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

1959 SESSIONS 1/2
January 1, 1959 to January 31, 1959

Studio Session for Edwin Howard, January 1959 / Sun Records
- Edwin Howard With His Own Story-
 

Studio Session for Curtis Hobock, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Curtis Hobock, Unknown Date(s) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, Probably 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Warren Smith, January 7, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Riley, January 7, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Riley, January 19, 1959 / Sun Records

Studio Session for Jerry McGill, January 21, 1959 / Sun Records
- Jerry McGill - A True Jerry McGill Testimonial -
- From Roland Rich, His Drummer In The Topcoats in 1959 -

Studio Session for Brad Suggs, January 22, 23, 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 - ©

JANUARY 1959

Edwin Howard did entertainment reporting for the Memphis Press Scimitar, and everyone knew him pretty well professionally as well as personally because he had some mutual friends. The Sun crew was surprised when he showed up one day saying that Sam Phillips had agreed to let him make a record to report on what the process was like as well as to explain what Sun was all about and how records were merchandised. He had a light and rather pleasing voice, but was far from professional. He chose as his A-side the Woody Guthrie song ''More Pretty Girls Than One'' and for the B-side dashed off an innocuous tune called ''Forty Leven Times''.

The newspaper articles he wrote were more memorable than the record, truth be told. He sold 975 copies and ended up with artist and composer royalties, after a deduction for the $181 session cost and 10 percent promotion cost, with a check for $14.62 for his fifteen hours of studio time and other time he had spent privately writing and practicing.

The headline of his first article proclaimed that Sam Phillips had made $2 million with Sun and he didn't even have a desk. The text of the article quoted Sam as saying he didn't need one, because he had four women running the company. In addition to a photo of the front window and a shot of Sam on the board, there was a picture of Regina Reese outside the front door, carrying her huge handbag. Asked why so large, she was quoted as saying, ''I'm starting my own label in there''. This was a bit of an in-house joke, as it seemed everybody who had ever worked in the company was starting their own label.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Virtually everyone who worked at Sun Records - the artists, the backing musicians, those who worked behind the scenes - have a general recollection of the studio, with only a blurry grasp of what the actually recording process was like.

Of course, we can hardly blame them; after all, Sam Phillips' own reasoning, if they had been more concerned with making history than music, they likely would never have reated the fresh, unguarded music that they did.

Journalist Edwin Howard, the entertainment editor of the Memphis Press Scimitar, persuaded Sam Phillips to let him cut a record and document the odyssey in print. The following is extracted from his account, and is probably the most objective and detailed portrait we have of the Sun studio at work during the late 1950s.

"Behind the dusty, bent Venetian blinds in a three-desk office at 706 Union stands the man who, in six years, has brought a brand new industry to Memphis.

The office is identified only by a small neon sign in the window, which says Memphis Recording Service. The man is Sam C. Phillips. He stands because, although he has made roughly $2 million for himself in those six years, he has no desk at which to sit. 'If I have a real long telephone call', he admits, 'I will ask someone to get up and let me sit down", describe Edwin Howard.

"Even without a desk, Phillips somehow manages to run eleven corporations from the building at 706 Union, which consist of a tiny reception room (two desks), a studio which doubles as a small room, a control room with attached half bathroom, a promotions office (one desk), and a storage room.

"Some have wondered why Phillips never dressed up the studio at 706 Union or hung out a sign identifying it as the Sun Record Company. Phillips has several reasons: 'I just felt like if I put up a big sign on this little building or tried to fancy it up, it would look all out of proportion. There's something about that little Memphis Recording Service sign that just goes with it. As for a desk, well, I'm not the kind that runs things by bangin' on a desk, so I didn't figure I needed one. Anyhow, I've got four girls and a man at the three desks and they know how to handle the desk work. Everyone around here has a smattering of knowledge of the whole business, and I've got no secrets. Our informality is what gives us our hit records. Our artists just get the feeling we're goofing off. As I tell 'em, there's no sence being nervous, because there's nobody else here can do any better'", wrote Edwin Howard.

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDWIN HOWARD
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: JANUARY 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT
MUSICAL DIRECTOR - BILL JUSTIS

01 - "FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:30
Composer: - Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 345 - Master
Recorded: - January 1959
Released: - April 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3540-A < mono
FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES / MORE PRETTY GIRLS THAN ONE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-1-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLE COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

"Forty Leven Times" was based on something Howard had heard his mother say many times, and was set to the melody of Barbara Allen.

Edwin Howard went on to describe how he came to make his record. "Phillips turned me over to his director of Artist and Repertoire, Bill Justis. A big part of his job is auditioning talent. They come in from all over the sticks, man. Justin told me, 'We end up recording maybe one out of a hundred'. He auditions songs too. Everybody wants to do the songwriting scene. We get like fifty or sixty a day through the mail on tapes. Most of them are real nothing. We use one out of every four hundred we listen to''.

''One of Sun's regular composers is Jack Clement, who handled the control board for my sessions. Office space is at such a premium that business is often transacted and lead sheets written in Taylor's restaurant next door (plate lunch sixty cents). In fact, Taylor's has been to rock and roll what Pee Wee's saloon on Beale Street was to the blues. It was in a booth at Taylor's that Justis first heard my idea for the record. He was unimpressed, but that's probably a good sign, man. If I hate something it usually turns out to be a hit. I wrote the B-side of my record, on a piece of copy paper, using the studio piano as a desk''.

''Justis liked it even less than the other side, and I was encouraged. He made an arrangement (all in his head: he writes music but nobody there reads it), using three guitars and a vocal trio. Now he thinks it stands a good chance of becoming a hit''.

''I spent fifteen hours working on the record. Phillips himself listened to the various cuts and offered suggestions as to how they could be improved. Once Justis got the echoes sound he wanted from my record, Phillips had to give his final OK and set a release date.

He listened to the final tape of "Forty 'Leven Times" over and over again, waxing more enthusiastic every time".

02 - "MORE PRETTY GIRLS THAN ONE" - A.S.C.A.P.- 2:01
Composer: - Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 346 - Master
Recorded: - January 1959
Released: - April 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3540-B < mono
MORE PRETTY GIRLS THAN ONE / FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-1-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLE COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

"More Pretty Girls Than One" (a traditional tune that Fiddlin' Arthur Smith first recorded as "There's More Pretty Girls Than One") was a song that Howard remembered his father singing. There's a heavy reverb guitar on Howard's record, not unlike the one behind Onie Wheeler on his Sun session one year earlier.

Edwin Howard's record charted locally on the strenght of his stories in the press but, as Howard was quick to point out, Memphis represented only 1.3 percent of the national market. Six months after release, he got a royalty statement. "Sofar", he wrote, "it has sold 975 copies. With a contract rate of 3% of the 98c list price, minus 10% for promotions, my royalty on paper is $25.81. However, since recording costs must be paid first, and they amounted to $181.50, I am $155.69 shy of earning my first penny as a recording artist. However, since I took the precaution of recording my own songs and songwriters get three-fourths of a cent on every copy sold, I have made something after all - $14.62".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Edwin Howard - Vocal
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Cliff Agred or Jack Clement - Bass
Billy Riley - Harmonica

Overdub Session: January 20, 1959
Lee Holt - Vocal Baritone
Vernon Drane - Vocal Bass
Bill Abbott - Vocal Tenor

Edwin Howard's record was finally released in April 1959. A few months later he wrote a follow-up report containing reflections, then surprising but now familiar, on the tyranny of Top 40 radio programming and the difficulties inherent in breaking new artists. They are worth repeating for they proved to be factors that contributed heavily to the decline of Sun Records as the new decade dawned.

