That's All Right''. They may have done "Tiger Man'', a song Sam had co-written (under the name Burns) with blues artist Joe Hill Louis and given to Rufus Thomas to record. (We know that in 1970 Elvis kicked off the song with a cryptic introduction: "This was my second record, but not too many people got to hear it''.) It may have been before "I Love You Because" that they spent time on "Harbor Lights'', but they couldn't get the Hawaiian-inspired pop song right. Eventually, though, they came up with a song even more improbable than "That's All Right" - and just as promising. From a childhood of Saturday nights listening to the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis knew the bluegrass music of Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys. The waltz tempo of "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" (Disc 2 Track 14) was as far from Crudup's rhythm and blues as you could get, but the group straightened the song out, converted it to 4/4 time, and brought the tempo up to that of the earlier number. After an early take Sam enthused, "Fine, man. Hell, that's different. That's a pop song now, nearly 'bout''. With a few more takes and a little more refinement, the song edged even further from its country roots and into the domain of rhythm and blues. The result was something compatible with "That's All Right'', and, more important, the perfect B-side to a record.

Scotty and Bill were sure "they would be run out of town" if the song ever saw the light of day. But Sam knew what he was doing. He rushed a reference record down to the hippest disc jockey in Memphis and all of America, Dewey Phillips (no relation) of WHBQ. When Dewey played Elvis's record on his "'Red, Hot and Blue" show, Elvis was so embarrassed he hid out at the Suzore No. 2 Theater until his mother and father retrieved him. Dewey Phillips was calling: The switchboard at the station had lit up with confirmation of Sam's instincts. This was something new, something worthwhile, a sound they all could run with. All of a sudden, all those old hopes of Elvis's began cropping up as immediate facts and demands in his life. On the strength of the record's "Red, Hot and Blue" reception, the little band, who had never appeared in public, was booked for a guest spot at Memphis's Bon Air Club. Then, before long, Elvis was added to the bottom of a bill headlined by Slim Whitman, on well-known Memphis disc jockey Bob Neal's "Folk Music" show out at the Overton Park Shell. A flurry of publicity, including a picture and article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, took note of the record's startling local success.

At the Overton Park show, almost overcome by panic, Elvis got through his opening number, but not without another unexpected development: His leg started shaking uncontrollably, just the way he'd seen Statesmen bass singer Jim "Big Chief' Wetherington's do as he worked the crowd. The response from the girls in the audience was instantaneous. All through that summer the record was heard everywhere in Memphis, and through the power of radio it spread to neighboring areas.

9 - Blue Moon (2:44) > LPM-1254 (B-5) <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Likely recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis Presley LPM-1254 (B-5) (March 23, 1956)

The tape is dated with a sticker on the plastic reel: ''8/19. Wed Nite."

The little Sun Studio became the center of his world, a place where he could stop for companionship, where he could come to try out new ideas. One day he came in wanting to record Rodgers and Hart's "Blue Moon'', though where he got the idea is not at all clear. It may have been from Slim Whitman (though Slim hadn't yet cut the song), but music historian Colin Escott suggests that couldn't have been his only influence: "Elvis skips the bridge and the final verse that contains the happy ending, neatly transforming the 32-bar pop classic into an eerie 16-bar blues''. It was a fascinating mix of musical styles, but not, Sam finally decided, a record.

It was common record company practice to release a new single every three months, but with a breaking story like Elvis Sam knew he had to watch things closely: The right kind of blockbuster hit, with enough radio support, could stay on the charts for a year or more. It is an indication of the kind of faith Sam Phillips had in Elvis that he put out no new records by any other artist in the wake of Elvis's successful debut - until it was time for a second Presley release.

10 - Tomorrow Night (3:01) > 6414-1-R (2-5) <
(Sam Coslow-Will Grosz)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (2-5) (June 30, 1987)

11 - I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') (2:27) > LPM-1254 (B-4) <
(Jimmy Wakely)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis Presley LPM-1254 (B-4) (March 23, 1956)

12 - I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine (2:32) > Sun 210-B <
(Mack David)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Single Sun 210 (September 22, 1954)

13 - Just Because (2:34) > LPM-1254 (A-6) <
(Bob Shelton-Joe Shelton-Sid Robin)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Possibly Buddy Cunningham (brushes on snare drum)
* - Elvis Presley LPM-1254 (A-6) (March 23, 1956)

14 - Good Rockin' Tonight (2:15) > Sun 210-A <
(Roy Brown)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Single Sun 210 (September 22, 1954)

The listing for "Tomorrow Night" reflects the first release of the complete, undubbed master, which included a long gap in the middle apparently intended for a guitar solo. The song was first released in 1965 on the RCA album ''Elvis For Everyone'' (LSP/LPM 3450), in a version overdubbed with guitar, harmonica, and backing vocals. An edited version of the original undubbed master, with the space for the solo edited cut, was released on ''The Complete Sun Sessions'' (6414-2-R). According to Steve Sholes' original notes on the fifteen Sun tapes purchased by RCA, the following number of takes were definitely recorded: "Satistied'', 1; "I'll Never Let You Go'', 10; "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'', 3; "Just Because'', 17; "Good Rockin' Tonight'' 2. There may have been many more, as Sam Phillips recorded over many Presley tapes. The Sun tapes that RCA did receive from these sessions were lost in a vault "clean-out" In 1959.

Long experience, and the previous session, told Sam it would take Elvis a while to adjust once again to the studio environment and find the right mood. So it was only natural to allow the young singer to start with what he loved best: ballads. This time he attempted Lonnie Johnson's "'Tomorrow Night'', a song he sang all the time at home and with Dixie. But Sam knew this wasn't the kind of song he wanted Elvis to record; Dean Martin, Perry Como, Teresa Brewer, Doris Day, and scores of other popular singers already had that territory covered, all on major labels offering costly promotional support and well-timed television appearances. It wasn't that Elvis didn't sing the song well, for this time he certainly did; the confidence he'd gained could already be heard in his voice, along with an undeniable passion. But like all of Elvis's Sun ballads, "Tomorrow Night" didn't have much of an arrangement; Elvis's voice was almost drowned in echo, and Scotty just plunked along as if they were recording cowboy songs. Trying to explain why he let Elvis cut so many ballads, Sam has said, "I didn't have the heart to stop him''.

If Sam ever gave any thought to stopping Elvis from following his nose in the studio, "That's All Right" was there to remind him that the boy needed the freedom to explore, to jump into whatever came to mind. Occasionally something promising, like Martha Carson's "Satisfied'', would emerge, only to be dropped as Elvis moved on to another idea. Elvis had sung Jimmy Wakely's "It Wouldn't Be The Same (Without You)" on his second acetate, and now he selected another Wakely ballad, "I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')" (originally written for Gene Autry in 1941). He sang straight until the last two choruses, for which he tried leaping into double time; the group worked on the number over and over, but never managed to get the transition from ballad to rhythm song to work quite the way they wanted.

