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

1959 SESSIONS 3
March 1, 1959 to March 31, 1959

Studio Session for Brad Suggs, March 6, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Vernon Taylor, March 8, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, March 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, March 22, 1959 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Brad Suggs, March 31, 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 - ©

MARCH 1959

Bill Justis and Sam Phillips came to a parting of the ways. In circumstances that are still not entirely clear, Bill Justis and Jack Clement were fired for insubordination during a Cliff Gleaves session. Each started his own label, looking to emulate Phillips' success. Bill Justis started Play-Me Records, but found the road Sam Phillips had traveled to be a hard one.

Justis said, ''I left Sun in March 1959 because I was fired for insubordination. Sam Phillips and some of his cronies came into the studio one night when I was trying to record Charlie Rich (Jack Clement, incidentally, remembered that they were recording Cliff Gleaves) - we recorded often at night, incidentally, because as Sun's fame grew you couldn't get anything done during the day for cats sitting on the doorstep, trying to audition. Even when I left early in the morning there'd by some guy sitting on the front steps with his guitar. Anyway, on this occasion Sam came in. And they were making merry, passing comments and clashing cups around so I stood it for as long as I could then I told them to get out. I was really conscientious at that time and I wanted to keep the sessions going. Sam fired me and then he fired Jack Clement at the same time for laughing at what I'd said. It was actually a good break for Jack and me, both, because we started making money after that. I feel that I learned a lot, though. More than I could ever re-pay''.

''Bill didn't even know'', said Sun recording artist Ernie Barton. ''He came by the next day and Jack told him. Bill said, 'That's cool', and left. I went in and walked to Sam and told him I'd do the job. He said, Ernie, why don't you take over''. And so, for the last few months that the old Sun studio operated, Ernie Barton was in charge. He produced Will Mercer, Jerry McGill, and others. He tried overdubbing a chorus on Jerry Lee Lewis's ''Let's Talk About Us'', but Jerry Lee nixed it. Soon, though, Barton himself ran afoul of Phillips. ''Sam was wearing the overcoat he always wore when he was drinking'', said Barton. ''We got into some dumb argument about some release or other and we came to a parting of the ways''.

MARCH 1959

The singles, PI 3538 ''All Your Love'' b/w ''Tide Wind'' by Cliff Thomas; PI 3539, Carl Mann's first disc ''Mona Lisa'' b/w ''Foolish One'' is issued.

MARCH 2, 1959 MONDAY

Review about Jerry Lee Lewis in Billboard magazine says: ''The pumping piano cat has two frantic sides. His energetic vocals on each have the hit sound. ''Big Blon' Baby'' (Sun 317) is a rockabilly song that's given a driving vocal. The flip ''Lovin' Up A Storm'' is performed at a slower clip, but is rendered with equal excitement. Strong country and western appeal also''.

The Everly Brothers recorded in stereo for the first time at RCA Studio B in Nashville. The session yields two minor pop hits, ''Take A Message To Mary'' and ''Poor Jenny''.

Restless Heart's Larry Stewart is born in Paducah, Kentucky. He sings lead on the band's singles in the 1980s before going solo in 1992. He scores one hit on his own with ''Alright Already'', then returns to the band when it reforms in 1998.

Decca released Carl Belew's ''Am I That Easy To Forget''.

MARCH 3, 1959 TUESDAY

Lefty Frizzell recorded ''The Long Black Veil'' during an evening session at Nashville's Bradley Film and Recording Studio, hours after Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill wrote it.

MARCH 4, 1959 WEDNESDAY

Ricky Nelson performs ''You Tear Me Up'' in his role on the ABC sitcom ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.

MARCH 5, 1959 THURSDAY

Bill Phillips and Mel Tillis recorded ''Sawmill'', three years before it becomes a hit for Webb Pierce.

MARCH 6, 1959 FRIDAY

"There Goes My Baby" is recorded by the Drifters (Atlantic 2025). It is considered the first high-profile rhythm and blues disc to use a string accompaniment. Its combined artistic and commercial success inspired an upsurge in the development of sophisticated recording techniques for African American music, culminating in the "Golden Age of Soul" (1964-1968).

MARCH 7, 1959 SATURDAY

Review from Cash Box says, ''Lovin' Up A Storm'' (Sun 317) backed by ''Big Blon baby'' is the track that can give the rocker a chart residence again. The artist's ''Lovin' Up A Storm'' is only exceeded by the Big Best storm he originates on the deck. A belter sure to wow the teeners. More sock work by Lewis on the under-cut, but tophalf has more beat inventiveness. So, we're stickin' with the vigorous ''Lovin' Up A Storm'' portion.''.

Throw this in the grocery bag, too, Walter Brennan, who will earn a 1962 country hit with the recitation ''Old Rivers'' appears on the cover of TV Guide.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY MARCH 6, 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - ''MY ONLY LOVE''
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 6, 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass
Chris Ferronti - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Unknown Chorus

For Biography of Brad Suggs see: > The Sun Biographies <
Brad Suggs' 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 VERNON TAYLOR
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY MARCH 8, 1959
SOME SOURCES REPORT AN INCORRECT DATE AS AUGUST 15, 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

Following a guest spot on American Bandstand, an invitation was extended for Vernon Taylor to join the Sun fold. This in-house copyright, with an added 6 minor chord, became the topside of his second single for the company.