Bill Fitzgerald, former manager of the South's oldest independent distributor, Music Sales, and then general manager of Sun Records said, "The fallacy in the system is this: since it is the Top 40 records that the retailers stock, they are obviously the records that they are going to sell. And as long as those records are selling, they are going to stay on the list.

So, its as hard to get a record off the Top 40, and make way for a new one, as it was to get it there in the first place. And ironically, the more a record is played after a certain point, the less likely people are to buy it. It reaches saturation point". In other words, he concluded, "we can't live without Top 40 - and we have a hard time living with it". As Edwin Howard's account shows, even by 1959 Phillips was delegating an increasing part of the recording function to others. Howard mentioned a few of them in passing, but it is worth looking a little closer at some of the sessionmen who made part of their living at the studio during the years in which Sun Records rose to prominence. Every one of them contributed to the unfettered atmosphere that Sam Phillips cherished, and were as resilient and adaptable as he needed.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

EDWIN HOWARD WITH HIS OWN STORY – Memphis Press-Scimitar amusement editor Edwin Howard tells how ''Forty 'Leven Times'' and ''More Pretty Girls Than One'' was recorded. (April 27, 1959).

''Almost everybody has ''turned'' on a radio or dropped a dime in a juke box, listening a moment, and said, ''Why, I could make a better record than that''! More-have said it than acted on it, of course. But the do-ityourself craze has carried over into the record business, all right.

Thousands of people, from truck driver to movie stars are making records, and thousands more want to. But what are the average shower-shouter's changes of turning out a hit? To try to find out, I set out to make a record myself.

Because the recording industry in no longer centered in New York and Los Angeles, I didn't even have to leave home. I found I could make a record on a leading international distribution label, right here in Memphis. Only time time - and the record buying public - can tell whether my record will become a hit or not, but it is made and is being released today to record shops all over the country''.

FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES - ''My do-it-yourself disk is ''Forty 'Leven Times'', a song I wrote myself backed with ''More Pretty Girls Than One'', on the Phillips International label. Doing it myself didn't turn out to be quite what I expected, tho. Just one person doesn't make a record – whether better or worse than the prevailing platters. It may not take the voice of a Como, but I found it does take time, teamwork, and patience. Heard of the team that made ''Forty 'Leven Times'' is Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records, and discoverer of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Justis, and Johnny Cash. Phillips is one of the country's five or six top independent record-makers and there are as many as 4000 of them, including the one-timers who try to a hit, and run. I proposed to Phillips that he make and release a record of me singing my own new ''country'' lyrics, with a beat, to a mournful old hillbilly waltz called ''There's More Pretty Girls Than One''. He agreed to go along with the idea. He didn't bother listening to me sing. Apparently gimmicks are as important in the record business as voices, and I had a gimmick, at least. ''If you sound too bad'', he said, ''we can always cover you up with a vocal group''. Phillips turned me over to his director of artists and repertoire (A&R) Bill Justis, bop talking bandleader whose Phillips International recording of ''Raunchy'', which he wrote with guitarist Sid Manker, sold well over a million copies, just last week Justis went into business himself, his new label being Play Me Records. A big part of an A&R man's job, especially with an independent company like Sun, is auditioning talent, which these days mean mostly singers''.

ONE OUT OF 100 – ''They come in from all over the sticks, man'', Justis told me while he was with Phillips. ''We end up recording maybe one out of a hundred''. He auditioned songs, too. ''Everybody wants to do the songwriting scene. We get like 50 or 60 a day thru the mail on tapes. Most of them are real nothing. We use may be one out of every 400 we listen to. It can be a real drag, but most of our hits have been originals by the artists who recorded them, or by somebody in Memphis. We have four or five who write for us exclusively, and of course they get more material recorded than anybody''.

''One of Sun and Phillips International's regular composers was Jack Clement, a Jack of all musical trades who handled the control board for my recording session. Besides composing and engineering, Clement did artist and repertoire work and was himself a recording artist. He, too, has just started his own company, with the name, Summer Records. Altho new studios are being built, Sun still operates out of the tiny studio to which Elvis Presley went just over five years ago to make a record at his own expense. Office space is at such a premium that business is often transacted and lead sheets written in Taylor's Restaurant (plate lunch: 60 cents) next door. In fact Taylor's has been to rock and roll what Pee Wee's Saloon on Beale Street (where W.C. Handy wrote ''Memphis Blues'') was to the blues.

A GOOD SIGN – ''It was in a booth at Taylor's that Bill Justis first heard my new lyrics for ''More Pretty Girls Than One''. He was unimpressed ''But that's probably a good sign man'', he reassured me. ''If I hate something it usually turns out to be a hit''. Justis as led if I had anything in mind for the other side of the record. I said I had an idea for a song to one of the several tunes to 17th century English ballad, ''Barbara Allen'' (Such songs are in the public domain – that is, they are uncopyrighted. By writing new lyrics to a ''P.D.'' tune, an author can claim full author-composer royalties on it''. What I finally wrote on a piece of copy paper, using the studio piano as a desk was ''Forty 'Leven Times'', a romantic ballad with, I think, a folksong sound.. At first Justis liked this even less than ''More Pretty Girls'', and I was encouraged. But over the months (18 from idea to record release), it grew on him. He made an arrangement (all in his head, he writes music, but not many guitar players read it), using three guitars and a vocal trio. Now he thinks it has a good change of becoming a hit. I spent 15 hours working with Justis in preparation for the recording session which resulted in the released record. Phillips himself listened to the various ''cuts'' and offered suggestions as to how they could be improved. The term ''cut'' is a hold over from the time when records actually were cut with a sharp, wedge-shaped needle. Now only the ''master'', from which the pressings were made, is cut. All the preliminary recording is done on magnetic tape. The tape recorder has revolutionized the recording industry in the past 10 years and is responsible for the rise of the independent companies''.

RISE OF ROCK AND ROLL – ''Fifteen years ago, there weren't more than 10 recording companies in the whole country-not as many as are operating in Memphis today. Only the big companies in New York and Los Angeles could afford the delicate and expensive equipment and the large, acoustically perfect studio which were then required for making records. Today, all you need to go into the record business is an Ampex-type tape recorder and a room with a good ''sound'' to record in. Of course, once you're in business, it takes knowhow to make hits. A touch of genius and a little luck help, too. It is the tape recorder - more than any other single thing – that is responsible for the rise of rock and roll. Tape took the recording business out of the hands of a big bands and vocalists in New York and Los Angeles and put it into the hands of dynamic young people to whom music was not a profession but an emotion. Like it or not, rock and roll is what resulted when they started putting that emotion on record. Many a record hit has been made at the control board rather than the microphone, however. ''Witch Doctor'', ''Purple People Eater'', and ''The Chipmunk Song'' are three of the more obvious electric hits. But who know where Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone – and for truly – would be without electronic echo chambers? Most voices sound better – as you probably know from singing in the shower – with an echo effect which lends resonance and covers up the quavers''.

