CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1959 Sun Schedule <

1959 SESSIONS (1/1)
January 1, 1959 to January 31. 1959

Studio Session for Doctor Ross, Probably 1959 / Fortune Records
Studio Session for Rudy Grayzell, 1959 / Award Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, 1959 (1) / Big Howdy Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, 1959 (2) / Big Howdy Records
Studio Session for Warren Smith, Unknown Dates / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jean Hornbeck, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Allen Smith, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlotte Smith, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Charlie Rich, 1959 / Sun Records

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1958/1959

In 1958 or 1959 Ernie Barton recorded ''The Battle Of Earl K. Long'' b/w ''The Man With A Heart Of Gold'' for Honesty Records in Memphis. The record was designed to promote the gubernatorial ambition of Louisiana's Earl K. Long, who was serving his third term as governor, but considered resigning so that he could run a constitutionally prohibited fourth time. ''Ann Higdon was Earl Long's niece''. said Barton, ''and Long was trying to run for governor again. She'd written this poem, ''The Battle Of Earl K. Long''. It didn't really work until I changed it around. I already had this song, ''She's Got A Heart Of Gold'', and I changed that to ''The Man With A Heart Of Gold''. Sam put the deal together 'cause he got the publishing on both of them. It got played off loudspeakers and was given away in supermarkets and the like. I was young enough and stupid enough to get mixed up in Louisiana politics''.

1959

The unemployment problems eased to 5.5%. Television programmes included "Rawhide", "Bonanza" and "The Twilight Zone", movies included "Some Like It Hot", "Ben Hur" and "North by Northwest". Alaska is admitted to the union and becomes the 49th state and Hawaii is admitted to the the Union and became the 50th State. The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service and little girls love the Barbie Dolls created by Ruth Handler and made by Mattel.

Fidel Castro comes to power in Cuba. The Cuban revolution ends with Fidel Castro holding power following the defeat of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. 1959 - 1960 Cuba Declares It is a now a Communist country and Nationalizes Land and Businesses including U.S. assets totaling $1 billion.

Martin Luther King Jr. visits Gandhi's birthplace in India where he affirms his commitment to non-violent resistance and America's struggle for civil rights.

Lake Charle's Phil Phillips's ''Sea Of Love'' goes to number 2 on Billboard's pop chart. Lloyd Price's ''Personality'' tops the rhythm and blues chart.

1959

Having decided that label ownership was not the route to take, for whatever reason, eventually Doctor Ross took the obvious step and linked up with Fortune Records of Detroit, some seventy miles north from his new home. Fortune had been formed in 1947 by pianist, poet, and songwriter Devora Brown and her husband Jack as a showcase for her pop songs but the label soon took an interest in rhythm and blues and hillbilly music and in 1952 scored a country hit with ''Jealous Love'' by the Davis Sisters backed by Roy Hall's group.

The Fortune operation had already moved twice from its initial location, in the Brown's home by 1956 when it landed at 3942 Third Avenue in premises big enough for an office, a studio and a record shop known as the Hi-Q Record Mart. Although the label also used the larger United Sound studio, the likelihood is that Doctor Ross recorded in Fortune's own studio at the back of the shop when he became the newest artist on the label sometime around 1959/1960. Detroit rockabilly singer, Johnny Powers, remembered the Fortune studio as having, ''only one or two microphones and a two track or mono machine... there was a little control room off to the side - small closet type. They only had the one machine in there. I think they had a dub machine in there, but I'm not sure. The studio was not big''.

The recording and release dates of the Fortune label are often a matter of dispute, company records being sparse, trade paper reviews being intermittent, and the use of duplicate issue numbers being a source of confusion. What seems to have happeneed is that Doctor Ross saw one disc on Fortune in 1961, followed by two on the subsidiary label Hi-Q in 1963, and then a final single on Fortune sometime between 1965 and 1970.