01 - ''BREEZE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959

02(1) - "SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959

02(2) - "SWEET AND EASY TO LOVE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Roy Orbison
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959

03(1) - ''MYSTERY TRAIN" (1) - B.M.I. -
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Herman Parker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - 4x False Start - 1x Long False Start - 4x False Start
Recorded: - March 8, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - May 29, 2013
First appearances: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-7-27 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

03(2) - ''MYSTERY TRAIN" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Sam Phillips-Herman Parker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-11-5 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - YOUR LOVIN' MAN
Reissued: - May 29, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-7-28 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

By 1958-1959 the loose, primitive rockabilly music was giving way to a fuller sound that was undeniably less countrified. Vernon Taylor version of ''Mystery Train'' epitomises those changes. The understand beat and acoustic feel of Presley's version had been replaced by a rock solid backbeat and a brittle electric feel. Vernon Taylor had the potential to become a serious contender but the magic failed to rub off on him. He was also unusual in that he had previously recorded for another label (in this case, DOT) before coming to Sun.

04 - ''THIS KINDA LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Sam Phillips
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1031-2 mono
COUNTRY ROCK SIDES
Reissued: - 1995 Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-11 mono
THERE'S ONLY ONE

05(1) - ''WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-12 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

05(2) - ''WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 8 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-22 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

05(3) - ''WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 17 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-24 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

05(4) - ''WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 18 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-27 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

06(1) - ''ALL THEY WANNA DO IS STROL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-13 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

06(2) - ''ALL THEY WANNA DO IS STROL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-19 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

06(3) - ''ALL THEY WANNA DO IS STROL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-25 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

07(1) - ''DINAH LEE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-14 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

07(2) - ''DINAH LEE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 11 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-20 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

07(3) - ''DINAH LEE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 12 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-21 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

07(4) - ''DINAH LEE'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 13 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - March 8, 1959
Released: - 1995
First appearance: - Eagle Records (CD) 500/200rpm EA-R 90120-23 mono
VERNON TAYLOR - THERE'S ONLY ONE ... YOUR LOVIN' MAN

08 - ''WHAT WOULD I DO WITHOUT YOU''
Composer: - Vernon Taylor
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued - Incomplete
Recorded: - March 8, 1959

''Sam Phillips saw me on Dick Clark's show and sent Sun Records producer Jack Clement out to Washington to check me out:, recalled Vernon Taylor. “Jack liked me, and when I come off a promotion tour for Dot he picket me up at the Memphis bus station.

There was a lot of electricity in Memphis in those days, and Sun Studio was the center of it. People were popping in and out all the time”.

''Sam was still a good ol''southern boy, he wasn't a big conversationalist. He was an advocate of, 'Let's roll the tapes and see what happen, maybe something spontaneous will occur. Charlie Rich played piano on couple of those songs, and he gave me a song called, “Dinah Lee”. After recording, we'd hang out in Taylor's, next the studio, and we'd party at night. It was a great time”.

Vernon Taylor cut two Sun singles, “Today Is A Blue Day”in 1958, and “a version of “Mystery Train”in 1959 with Coasters-style saxophone added. Neither went anywhere, and things began to wind down for Taylor. Most of the country and rockabilly musicians from D.C. Were moving to Nashville by the early 1960s, but Taylor decided he wanted to stay in Maryland and raise a family. He entered the printing business and eventually moved to Myersville in Frederick County. His musical activity dwindled down to the occasional weekend gig and eventually stopped altogether.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vernon Taylor - Vocal and Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Martin Willis - Sax
Charlie Rich - Piano
Jimmy Van Eaton - Drums

For Biography of Vernon Taylor see: > The Sun Biographies <
Vernon Taylor'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 JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1958/1959

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

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded probably on March 1959 a trio of fairly raw ''one-offs'', ''Release Me'', to the lack of sophistication of ''Shanty Town'' and Chris Kenner's ''Sick And Tired'', which collectively exemplify a very different technigue in the drumming. A not dissimilar sounding recording dating from this time, but distinguished from the aforementioned in having guitarist Brad Suggs taking a prominent part, is the high energy George Vaughn's ''Hillbilly Music'' also known as ''Country Music Is Here To Stay'', from March 22.

"(In A Shanty In Old) Shanty Town" is a popular song written by Ira Schuster and Jack Little with lyrics by Joe Young, published in 1932. Ted Lewis and His Band performed it in the film The Crooner in 1932. His version was released as a single and it went to number 1, where it remained for 10 weeks.

The Johnny Long and His Orchestra had a million seller of the song in 1946. This version was a slight revision of the Long band's 1940 version. Their version reached number 13. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a unfinished version here probably in March 1959. Somethin' Smith and the Redheads re-charted the song in 1956 where it reached to number 27.

In the contemporary ''stock'' dance-band orchestration published by B. Feldman & Co., sole agents for M. Witmark & Sons (arranged by Frank Skinner) credit is given thus: words by Joe Young and music by Little Jack Little and John Siras. Ira Schuster is not given credit. Ira Schuster is also not mentioned in the credits for the song in the 1940 film "Always A Bride" or in the 1951 film Lullaby of Broadway starring Doris Day.