PHILLIPS LIKED IT – ''Once Justis got the echoey sound he wanted for ''Forty 'Leven Times'' and ''More Pretty Girls Than One'' on tape, Phillips had to give his final O.K. And test a release date. Phillips listened to the final ''Forty 'Leven Times'' tape over and over again, waxing more enthusiastic each time. By the time the master was cut and send to the pressing plant, he was much more interested in the record itself than in the story I got making it. Whether or not ''Forty 'Leven Times'' clicks, I found out these four things which wouldbe recording artists would do well to ponder''.

1 – ''Thanks to the tape recorder, which brought the recording industry out of its three or four ivory towers and into hundreds of grass-roots recording shacks all over the country, there are more opportunities than ever before for quick fame and fortune on the spinning disks''.

2 – ''However, only about one in every 100 persons who audition is ever actually recorded, and not more than one in several hundreds records released can become a real hit''.

3 – ''And this one-out-of-hundreds hit is hardly ever what you could call a do-it-yourself project. It takes teamwork to make a hit record from the head of the company right down thru the A&R man, the composer, the artist, and the promotions staff. It also takes a ''sound'' that appeals to the record-buying public. Sometimes the song itself provides that sound. Sometimes it is something in the way it is recorded. Sometimes it is a certain quality in the voice of the singer. Many successful recording artists cannot perform well before live audiences. And many top performers just don't go over on records''.

4 – ''But for the lucky few, who aren't so few as they used to be, the rewards range from considerable to staggering. The average minimum artists royalty on a single record is about 3 cents a copy, the average maximum is about 5 cents a copy. Composers draw from three fourths to a full cent a side. Thus the artist on a million-selling record stands to make between $30,000 and $50,000. And if he has also written his own material, he can add another $20,000 (or more, if others record his tune) to his bank account. No wonder everybody wants to make a record''.

This article is appeared in the April 27th 1959 edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal for posterity.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Around 1956-1957, Curtis Hobock began playing music with a local band the Stardusters, eventually taking them over as his backing group. They worked in local joints within driving distance of Jackson. Hobock mostly sang other people's songs, notably those of Jim Reeves, and drove to Memphis to appear on WHBQ's Talent Party with George Klein and Wink Martindale.

He first recorded for Lu Records in Jackson, a label owned by Lamar Davis and Lonny Blackwell and named for Lamar's wife, Marilu. Hobock's first single on Lu Records appeared in June 1959, coupling ''The Whole Town's Talking'' b/w ''Do You Think''. The following month, Lu issued ''Tom Dooley Rock And Roll'' b/w ''China Rock''.

STUDIO SESSION FOR CURTIS HOBOCK
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 - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

One of the songs he recorded, ''Apron Strings'', has a surprisingly convoluted history. Co-writer Aaron Schroeder, also co-wrote ''It's Now Or Never'' and ''A Big Hunk O'Love'' for Elvis Presley, and was Gene Pitney's manager. The first version was probably by ''Billy The Kid'' on Kapp Records, and it appeared in January or February, 1959. Music publisher Freddie Bienstock took the song to Germany to play for Elvis, and Elvis recorded it at home around April 1959, but told Bienstock he wouldn't record it commercially.

01 - "APRON STRINGS" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - George David Weiss-Aaron Schroeder
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1985
First appearance:- Redita Records (LP) 33rpm Redita 125-3 mono
ROCK 'N' ROLL FEVER
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-19 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Bienstock gave the song to Cliff Richard who put it on the flip side of ''Livin' Doll'', and it charted in July 1959. Jay B. Loyd recorded it for Hi Records, but it wasn't released at the time, and Sam Phillips chose not to release Hobock's version. Apparently, Hobock wanted to use his musicians while Phillips wanted to use session guys. With the exception of guitarist Tommy Jones, the identity of the guys who play on ''Apron Strings'' is unknown. Hobock and Phillips fell out at some point in 1960.

02 - ''THE KING IS BACK'' - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-22 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - 2003 Star Club Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sweden 506003-3 mono
HEY EVERYBODY - ANTOLOGY 1958-1965

03 - ''TRIP INTO LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1998
Reissued: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318-24 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL – VOLUME 2
Reissued: - 2003 Star Club Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sweden 506003-10 mono
HEY EVERYBODY – ANTOLOGY 1958-1965

04 - ''WITH MY BEST FRIEND'' - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number:
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959
Released: - 1986
First appearance: – Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1038-1 mono
FEEL LIKE ROCKIN'
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-23 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS

05 - ''TELL ME''
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Curtis Hobock - Vocal & Guitar

Probably members of The Stardusters
Tommy Jones - Lead Guitar
Coy Lomax - Bass
Joe Ritchie - Drums
More Details Unknown

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

In 1959, Curtis Hobock recorded at Sun, and a round 1963-1964, Curtis Hobock fell into the orbit of Nashville dealmaker Murray Nash, who produced four records by Hobock, two on Cee And Cee and two more on Musicenter, including a cover version of ''Lonely Weekends''. Throughout, Hobock worked as a millwright and played as many as six nights a week at clubs around west Tennessee, southern Kentucky, and northern Mississippi. On weekends during the summer, he'd load up the family head to the Tennessee River for camping, boating and water skiing. At night he would leave the family at the river and head back town for a gig, returning before dawn the next day.

STUDIO SESSION FOR CURTIS HOBOCK
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - ''FOR ALL I'M WORTH'' - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: 1979
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat 700 mono
ROCK AROUND THE TOWN
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-15 mono
ROCK CLASSICS - AMPHETAMING ANNIE

02 - ''MY BONNIE LIES'' - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: 1979
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat 700 mono
ROCK AROUND THE TOWN

03 - ''YOUR CHEATIN' HEART'
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

04 - ''LIVE AND LET LIVE - B.M.I. - 3:42
Composer: - Curtis Hobock
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample-12 mono
ROCK CLASSICS - AMPHETAMING ANNIE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Curtis Hobock - Vocal & Guitar

Probably members of The Stardusters
Tommy Jones - Lead Guitar
Coy Lomax - Bass
Joe Ritchie - Drums
More Details Unknown

For Biography of Curtis Hobock see: > The Sun Biographies <
Curtis Hobock'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 SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN POSSIBLY 1959
OR JUNE 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY JACK CLEMENT

The Sun log books show that Sonny Burgess returned to Sun in 1959 and cut another single that was issued in January 1960 on the Phillips International label: "Sadie's Back In Town" b/w "A Kiss Goodnite". However, Sonny believes the single was recorded earlier, and released on Phillips International to try and breach a new market, was his last for Sam Phillips. With the unpredictability of Sun paperwork, he could be correct. Oddly, the record sported a thin, poorly balanced sound but was nonetheless true to the Burgess credo.

Spirited as ever, Sonny turns in an enthusiastic piece of nonsense, surrounded by a group of sidemen who had obviously never seen the inside of a Prozac bottle. Sonny recalls that his brother-in-law, Harry Adams, came up with "Sadie's Back In Town", although Jimmie Rodgers might very well recognize a good portion of the words and melody as belonging to his 1928 song "My Little Lady".