The songs that came to Elvis's mind were as motley a crew as can be imagined, yet each one was drawn from his own experiences. His prodigious memory helped him dredge up songs from the oddest places, and the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis movie ''Scared Stiff'' was one. He recalled Martin's rendition of a number called "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'', which had actually been written for ''Cinderella'' but was never used in the Disney film. The movie version differed from Martin's 1950 recorded version, and it was the screen performance he remembered; he took Martin's approach one step further, speeding the song up, solidifying the beat, and adding an energetic vocal delivery on top. "'Just Because'', another song from these sessions, is harder to pinpoint. Written in 1933, the song had seen a popular 1948 polka version by Frankie Yankovic, which may well have been the interpretation Elvis heard, but it could just as well have been the Shelton Brothers' original record, or Cliff Carlisle's cover. Whatever the source, the group worked hard to follow Sam's directions on both songs. To spur his artists along, he would often suggest trying a song up-tempo, then changing back to a slower groove. "Just Because" was recorded both ways, but when it was first released by RCA on Elvis's premiere album, it was the fast version that was used.

Still without a real winner, they returned to the formula that had proved so successful on "That's All Right'', brushing up and reworking an old rhythm and blues number in what was rapidly becoming a distinctive new style. In this case the song was Roy Brown's ''Good Rockin' Tonight'', and it was a perfect subject for revision. Sam's vision was cencered on rhythm. He was always warning Scotty Moore away from the style of his idol Chet Atkins; pretty fingerpicking was fine for country or pop, but Sam was looking for something a little simpler, a little gutsier. "Good Rockin' Tonight" proved to be a natural follow-up: It came from the same current rhythm and blues scene, it was up-tempo, and with Scotty adlibbing his way into a new style that hammered away at the beat even during the solos, it worked like a charm. It was a convincing demonstration that Elvis's first record was no fluke. This was an emerging talent, taking his next logical step. As soon as the session was over the tape was rushed to Buster Williams's Plastic Products pressing plant over on Chelsea Avenue. ''Good Rockin' Tonight" backed with "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine" would be the new single.

But just how far could this little trio go? Sam succeeded in getting them a guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry in October, where, awed by many of their musician heroes, the three young men performed adequately but got little in the way of enthusiasm from the audience - and failed to get invited back. With the Opry out of the picture Sam turned to the other significant showcase for country-and-western talent, Shreveport's Louisiana Hayride, which was both less choosy and more willing to take risks than its upscale cousin. It was on the Hayride that Hank Williams had first triumphed, along with Webb Pierce, Faron Young, and other big country stars. Just as important as its history, though, was the broadcast signal of sponsoring radio station KWKH, which reached from northwestern Louisiana west into Texas and parts of Arkansas.

15 - Milkcow Blues Boogie (2:39) > Sun 215-A <
(Kokomo Arnold)
Recorded December 20, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass), Jimmie ''James'' Lott (drums)
Single Sun 215 (January 8, 1955)

16 - You're A Heartbreaker (2:13) > Sun 215-B <
(Jack Sallee)
Recorded December 20, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass), Jimmie ''James'' Lott (drums)
Single Sun 215 (January 8, 1955)

A payment slip at November 15 seems to indicate a session date, but it may be a falsification; December 8 has also been mentioned as a possible date for the session. Its more than likely that other songs were tried out on the session, although apparently no other tapes survive. RCA never received master tapes or outtakes from this session from Sun; their masters were dubbed from a Sun 78 rpm.

Little is known about the sessions that led to Elvis's third Sun single. "Milkcow Blues Boogie'', like the first recordings, was a gutsy blues with a strong beat to which Elvis brought a light, definitely country feel. From a rhythmic point of view, the double-time gimmick worked better here, coming off Elvis's slow-talking intro, than it had in "I'll Never Let You Go'', and the record combined charm with an undeniably bluesy flavor. It may be that the A-side sounded too 'black" for the majority of Elvis's white audience, but it's just as likely that the opposite problem was what doomed it: Bob Wills, the "King of Western Swing'', had been playing it in his own hopped-up version, "Brain Cloudy Blues'', since 1946. It's possible, in other words, that this particular batch of race mixing was just too familiar for most disc jockeys to notice. Whatever the case, the audience and the disc jockeys were lagging behind; Elvis and his boys, with Sam Phillips, were putting out one classic after another.

New Year's Day 1955 found the Presley trio before a capacity crowd at the Eagle's Hall in Houston. A few days later, in New Boston, Texas, a crowd of five hundred was big enough to attact the attention of a seasoned music man: country singer Eddy Arnold's one-time manager, now wording for Hank Thomas A. Parker. Bob Neal suggested the Colonel come by the following Saturday night to catch the young performer on the Hayride. Parker couldn't have missed the Billboard notice about the new group's burgeoning success in both personal appearances and radio play throughout east Texas. Nor would their review of the new single have escaped his attention: of "Milkcow Blues Boogie'', they wrote "Presley continues to impress'', and they complimented ''You're A Heartbreaker" for its slick country style.

18 - Baby Let's Play House (2:19) > Sun 217-B <
(Arthur Gunter)
Recorded February 4/5, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmie Lott or Johnny Bernero (drums)
Single Sun 217 (April 25, 1955)

RCA received, and subsequently lost, a tape from this session including two takes of "I Got A Woman'', two takes (including the master) of "Baby Let's Play House'', and one take of "Trying To Get To You''. The recording date is generally mentioned as February 5, but given that Elvis performed at the Hayride that night, its more likely to have been earlier that week.

A session was squeezed in over a few days in early February, and Elvis began by trying out a popular feature from his live act, Ray Charles's groundbreaking "I Got A Woman''. Then they ran through another rhythm and blues number, Charles Singleton and Rose Marie McCoy's "Trying To Get To You'', a current hit for the Eagles, a group out of Washington, D.C. But when they turned to "Baby Let's Play House'', yet another regional hit, the Arthur Gunter number clicked right from its sensational start - Elvis's unaccompanied hiccup "Oh, baby, baby, baby....'' its rhythm picked up immediately by the loud slapping of Bill's stand-up bass and Scotty's driving rhythm guitar. The recording captures the quantum leap in confidence that the group had made in the last six months. A line like "I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man" suggested a brazenness that transcended mere posing, while the exuberant substitution of "You may have a pink Cadillac" for "You may get religion" ("but don't you be nobody's fool") pointed up some of the underlying tension between the black and hillbilly elements of the style. (And that was Elvis's own imagination, by now working overtime - remember, he didn't have his pink Cadillac yet.) In the end, for all of its mixed antecedents, "'Baby Let's Play House" was an unqualified and uncompromising triumph, the purest expression of what Sam and the little trio had been after all along. The only question was: Was the world ready for such unrepressed fun?