01 - "(JUST A SHANTY IN OLD) SHANTY TOWN" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Joe Young-Jack Little-John Siras
Publisher: - Warner Bross Music
Matrix number: - None – Breakdown - Incomplete Unknown Take
Recorded: - Probably March 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1974
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 300002-B8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AND HIS PUMPING PIANO
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-17 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

The Sun cut ''Release Me'' from this March 1959 session as no-one seems sure of the exact date) is a mid-tempo rock and roll treatment with a heavy drumbeat. It’s been suggested that Jerry doesn’t play piano on this, but it certainly sounds like him to me. This was first released on the United Kingdon ''Rockin’ And Free'' compilation in 1974 (a superb collection of 22 previously unissued Sun cuts that seems to be almost forgotten by fans now). The preferable version for me is the stunning performance recorded for the ‘She Still Comes Around’ album in 1968 (some people may have noticed by now that I’m slightly biased towards this era; indeed my “creative peak” years for Jerry would probably cover the decade from 1961 to 1971, a time when he seemed almost incapable of making a bad recording or doing a sub-standard concert). A re-cut for his new album ‘Mean Old Man’ can only come 2nd or 3rd best, but it is one of the more palatable tracks on the album, with Gillian Welch’s (very obviously) overdubbed duet vocal working quite well.

02 - "RELEASE ME" – B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Eddie Miller-Robert Young-Dub Williams
Publisher: - Palace Music Company - 4 Star Music Company Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - Probably March 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-A11 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-18 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

"Release Me" (sometimes rendered as "Release Me (and Let Me Love Again)"), is a popular song written by Eddie Miller and Robert Yount in 1949. Shortly afterward it was covered by Jimmy Heap, and with even better success by Ray Price and Kitty Wells. Subsequently a big seller was recorded by Little Esther Phillips, who reached number one on the Rhythm And Blues chart and number eight on the pop chart. A version by Engelbert Humperdinck reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.

The Engelbert Humperdinck song has the distinction in the UK of holding the number-one slot in the chart for six weeks during March and April 1967, and preventing The Beatles single, "Penny Lane" backed with "Strawberry Fields Forever", from reaching the top. "Release Me" was also the highest selling single of 1967 in the UK, recording over one million sales, and eventually became one of the best selling singles of all time with sales of 1.38 million copies.

Although Miller later claimed to have written the song in 1946 and only being able to record it himself in 1949, he co-wrote it with Robert Yount in 1949. As they were working at that time with Dub Williams, (a pseudonym of James Pebworth), they gave him one-third of the song. The song was released with the writing credited to Miller-Williams-Gene, as Yount was using his stage name of Bobby Gene. Although owner of Four Star Records, William McCall, would usually add his pseudonym "W.S. Stevenson" to the credit of songs he published, he failed to do so in 1949. However in 1957, Miller and Yount entered into a new publishing agreement with Four Star Records, in which "W.S. Stevenson" replaced Williams as co-writer.

Yount signed away his royalty rights to William McCall in 1958, after which the credits to the song officially became "Miller-Stevenson", although multiple variations also existed. Engelbert Humperdinck's version, for example, is credited to Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, Dub Williams and Robert Harris. That last one, however, turned out to be also a pseudonym for James Pebworth.

With the bankruptcy of Four Star’s successor in interest, the copyright to the song was acquired by AcuffRose Music. When the initial term of copyright ended in 1983, it was renewed for a second term. Between 1983 and 1985 Acuff-Rose paid royalties to Yount, until they were notified by the family of the deceased William McCall of the 1958 assignment. Acuff-Rose then suspended payments until the dispute between the claimants was resolved. On December 24, 1996 the United States Courts of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, upheld the claim of the McCalls.

In country music, "Release Me" became a hit for Jimmy Heap, Kitty Wells, and Ray Price, all in 1954. Even though Price had several major hits beforehand, "Release Me" is sometimes considered his breakthrough hit. The song had elements of the 4/4 shuffle, Price's signature sound that would become more evident on future successes such as "Crazy Arms''. Price's version was part of a double-A sided hit, paired with another song that introduced fans to the 4/4 shuffle: "I'll Be There (If You Ever Want Me)''. Both sides went on to become major hits for Price, with "Release Me" peaking at number 6 and "I'll Be There" stopping at number 2. Elvis Presley recorded ''Release Me'' on February 17, 19, 1970 live on stage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas for his live album ''On Stage''. This album was released in June 1970 and reached number 13 on both the Billboard 200 and country musc charts. It was certified Gold on February 23, 1971, and Platinum on July 15, 1999, by the Recording Industry Association of America.

03 - "SICK AND TIRED" - B.M.I. - 2 :43
Composer: - Christopher Kenner- Dave Bartholomew
Publisher: - EMI Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - Probably March 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-B10 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-16 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

''Sick And Tired'' recorded here on this session by Jerry Lee Lewis was written by Chris Kenner and was a New Orleans rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, best known for two hit singles in the early 1960s that became staples in the repertoires of many other musicians.

Born on December 25, 1929 in the farming community of Kenner, Louisiana, upriver from New Orleans, Kenner sang gospel music with his church choir, and moved to New Orleans in his teens. In 1955 he made his first recordings, for a small label, Baton Records, without success; and in 1957 he had his first taste of success when he began working with Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew a year later at Lew Chudd's Imperial Records label, hitting the charts briefly in August 1957 with "Sick and Tired," a song he had written with help from the other two. Fats Domino covered it the next year and the song became a hit. "Rocket to the Moon" and "Life Is Just a Struggle", both cut for the Ron Records label, were other notable songs from this period.