For some reason, the pianist had a very hard time with these chord changes (several out-takes confirm his repeated difficulties) and he manages to blow his solo here as well. But, again, feeling prevailed over perfection. A final note: That little spoken intro was not accomplished by speeding up the tape in the style of David Seville's "Chipmunks". One of the guys in Sonny's band, drummer Raymond Thompson, could actually speak that way. It seemed to work at gigs, so they decided to include it on one of their records.

01(1) - "SADIE BROWN (SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN)"* - B.M.I. - 1:11
Composer: - Albert Burgess-Harry Adams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - FS, Incomplete Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-6-7 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-4-18 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

01(2) - "SADIE BROWN (SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN)"* - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Albert Burgess-Harry Adams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-6-8 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-4-19 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

The idea for "Sadie" was given to Sunny Burgess by his brother-in-law, Harry Adams. For some reason, the single caught the attention of someone on the Albert Embankment in London, England, and was released on Decca's London subsidiary (the only Sonny Burgess Sun record released in Europe while he was more-or-less under contract).

01(3) - "SADIE BROWN (SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN)"* - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Albert Burgess-Harry Adams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 367 - Take 3 Master
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3551-B < mono
SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN / A KISS GOODNITE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-2-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

02(1) - "A KISS GOODNITE" - B.M.I. - 1:51
Composer: - Albert Burgess
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 368 - Master
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Released: - January 1960
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3551-A < mono
A KISS GOODNITE / SADIE'S BACK IN TOWN
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-2-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

"A Kiss Goodnite" reveals the romantic, or at least the less frenetic side of Sonny Burgess. History has shown this to be a fine, engaging track. The shuffle rhythm works to perfection and guitarist J.C. Caughron has some fun with the vibrato arm of his guitar. It is disappointing that no more Sonny Burgess material was issued in the three years of life still remaining in Phillips International (and six years in Sun). In particular, Sonny's "Find My Baby For Me", recorded with Roy Orbison, would have made a wonderful and worthy single.

This record caught the ear of someone on the Albert Embankment in London, and it became the only of Sonny's records to be released overseas while under contract to Sun.

02(2) - "A KISS GOODNITE" - B.M.I. - 1:49
Composer: - Albert Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take
- Mistitled "I Love You So"* - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Released: - 1975
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-2* mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-26 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03 - "SMOOCHIN' JILL" - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Possibly 1959
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1039 mono
SONNY BURGESS – V 3
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-2-25 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
J.C. Caughron - Bass
Frankie Siddeth - Electric Bass
Raymond Thompson - Drums and
Woody Woodpecker' Noises*
Ed Thomas - Piano
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

Sonny Burgess never quite recaptured the magic he had sparked at Sun. Sam Phillips and subsequently Jack Clement knew how to capture the booming and assertive quality of Burgess' vocals, and Sam Phillips' years recording the blues gave him a feel for the dirty tone of the guitar and the Pacers thunderous sound. "There was no way Sonny was going to be a ballad singer", asserted Sam Phillips.

"His forte was rock and roll. He could have been one of the greats but he never got the right break. I believed in the guy. We gave him what exposure we could but ultimately its the disc jockey's and the public who made the decision".

"Sam's secret", maintains Burgess, "was to get you to play like you'd play live. He'd just turn you loose. You'd play like you had a crowd watching - that's how come there's all the mistakes. It wasn't super good music, but it felt good to us. I was trying to play guitar and sing too, and that's tough to do. We should have brought in another picker".

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1959

In 1959, Sonny Burgess joined Jack Nance and Joe Lewis in Conway Twitty's band, and Bobby Crafford took over the Pacers. Burgess stayed with Twitty until the move to Oklahoma City, when Twitty decided to re-cast himself as a born again hillbilly. Sonny returned to Newport, took a day job for a while before resuming his career as a professional musician with the Kings IV (subsequently the Kings V).

He played clubs in and around Newport, and on Sun-days he and his group would drive to Memphis to check out the rhythm and blues bands at Sunbeam Mitchell's Paradise Club.

''There was us and maybe a table of college kids'', remembered Sonny, ''and the rest of the room would be blacks. Willie Mitchell, Bowlegs Miller and the musicians made us feel real welcome, but then toward the end the racial thing got real tense and we stopped going. We never saw rhythm and blues bands in the 1950s, and that was the only chance we got to see the real good rhythm and blues acts''. It was not until 1970 that Sonny gave up the music as his primary source of income.

There are a raft of reasons why Sonny Burgess never made it. Part of the problem may have been that he was never tempted to leave Newport. Nashville never crossed his mind; Memphis and Los Angeles did, but he stayed put with his ''little town baby''. Part of the problem may have been that he was too raw – his natural sound shaded too close to rhythm and blues. There was also a measure of sheer bad luck. If a dee-jay in a trend-setting market had picked up on one of his singles and spun it relentlessly, Sonny could have had a hit. As it was, he accepted the verdict of the marketplace with relatively good grace and became a salesman. Interviewed in 1971 he could see no place for himself in the then-current music scene. However, fifteen years later, Burgess became one of the founding members of the Syn Rhythm Section band with whom he has toured far and wide and enjoyed some lately-come acclaim. The long hiatus from the business ensured that Sonny had not burned himself out. His music still sports the contagious quality that we find on his Sun sessions.

Despite the fact that Sonny dislikes all but a few of his Sun recordings, it is upon them that his reputation rests. Sam Phillips' enthusiasm for him was well placed. Sonny did not owe an obvious stylistic debt to anyone and he captured the freewheeling spirit of early rock and roll. It is a truism (perhaps never truer): They simply do not make records like this any more.

In July 2017, Burgess suffered a fall at his home. He died the following month on August 18, 2017 in a Little Rock, Arkansas hospital, at the age of 88.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 7, 1959 WEDNESDAY
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN

OVERDUB SESSION: JANUARY 13, 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

At some point, Marcus Van Story dropped out and was replaced by Al Hopson's brother, Will. As Warren's star began to fade, Jimmie Lott also packet his bags and eaded to Memphis. Smith began working with the Hopson brothers and a pick-up drummer. When he returned to the studio in January 1959 after a long hiatus he was paired with the Billy Riley band to work up his final Sun single.

With the short-lived fad for primitive rockabilly consigned to the past, Warren Smith's thoughts were turning towards crossover country music. Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves, Don Gibson and others had shown the immense potential of the mid-ground between pop and country. Smith knew he could cover their territory and isolated a song from Don Gibson's first album.

01 - "GOODBYE MR. LOVE"* (2) - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Warren Smith-Billy Byrd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 343 - Master
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 314-A < mono
GOODBYE MR. LOVE / SWEET, SWEET GIRL
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16803-3-22 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

"Goodbye Mr. Love", was a song that Warren Smith had written with veteran country picker Billy Byrd. It was also attempted in at least two sessions. The first was a throwback to pre-crossover hillbilly music but the finished version was simply excellent current country music.