1959

The extended play Sun EPA 113 ''I Walk The Line'' by Johnny Cash issued.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR DOCTOR ROSS
FOR FORTUNE RECORDS 1959

FORTUNE RECORDING STUDIO
3942 THIRD AVENUE, DETROIT, MICHIGAN
FORTUNE SESSION: PROBABLY 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK BROWN

01 - "CAT SQUIRREL (MISSISSIPPI BLUES)'' - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Trianon Publications
Matrix number: F 221
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1959
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Fortune Records (S) 45rpm Fortune 857 mono
CAT SQUIRREL (MISSISSIPPI BLUES) / THE SUNNYLAND
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-25 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Doctor Ross's first session at Fortune was probably made in 1959 or 1960 and it produced one of his finest moments, the coupling of ''Cat Squirrel'', one of the songs he had tried out in Memphis in 1951, with ''The Sunnyland'', yet another song he had adapted from the well-known works of Sonny Boy Williamson. It's about a train that takes Sonny Boy's baby on the line to San Francisco; Ross changes the lyrics to Detroit. On this disc, Fortune 857. Ross was backed by a group credited on the record label as His Orbits. Ross's disc was reviewed in Billboard on April 24, 1961 around the same time another Fortune disc, by the Delteens, also credited the Orbits as the background band.

In the era of the Space Race, The Orbits was a popular name and it is not entirely clear who Ross's Orbits were. They were not the black vocal group active in Jackson, Mississippi but who saw record releases on Chess and Argo in 1957. They might have been the group that caused a white group to change their name to Johnny and the Hurricanes, as Johnny Paris explained: ''I was saxophone player already in local bands in Toledo, Ohio. And we changed our name to the Orbits. When we were offered a recording contract up in Detroit, there was already a band named the Orbits that was recording stuff, so we had to change our name''. Just as likely, the Orbits were a studio name for Tony Valla and the Alamos who had a disc released at the same time as Ross and with consecutive matrix numbers.

Whoever the guitarist, bass player and drummer were, they helped Ross record a version of ''Cat Squirrel'' that was especially fine and arguably better than the 1951 Chess session. In 1966, the white rock group Cream featured ''Cat Squirrel'' (cunningly retitled ''Cat's Squirrel'' and credited to Traditional Arranged S. Splurge) on the flip side of their first single, and the song's energy, not to mention its signature riff, came straight from Doctor Ross.

02 - "THE SUNNYLAND'' - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - Trianon Publications
Matrix number: - F 222
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s) 1959
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Fortune Records (S) 45rpm Fortune 857 mono
THE SUNNYLAND / CAT SQUIRREL (MISSISSIPPI BLUES)
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-26 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charles Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar, Harmonica
With The Orbits – Guitar, Bass, Drums

For Biography of Doctor Ross see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1959
 
1959 was the last year in which Carl Perkins entertained serious hopes of recapturing his  place in the sun. Early in the year (1959) he filmed his part in ''Hawaiian Boy'', a movie so  obscure that a print has never surfaced.  Perkins segment (in which he reportedly sag  ''Y.O.U'' and "Where The Rio De Rosa Flows'' and had a bit part as a bartender) was shot in  Los Angeles. The rest was shot in the Phillipines.
 
The fourth Columbia single, ''Pointed Toe Shoes'' from Carl Perkins, is a contrived ''Blue  Suede Shoes'' sequel, actually grazed the Hot 100 in the summer of 1959 but was  inexplicably followed by a country single. By this point, Carl Perkins had started working  long stints in Las Vegas which would hardly seem to be his natural habitat. With his records  largely aimed at the country charts and his PAs largely confined to Vegas and the honky  tonks of the mid South, it was hardly surprising that Perkins saw his career heading  nowhere at a fast clip. 
 
JANUARY 1959
 
Former Sun artist Buddy Cunningham launches Cover Records in Memphis from the downtown Exchange Building.
 
Bass player Jay W. Brown leaves the band of Jerry Lee Lewis for a year, except for a few replacements filling the empty slot.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

It was probably in 1958 that former Sun recording artists Rudy Grayzell relocated to San Jose, California, and signed with Award Records, a tiny offshoot of the Arrow Records manufacturing plant. Rudy's San Antonio buddy, Eddy Dugosh, already recorded there, and his first recording was an unreleased cover of Wynona Carr's 1956 Specialty recording of ''Should I Ever Love Again''. In 1959, Warner Bross. Pictures released a docudrama starring James Stewart called ''The F.B.I. Story'', and Rudy recorded a song inspired by the movie.