Moving to another New Orleans label, Instant, he began to work with pianist and arranger Allen Toussaint. In 1961, this collaboration produced "I Like It Like That", his first and biggest hit, peaking at number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart (covered in 1965 by The Dave Clark Five) and "Something You Got", covered by Wilson Pickett, Alvin Robinson, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Chuck Jackson, Earl Grant, Maxine Brown, Bobby Womack, The Moody Blues on their 1965 debut album, The American Breed, Fairport Convention and Bruce Springsteen. "I Like It Like That" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

In 1962 he produced his most enduring song, "Land Of A Thousand Dances", which was covered by various artists, including Cannibal and the Headhunters, Thee Midniters, Wilson Pickett, The Action, and Patti Smith. Kenner continued to record for Instant and for various other small local labels, including many of his lesser-known songs from the 1960s, such as "My Wife", "Packing Up" and "They Took My Money". He released an album on Atlantic Records in 1966; the Collectors' Choice label reissued the LP, Land Of A Thousand Dances, on CD in 2007.

In 1968 Kenner was convicted of statutory rape of a minor, and spent three years in Louisiana's Angola prison. Chris Kenner was found dead in his apartment at the age of 46 in New Orleans on January 25, 1976. The cause was a heart attack, triggered by his alcohol problems.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Probaby Charlie Rich - Piano
Unknown - Guitar
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 8, 1959 SUNDAY

Country stars gather for a pair of concerts at Louisville's Freedom hall to raise money for the newly-founded Country Music Association. On the bill, Johnny cash, Ray Price, Ernest Tubb, Minnie Pearl, Carl Smith and Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.

MARCH 9, 1959 MONDAY

Decca released Webb Pierce's ''A Thousand Miles To Go''.

Barbie Doll is launched and is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc., and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.
Barbie is the figurehead of a brand of Mattel dolls and accessories, including other family members and collectible dolls. Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle.

Mattel has sold over a billion Barbie dolls, making it the company’s largest and most profitable line. However sales have declined sharply since 2014. The doll transformed the toy business in affluent communities worldwide by becoming a vehicle for the sale of related merchandise (accessories, clothes, friends of Barbie, etc.). She had a significant impact on social values by conveying characteristics of female independence and, with her multitude of accessories, an idealized upscale life-style that can be shared with affluent friend.

MARCH 10, 1958 TUESDAY

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''(Now And Then) A Fool Such As I'' and ''I Need Your Love Tonight'' ( RCA Victor 47-7506).

Johnny Cash appears on NBC's ''The George Gobel Show''.

MARCH 12, 1959 THURSDAY

Johnny Cash recorded ''I Got Stripes'', ''You Dreamer You'' and ''Five Feet High And Rising'' in Nashville at the Bradley Recording Studio.

MARCH 16, 1959 MAANDAG

Keyboard player Stan Thorn is born in Kenosha, Wisconsin. As a member of Shenandoah, he has a hand in such hits as ''The Church On Cumberland Road'', ''Two Dozen Roses'' and ''I Want To Be Loved Like That''.

Don Gibson recorded ''Lonesome Old House'' in the afternoon at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

Wanda Jackson completees her first tour of Japan, spurred by her success with the pop hit ''Fujiyama Mama''.

The variety series ''The Patti Page Olds Show'' makes its final appearance after six months on ABC.

MARCH 17, 1959 TUESDAY

Lida Carlichael dies in Los Angeles, the same day her son, Hoagy Carmichael sings a contract to star in the NBC-TV western series, ''Laramie''. Hoagy wrote ''Georgia On My Mind'', destined to become a country hit for Willie Nelson.

Brenda Lee performs a historic show at the Olumpia Theater in Paris, France, where she's been billed by the promoter as a midget.

MARCH 18, 1959 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley injures his knee when he's thrown from a Jeep while serving with the Army in West Germany. He requires three days of bed rest.

MARCH 20, 1959 FRIDAY

The Bob Hope comedy ''Alias Jesse James'' appears in movie theaters, with Roy Rogers and Bing Crosby both appearing on screen in cameo bits.

MARCH 22, 1959 SUNDAY

Jim Reeves performs the final concert in his first Las Vegas engagement, a two-week run at The Showboat.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1959

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY MARCH 22, 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT OR JACK CLEMENT AND/OR BILL JUSTIS

In stark contrast to the lack of sophistication of ''Shanty Town'' etc., the employment of overdubbing applied to a Lewis performance reached its height with the recording of ''Let's Talk About Us'' in the spring of 1959. This proved to be almost as tortured an exercise in trying to generate a hit as had the taping of ''Break Up''. Along the way there were numerous changes of course, including one relatively uninspired affair with a male, as opposed to the female-led, chorus overlaid on the master, which first slipped out on Charly's ''Ultimate'' box set. That tape presented on BCD 17254-18, to stand comparison with the master, as originally issued in 1959, which features the more harmonious mixed chorus. (*)

1 - "HILLBILLY FEEVER (MUSIC)" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - George Vaughn Horton
Publisher: - Anglo-Pic Music Corporation Limited
Matrix number: - None - Master
Recorded: - March 22, 1959
Released: - December 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm SLP 1265-A3 mono
JERRY LEE'S GREATEST
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-22 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

As the house drummer at Sun, J.M. Van Eaton probably saw more of the famed studio than anyone else. After his band The Echoes cut a demo there in 1956, he became first call for the majority of the sessions. His affable nature, which he fully displayed when the first clip was taped, was crucial to the recording equation. So when Jerry Lee Lewis might suddenly decide to re-jig something like Little Jimmy Dickes' hit from 1950, "Hillbilly Fever", J.M. would be all fired up ready to go to work in the blink of an eye.