''Goodbye Mr. Love'' proves the truth in Jack Clement's assertion that Smith was the ''closest approximation of a mainstream 'Nashville' singer ever to enter 706 Union''. It also disproves Smith's assertion that he could not record country music at Sun. The overall sound on this recording is very close to the product coming out of Nashville in 1959, particularly in view of the chorus. All of this makes Smith's lack of success on Sun after 1957 double incomprehensible. In retrospect, this was far from Smith's best work but, coupled with ''Sweet Sweet Girl'', it was an exceptionally strong double sided contender.

Once again, Warren Smith had the profound disappointment of watching a single die of neglect after Billboard had called it "ultra commercial", speculating that "Smith'll have the top money making coupling of his career". On the day that Billboard published their review, Sun prepared a royalty statement showing that Smith was unrecouped to the tune $634.00. At roughly the same time, Warren Smith's three year term with Sun was up. A change was due.

The confusion is natural. The first line of "Goodbye Mr. Love" is the same as the title of Warren Smith's previous record on Sun. Moreover, there are numerous alternate versions in the Sun vaults showing how differently this song was conceived at various stages.

Even the version released on this disc reveals some curious glitches. Despite its slickly produced exterior (good instrumentation, fine choral overdub), the second verse is a lyrical mess. It is awkward rhythmically and it doesn't rhyme. Was the wrong version chosen for overdub?

02 - "DEAR JOHN" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Tex Ritter-Aubry Gass
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-8-4 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-4 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959
Reissued: 2019 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17504-10 mono
SUN SHINES ON HANK WILLIAMS

''Dear John'', this minor hillbilly classic was first penned by Aubrey Gass in 1949. Hank Williams revived it two years later and probably discovered it on the flip side of ''Cold Cold Heart. The song's roots are well and truly obscured by Smith's treatment which replaced the jaunty hillbilly beat with a liberal dose of the blues, especially from the lead guitar. At first the bluesy intensity of the guitar carries the song but there is a hole after the first 12-bar solo. The song meanders for another 12 bars which suggests that a sax overdub was contemplated. Smith's vocal performance is first rate and a fair amount of tape was expended on this cut, suggesting it was a candidate for release at some point. Perhaps it was consigned to storage when Phillips realised that he was not recording a Hi-Lo copyright but, rather, stood to give 3 cents a side to another publisher.

03(1) - "SWEET, SWEET GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Don Gibson
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-8-3 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-3 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Many versions of ''Sweet Sweet Girl'' remain on tape, and it is clear that it was worked out leaving one or two spaces for a vocal chorus to fill. Nevertheless this early take alternate take 1, free of chorus, retains arguably a more country feel than the finally version show us that recording at Sun may have been hard work but was not an ordeal. It has been said that Warren Smith was not easy to work with but the boys seemed to be having a fine time on this occasion.

03(2) - "SWEET, SWEET GIRL" - B.M.I. - 1:05
Composer: - Don Gibson
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take with False Starts - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15514-28 mono
WARREN SMITH - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03(3) - "SWEET, SWEET GIRL"* - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Don Gibson
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 342 - Master
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - February 15, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 314-B < mono
SWEET, SWEET GIRL / GOODBYE MR. LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-3-21 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Don Gibson was so extraordinarily prolific during this period that a song as strong as "Sweet, Sweet Girl" was used as album ballast. Over the course of at least two sessions, Smith worked up a very strong arrangement in conjunction with Jack Clement, Bill Justis and the Riley band.

"Sweet Sweet Girl", shows how powerful a force Don Gibson was at this point in his career. This title was a throwaway track on a Gibson album, yet it was deemed strong enough material for a Warren Smith release on Sun Records. The lyrics contain a rare sentiment in country music: I ain't gonna talk about you when you're gone. You were good to me and that's good enough for me. I was the jerk, not you. How many times have you heard that message expressed in country music? Billboard failed to pick up on this one. They gave the side a mediocre two-star review, missing the Don Gibson connection altogether. Instead they called it "a wild rocker". Given Smith's past flirtation with "Miss Froggie" and trip to "Ubangi" country, this hardly quality as "wild". What it was, sadly, was Warren Smith's last release on Sun Records before starting a successful career on Liberty as a mainstream country vocalist.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Warren Smith - Vocal and Guitar
Billy Riley - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano

Overdubbed Session*
Lee Holt - Vocals
Bill Abott - Vocals
Gerald Nelson - Vocals
Charlie Rich - Vocals

"As the releases for all of us became fewer and fewer, Jerry Lee Lewis came out with "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On" and I was on tour working my way up north when it was released", recalled Warren Smith. "Well, it started hitting tremendously. And naturally a smaller label like Sun at the time. So Sun pushed the heck out of Jerry Lee's record, and let the rest of us slow back a bit. That's when I decided it was time to leave Sun.

There were a couple of reasons, lack of releases, royalties, etc. You know there were three or four of us at that time who were just idling and not doing anything at all", says Smith. "The promotion being concentrated to one individual and all. So I asked for my contract and left for California. Johnny Cash was living out there at the time and I did some shows with him for awhile when I got my chance to cut some country. Joe Allison was the one who approached me from Liberty Records, they had just started a Country series and I was the first artist to cut on it".

Talking to Martin Hawkins in 1985, Phillips offered the following assessment of Warren Smith: ''He was probably the best pure singer for country music I've ever heard. He has a pure country voice and an innate feel for a country ballad. With that music he was as good as anyone I've heard before or since. ''So Long I'm Gone'' was just a wonderful country record. Warren had a lot of emotional problems. I don't think he ever got on dope or anything but he was the kind of character that needed to be loved a lot. He needed recognition more than the average person. He liked himself, but he didn't. Despite that, Warren and I got along real well. But a lot of people didn't like Warren and he perceived that. And if they didn't, then in essence it was his fault in a lot of cases. He was a difficult personality but just interesting enough that I liked him a whole lot''.

On January 30, 1980, Warren Smith died of a heart attack, aged just forty-seven.

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 - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Billy Riley stayed on at Sun Records until sometime in 1958 when his growing frustration with Sam Phillips putting all (or most) of his promotional resources behind Jerry Lee Lewis and not Billy Lee got the best of him. Several volatile encounters between Sam and Riley occurred. Riley recalled, ''Sam Phillips and I both had respect for each other, but we didn't get along too well at times. Mostly it was just words, but I did get a little riled one time and tore his studio up a little''. Sam sweet-talked Riley the first time, and the singer returned to Sun. Then it happened again. Things never got back to normal. The short version is that the multi-talented Billy Riley moved on.

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY RILEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY WEDNESDAY JANUARY 7, 1959 - SESSION 1
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT & BILL JUSTIS

01(1) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17122-2-12 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(2) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17122-2-13mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

''DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE''

There is probably no more famous spiritual than ''Down By The Riverside''. Dating back to unknown sources in the 19th century, the song has been recorded by hundreds of artists, including Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Louis Armstrong, Patsy Cline, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Al Hirt, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Governor Jimmie Davis, Roger McGuinn, Alabama, Clara Ward and Neil Young, to name but a few.

Its chorus ('ain't gonna study war no more') stems from Isaiah 4:2 ('neither shall they learn war any more') and expresses a hope for peace. It came to be used as an expression of anti-war sentiment during the Vietnam War. The song's strong ties to the southern gospel tradition were underscored when ''The Million Dollar Quartet'' (Presley, Perkins, Cash and Lewis) included it in their spontaneous repertoire in 1956, with Elvis handling the vocal on most of the 2 ½ mins the quartet spent on it.