Bob Neal's show at the Ellis Auditorium in downtown Memphis was headlined by Faron Young, with Martha Carson, Ferlin Husky, the Wilburn Brothers, and - bottom of the bill - Elvis Presley. Neal was hoping to get the Colonel interested in doing more for Elvis than just the occasional booking. To that end he brought Sam Phillips and Thomas A. Parker together for the first time, and it was obvious from the start that the two men didn't like each other. Each was used to having his own way, and they had widely differing agendas for Presley. Phillips, a creative, instinctual, and proud man, hardly ready to accept the Colonel's claim that Sun, with its limited financial base and distribution, would never be able to take an artist to national success. And Parker recognized that even with Sam's cooperation it would take plenty of work to get the young singer onto a national label; if Sam stood in the way, it might prove impossible. In fact, Parker had already mentioned Elvis's name to RCA's country-and-western artist-and-repertoire (A&R) man, Steve Sholes. Sholes had expressed some interest, but for the time being about all Parker felt he could do for the boy was give him the chance to go on the road with the Hank Snow Jamboree.

The Hank Snow tour began in Roswell with a fire-department show and gradually traveled back toward Memphis, picking up occasional local acts along the way. In Lubbock, Texas, for example, Buddy Holly and Bob Montgomery would appear in their first significant billing: This time it was Buddy and Bob at the bottom of the bill, creeping up behind the Hillbilly Cat. Touring with a big name like Snow was great exposure for Elvis, putting him in front of big crowds who often had no clue who he was. With radio stations promoting the shows Elvis started getting more airplay, and with Bob Neal busily working away wherever he could, Elvis's popularity was slowly but surely beginning to build.

Back in Memphis, meanwhile, Sam was getting concerned. The third single had completely stalled, and he was anxious to record something to use as the B-side of "Baby Let's Play House".

17. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (My Baby Is Gone) (Take 5 Master) (2:43) > LP-100 (A-2) <
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Good Rocking Tonight Bop Cat LP-100 (A-2) (1974)

19 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone 2:38 > Sun 217-A < 
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded mid-April 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmie Lott or Johnny Bernero (drums)
Single Sun 217 (April 25, 1955)

This songs slow version, take 5, was first released on the Dutch bootleg ''Good Rocking Tonight'' in 1974, but it is not known whether this was ever considered as a master take.

Grasping for ways to broaden Elvis's appeal, Sam turned to a young steel guitarist who had been hanging around Sun hoping to record. Stan Kesler didn't let Sam down, coming up with an original tune, "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'', which the group tried first as a slow blues featuring a guitar lick based on the Delmore Brothers' "Blues, Stay Away From Me''. When that didn't work, Sam brought in a teenage drummer, Jimmie Lott, employing percussion for the first time on an Elvis Presley session. With this new clement in place, the song was completely re-arranged to emphasize its melodic country qualities; it wasn't lost on Sam that Arkansas and Texas disc jockeys were getting more requests for the country-influenced "You're A Heartbreaker'' than for the beat side, "Milkcow Blues Boogie''. In an effort that proved less successful, the young drummer set a rhumba beat to Webb Pierce's "How Do You Think I Feel'', but this was quickly abandoned - perhaps for the best, as the song was Hank Snow's son Jimmie Rodgers Snow's new single.

20 - I Forgot to Remember to Forget (2:31) > Sun 223-B <
(Stan Kesler-Charlie Feathers)
Recorded July 11, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass), Johnny Bernero (drums)
Single Sun 223 (August 1, 1955)

21 - Mystery Train (2:30) > Sun 223-A > 
(Junior Parker-Sam Phillips)
Recorded July 11, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass), Johnny Bernero (drums)
Single Sun 223 (August 1, 1955)

22 - Tryin' to Get To You (2:36) > LPM-1254 (B-2)<
(Charles Singleton-Rosemarie McCoy)
Recorded July 11, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums), Probably Doug Poindexter (guitar),
Probably Smokey Joe Baugh or Frank Tolley (piano)
* - Elvis Presley LPM-1254 (B-2) (March 23, 1956)

Elvis's acoustic guitar drops out at the mix on ''Trying To Get To You'', supporting the suggestion that the piano part, barely audible in the track, maybe his own.

Sam Phillips, on the other hand, showed no signs of interest in selling that contract. With Elvis back in Memphis after three July 4 shows in Texas, the only thing Sam had on his mind was cutting yet another single. For material he went back to Stan Kesler, who with Sun artist Charlie Feathers came up with a second country melody with a similar play-on-words title. At first Elvis expressed doubts about "I Forgot To Remember To Forget'', but at Sam's urging - and with new drummer Johnny Bernero playing around with the tempo, slowing it down as Sam directed him to - he slowly warmed up to the song. For the rhythm and blues side, Sam suggested covering a song he shared the copyright on, Junior Parker's "Mystery Train'', a 1953 hit for Sun and all that was left of Parker at the label after a falling-out with Phillips. Combining the melody and lyric of "Mystery Train" with the beat from the B-side of the same Junior Parker single, ''Love My Baby'', Elvis, Scotty, and Bill drove the track along on their own steam, no drums necessary as the singer wailed about that train, sixteen coaches long. At the end Elvis broke into delighted laughter, unaware that his chuckle would go down as one of rock and roll's memorable moments. They'd nailed down the single, but that didn't stop Elvis: Going back to "Trying To Get To You" from the last session, this time they tried it with drums - and this time they got it. In Sam's mind, it was another definite contender for future single release.

Over the next few months Tom Parker stepped up his commitment to Elvis Presley. In August he went to Memphis with Tom Diskin to with Elvis, his father Vernon, and Bob Neal. The Colonel had conceived a new and far-reaching deal for Neal and the Presleys to sign, in which he would be named as special advisor to both the singer and his manager. The deal would run for one year, with two one-year options, giving him an annual fee of $2,500 plus travel, promotion, and advertising expenses. The most arresting piece of the arrangement was the one that gave the Colonel the rights to one hundred appearances at a fixed rate of $200 per show for Elvis and his band, and the exclusive rights to more than forty specifically named cities in which Elvis had proven successful. A penalty clause was included should Neal take his business elsewhere. The contract called for the Colonel to "assist in any way possible the build-up of Elvis Presley as an artist'', and, significantly, entitled him to "negotiate all renewals on existing contracts''. This put the Colonel in what amounted to an all-powerful position: He had the exclusive right to steer Elvis Presley's career. It took a lot of maneuvering, a lot of cajoling, a lot of selling to convince Elvis's mother and father that the new arrangement was in their son's best interest, but in the end they signed. Not long afterward, against the Colonel's specific directive, Bob Neal negotiated a renewal of Elvis's Hayride contract for another twelve months - and once again Vernon signed, no doubt feeling caught in the middle and not sure whom to trust.