2 - "INTERVIEW JAMES M. VAN EATON" - B.M.I. - 1:20
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded several different takes of ''I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You'' here on this session, and is widely regarded as a song Hank Williams wrote for Billie Jean Jones Eshlimar, whom he married on October 18, 1952 in Minden, Louisiana. In the episode of American Masters about Hank's like, singer Billy Walker explained, "Billie Jean was Faron Young's girlfriend. Faron had just moved to Nashville. Billie Jean and Faron was out clubbin' around and Hank Williams joined them. And they went to the lavatory and Hank pulled out a gun on Faron and said, "Boy, this is gonna be my girlfriend from now on''. In the same film, Ray Price, who shared an apartment with Williams, recalls Hank using Billie Jean as leverage to try and win back his ex-wife Audrey Williams, "He told Audrey, 'If you don't come back to me I'm gonna marry Billie Jean'. Well, Audrey said, 'Go ahead'''.

Williams cut ''I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You'' at his last recording session in Nashville at Castle Studio in the Tulane Hotel, with Fred Rose did the producing. By this point, the singer had been fired from the Grand Ole Opry for drunkenness and had returned to Shreveport to play the Louisiana Hayride. Although he was in terminal decline, the quality of the songs Williams recorded at his final session was astonishing, "I Could Never Be Ashamed of You'', "Take These Chains From My Heart'', "Kaw-Liga'', and "Your Cheatin' Heart''. As biographer Colin Escott marvels, "Most singers hope to hang their careers on one or two classics; Hank cut four classics between 1:30 and 3:40 on the afternoon of September 23, 1952...". Williams was backed by Tommy Jackson (fiddle), Don Helms (steel guitar), Chet Atkins (lead guitar), Jack Shook (rhythm guitar), and Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance (bass). A demo version of Williams singing this song with just his guitar, likely recorded in 1951, is also available.

3(1) - "I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU" (2) – B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 1
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 – Not Originally Issue
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-9-30 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(2) - "I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU" (2) – B.M.I. - 1:19
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – False Start - Incomplete Take 2
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-8-B5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-9-31 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(3) - "I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU" (2) – B.M.I. - 2:44
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – 2 False Starts - Take 3
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-19 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963
Reissued: – 1993 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 18 mono
ROCK AND ROLL ORIGINALS - VOLUME 9

3(4) - "I COULD NEVER BE ASHAMED OF YOU" (2) – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – False Start - Take 4
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-8-B5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-9-33 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

4(1) - "NEAR YOU" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:07
Composer: - Kermit Goell-Francis Craig
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Chatter - Incomplete Take 1 - Instrumental
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 1028-B6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-20 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

Jerry Lee recorded two versions of "Near You" as a sort of warm-up, a popular song written and originally recorded by Francis Craig in 1947, with lyrics by Kermit Goell, that has gone on to become a pop standard.

The recording by Francis Craig (the song's composer) was released by Bullet Records as catalog number 1001. It first reached the Billboard Best Sellers chart on August 30, 1947, and lasted 21 weeks on the chart, peaking at number one. On the "Most Played By Jockeys" chart, the song spent 17 consecutive weeks at number one, setting a record for both the song and the artist with most consecutive weeks in the number-one position on a United states pop music chart. In 2009, hip-hop group The Black Eyed Peas surpassed Craig's record for artist with most consecutive weeks in the number one position with the songs "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling". However, their record was accomplished with combined weeks of two number 1 songs, one succeeding the other in the top position. Billboard ranked it as the number 1 song overall for 1947.

In 1977, "Near You" became a number one country hit for the duo of George Jones and Tammy Wynette, one of the more unlikely compositions the two country legends ever sang together. Recorded in the winter of 1974, its atypical arrangement showed that country fans still had an appetite for any music performed by the estranged couple, who had been country music's "First Couple" in the early seventies. In fact, it was their second consecutive number 1 single since their divorce in 1975; they had only managed to top the charts once during their six year marriage with "We're Gonna Hold On" in 1973.

4(2) - "NEAR YOU" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Kermit Goell-Francis Craig
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None - Chatter, Incomplete Take 2 - Instrumental
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm CR 300002-B4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AND HIS PUMPING PIANO
Reissued: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-9-35 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

4(2) - "NEAR YOU" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Kermit Goell-Francis Craig
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Instrumental
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - November 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm CR 300002-B4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AND HIS PUMPING PIANO
Reissued: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-9-36 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(1) - "MY BLUE HEAVEN" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Walter Donaldson-George A. Whiting
Publisher: - Donaldson Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Slow - Take 1
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-9-A1 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-23 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

No doubt inspired by Fats Domino’s hit at the time, Jerry cut 4 fast takes of ''My Blue Heaven'' the old Gene Autry song in early 1959. The best of these was first issued on Sun International’s ''Olde Tyme Country Music'' album in 1969, with the others issued during the 1980s. He made a 2nd attempt at the song 2 years in a slower “cocktail” style, but none of them saw the light of day until the late 1980s. These all pale into insignificance compared to the truly stunning 1969 cut (and check out those extra lyrics during the intro). Recorded at the productive ''Country Music Hall Of Fame'' sessions in February 1969 where he recorded two albums in two days, it’s a mystery why this wasn’t released at the time (though when Jerry heard it again in 1987 he claimed there was a mistake during the piano solo). Instead it was issued on Bear Family’s ''The Killer: 1969-1972'' box-set in 1986.