By this reckoning, you might wonder if Billy Riley's 1959 rockin' version might be considered sacrilege. Let's put it this way. If this is sacrilege, Riley had plenty of company. In 1953, the Four Lads enjoyed a hit record with their ultra-pop version. ('I met my little bright-eyed doll / Down By The Riverside...').

Five years later, budding pop star Sal Mineo tried his luck with the same lyrics and got nowhere. By 1958, a 'bright-eyed doll' sounded pretty square and so, in fact, did Mineo's record.

Just a year later, when Riley turned his attention to the old spiritual, the words got updated again. Gone was the "bright-eyed doll" in favor of a 'swinging chick." In fact, Riley's goals on that riverside were a lot more carnal than putting an end to war. He had come there to do some dancing and heavy breathing with his swinging chick and get over his ex. ''Ain't gonna study war no more" had been replaced by ''Ain't gonna worry 'bout you no more''. Take that, Mahalia.

Here five alternate takes and the same number of false starts, recorded over two separate sessions. The first session is pretty spare - just Billy and a band. The vocal line begins, "Gonna slip (or put) on my rockin' shoes" but that will change by the second session. We also include as false start 1 a- musician's nightmare: Billy begins with a solo vocal and is joined by the band playing in a different key. This is the only time during this session that Billy slowly sings the title before the song begins, a job that a chorus will take over in the second session.

02(1) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2--18 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

02(2) "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Chatter & Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-19 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

02(3) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-14 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1960
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-21 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

Edwin Howard put some new words to the old gospel tune "Down By The Riverside" in the first flush of enthusiasm following the release of his own record, and showed them to Sam Phillips. Billy Riley record the song, and gave Howard 50 percent of the writer's share as a token of goodwill because Howard had originally conceived the idea. Riley's record sold 10,633 copies during its first six months on the market, giving Howard $39.86 in writer's royalties.

02(4) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 0:33
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 7, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-20mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley – Vocal & Guitar
Pat O'Neill – Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Charlie Rich or Jimmy Wilson – Piano
Martin Willis – Saxophone

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 9, 1959 FRIDAY

''Rawhide'' makes its prime-time debut on CBS. It was an American television Western about cattle drives featuring Trail Boss "Gil Favor" played by Eric Fleming and ramrod "Rowdy Yates" played by Clint Eastwood. The theme music "Rawhide" performed by Frankie Laine. Series ran from 1959 till 1966.

JANUARY 10, 1959 SATURDAY

Aaron Neville weds fellow New Orleans performer Joel Roux. During their marriage, he goes on to receive a pair of Grammy nominations for country projects.

JANUARY 12, 1959 MONDAY

Capitol released Ferlin Husky's ''My Reason For Loving''.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans adopt Debbie, a six-year-old orphaned Korean girl.

Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''The Hanging Tree''.

JANUARY 12, 1959 MONDAY

Sun SLP 1240 ''Greatest'' by Johnny Cash issued.

Berry Gordy, Jr. a former boxer, automobile assembly-line worker, and record-store owner started on this day his own record label, operating out of a white bungalow on 2648 West Grand Boulevard (''Hitsvilly, U.S.A.'') in Detroit, Michigan, as Tamla Records, and was incorporated as "Motown Record Corporation" on April 14, 1960. The name, a blending of motor and town, is also a nickname for Detroit. Motown played an important role in the racial integration of popular music as an African American-owned record label which achieved significant crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its subsidiary labels (including Tamla Motown, the brand used outside the US) were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as the Motown Sound, a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence. During the 1960s, Motown achieved spectacular success for a small record company: 79 records in the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 record chart between 1960 and 1969.

Gordy relocated Motown to Los Angeles in 1972, and there it remained an independent company until June 28, 1988, when Gordy sold the company to MCA and Boston Ventures (which took over full ownership of Motown in 1991). Motown was then sold to PolyGram in 1994, before being sold again to MCA Records' successor, Universal Music Group, when it acquired PolyGram in 1999.

Motown spent much of the 2000s as a part of the Universal Music subsidiaries Universal Motown and Universal Motown Republic Group, and headquartered in New York City. From 2011 to 2014, Motown was a part of The Island Def Jam Music Group division of Universal Music. On April 1, 2014, Universal Music Group announced the dissolution of Island Def Jam; subsequently Motown relocated back to Los Angeles to operate under the Capitol Music Group.

JANUARY 14, 1959 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley talks to a reporter at the entrance to his hotel in Bad Nauheim, West Germany, providing physical proof that rumors of his death in a car accident are completely unfounded.

Hudson and Nash join to become AMC (American Motors Association.

JANUARY 15, 1959 THURSDAY

Carl and Valda Perkins have their fourth child, George Jay Perkins. He joins his dad and older brother, Stan, in writing Dolly Parton's ''Silver And Gold''.

Bass player Kathy Mac is born in Lexington, Kentucky. She joins the all-female band Wild Rose, whose ''Breaking New Ground'' becomes a minor hit in 1989.

JANUARY 19, 1959 MONDAY

Tennessee Ernie Ford guests on the CBS sitcom ''The Danny Thomas Show'', as Kentucky Cal, a stranger the kids invite to dinner.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

''NO NAME GIRL''

This record certainly has its fans, including John Prine who cut it 20 years after Riley in 1979. So what makes this track so lovable? Quite a few things, actually. For one, that incessant rhythm is quite a hook. It's even more prevalent in some of the alternate takes. Just listen to the first four bars before Martin Willis joins them on sax. Willis' repeated riff is also contagious as hell. In fact, this might have been a workable instrumental.

But it isn't. Rileys vocal is charming, if a bit tamer than his Little Richard style. The lyrics are delightful, even bizarre. Part of them came from ''Rockin' On The Moon'', Billy's one-off record for Brunswick in 1958. In that opus, the Queen of the Moon has eyes in the back of her head, so that ''she cans tell where she's going but she knows where slips been''. Its a clever image and there was no reason not to recycle it a year later for Sun. ''Rockin' On The Moon'' was credited to Vic McAlpin. This song is credited to Riley and Jack Clement, although Riley claimed vehemently in later-life interviews that Jack Clement had nothing to do with it, other than perhaps some tinkering in the studio.

Then there's the matter of that sack dress. Women didn't look shapely in a sack dress, and guys were complaining about it on wax in 1958. Most successful was Jerry Granahan's ''No Chemise Please'', Sunbeam 102 ('I couldn't tell the front from the back'), but there were also the Beavers' ''Sack Dress'', Capitol F 3956 ('I can't see the way you look') and the Lane Brothers' ''Boppin'In A Sack'', RCA EP 4175 ('You can't tell the front from the back').

But Riley? His lyric evolves from 'She goes around in a sack dress' on the earlier alternate to 'She'd get lost in a sack dress'. The punch line in both cases was, "but I don't care". He was a sensitive New Age man, ahead of his time.