23 - When It Rains It Pours (2:06) > CPL1-4848 (A-1) <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass), Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - Elvis A Legendary Performer - Volume 4 CPL1-4848 (A-1) November 1983

Take 10 is not an official master, but probably the best take.

When it came time for another single, Sam Phillips and Elvis agreed that all they really needed was a B-side for "Trying To Get To You''. Sam suggested Sun artist Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "When It Rains, It Really Pours'', and he already had a good idea of how to arrange the song to make it more commercial. As the tape began to roll Sam warned Scotty away from his single-string picking again – ''Scotty, don't make it too damn complicated'', he told him, insisting on the priority of the beat. But complicated it was, and the session was never completed. Johnny Bernero, the drummer who'd played on "I Forgot To Remember'', remembers, "Elvis paid me fifty dollars for a session, which was far more than scale. One night we were recording a good little while. Elvis went into the control booth and talked to Sam a good half-hour. He came out and told me, 'Johnny, we're not going to be able to finish this session. 'Still, he paid me the fifty dollars''. What had happened was what everyone had been waiting for: Speaking with Colonel Tom Parker on the telephone, Sam had lust agreed to give the Colonel an option to sell the contract to another label. Sam Phillips the creative innovator might not have wanted to sell Elvis's contract, but Sam Phillips the businessman saw it as a way out of a financial squeeze. Elvis's success had put Sun in a bind: It took a lot of cash to keep product flowing, and Phillips was getting strapped. At the same time he was in need of funds to finance the new radio station, WHER, he was just opening in the brand-new Holiday Inn downtown.

The Colonel, meanwhile, had spent the past weeks in constant talks and negotiations with both Phillips and RCA-head Steve Sholes, and he didn't want the release or a new single to jeopardize the deal he'd just about arranged. If Elvis cut a new Sun record that broke through on the national level, Sam's price might go through the roof - and the Colonel might get cut out of the picture altogether. Sam was already asking an astronomical forty thousand dollars (thirty-five thousand plus back royalties), despite the fact that every record company Parker approached had balked at paying ten thousand to twenty-five thousand dollars for Presley. Now, against all odds, the Colonel and Bob Neal had convinced Sam to give them the option they needed. The Colonel had two weeks to come up with the money. He had already put down five thousand dollars of his own, which he'd lose if he failed to finish the deal. But he was bent on success, and suddenly everything seemed to be going his way.

On November 11, at the Country Disc Jockey Convention in Nashville, Elvis was voted the most promising country male artist of 1955. There was already talk that he'd soon be moving to RCA; when songwriter Mae Boren Axton brought Elvis a new song, '"Heartbreak Hotel'', he promised her he'd make it his first RCA single. The Colonel was left with three days to complete the forty-thousand-dollar deal for the young man's contract. He succeeded in getting some financial support from the Aberbach Brothers, owners of the Hill & Range song-publishing company, in exchange for a co-publishing deal with the artist, and that may be what put RCA over the top. In any case, RCA finally agreed to the deal, and even threw in a promise to help set up some national TV appearances for Elvis in the early months of the following year. On November 15, just as Parker's option was about to expire, the deal was finalized; on November 21 all the parties gathered at the Sun studio to sign on the dotted line. All his maneuvering had finally paid off: Colonel Tom Parker had succeeded in placing Elvis Presley on the brink of stardom.

RCA Master

24 - That's All Right (RCA Single Version) (1:59)
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded July 5, 1954 Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Single 20/47 6380 (December 20, 1954)

25 - Blue Moon of Kentucky (RCA single version) 2:05
(Bill Monroe)
Recorded July 5, 1954 Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Single 20/47-6380 (December 20, 1954)

26 - I Love You Because (RCA LP Version) (2:45)
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis Presley LPM-1254 (A-6) (March 23, 1956)

27 - Tomorrow Night (RCA LP Version) (2:53) > LSP/LPM-3450 (A-5) <
(Sam Coslow-Will Grosz)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Chet Atkins (guitar), Grady Martin guitar), Henry Strzelecki (bass), Buddy Harman (drums),
Charlie McCoy (harmonica), Anita Kerr Singers (backing vocals)
* - Elvis For Everyone LSP/LPM-3450 (A-5) (July 19, 1965)

Original Sun Recordings
* - First Appearance

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Disc 2
Sun Studio Sessions

1- Harbor Lights (FS Take 1, 2x FS Take 2 Breakdown) (0:33) > Takes 1-2 <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Takes 1-2 * - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-1) (2012)

2 - Harbor Lights (Complete Take 3) (2:53) > Take 3 Master <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis: Today, Tomorrow And Forever 0768-66155(4) (1-1) (June 25, 2002)

3 - Harbor Lights (Complete Take 4) (2:38) > Take 4 <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-3) (2012)

4 - Harbor Lights (FS Take 5, LFS Take 6) (1:23) > Takes 5-6 <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-4) (2012)

5 - Harbor Lights (Complete Take 7) (2:25) > Take 7 <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-5) (2012)

6 - Harbor Lights (Take 8 Breakdown) (0:26) > Take 8 <
(Jimmy Kennedy-Hugh Williams)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-6) (2012)

7 - I Love You Because (FS Take 1) (0:23) > Take 1 <
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R (2) (3-2) (June 30, 1987)

8 - I Love You Because (Complete Take 2) (3:28) > Take 2 <
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Legendary Performer - Volume 1 CPL1-0341(A-2) (January 15, 1974)

9 - I Love You Because (Complete Take 3) (3:36) > Take 3 <
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-1) (June 30, 1987)

10 - I Love You Because (Take 4 Breakdown) (0:40) > Take 4 <
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-2) (June 30, 1987)

11 - I Love You Because (Complete Take 5) (3:28) > Take 5 <
(Leon Payne)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-3) (June 30, 1987)

12 - That's All Right (FS Take 1, FS Take 2) (0:20) > Takes 1-2 <
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
*- A Golden Celebration CPM6-5172(6) (1-2) (October 1984)

13 - That's All Right (Complete Take 3) (1:58) > Take 3 <
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded July 5, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Sunrise - Elvis Presley 07863-67675(2) (2-6) (1999)