5(2) - "MY BLUE HEAVEN" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:41
Composer: - Walter Donaldson-George A. Whiting
Publisher: - Donaldson Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Take 2
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-7-25 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

5(3) - "MY BLUE HEAVEN" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:44
Composer: - Walter Donaldson-George A. Whiting
Publisher: - Donaldson Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Take 3
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 1029-A2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-24 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

5(4) - "MY BLUE HEAVEN" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:39
Composer: - Walter Donaldson-George A. Whiting
Publisher: - Donaldson Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 4
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1970
First appearance: - Sun International (LP)m 33rpm Sun 121-A5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - OLE TYME COUNTRY MUSIC
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

My Blue Heaven" is a popular song written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by George A. Whiting. It has become part of various fake book collections. In 1928, "My Blue Heaven" became a huge hit on Victor 20964-A for crooner Gene Austin, accompanied by the Victor Orchestra as directed by Nat Shilkret; it charted for 26 weeks, stayed at number 1 and sold over five million copies becoming one of the best selling singles of all time. In 1928, Blue Amberol Records released an instrumental piano version by Muriel Pollock (issue number 5471). The music for "My Blue Heaven" was written in 1924.

Donaldson wrote it one afternoon at the Friars Club in New York while waiting for his turn at the billiard table. The song was written while Donaldson was under contract to Irving Berlin, working for Berlin's publishing company, Irving Berlin Inc. George Whiting wrote lyrics adapted for Donaldson's music, and for a while, performed it in his vaudeville act; three years later, Tommy Lyman started singing it on the radio as his theme song.

Donaldson established his own publishing company in 1928, and his rights in the song were apparently assigned to his company at that time, with the song listed as having been published by George Whiting Music and Donaldson Music. The song was subject to copyright in 1925 and 1927. These copyrights were renewed in 1953 and 1955, after the death of both composers, at which time the rights in the song were owned by Leo Feist, Inc.. The rights were thereafter assigned to the EMI Catalogue Partnership, controlled and administered by EMI Feist Catalog Inc.

The song has become a standard. Hit versions were also recorded by Jimmie Lunceford in 1935 and Fats Domino in 1956. The Fats Domino version was a two sided hit, with, "I'm In Love Again" and reached number nineteen on the Billboard magazine charts and number five on the Rhythm & Blues Best Sellers chart. Mary Lou Williams recording a version for her 1964 Folkways Records album Mary Lou Williams Presents (F 2843); Smithsonian Folkways re-issued the recording as part of its 2004 album Mary Lou Williams Presents Black Christ of the Andes (SFW40816).

6(1) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Take 1
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-7-26 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-5 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

It took a great deal of largely fruitless experimentation to settle on the right arrangement for ''Let's Talk About Us''. After as many as thirteen takes involving a rigid, drumled pattern, in which Lewis sounds inhibited, increasingly frustrated and eventually bored, they take a break from the endeavour. Returning to it afresh at a later session, the earlier template is abandoned and Otis Blackwell's latest commission to furnish Lewis with another hit to complement ''Great Balls Of Fire'' and ''Breathless'' is reinvented with a striking boogie-woogie introduction. (*)

Reassembling into a logical order the various alternates produced at the first, ultimately unproductive session, scattered as they were across a number of tape boxes, proved to be a painstaking process. Given the homogeneity of the musical arrangements across the piece, the analysis here relied much more upon the variations in Jerry Lee's efforts to learn, then master, and finally invest some interest in the lyrics. Notice how he stumbles in his first, uncertain foray, misreading the lyrics as ''...if you're not just a friend'' (at 1:010 and ''...if you just, just a friend'' (at 1:32) and towards the end of the take is clearly ad-libbing, having disregarded the script. (*)

In the second alternate, again there are clumsy ''if it's just want to be your friend'' (at 0:59); he's having to concentrate on his playing rather than the vocal to be sure of keeping in time. Greater confidence is palpable from take 3 onwards, with some command of the words finally in evidence, the phrase ''if you just want me for your friend'' being sung cleanly for the first time. That's probably the wording that was printed on the lead sheets. As matters progress, however, Jerry Lee brings his own twist to the lyric and from take nine onwards the passive resignation of ''if you just want me for your friend, has given way to the rather more assertive challenge ''...if it's just to be a friend'', the phrase that would become familiar courtesy of the master take. The latter doesn't appear to have been the final attempt; a forceful alternate with a rather more rousing last few bars closes the sequence. (*)

6(2) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Take 2
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(3) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - 3 False Starts
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 1029-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-25 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

6(4) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 3
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-5-15 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-8 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(5) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Take 4
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-9 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(6) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US"* (1) - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Female Chorus Overdub, Unknown Date 1959
by the Gene Lowery Singers
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-18-28 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(7) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 5
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-10 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(8) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 6
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-11 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(9) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 7
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-12 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(10) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:58
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 8
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-13 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(11) -''LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 9
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-11-21 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-14 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(12) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Take 10
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-9-22 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-15 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(13) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 11
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-16 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(14) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Take 12
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-17 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