The label credited the Sparks (not the group that recorded for New Mexico-based Caron Records in 1962) in addition to Rudy's group, the Thunderbirds.

In 1960, Elvis' buddy, Red West, covered ''The F.B.I. Story'' for Top Rank's Jaro subsidiary. By 1960, Rudy Grayzell was in Las Vegas at the Fremont Hotel, and inststs that Wayne Newton was his supporting act. He stayed eighteen months before heading to Seattle when the World's Fair was there.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR RUDY GRAYZELL
FOR AWARD RECORDS 1959

UNKNOWN STUDIO LOCATION
AWARD SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER & RECORDING ENGINEER – UNKNOWN

01 – ''F.B.I. STORY'' – B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Joe Grayzell
Publisher: - Bayside Publishing
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - July 1959
First appearance: - Award Records (S) 45rpm standard single Award 129/130 A mono
F.B.I. STORY / YOU'LL BE MINE
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837-32 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD

02 – ''YOU'LL BE MINE'' – B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Joe Grayzell
Publisher: - Bayside Publishing
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - July 1959
First appearance: - Award Records (S) 45rpm standard single Award 129/130 B mono
YOU'LL BE MINE / F.B.I. STORY
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837-21 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD

Name (or. No. Of Instruments)
Rudy Grayzell – Vocal
The Thunderbirds
Junior Prueneda - Bass
Roy McMeans - Drums
Tony Kay – Piano
Al Gaffigan – Saxophone
The Sparkles – Vocal Chorus

For Biography of Rudy Grayzell see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1959

Radio stations respond by voluntarily putting severe restrictions on what they will play, including widely adopting the Top 40 format which limits how many songs are given approval for airing.

Dick Clark acts quickly to distance himself from rock and roll's bad image as he increasingly showcases the talentless "teen idols" on "American Bandstand".

The rock instrumental has its biggest year ever in response to rock music facing bans for lyrical content.

Ray Charles bursts into the mainstream after years as an rhythm and blues star with "What'd I Say".

A new version of the Drifters are produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller who become the first to use strings and introduce Latin rhythms to rock with the hit "There Goes My Baby".

Berry Gordy starts Tamla-Motown Records. It will eventually become the most successful black-owned and operated company in American history, not just in music, with 600 million records sold.

1959

With Elvis Presley in the Army, the teen sound grew all mushy, as a well-coifed set of teen idols took over America. The younger set was thrilled and lulled by the saccharine sounds of Bobby Darin, Frankie Avalon, and Paul Anka. That raucous rock noise, it appeared, had been just a passing fad. But artists like Ray Charles and Jackie Wilson revealed that something new was still on the way.

Rick Hall founds the FAME studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

600 million records are sold in the USA.

Since 1955, the US market share of the four "majors" has dropped from 78% to 44%, while the market share of independent record companies increased from 22% to 56%.

Since 1955, the US market has increased from 213 million dollars to 603 million, and the market share of rock and roll has increased from 15.7% to 42.7%.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

At this point and through the radio station, Luke came into contact with Hack Kennedy, who owned Big Howdy Records, a local independent, based at different times between Louisiana and Mississippi. Hack recorded a large number of local artists, covering a wide variety of music and, in general, holding to a high standard of artistry and musicianship. Hack also broke the traditional independent mould of issuing a handful of singles and shutting up shops. He ran the company with assistance from B.J. Johnson, a local artist and disc jockey for many years and built up a considerable catalgue between 1959 and the 1970s. Luke pacted with Big Howdy and kicked off in 1959 with the rockabilly classic "Switch Blade Sam".