Let's think more thoroughly about the subject of this song: "the girl I love". What makes her so lovable? She's got no home, she's got no name, she's tall, she's too thin to cast a shadow, she's just skin and bones, she's got big feet, she's a little peculiar, she doesn't know where she's going (though she knows where she's been). He's got little good to say about her; her long black hair is her only obviously endearing quality. But he loves her just the same. And by the end, so do we.

We've got five alt takes here and the same number of false starts. The most striking difference in these alternate takes has nothing to do with lyrics; it's the key modulations between verses that develop in the later takes. On the later alternate takes and the released version, the song starts in C, migrates through C, goes up to D, back to C and ends up in D. Note to guitar players: When is the last time a rockabilly singer intentionally recorded anything in the key of C? You may be holding a piece of history here.

It's also interesting to notice what chords the band plays behind Martin Willis' sax work. In some versions (including the released take), the band plays a recognizable 1 / 4 - 1 l / 5 - 1 chord sequence. In some of the alternate takes, the band barely changes chords at all; Willis' solo is constructed so that's possible. There also aren't any chord changes during the vocals. So we get a record in which the band plays few solid chord changes behind a one-chord lyric that consists of a bunch of cute two-line couplets. Between verses, there's a catchy tune sax response played over a catchy rhythm. Put that all together, delete the tune on the saxophone but keep its catchy rhythm, and you've got.... Bo Diddley. Rockabilly records with more obvious debts to that source include the Crickets ''Not Fade Away'' (Brunswick 55035, 1957). Tommy Blake's ''Sweetie Pie'' (Sun 300, 1958), and the lesser-known ''Daisy Mae'' by Jody Reynolds (Demon 1509, 1959).

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY RILEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY MONDAY JANUARY 19, 1959

WEDNESDAY SESSION 2
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT & BILL JUSTIS

The session for the single master was filled with the AFM on January 19, 1959

01(1) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 341 - Master
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - February 1, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 313-A < mono
NO NAME GIRL / DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-3-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

"No Name Girl" was a somewhat hokey sing-song composition credited to Jack Clement and Billy Riley, although Riley claims that Clement's contribution was to appropriate half of the writing credit. According to Riley, he wrote the song while taking a shower in Jimmy Wilson's apartment next door to the studio above Taylor's Cafe.

The single reflected the changing times but was less than impressive by the standards Riley had set for himself. Edwin Howard reported that it sold 10,633 copies during its first six months on the market.

Even though "No Name Girl" portrays a spirited and carefree atmosphere, the record required considerable thought and energy to get right. True, it was a simple formula, alternating eight bar verses with sax breaks, while modulating keys up and down. However, the released version came from the third session devoted to getting it right. Things finally clicked on January 19, 1959.

A session held twelve days earlier on the same two titles had produced nothing releasable. Neither had a December 16 date the previous year, "No Name Girl" was attempted for the first time. The final work, a "driving countryish effort with blues and hoedown overtones", to quote Billboard, was the brainchild of Riley and Jack Clement.

01(2) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17122-2-14 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

01(3) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 0:15
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 1- Not Originally
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17122-2-15 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

01(4) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 2 - Alternate Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17122-2-16 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(5) - "NO NAME GIRL" - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 3, 4, 5 - Alternate Take 5 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) BCD 17122-2-17 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

02(1) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 340 - Master
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - February 1, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 313-B < mono
DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE / NO NAME GIRL
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-3-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

The original idea for a rocked-up version of "Down By The Riverside" came from Memphis Press Scimitar reporter Edwin Howard who had recorded one single for Sam Phillips in order to document the process of recording. In the first flush of enthusiasm after its release, Howard re-wrote the lyrics to "Down By The Riverside" and was given 50% of the song after Riley subsequently copped the idea. Bill Justis overdubbed a chorus and a second sax part over the bed track which went some distance towards disguising Riley's somewhat lackluster vocal. Billy Riley reworked the traditional anti-war song into a suitably rocking style for the 1959 marketplace.

02(2) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-21 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

02(3) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 0:29
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-22 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

02(4) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 3, 4 - Alternate Take 5 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-23 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

02(5) - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Edwin Howard
Publisher: - Jack Clement Music Incorporated - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start 5 - Alternate Take 6 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2-24 mono
BILLY RILEY – THE OUTTAKES

Anyone listening to this, or Billy Riley's four previous releases on Sun (not to mention his solitary outing on Brunswick), might conclude that the man was a chameleon. Was this the same guy who performed "Trouble Bound" or "Red Hot"? Apparently so, although the fact eduded Billboard which gave Sun 313 a Pick Hit review, but also managed to describe the release as Riley's "first disk assignment".

03 - "SWANEE RIVER ROCK" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Floyd Huddleston - Traditional Arranged by Billy Riley
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1959
Released: - 1979
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30151-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - SUN SOUND SPECIAL
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-15 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1960

Riley recorded Stephen Foster's "Swanee River (The Old Folk At Home)" as "Swanee River Rock", a fairly pointless choice in view of the fact that Ray Charles had scored his first major pop with the song a year earlier. It remained unissued until the vaults were combed 15 years later.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal & Guitar
Pat O'Neill - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton – Drums
Charlie Rich or Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Unknown Vocal Chorus

The vast majority of Sun recordings from the era that involve choruses were the result of overdubs made after the original recording session was complete. There is no choral overdub here: the chorus is actually present during the session.

Sessions 1 and 2 can also be distinguished by whether Billy slips on his Rockin' shoes (Session 1) or his Boppin' shoes (Session 2, as well as Sun 313). An impressive aspect of the alternates at Session 2 is how well-rehearsed all the players are; but for James Van Eaton's drumming, all the performances at this session are nearly identical.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

According to Colin Escott's bio-notes in Charly Sunbox 109, McGill was a wannabe rockstar 'cum' ganster. He appears to have had more success at the latter than the former. Even by Southern good ole boy standards, Jerry McGill still carries a somewhat inglorious reputation. Brandishing pistols, passing bad cheques and experiencing all kinds of run-ins with the law came naturally to this onetime road manager Waylon Jennings.

On a more positive level. James M. Van Eaton drum characteristics grew in stature with each passing season at Sun and by the time McGill's boulder-rolling track was recorded, his snare had finally reached full maturity.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY MCGILL & THE TOPCOATS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SETVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 21, 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ERNIE BARTON

On this side, "Lovestruck", McGill seems to be more enamored of teen idols like Bobby Rydell than Elvis Presley. Our best guess as to the identity of the label- billed "Topcoats" seems to be the little girl-sounding chorus on this side. One thing is for sure: this wasn't Gene Lowery.