6(15) - "LET'S TALK ABOUT US" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Otis Blackwell
Publisher: - Roosevelt Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 13
Recorded: - March 22, 1959 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-10-18 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

A Charlie Rich composition, ''The Ballad Of Billy Joe, was chosen to pair with in June 25-26 session recorded take of ''Let's Talk About Us'' on Sun 324, issued on June 1959. Conceived not so much as an answer song, but rather as a back story to complement Johnny cash's massive hit ''Don't Take Your Guns To Town'', all involved no doubt hoped they'd have a huge payday. They were to be disappointed; Jerry Lee's isolated foray into the western genre did not prove rewarding. The song provided another of the few examples of Lewis standing aside to allow Rich to take over at the piano keyboard, a practice that was not so frequent as some have alleged although, as we have seen, it was manifest on the originally issued performance of ''I'll Make It All Up To You'', from the July 9, 1958 session, and on all six takes of ''It Hurt Me So'' from the November 5, 1958 session. (*)

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Cliff Acred - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

* Vocal Overdubs by Gene Lowery

According to Jim King, manager of Jerry McGill and The Topcoats, said that the backup singers were not the Gene Lowery Singers but four juniors from the Treadwell High School, located at 920 North Highland Street in Memphis. The girls were probably brought in to keep the project costs within budget. The quartet actually had no official name, but consisted of (maiden names) Opal Green, Twila Taylor, Nanci Drake, and Carolyn Maharrey.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MARCH 23, 1959 MONDAY

The singles Sun 318, Jimmy Isle's ''Time Will Tell'' b/w ''Without A Love'' and Sun 319, Ray Smith's ''Sail Away'' b/w ''Rockin' Bandit'' is issued.

Capitol released Buck Owens' first charted single, ''Second Fiddle''.

Johnny Cash takes his first screen test in Hollywood.

MARCH 24, 1959 TUESDAY

Kitty Wells recorded ''Left To Right'' and ''Your Wild Life's Gonna Get You Down''.

MARCH 26, 1959 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley's father, Vernon, and secretary, Elisabeth Stefaniak, are injured in a car accident on Germany's autobahn.

MARCH 28, 1959 SATURDAY

Sixteen tons of television fun, Tennessee Ernie Ford makes the cover of TV Guide.

MARCH 30, 1959 MONDAY

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''I Cried A Tear''.

Columbia released Johnny Cash's double-sided hit, ''Frankie's Man, Johnny'' backed with ''You Dreamer You''.

MARCH 31, 1959 TUESDAY

The inaugural episode of ''The Jimmie Rodgers Show'' airs on NBC-TV.

Bill Porter begins a four-year run as a engineer at RCA Studio B in Nashville, running the board for hits recorded by Jim Reeves, Roy Orbison, and Elvis Presley.

MARCH 1959

One cold night in March 1959, and at 8:30 Barbara Barnes walked through the door at Sun, she saw Sally Wilbourn at her desk. This was unusual. Barbara couldn't remember Sally's ever being there before Regina Reese or her. She often came in with Sam Phillips, and that could by anytime from 10:00 a.m. Until sometime in late afternoon. When Regina arrived soon afterwards, Sally told the girls what had happened the night before. She said that Sam Phillips had fired Bill Justis and Jack Clement and that he had threatened to fire Regina, Barbara, and Sally herself. She said he was mad about everybody goofing off. Except for Cecil and Kay, that would have been the whole staff. She said that he had dictated a letter, and she had typed one for Bill and the same for Jack. When they came about in about 11:00. as they always did, these letters would be waiting for them and they would know they had been fired because of ''insubordination''. Sally usually had a very even disposition, but this time they could tell she was upset.

According to Barbara Barnes, ''This shocking incident explained to my satisfaction my anxiety attack of the night before. From our first meeting, Sam and I had often seemed to be on the same wavelength and found it easy to communicate our ideas and feelings to each other by just a word or a look. He was extremely intuitive, almost psychic, and he had remarked to others that he didn't need to explain things to me, just a hint of what he meant would do. I also picked up his moods without anything having been said. This is the first time I had had a sense of Sam at such a distance. He must have been having extreme emotions to take such a drastic move as firing our whole musical staff''.

In later days and weeks Bill Justis dropped by the studio once or twice, and Jack Clement kept coming regularly. Regina and Barbara were dying with curiosity to know what had happened, and their stories about the night they got fired didn't exactly jibe. Bill said that it was because he had asked Sam and his friends, who had come to the studio to party, to keep it down because he was working with some musicians on an arrangement for a record he was cutting. Jack had laughed when Bill asked Sam and his friends to be quieter. This is where the ''insubordination'' factor came in.

Jack Clement's version was a little different. He said it was beginning to snow that night, and he was afraid the bridge between the studio and his home would be closed, as it often was when authorities feared ice forming on the bridge. According to Jack, Cliff Gleaves (a fast-talking perpetually black-clad Elvis intimate) was talking with Sam in the control room when Jack approached Cliff to tell him they needed to leave. Sam felt something Jack said about ''getting out of here'' was meant to be disrespectful, not understanding that he meant everyone should leave because of the weather.