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR BIG HOWDY RECORDS 1959

SINGING RIVER STUDIO, BILOXY, MISSISSIPPI
BIG HOWDY SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY PEE WEE MADDUX

01 – ''SWITCH BLADE SAM'' - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: Luke McDaniel-R. Smith
Publisher: - MCPS- Bayou State Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - May 25, 1959
First appearance: - Big Howdy Records (S) 45rpm standard single Big Howdy 777-A mono
SWITCH BLADE SAM / YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-1 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

02 – ''YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND'' – B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: Luke McDaniel-R. Smith
Publisher: - Glad – Starrite Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - May 25, 1959
First appearance: - Bog Howdy Records (S) 45rpm standard single Big Howdy 777-B mono
YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND / SWITCH BLADE SAM
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-34 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel as Jeff Daniels - Vocal & Guitar
Pee Wee Maddux – Lead Guitar
Other Details Unknown

For Biography of Luke McDaniel see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

While America was swooning to teen delights purveyed by Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Bobby Darin, Jimmy Clanton, Ricky Nelson and many more, down in the Deep South, Luke McDaniel a.k.a. Jeff Daniels produced a raw, low down bar rocker, completely out of it's time frame, which probably got no further than Shreveport!

Luke still had faith in "Foxy Dan" and duly recut it for Big Howdy Records, but this more commercial sounding version failed again. Luke also made a number of demos, which appeared on Big Howdy Records singles.

Howdy Records owner, Hack Kennedy would later move to Picayune, Mississippi, where it seems that Luke did a session or two at B.J. Johnson's Studio, some of which is issued on ''Mississippi Honky Tonk Rockabilly Man (Stomper Time STCD) for the first time. By this time the days of Jeff Daniels, rockabilly man were over and the country singer Luke McDaniel reappeared.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR BIG HOWDY RECORDS 1959

B.J. JOHNSON RECORDING STUDIO, BOGALUSA, LOUISIANA
BIG HOWDY SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – HACK KENNEDY
AND/OR B.J. JOHNSON

01 – ''FOXY DAN-2'' – B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Stairway Music
Matrix number: - SON 96131
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - June 1971
First appearance: - Big Howdy Records (S) 45rpm standard single Big Howdy 8121-A mono
FOXY DAN / BYE BYE BABY
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-17 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

02 - ''TABLE FOR TWO'' – B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Big Howdy Music - Glad Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - November 1959
First appearance: - Big B Records (S) 45rpm standard single Big B 555-A mono
TABLE FOR TWO / UH-HUH-HUH

03 - ''UH-HUH-HUH'' – B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Big Howdy Music - Glad Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - November 1959
First appearance: - Big B Records (S) 45rpm standard single Big B 555-A mono
UH-HUH-HUH / TABLE FOR TWO
Reissued: 1996 Hydra (LP) 33rpm BLK 7715 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - DADDY-O-ROCK

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel as Jeff Daniels - Vocal & Guitar
Unknown Musicians

For Biography of Luke McDaniel see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR WARREN SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATES
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

01 - "I COULDN'T TAKE THE CHANCE" - B.M.I. - 1:49
Composer: - Warren Smith
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date
Released: - 1975
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat 300-2 mono
I'M MOVING ON
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-23 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

''I Couldn't Take The Chance'' is hardly a major contender but has a pleasant countrified charm to it. Smith is in fine voice but the tentative nature of the performance is betrayed by the guitarist (probably Al Hopson) who takes a hesitant solo. A piano is buried in the mix and doesn't add a lot to the proceedings. The drums are either absent altogether or confined to poorly mixed brushwork. This may have been a contender for a flipside but no-one could have held out great hopes for it.

02 - "I LIKE YOUR KIND OF LOVE" – B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Frank Carter
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-B-7 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-7-20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-2-36 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Never a prolific composer, Warren Smith depended largely on submissions from other writers for his material. Frank Carter dropped into 706 Union one day to record a set of demos and Clement of Phillips obviously saw ''I Like Your Kind Of Love'' as a potential candidate for release. It is delivered at a brisk mid tempo, has a sizeable hook and actually bears a distinct similarity to Elvis Presley's 1960 recordings. The guitarist has worked up a decent opening riff but hasn't given much thought to his solo. There are few clues to enable us to date this performance. Only the reference to Bandstand would seem to imply that it was recorded in 1958 or later (the show was not networked until August 1957). This is not the Melvin Endsley song of the some title that Andy Williams made a hit in the summer of 1957.