01 – "LOVESTRUCK" - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Ernie Barton
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 369 - Master
Recorded: - January 21, 1959
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 326-B < mono
LOVESTRUCK / I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-4-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

02 - "I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Branson-Burt-Klein-McGill
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 368
Recorded: - January 21, 1959
Released: - August 11, 1959
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 326-A < mono
I WANNA MAKE SWEET LOVE / LOVESTRUCK
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-4-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

There is a whole generation of Sun performers who seems to be well versed in the atmospherics of rockabilly rather than the music. Even Elvis Presley began to imitate himself later years. It is not clear whether Jerry McGill's ambitions in recording "I Wanna Make Sweet Love" were fueled by listening to Elvis records or looking at Ersel Hickey's publicity photo. In any case, he seems to have learned his lessons. And, unlike most, he has a Sun release to show for it: a perfectly pedestrian one, but nothing to be ashamed of.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry McGill - Vocal
Jim King - Lead Guitar
Bobby Scott - Rhythm Guitar
Frank Thomas - Bass and Keyboard
Ronnie Rich - Drums
Dwayne Fowler - Tenor Saxophone

Or Sun Studio Musicians
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Bill Black - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Saxophone

Vocal Chorus:
Opal Green, Twila Taylor,
Nanci Drake, Carolyn Marharrey

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JERRY MCGILL - A TRUE JERRY MCGILL TESTIMONIAL FROM RONALD RICH, HIS DRUMMER IN THE TOPCOATS IN 1959 - ''I played drums with Eddie Cash and The Madcaps, Dickie Lee, Mac Davis, Jerry Reed, Ray Stevens, The Marvels, Jerry McGill and The Topcoats, and a few other Memphis groups plus my Sun sessions. I knew George Klein, Elvis, Sam Phillips, and a few of the other Memphis music influencers''. ''I played with Jerry McGill (the only name I knew him by) when he was starting out as a singer and until The Topcoats finally disbanded.

Honestly, I don't remember why we disbanded but I went away to Georgia Tech for college and that's all I can remember. Jerry was a really great guy and very friendly to me. The girls were all over him whenever he played live.

He had a musical soul and was destined to do well. At the time, I was doing session work playing drums at Sun Studios at the age of 17. If you recall the drums in ''Lovestruck'', you know my work''.

''The musicians playing on ''Lovestruck'' and I Wanna Make Sweet Love'' were Charlie Rich on piano (I think), Bill Black on bass, Martin Willis on sax, and I think Brad Suggs on guitar. The session ran about 3 hours as far as I can recall. None of Jerry's other band members played on the actual record. For some reason, they wanted me on both A and B sides. I remember giving Charlie Rich (no relation) a ride after a recording session to the Holiday Inn in Memphis one night and this might have been the one, but this was over 50 years ago. Charlie was not big yet but very talented''.

''I definitely remember Martin Willis, a Sun powerhouse, playing sax with me on Jerry's only Sun record. The backup singers on ''Lovestruck'' were Opal Green, Twila Taylor, Nanci Drake and Carolyn Maharrey. All of the girls were juniors at Treadwell High School in Memphis. Jerry McGill was very talented and was really great to his entire band. Jerry was totally dedicated at the time to making it in the music business. I understand after I moved away he became very involved in producing records as well but I lost touch with him''.

''Here are the names of all the Topcoat musicians who played with Jerry McGill on all live performances around Memphis. You may remember some of them. The group was tight and put out an amazing sound for a garage type band in 1959. Jim King was lead guitar and band manager, Ronnie Rich on drums, Frank Thomas on bass and keyboards, Bobby Scott rhythm guitar, Dwayne Fowler sax''.

''Jim King ran the band very well and kept us really booked. Some of the live appearances got "quite lively'' including an occasional fight in the parking lot. There is a Commercial Appeal newspaper photo of the Topcoats playing at the National Guard Armory with Jerry standing on a round stage but I don't know how to get it posted. George Klein cooked up this huge "dance" at the Armory to promote a teenage dance club according to what I heard and Barney Sellers did the photography for the newspaper promotion''.

''Unfortunately, the entire band never got in the photo since Jerry was the real focal point. By the way, the girls backing Jerry on ''Lovestruck'' are also on the Jerry Lee Lewis song "Let's Talk About It''. Not sure what happened to all the Topcoats. Jim King is alive and well and living in Texas. No idea what happened to the others. Most people assume Jimmy M. Van Eaton played on Jerry McGill's session but that is not true. I stopped by to see Jimmy M. Van Eaton in Memphis a couple of years ago during a visit from California. He was working out in Germantown for an investment company and gave me some new drumsticks from his line of Jimmy M. VanEaton drum products. What a great guy! He has a wonderful history with Sun and should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in my opinion. JM is the only session drummer that actually has his picture on the Sun Studios wall and it is certainly earned. Jimmie Lott was another Sun session drummer I knew. He also went to East High while I was a student there. I understand Jimmy died. We had a few "battle of the drums" on stage for the kids which was always fun. I think I won. And he thinks he won. The one that really won was the student...they had great fun''.

''I still have the original ''Lovestruck'' 45rpm in my collection. It is one of my prized possessions. If Jerry sees this message, I wish him continued success with his new music coming out. I live in San Diego and have been in California since 1968. Don't know if Very Extremely Dangerous will ever get a viewing out here but if it does, I'll be the first in line. Wish I could get my hands on a DVD if one comes out''.

''Glad to hear Jerry is alive and hanging in there. He may remember me. It has been 53 years since we cut his only Sun Record but maybe he will. I had no idea he would take the path he did with crime and all the other crazy stuff but it sounds like he finally came back to his roots and love of music which is really his calling in life in my opinion. If you ever see or talk with him, please tell him Ronnie Rich, his old drummer from the Topcoats said hello. And let him know his guitar player, Jim King, asks about him as well''.

Testimony by Ronnie Rich, June/July 2010

JANUARY 21, 1958 WEDNESDAY

The Kingston Trio's ''Tom Dooley'' is certified gold. The folk single later wins a Grammy in the country category.

JANUARY 23, 1959 FRIDAY

Flatt and Scruggs recorded ''Crying My Heart Out Over You''. It later becomes a hit for Ricky Skaggs.

Buddy Holly performs in Milwaukee, where the temperature is 25 below. Sharing the bill with Ritchie Valens, Frankie Sardo, The Big Bopper and Dion. Waylon Jennings plays bass for Holly on what proves to be the first date on Holly's final tour.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BRAD SUGGS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SETVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY JANUARY 22, 23, 1958
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - ERNIE BARTON

01 – "SAM'S TUNE''
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 22, 23, 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs, - Guitar
Pat O'Neil - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

For Biography of Brad Suggs see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 24, 1959 SATURDAY

Songwriter Jimmy Driftwood plays ''The Louisiana Hayride'' in Shreveport, where he works with Johnny Horton to streamline the lyrics to ''The Battle Of New Orleans'', which Horton recorded three days later.

JANUARY 27, 1959 TUESDAY

Johnny Horton recorded ''The Battle Of New Orleans'' during an evening session at Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville's Music Row.

A still-unknown Ed Bruce has a guest role on the ABC police drama ''Naked City''.

JANUARY 29, 1959 THURSDAY

Ray Price recorded ''Heartaches By The Number'' in the evening at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

Marty Robbins and his wife, Marizona, have a daughter, Janet.

JANUARY 30, 1959 FRIDAY

Skeeter Davis recorded her first Top 10 solo hit, ''Set Him Free''.

Freddie Hart recorded ''The Wall'', his first charted single.

JANUARY 31, 1959 SATURDAY

Buddy Holly performs in Duluth, Minnesota, during what proves to be his final concert tour, with Waylon Jennings playing bass guitar. In the audience, Bob Dylan and future country record producer Jimmy Bowen.

Former ''National Barn Dance'' figure George Gobel occupiers the cover of TV Guide.

> Page Up <

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 - ©