14 - Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Alternate Take Breakdown) (1:08) > Alternate Take <
(Bill Monroe)
Recorded July 6/7, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Good Rocking Tonight Bop Cat LP-100 (A-5) (1974)

15 - Blue Moon (FS Take 1, FS Take 2, FS Take 3) (0:38) > Takes 1-3 <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-15) (2012)

16 - Blue Moon (Complete Take 4) (2:59) > Take 4 <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete 50s Masters 07863-66050(6) (6-7) (June 23, 1992)

17 - Blue Moon (Complete Take 5) (3:25) > Take 5 <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Platinum - A Life In Music 07863-67469(4) (1-3) July 15, 1997

18 - Blue Moon (FS Take 6, FS Take 7) (0:53) > Takes 6-7 <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-18) (2012)

19 - Blue Moon (Complete Take 8) (3:01) > Take 8 <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Sunrise 07863-67676(2) (2-8) (February 9, 1999)

20 - Blue Moon (Complete Take 9 Master) (2:44) > Take 9 Master <
(Lorentz Hart-Richard Rodgers)
Recorded between August 15 and 19, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis Presley LPM 1254 (B-5) (March 23, 1956)

21 - Dialogue (Fragment before ''Tomorrow Night'') (0:11)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-21) (2012)

22 - I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') (Incomplete Take and Master) (0:49) > LP-100/LPM-1254 <
(Jimmy Wakely)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Good Rocking Tonight Bop Cat LP-100 (A-5) (1974)

23 - Good Rockin' Tonight (Fragment) (0:10)
(Roy Brown)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-23) (2012)

24 - I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine (Incomplete Take 1, FS Take 2) (1:13) > Takes 1-2 <
(Mack David)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Good Rocking Tonight Bop Cat LP-100 (A-3) (1974)

25 - I Don't Care if the Sun Don't Shine (Complete Take 3 Master) (2:35) > Take 3 Master <
(Mack David)
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, Memphis.
Recorded between September 12-16, 1954 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Good Rocking Tonight Bop Cat LP-100 (A-3) (1974)

26 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (Complete Take 1) (3:00) > Take 1 <
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-4) (June 30, 1987)

27 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (Complete Take 2) (2:51) > Take 2 <
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-5) (June 30, 1987)

28 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (Complete Take 3) (2:51) > Take 3 <
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-6) (June 30, 1987)

29 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (FS Take 4) (0:10) > Take 4 <
Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-6) (June 30, 1987)

30 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (Complete Take 5 Master) (2:40) > Take 5 Master <
Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-9) (June 30, 1987)

31 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (Complete Take 6) (2:40) > Take 6 <
Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-7) (June 30, 1987)

32 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Slow Version) (Incomplete Take 7) (1:35) > Take 7 <
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - The Complete Sun Sessions 6414-1-R(2) (4-8) (June 30, 1987)

33 - How Do You Think I Feel (Guitar Rehearsals, Take 1) (3:17)
(Wayne Walker- Webb Pierce)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - When All Was Kool (Mystery Train) 2001 (1-13) (1990)

> Tracks 33-34 Rehearsals <

34 - How Do You Think I Feel (Guitar Rehearsals) (1:14)
(Wayne Walker- Webb Pierce)
Recorded March 6, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - When All Was Kool (Mystery Train) 2001 (1-13) (1990)

35 - When It Rains, It Really Pours (Incomplete Take 1) 1:37 > Take 1 <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-35) (2012)

36 - When It Rains, It Really Pours (Take 2, Chatter, Rehearsal) 2:12) > Take 2, Rehearsal <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-36) (2012)

37 - When It Rains, It Really Pours (LFS Take 3, Chatter, FS Take 4) (2:14) > Take 3 Take 4 <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-37) (2012)

38 - When It Rains, It Pours (Complete Take 5 Master) (2:02) > Take 5 Master <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - Elvis A Legendary Performer - Volume 4 CPL1-4848 (November 1983)

39 - When It Rains, It Really Pours (Chatter, Rehearsal Take 6, FS Take 7) (1:40) > Take 6, Take 7 <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-39) (2012)

40 - When It Rains, It Really Pours (LFS Take 8) 1:40) > Take 8 <
(William Emerson)
Recorded November 1-4, 1955 at Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Johnny Bernero (drums)
* - A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (2-40) (2012)

Original Sun Recordings
* - First Appearance

When RCA acquired Elvis Presley's contract, they also bought all of the recordings Sam Phillips had made with Elvis. However, when Sam Phillips handed over the 15 or 16 tapes to RCA, it was obvious that they didn't represent all of the sessions Sam had recorded on Elvis. Sam had sometimes re-used session reels for other sessions, if he thought nothing worth preserving was on the tapes. This was the case with one of the tapes from the session that produced the master of "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine". The master was later recovered by John and Shelby Singleton on one of the tapes they received when they bought Sun Records from Sam Phillips. The recording only survived, because the session that was recorded over the original Elvis session didn't last as long as the Elvis session. What is a bit more surprising, is the fact that RCA never got the masters to above title, "Blue Moon Of Kentucky", "You're A Heartbreaker", and "Milkcow Blues Boogie".

When re-released by RCA, the company used Sun records to dub from. As Sholes pre-pared the re-releases of the Sun singles and the first LP, he made new compilation tapes of all the tracks he wanted to use, adjusting the sound as he saw fit. In 1959, RCA cleaned up their vault in Indianapolis, and in the process, dumped the majority of the Sun tapes.

Apart from the production master for the single "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" / "Mystery Train", RCA has no masters, and only a handful of tapes from the original transaction survived: Tape 5 (or 6), 8, 11, 13, and 15 (see list below).

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Disc 3
Live and Radio Performances

1 - That's All Right (2:52)
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 16, 1954
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis: The Hillbilly Cat PB 3602 (A-3) (July 1984)

2 - Blue Moon Of Kentucky (2:23)
(Bill Monroe)
Recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 16, 1954
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis: The Hillbilly Cat PB 3602 (A-5) (July 1984)

> Tracks 1-2 Live Louisiana Hayride <

''Lucky Strike guest time, now. Just a few weeks ago a young man from Memphis, Tennessee, recorded a song on the Sun label, and in just a matter of a few weeks that record has skyrocketed right up the charts. It's really doing good all over the country. He's only nineteen years old. He has a new distinctive style - Elvis Presley. Lets give him a nice hand''.