03 - "MY HANGING DAY" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Warren Smith
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15514-31 mono
WARREN SMITH - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
More Details Unknown

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1959

Jack Clement and Bill Justis depart from the fold, whilst Carl Mann arrives at Phillips International, almost by default. The legendary Sun Studio at 706 Union Avenue, closes its doors during November.

A reader poll by Radio Mirror announces that Grand Ole Opry is America's favorite radio program.

JANUARY 1959

Led by Fidel Castro, revolutionaries assume control of Cuba's government.

JANUARY 1, 1959 THURSDAY

Ray Price founds the Pamper Music publishing company with Hal Smith and Claude Caviness. It develops songwriters Hank Cochran, Willie Nelson and Harlan Howard, yielding such titles as ''Make The World Go Away'', ''Crazy'', and ''I Fall To Pieces''.

Johnny Cash performs at San Quentin prison. Merle Haggard is in the audience.

JANUARY 2, 1959 FRIDAY

Roy Acuff has a hernia operation on his right side at Nashville's Baptist Hospital.

JANUARY 3, 1959 SATURDAY

Future Oak Ridge Boy William Lee Golden welcomes a son, Rusty Golden, in Brewton, Alabama.

Alaska becomes the 49th state in the union. It provides the backdrop for Johnny Horton's ''North To Alaska'' and ''Lefty Frizzell's ''Saginaw, Michigan''.

JANUARY 5, 1959 MONDAY

Columbia released George Morgan's ''I'm In Love Again''.

Porter Wagoner recorded ''Who Will Buy The Wine'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville. A year later, it becomes a hit for Charlie Walker.

JANUARY 7, 1959 WEDNESDAY

David Lee Murphy is born in Herrin, Illinois. He earns outlaw-influenced hits during the 1990s with ''Dust On The Bottle'', ''Party Crowd'' and ''Every Time I Get Around You''. As a songwriter, he pens several hits for other acts, including ''Big Green Tractor'', ''Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not'' and ''Living In Fast Forward''.

Jimmie Rodgers perform on ''The Milton Berle Show on NBC.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JEAN HORNBECK
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR ERNIE BARTON, JACK CLEMENT, BILL JUSTIS

This gospel track is a complete mystery, as is its singer, Jean Hornbeck. It sits alone in an otherwise unlabeled tape box suggesting that it was submitted to Sun as a demo. If Ms. Hornbeck and company ever succeeded in placing this or any other disc for commercial release, we have been unable to discover the results. A search of the name 'Jean Hornbeck' produces several obituaries of women whose age places them in the possible range for this nearly 50 year old recording. Moreover, a number of these now deceased women were extremely religious.

However there is not a single word to suggest that any of them ever enjoyed, much less performed music.

01 - "BOUND FOR THE KINGDOM" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1959
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-3-27 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

It is hard to imagine that the energy and musicality present on "Bound For The Kingdom" would have surfaced on only this single occasion, produced a demo for Sun Records, and then disappeared without a trace.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jean Hornbeck - Vocal
Unknown Musicians

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 1959

In January 1959, future Sun recording artist Mack Allen Smith returned to Carrollton, Mississippi, and immediately re-formed Mack Allen Smith and the Flames. This group was comprised of: Mack Allen Smith (lead singer), Keith Worrell (lead guitar), Red McGregor (rhythm guitar), David Lee Cox (piano), and Durwood Herbert (drums).

Later, in 1959, Laney O'Briant was hired to play lead guitar, which gave the Flames two lead guitars for a while. Mack Allen Smith and the Flames recorded three songs (Kansas City, Mean Woman Blues, and Sandy Lee) for producer Ernie Barton at Sun Records in 1959; however, Mr. Barton left Sun Records shortly thereafter to form Barton Records in Little Rock, Arkansas. Efforts were made to recover the 1959 Sun recordings, but, to date, they have not been found.

After re-forming the band in January 1959, Mack Allen Smith and the Flames performed for 25 more years (until October 1984) throughout Mississippi and surrounding states. Mack Allen owned his own nightclub (Mack Allen Smith's Town & Country Night Club) in Greenwood, Mississippi, for five years (1971-1976), and the Flames performed mostly at clubs throughout the Mississippi Delta during his performing career.