''I wondered if there may have been two incidents, one with Bill in the studio, and then one in the control room'', says Barbara. ''First Sam was asked to leave the studio, and then his conversation was interrupted in the control room. One could see how he might feel his ''help'' were high-handed. Sam's informality invited us to feel free in expressing outselves, but it seemed Bill and Jack had misjudged the degree of freedom Sam would tolerate. I am sure they meant no disrespect''.

Jack Clement seemed to take losing his job much harder than Bill Justis did. His whole life revolved around music and the work he did at Sun Records. His friends were the musicians. Regina and Barbara went out to his house after work several times immediately after the incident to let him know they missed him. Jack Clement's former wife, Doris, also visit, and a good thing came of the firing in that they were reunited, remarried, and not long afterwards the parents of baby boy Niles. For some time afterwards Jack tried to get his own label, Summer Records, off the ground, with little success, because he didn't have the type of big artists he had produced at Sun. Eventually, Jack Clement moved to Nashville, and they didn't see him very much.

Bill Justis kept in touch occasionally and later told the Sun staff that Sam had approached him about returning, but he was ready to move on. Bill had a band, a family, and some financial security. For a time he was involved with a business in Memphis and then turned to work in Nashville and then in Hollywood involved with scoring movies. Eventually he as well as Jack, who had an interval in Beaumont, Texas, settled permanently in Nashville, and continued his career mainly as a musical arranger there.

''The sudden departure of our A&R staff seriously affected the way I thought about my work at Sun'', Barbara said. ''Whereas before I had accepted all the ups and downs as part of the business, I began to wonder how things were going to end. The departures of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins, the descent of Jerry Lee Lewis, and now with Jack Clement and Bill Justis no longer cutting sessions, who could predict what would happen to our company''.

Sam Phillips was often gone to Florida to attend to matters with his radio station there, another all-girl station with call letters WLIZ, and sometimes he would be in Arkansas looking after his zinc mine. Most often he was at 630 Madison overseeing the construction of the new studio and getting it outfitted with all the equipment it would require.

Barbara said, ''Sam's decision about Jack and Bill didn't seem to make sense, if decision it was and not just a flare-up of anger. I wondered what he had in mind for Sun, and if this seemingly emotional and unplanned firing were grounded in a deeper dissatisfaction with being in the recording business. Even though his untiring enthusiasm about the new building indicated a commitment to Sun, he had had little time for developing new talent and creating records. While he alone had at the company's beginning discovered the artists and led them to find their sound and their niche in the market, Jack and Bill had been doing all the producing of records and auditions of songs and would-be artists ever since I came on the scene. Sam would listen to what Jack and Bill had recorded and make or call for the changes he felt needed, and he alone could decide whether or not to release material. Bit I couldn't see that he was interested in sitting on the board any more listening to auditions and cutting records''.

At this time, a host of young teen heartthrobs, such as Ricky Nelson, Fabian, Bobby Vinton, and Bobby Darin, were coming along with a type of watered-down rock and roll. The sizzling sounds of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis were in competition with tamer, dreamier soft sounds for the teenage dollar. The major labels like RCA, Columbia, and Decca were catching on and began to climb on the teen bandwagon, too. Maybe Sam Phillips saw the end, and the incident with Bill and Jack was a sign of frustration. Also, on a more personal level, Jerry Lee Lewis's disgrace, following the departure of Johnny Cash and others, may have caused Sam to question the point of his efforts in discovering and grooming new talent. So the provocations the night of the firings may have been merely the fuse that set off an explosion waiting to happen.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY MARCH 31, 1959
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

01 - "OOH WEE" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 364 - Master
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3549-B < mono
OOH WEE / I WALK THE LINE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-1-21 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

"Ooh Wee" is actually a much better record than it deserves to be. The lyric is strictly cornball, but the piano/guitar/drums play beautifully together and the whole thing finds a totally enjoyable groove. Its a cinch that the piano player on this track is the same guy (playing the same riffs) as the pianist on Billy Riley's "Wouldn't You Know". The session file lists that man as James Paulman, but nobody, including Brad Suggs, seems to recall a piano player named Paulman. More to the point, its hard to imagine that those rolling chords don't belong to Charlie Rich.

02 -"I WALK THE LINE" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 363 - Master
Recorded: - Probably July 1959
Released: - October 1959
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3549-A < mono
I WALK THE LINE / OOH WEE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-1-22 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

On this session, this time complete with orchestra and chorus. Sam Phillips' thinking was probably if he was going to spring for a French horn, he was going to level them an "Orchestra". Might as well get some class out of it. What we really have here is an attempt to garner some revenue for the Sun publishing catalogue. Suggs recalls that an instrumental version of "I Walk The Line" was presently showing up at the low end of the pop charts. "I just can't remember who it was. I'm pretty sure he was a west coast musician who also did some movie soundtracks". In any case, Sam wanted to get his own version of the tune out there to help stimulate sales and radio plays because he owned the copyright to the Johnny Cash tune. The aforementioned French horn played the bass part, and a baritone sax and guitar (Suggs) play the melody line in unison. Its a long way from the version J.C., Luther and Marshall left in the can at 706 Union just three years earlier.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Charlie Rich - Piano
Martin Willis - Alt Saxophone
R.W. Stevenson or Billy Riley - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums

Gene Lowery Singers consisting of
Edwin Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
Lee Holt, Vocal Harmony

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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