- Frank Page, announcer for the Louisiana Hayride

He might have been nervous, but his thoroughly confident version of "'That's All Right" didn't show it. The audience may well have been surprised that the big sound they'd heard on the record was made by such a humble little trio, but spurred by a week-long radio buildup, they responded to Elvis and his band (now called the Blue Moon Boys) with genuine recognition. When Frank Page asked Elvis how the group had come up with this new style, the nineteen-year-old singer replied with truthful modesty, "We just stumbled upon it'', then went on to perform the other side of the record. If he wasn't an overnight sensation, he was at least successful enough for Horace Logan, manager of the Hayride, to offer him a contract. So on November 6 Elvis returned to perform again, this time bringing his parents, who were needed to sign for the underage singer.

Contemporary accounts tell us that on that night Elvis performed, among others, a song called '"Sitting On Top Of The World'', either the old Delta blues (kept in circulation by Bob Wills well into the 1950s) or the pop standard of the same name. And he was - proudly straddling a new world he barely knew anything about. With a twelve-month Hayride contract in hand, the three musicians gave up their day jobs to devote themselves full-time to their new career. Scotty and Bill had already resigned from their previous band as the new trio began appearing around Memphis, principally at the Eagle's Nest, a Lamar Avenue complex hosted by popular country disc jockey Sleepy-Eyed John. The shows they played outside the city often proved disappointing - only thirty - two people came to one show at the Nettleton High School, just outside Jonesboro, Arkansas. But then at the end of November Houston disc jockey Biff Collie, who liked the new sound, booked them into the Palladium in downtown Houston. When they went over well, he invited them to stay two more nights.

Scotty was acting as the group's manager, but both he and Sam Phillips knew they needed more professional reprcsentation, so before long Bob Neal of the Overton Park "Folk Music" show took over not just bookings but artist management as well. As a popular country disc jockey on strong-signal WMPS, Neal had a considerable following in the many small communities around the city and frequently emceed and promoted shows featuring acts like Elvis and the brother-sister duo Jim Ed and Maxine Brown. The Blue Moon Boys were making progress. But even as well received as the second record was, it stalled, and with winter coming on Sam Phillips was anxious to get the group back into the studio to try to match the success of the first single.

3 - Shake, Rattle And Roll (2:24)
(Charles E. Calhoun a.k.a. Jesse Stone)
Recorded at KDAV Radio, Lubbock, Texas, January 6, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Complete 50s Master 07863-66050(6) (6-5) (June 23, 1992)

4 - Fool, Fool, Fool (1:59)
(Nugetre a.k.a Ahmet Ertegun)
Recorded at KDAV Radio, Lubbock, Texas, January 6, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Complete 50s Master 07863-66050(6) (6-2)(June 23, 1992)

> Tracks 3-4 Live KDAV Radio <

These recordings were most likely made on January 6, when Elvis played Lubbock for the first time; if not. they are from February 13, when he returned. It was common at the time for artists to visit local radio stations when touring, encouraging the local disc jockey to play their records, often performing live (or taped) an the air to promote their upcoming shows. Because Elvis and his Blue Moon Boys had so little recorded repertoire, they would supplement their own repertoire with covers like the above, both recent Atlantic singles, "Fool, Fool, Fool'' was a number one rhythm and blues record by the Clovers in 1951. "Shake, Rattle And Roll" was a 1954 rhythm and blues hit in its original version by Big Joe Turner, and a number seven pop hit in its instant cover version by Bill Haley and His Comets. Poor, almost inaudible recordings exist of other Presley shows from early 1955, documenting that the repertoire also included LaVern Bakers "Tweedle Dee" and the Charms' "Hearts Of Stone" (both also covered by the Fontane Sisters), as well as another Clovers song "Little Mama'' all1954 releases - and Ray Charles's ''I Got A Woman" and the Drifters' ''Money Honey'', released just weeks before,

This new recording sensation - the Hillbilly Cat, they were starting to call him - was exploding in the small region around Memphis and the area that the Louisiana Hayride a surprising reached, but Bob Neal knew he needed help to make Elvis known beyond those limited borders. When Colonel Parker and his assistant, Tom Diskin, arrived at the Louisiana Hayride, they were met with something very new, very different - something dressed in a rust-colored suit, pink socks, and a purple and black polka-dot tie. Elvis's repertoire, in addition to his recorded tunes, now included current radio hits like "'Hearts Of Stone'', "Tweedle Dee'', and "Shake, Rattle And Roll''. What was more astonishing than the music itself, though, was the intensity of his audiences' reactions - particularly the overheated behavior of the girls. This was potential if Tom Parker had ever seen it, and he responded with a modest offer to try Presley out on a Hank Snow package tour set to begin on February 14 in Roswell, New Mexico. It was decided that they would meet before then, at a big show Bob Neal was putting on in Memphis at Ellis Auditorium on February 5, to formalize the arrangement.

With three singles behind him, Sam Phillips knew how important it was to keep putting out product, if only to keep feeding the radio stations "hot" new records to plug. What he was still looking for was a song strong enough to match the impact of the first single. Elvis's first two songs remained his most popular numbers. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" was stronger on country stations than either of the more country-flavored tunes on the second and third records, ''Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine" and "You're A Heartbreaker''. The two rhythm and blues numbers, "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "Milkcow Blues Boogie''', were decent follow-ups, but they lacked the light, breezy, melodic quality that made "That's All Right" such a surprising and successful record.

5 - Hearts Of Stone (2:02)
(Eddie Ray/Rudy Jackson)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 15, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
* - Sunrise 07863-67676(2) (2-19) (February 9, 1999)

6 - That's All Right (1:52)
(Arthur Crudup)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 15, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-6) (2012)

7 - Tweedlee Dee (2:51)
(Winfield Scott)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 15, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
* - Sunrise 07863-67676(2) (2-17) (February 9, 1999)

> Tracks 5-6-7 Live Louisiana Hayride <

8 - Shake, Rattle And Roll 2:23 > Live WJOI Radio<
Charles E. Calhoun a.k.a. Jesse Stone)
Recorded at WJOI Radio, Florence, Alabama January 19, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-8) (2012)

9 - KSIJ Radio Commercial with DJ Tom Perryman (0:16) > Commercial <
Recorded at KSIJ Radio, Gladewater, Texas, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-9) (2012)

10 - Money Honey (2:43)
(Jesse Stone)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 22, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
* - Sunrise 07863-67676(2) (2-16) (February 9, 1999)

11 - Blue Moon of Kentucky (2:04)
(Bill Monroe)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 22, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-11) (2012)

12 - I Don't Care if The Sun Don't Shine (2:33)
(Mack David)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 22, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
* - Sunrise 07863-67676(2) (2-18) (February 9, 1999)

13 - That's All Right (1:54)
(Arthur Crudup)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 22, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Sonny Trammel (steel guitar), Leon Post (piano)
* - Sunrise 07863-67676(2) (2-15) (February 9, 1999)