Come home, after joined the Marines in January 1959, when the first flush of Sun rock and roll was over but Mack Allen Smith went to singing with his revamped band, the Flames, in the honky tonks to supplement his day job. Then he decided afterall to try at Sun. ''My audition at Sun was set up by Wayne Sanders, a cousin of my band member, Red McGregor, who was living in Memphis. I recorded four songs and David Lee Cox sang one, all with my band. The Sun producer, Ernie Barton, wanted me to come back in the studio and cut the songs again with a studio band. Red told me to go ahead and not worry about the band but David wanted to try another studio. Guess what my decision was? Bad career move number two. We did an audition for Jack Clement of Summer Records who wanted good original songs. The few original songs we had weren't very good. After a few months I went back to Sun to accept his offer, but Ernie Barton was gone''.

EARLY 1959

If Ray Smith took Elvis Presley's music as a blueprint then at least two songs from Mack Allen Smith's Sun session sound like the master was back in the fold for a day reprising his recent hits. Those who've reported sightings of Elvis everywhere since 1966 might feel that his superpowers started here. Most of us would just ask why Smith would record ''Mean Woman Blues'' and ''Young Dreams''? Well, it was a demo session, after all, and Mack Allen and his band probably felt entitled to show they were as good as the best, which they were, though not as innovative. On the original song, ''Sandy Lee'', the quality of the singer and his band is just as evident. ''Kansas City'' was not then the rock standard it has since become and shows the bluesy edge Smith retained through the ensuing decades, singing in Mississippi night clubs and making good records for small labels. Smith had been offered a session at Sun three years earlier and would have been well-advised to have gone for it then.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

I remember clearly the day I met Mack Allen Smith in April 1975. He was a 36 year old honky tonk singer and I was a 25-year old part-time music writer on my annual month-long trip around the USA. looking for records to buy and singers to interview. I had flown into Jackson, Mississippi to meet London Record dealer Johnny Dickens and we had an appointment with Johnny Vincent, one of the legendary record men of the South. Vincent took us out to several record warehouses he had scattered around town and sold us a ton of his old records''.

''Then he said, "Why don't you come to the studio if you like that kinda stuff. We're recording a session with Mack Allen Smith. 'We looked at each other.

We'd heard the name,vaguely knew that he'd made some collectable records on the Mississippi rock & roll scene for some time, but that was about all.

Mack and his band, the Flames, were in the Jackson studio of Ace Records cutting a song called 'King Of Rock And Roll'. We listened to it back. It was a good rocking track. We knew it would sell a few copies in the European rock revival market. We knew it wasn't a pop record for 1975 but we didn't care. Did Mack know it too? It was hard to tell. But he did care about advancing his career, we could see that.

We talked to Mack about his older records - rockabilly, honky tonk country and bluesy rockers, Mack insisted on driving us to his house in Greenwood where he emptied a cupboard full of his 45s. They were impossibly rare discs unless you happened to be in that cupboard in that room. He gave us copies, Johnny bought some wholesale, and I made a plan to promote this enthusiastic and driven singer as best I could.

Back home in England, I issued LPs by Mack on Redneck, Checkmate, and Charly Records and then in 1979 I organized some show dates and radio spots for Mack in southern England. He was accompanied on the shows by Roger Humphries and his Cherry Pickers, a Kent group who sounded good with Mack. He sang rockers, ballads, old country. new country, the works. His voice sounded astoundingly good, everyone said so.

But converting that into record sales and more tours was beyond my abilities. Mack became frustrated, His friend and back-up vocalist Jessie Yates told me. 'He's fought this fame thing for so long. He just won't quit. He knows he's good and he just won't let it rest”. I felt bad that I couldn't really help him. We kinda fell out.

Over a quarter of a century later, Mack got back in touch. I helped him find the masters of his first ever recording session, made for Sun Records in Memphis in 1959. I agreed to write the notes for this CD and I'm happy to do it. We both know it's a damn fine record of a singing career that had the potential to go much further than it did.

It was almost inevitable that Mack Allen would take to the rockabilly sound of Elvis Presley and Sun Records. He remembers the impact of Presley's first record: "Man, when I heard that thing if splattered me all over the kitchen. I guess my main influence since 1954 would have to be Presley."

Mack formed a rock and roll band and had already played local shows with Roy Orbison, Sonny Burgess, Charlie Feathers and Warren Smith when he went into the Marines and was posted to California for two years.

By the time he came back in 1959, the first flush of Sun rock and roll was over but Mack Allen went along to Sun Records in Memphis anyway. He recorded four songs in the studio at 706 Union Avenue, produced by Ernie Barton, and pianist David Lee Cox sang on another one.

It is one of Mack's greatest regrets that his Sun session was never issued at the time. He thinks it's one of his best and certainly there is a vibrancy to his vocals and a powerful performance by his new band, The Flames. All five of those tracks are on CD.

From an interview by Martin Hawkins

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK ALLEN SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – ERNIE BARTON

Mack Allen Smith's Sun session was filed away, unreleased and in a box with someone else's name on it, So Mack Allen and the Flames had to wait for their first record release until 1962.

01 - ''MEAN WOMAN BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Claude DeMetruis
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita LP 124-3 mono
ROCK AND ROLL BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Redita Records (CD) 500/200rpm RDTCD 150-1 mono
GOTTA ROCK TONIGHT

02 - ''SANDY LEE'' - B.M.I. - 3:16
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita LP 124-4 mono
ROCK AND ROLL BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Redita Records (CD) 500/200rpm RDTCD 150-2 mono
GOTTA ROCK TONIGHT

03 – ''KANSAS CITY'' - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller
Publisher: - Jerry Leiber Music-Mike Stoller Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita LP 124-6 mono
ROCK AND ROLL BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Redita Records (CD) 500/200rpm RDTCD 150-3 mono
GOTTA ROCK TONIGHT

04 - ''YOUNG DREAMS'' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Aaron Schroeder-Martin Kalmanoff
Publisher: - Gladys Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita LP 124-7 mono
ROCK AND ROLL BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Redita Records (CD) 500/200rpm RDCD 150-4 mono
GOTTA ROCK TONIGHT

05 - ''I GOT A FEVER'' - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - David Lee Cox
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita LP 124-5 mono
ROCK AND ROLL BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Redita Records (CD) 500/200rpm RDCD 150-5 mono
GOTTA ROCK TONIGHT

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Allen Smith – Vocal & Guitar
Keith Worrell – Lead Guitar
Billy Wayne Herbert – Lead Guitar
Red McGregor – Rhythm Guitar
Durwood Herbert – Drums
David Lee Cox – Piano & Vocal on Track 5

This session was wrongly filed in a tape box marked Bill Higgins. It also featured one vocal by David Lee Cox.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLOTTE SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY EARLY 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS OR ERNIE BARTON,
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT OR BILL JUSTIS

The number of Sun Studio mysteries gets smaller every year. But some mysteries continue to haunt us, like the person behind the name Charlotte Smith's scrawled on notes in two tape boxes. One box contains several takes of ''What Are You Gonna Do Now'', a song about a girl pondering what comes next after kisses on a Saturday date. Another tape houses various takes of another teenage drama that should come with its own tube of acne cream, ''I've Just Discovered Boys''. Bobbie Jean Barton, the wife of Sun artist and producer Ernie Barton, also recorded the same two songs among others. Ernie became Sun's in-house producer in early spring 1959 and he was not averse to spending studio resources recording both himself and his wife. Eventually, two of Bobbie Jean's pop ballads, recorded at Sun's new studio on Madison Avenue, were issued on Sun 342 in July 1960, but Bobbie Jeans's versions of ''What Are You Gonna Do Now'' and ''I've Just Discovered Boys'' clearly come from over a year earlier and from the 706 Union studio. Think Warren Smith's last session with a Martin Willis-style sax.

The thing is, though, the two songs on the Charlotte Smith tapes sound like they were made by almost the same band... almost the same day... by almost the same singer. Charlotte sounds a little more country, a little more natural, but the arrangements and sax solos are very close. Also included a Charlotte version of ''What Are You Gonna Do Now'' on The Sun Rock Box, but the producers of the Box set could just as easily have used a Bobbie Jean Version. We can understand why Ernie Barton might have turned Bobbie Jean loose on the Charlotte material - he must have seen the potential in the little teenage dramas contained within the lyrics of both songs - but who was Charlotte Smith and how and why did she record the titles too?