> Tracks 10-11-12-13 Live Louisiana Hayride < 

14 - Tweedlee Dee (2:15)
(Winfield Scott)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 5, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-14) (2012)

15 - Money Honey (2:17)
(Jesse Stone)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 5, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-15) (2012)

16 - Hearts of Stone (1:37)
(Eddie Ray-Rudy Jackson)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 5, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-16) (2012)

17 - Shake, Rattle And Roll (1:39)
(Charles E. Calhoun a.k.a. Jesse Stone)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 5, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-17) (2012)

18 - Little Mama (2:03)
(Willis Carroll-Carmen Taylor -Ahmet Ertegun-Gerald Wexler)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 5, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-18) (2012)

19 - You're A Heartbreaker (2:06)
(Jack Sallee)
Likely recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, March 5, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-19) (2012)

> Tracks 14-15-16-17-18-19 Live Louisnana Hayride >

20 - Good Rockin' Tonight (2:36)
(Roy Brown)
Likely recorded at the Eagles' Hall, Houston, Texas, March 19, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis: The Hillbilly Cat PB 3602 (A-3) (July 1984)

21 - Baby Let's Play House (2:22)
(Arthur Gunter)
Likely recorded at the Eagles' Hall, Houston, Texas, March 19, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-21) (2012)

22 - Blue Moon of Kentucky (1:47)
(Bill Monroe)
Likely recorded at the Eagles' Hall, Houston, Texas, March 19, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-22) (2012)

23 - I Got A Woman 3:03
(Ray Charles)
Likely recorded at the Eagles' Hall, Houston, Texas, March 19, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis - The Beginning Years PB 3601 (A-4) (February 1984)

24 - That's All Right (2:17)
(Arthur Crudup)
Likely recorded at the Eagles' Hall, Houston, Texas, March 19, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-24) (2012)

> Tracks 20-21-22-23-24 Live Eagles' Hall <

Scotty Moore is not convinced that this is the correct recording location (Eagles' Hall above); he feels the acoustics on the tape suggest an outdoor location, possibly Magnolia Gardens, also in Houston. If Magnolia Gardens is the location the date could be up to three months later.

25 - Tweedle Dee (2:47)
(Winfield Scott)
Recorded at Gladewater High School, Gladewater, Texas, April 30, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Jimmy Day (steel guitar), Floyd Cramer (piano)
* - Elvis - The Beginning Years PB 3601 (B-1) (February 1984)

> Track 25 Live Gladewater High School <

This recording may come from a tape made by KWKH, as the show was a remote broadcast of the Louisiana Hayride.

The famous Houston disc jockey Biff Collie recalled what he saw as a "vehement reaction" to Elvis's performances, even on the singer's first Houston show back in 1954. By March 1955 Elvis was already a substantial draw, and although the crowd's reaction to his just recorded (and not yet released) "Baby Let's Play House" was a little hesitant, there was plenty of screaming and hollering when he did his radio hits, as well as "I Got A Woman'', the new Ray Charles song he'd been trying out in the studio. "Tweedle Dee" was still in his set list, as it was with so many other touring artists. Back in January, In Lubbock, he'd told a young Waylon Jennings that "Tweedle Dee" would be his next single, but he never got around to recording it, and now a new version was suddenly happening on the rhythm and blues stations, by LaVern Baker, a definite favorite of Elvis.

Bob Neal kept booking dates, trying to figure out how to get national exposure for the group. With help from the Colonel he did manage to get Elvis a tryout in New York City for the "Arthur Godfrey Talent Show'', but the young singer was judged "not ready for the big time''. Tensions were starting to rise between Neal and Parker; the Memphis disc jockey was getting concerned about losing his budding star to the older, more experienced excarny, and the Colonel was increasingly frustrated by Neal's provincialism and general lack of efficiency and professionalism. Nonetheless, the relative success of the February dates led to a second tour, this time for three weeks beginning in New Orleans on May l. This tour featured Hank Snow, Faron Young, the Wilburn Brothers, Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters, the Davis Sisters (Skecter and Georgie), Onie Wheeler, and Jimmie Rodgers Snow. As a "special added attraction'', Elvis would be exposed to territories well beyond the reach of the Hayride and the Memphis radio stations.

In Richmond, Virginia, on May 16, two RCA representatives, regional sales manager Brad McCuen and C&W promotions manager Chick Crumpacker, arrived to check out the show and in particular to support their new RCA hopeful, Jimmie Rodgers Snow. The younger Snow had been signed specifically because of his appeal to a younger audience, and Chick Crumpacker still remembers the shock he felt when Elvis Presley hit the stage. The RCA pair's loyalty to the already signed Snow couldn't obscure the facts: Elvis blew away not only Jimmie, but everyone else on the show. Crumpacker didn't quite believe what he was seeing: a slicked-up country-rhythm hybrid, so raw he spit out his chewing gum and tossed it into the audience. Chick could have done without that, but the music stayed with him. He bought copies of the four Sun singles the boy had made and took them back to his boss, Steve Sholes.

"The polished style of Elvis Presley came over in true fashion on an intriguing and forceful item with a solid beat''. So read Cashbox's verdict on the A-side of Elvis's fourth single, '"I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'', while the magazine called "'Baby Let's Play House'', its flip, "a real different, fast-paced piece on which Presley sparkles''. The April 10 release gave Sun Records what they needed to support the three-week Hank Snow Jamboree tour as it moved around through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, and the payback was instantaneous. Because local disc jockeys often had a financial incentive to promote a big show like the Jamboree tour (frequently they were hired on as announcers; sometimes there was a more direct payoff), they almost always pushed artists with upcoming appearances on their radio shows. That was why "Nervous" Ned Needham of WMOP in Ocala, Florida, was the first disc jockey after Bob Neal to add "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" to his top ten plays, as recorded in the May 15 Cashbox charts. WMYR in Fort Myers and Red Smith in New Orleans soon followed suit. Elvis was sparking interest all over the new territory, as well as back in his core region, the mid-South.

And there was some drama to he question of which side would be the hit. Dean Evans of WXOK in Baton Rouge was the first to add ''Baby Let's Play House" to his top ten, and throughout July the two sides battled it out from station to station. By mid-August "Baby Let's Play House" had taken the lead, eventually ending the year on the Cashbox overall country disc jockey chart at number twenty-two. Elvis's wild live performances were no doubt fueling the record's progress all over the South, and more than ever they accentuated his difference from anyone else on the traditional country circuit. At the same time there was no question that Sam Phillips' attempt to thread the racial needle had paid off, as "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'', with all the bright melodic attractiveness of "That's All Right" and none of the threat of "Baby'', won huge country airplay and opened the door to many new markets.

The impact of Elvis's performances on this summer tour - and in particular a highly publicized riot in Jacksonville, Florida - wasn't lost on Colonel Parker. His talks with Bob Neal led to a deal in which the Colonel obtained exclusive booking rights while Neal stayed on as the nominal manager, an arrangement that enabled the Colonel and his assistant Tom Diskin to start pitching Elvis aggressively to promoters through out the country. Earlier in the year they'd tried without luck to place Elvis in some northern markets; now they included him as part of their artist roster at prices ranging from five hundred dollars as a single act to one thousand dollars for a package show headlined by Elvis - a significant step up for Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys. With such bright future prospects, and a new partnership agreement in hand, Bob Neal finally felt confident enough - overconfident may have been the more appropriate word - to venture out of Memphis and see what he could do about finding Elvis a new, more powerful, record label.

26 - Interview with Mae Boren Axton (3:19) > Interview <
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-26) (2012)

27 - That's All Right (2:37)
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded at the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival, Meridian, Mississippi, May 26, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-27) (2012)

> Track 27 Live Jimmie Rodgers Memorial <

Country music disc jockey and promoter, Smokey Smith travelled to Meridian, Mississippi in 1955 to attend the 3rd Annual Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Celebration. While there, he learned that CBS Radio had arranged to broadcast a 30-minute portion of the concert at Junior College Stadium on May 26th.

Smith was interested in "preserving the history of country music''. He called his radio station, KRNT in Des Moines, Iowa (which happened to be a CBS affiliate) to have an engineer record the broadcast directly to a Scotch inch reel-to-reel tape. The recording remained safely in Smith's possession far nearly 50 years.

Louisiana Hayride announcer, Horace Logan, introduces Elvis by telling the audience of 20,000 that they "haven't definitely settled on what kind or music (Elvis) sings''. Elvis tears into "That's All Right" with Bill Black clearly whooping and hollering in the back-ground.

As a promoter, Smith brought Elvis to perform in Des Moines one year later as par of Elvis' first tour into the Midwest. Elvis appearance took place at Veteran's Memorial Auditorium on May 22, 1956. Smokey Smith was one of the first directors of the Country Music Association organized in 1958 and was later inducted into Nashville's Country Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1982.

28 - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (3:16) > Live On Stage <
(Stan Kesler-Bill Taylor)
Recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, July 2, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
Previously Unreleased Prior to A Boy From Tupelo 506020-975049(3) (3-28) (2012)

29 - Baby Let's Play House (3:19)
(Arthur Gunter)
Recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, August 20, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis - The Beginning Years PB 3601 (B-2) (February 1984)

30 - Maybellene (3:09)
(Chuck Berry)
Recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, August 20, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis - The Beginning Years PB 3601 (B-3) (February 1984)

31 - That's All Right 2:49
(Arthur Crudup)
Recorded at the Louisiana Hayride, Shreveport, Louisiana, August 20, 1955
Elvis Presley Vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (upright bass)
* - Elvis - The Beginning Years PB 3601 (A-1) (February 1984)

> Tracks 29-30-31 Live Louisiana Hayride <

Elvis's fame in the South had grown so rapidly that he was flooded with booking requests; now he was starting to return to the sites of his earliest appearances, often accompanied by Sun's new recording artist, Johnny Cash. His band now included D. J. Fontana on drums, and frequently Jimmy Day on steel guitar and pianist Floyd Cramer. A return to Florida, where business was better than ever, was followed by another Hank Snow tour through the Southeast, with the popular religious duo Charlie and Ira Louvin and Cowboy Copas; the young star was now getting three hundred dollars per day. On August 27 Nervous Ned Needham was again the first to list the new Presley record, "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" at number ten, even as "Baby Let's Play House" hung on at number three. In Gladewater, Texas, where Elvis had just appeared with Jim Ed and Maxine Brown for a week of engagements, disc jockey Tom Perryman did Nervous Ned one better, entering "Mystery Train" at number two while "Baby Let's Play House" stood at number four. The two sides of the newest single battled it out for a time until, finally, "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" emerged as the winner, peaking at number seven on the Cashbox country charts.

Still looking for a way to break Elvis out of the South, Bob Neal booked Elvis on another Cleveland show, this one hosted by popular disc jockey Bill Randle. It was on this jaunt that Elvis was filmed as part of a documentary film entitled ''A Day in the Life of a Disc Jockey''. Jane Scott, an area teenager, remembers, "He was a skinny nineteen-year-old kid in a red suit with white buck socs and a bad case of acne'', and from her point of view he was lost in the shadows of the day's other, bigger stars: Pat Boone, Bill Haley, and the Four Lads. The film would have given Elvis a welcome step toward national recognition, but union disputes kept it from being released, and it was eventually lost. Movement was also stalled in other areas around the country; Elvis was as strong as ever in the South, but Sun's limited distribution and promotion were hampering Neal's efforts to expand the group's horizons. In this climate the relationship between the Colonel and Bob Neal began to deteriorate dramatically, with each appealing to the artist for support and each battling to eclipse the other. The balance of power swung back and forth on a weekly basis, propelled by the Colonel's constant refrain that without a major label contract Elvis's career would never break out. Despite serious misgivings, particularly on the part of Gladys Presley, and despite Elvis's own loyalty to Sam Phillips and Neal, the Colonel gradually gained ground. He promised a lucrative record deal, national television, even a shot at the movies: after all, hadn't he taken both Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow to top? Why couldn't he do the same for their son?

32 - Interview with Bob Neal (5:31) > Interview <
Recorded at WMPS Radio, Memphis Tennessee, between August 29-31, 1955.

* - First Appearance

Liner Notes Taken From
Elvis Presley - A Life In Music (Ballantine books, New York, 1998)
A Boy From Tupelo - The Complete Recordings 1953-1955 (Follow That Dream books, August 2012)

Written and Research by Ernst Mikael Jorgensen
Concept and Art Direction - Ernst Mikael Jorgensen
Design and Image Restoration - Nic Oxby
Additional Image Restoration and Correction Work - Leif Korreborg
Music Credits
Produced by Sebastian Jeansson and Ernst Mikael Jorgensen
Audio Restoration and Mastering - Sebastian Jeansson
Audio Assistance - Vic Anesini
Original Sun Recordings Engineered and Produced by Sam Phillips
Technical Support, Advice and Additional Equipment
Dominick Costanzo, Maria Triana, and Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, New York, NY
Additional Disc Transfers 0f 45RPM Sun 209 and January 19, 1955 Acetate - Alen Stoker
The Research Team
Giovanni Luca Fabris, Danny Kane, Sean O' Neal, Kevan Budd, Stanley Oberst,
Brian Petersen, Sabastian Jeanson, and Johnny Saulovich

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