01 - "WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO NOW" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably Early 1959
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-2 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-8-7 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

''What Are You Gonna Do Now'' was not issued at the time, by anyone. But the other common title, ''I've Just Discovered Boys'', was issued on RCA in August 1959 by Ann Grayson, backed by the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra. The link between the unissued Sun versions and the RCA disc is this: veteran Nashville country and gospel singer Wally Fowler was working out of Birmingham, Alabama in 1957 when he started promoting a nine year old singer named Sherry Crane who saw two children songs issued as Sun 328 in the summer of 1959. Both sides of Sherry's Sun single as well as ''I've Just Discovered Boys'' were produced and published by Fowler.

02 - "I JUST DISCOVERED BOYS" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - John Smith-Bonnie Smith
Publisher: - Zest Music Company
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably Early 1959
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-30 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

When Fowler, along with associate E.O. Batson, publisher of Gospel Singing World magazine, decided to record Sherry Crane he asked the brother and sister gospelwriting team, John and Bonnie Smith, to provide some suitable material for the young singer. The Smiths came up with the two songs that appeared on Sun 328 and also ''I've Just Discovered Boys''. ''I remember going over to their house to learn the songs'', Sherry told Hank Davis who found and interviewed her some 54 years later. Sherry remembered that the songs were recorded in Nashville's RCA Studio. After returning home with four masters, Wally Fowler pitched the session to Sam Phillips who took a flyer and issued Sherry's Nashville recordings of ''Willie Willie'' and ''Winnie The Parakeet'' on Sun. Apparently, Sam or Ernie Barton decided to keep back ''I've Just Discovered Boys'' for someone else to record and there exists a tape of Bobbie Jean Barton learning the song with guitar accompaniment. We don't know how or why Charlotte Smith also recorded the two songs.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlotte Smith - Vocals
Unknown Musicians

There are two ways out of the mystery, if we disregard the notion that Bobbie Jean Barton successfully made her voice a little younger and a little more country and somehow two of her tapes ended up with the wrong name on them. One option is that someone we've not been able to trace called Charlott(e) Smith was brought in to record the songs at around the same time Bobbie Jean tried them. The second solution is that Charlott(e) was related to the songwriters, John and Bonnie Smith; perhaps she even was Bonnie Smith. As it is, we have no idea who she is and she exists solely as a name scrawled inside two tape boxes.

Footnote: Wally Fowler released Sherry Crane's two unissued tapes from 1959, ''I've Just Discovered Boys'' and ''Santa Bring Me A Puppy Dog'', on Trumpet Records of Birmingham through the NRC label and distribution network based in Atlanta. We don't know when he issued it but, bizarrely, it was reviewed in Billboard in July 1964 as the earliest Christmas disc ever.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE RICH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

Both of these track by Charlie Rich include session chatter which gives quite a glimpse of the singer's feeling about rockabilly. At his best, Rich was one of the beat, most Presley-ish rockabilly singers ever recorded by Sun Records. But Rich was not altogether comfortable with the style.

01 - "LITTLE WOMAN FRIEND OF MINE" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16152-1-28 mono
LONELY WEEKENDS - THE SUN YEARS 1958 - 1962
Reissued: - August 2000 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-3 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

On "Little Woman Friend Of Mine" he begins by good naturally trying to quiet down the studio so he can get some work done. He is obviously alone, trying to record his piano demo. When he finally succeeds in clearing out the studio, you can hear him parody the worst of rockabilly's breathless mannerisms. For all his disdain for this kind of excess, Rich turns in a flawless vocal with some pounding piano support. Rich never worked up this tuneful song for release, nor did he place it with another Sun artist. All that remains is this one take demo showing yet again how versatile Charlie Rich was.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Unknown Musicians

For Biography of Charlie Rich see: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Rich's Sun/PI recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

> Page Up <

> Continued: 1959 Sessions 1/2 < 

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©