Things began to look up for Sun Records and Phillips International as Cecil Scaife
prepared to make his next major foray to promote a new record. This time, it was ''Mona Lisa'', by Sun's new artist, Carl Mann, who had put one of Sun's records on the charts. Carl Mann was only sixteen when he arrived at Sun, but he had been playing piano
with bands around his hometown of Huntingdon, Tennessee, for some time. His particular specialty to be covering popular tunes and giving them a rocking beat, sometimes with a little Latin flavor, too.
It happened that Conway Twitty came in to visit Cecil, who at that time played for him a tape Carl had cut on the Nat King Cole tune. ''Mona Lisa''. The upshot was that, before long, Conway Twitty had released ''Mona Lisa''
done in a manner similar to the Carl Mann version Sun had in the can. Sam Phillips had not been eager to release the tune, but when the Twitty record started up the charts, he reconsidered. Cecil took the record to the national Disk Jockey Convention in Miami
in May, and some clever promotion on his part launched the Carl Mann version, which then went to number 25 on the Billboard charts, topping Conway Twitty's version.
1, 1959 FRIDAY
Hawkshaw Hawkins sings a recording contract with Columbia Records. During the ensuing two-year association, Hawkins earns a hit for the label with ''Soldier's
MAY 4, 1959 MONDAY
Randy Traywick is born at Memorial Hospital in Monroe,
North Carolina. As Randy Travis, his rich baritone is a signature sound in the New Traditionalist movement of the late-1980s. Among his hits, ''On The Other Hand'' and ''Forever And Ever, Amen''.
At the first Grammy awards presentation, The Kingston Trio's ''Tom Dooley'' wins Best Country and Western Performance. The folk record, which never made the country chart, beats two Everly Brothers singles, plus Don Gibson and Jimmie Rodgers.
Columbia released Stonewall Jackson's ''Waterloo''.
MAY 5, 1959 TUESDAY
The city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, votes to incorporate. The government-built town, where the first atomic bomb was developed, has already become the namesake gospel music's The Oak Ridge Quartet, destined to
become The Oak Ridge Boys.
MAY 6, 1959 WEDNESDAY
Hawkshaw Hawkins recorded ''Soldier's
Wynn Stewart recorded the first version of ''Above And Beyond'', which becomes a hit the following year for Buck Owens.
MAY 11, 1959 MONDAY
Decca released Kitty Wells' ''Your Wild Life's Gonna Get You Down''.
MAY 13, 1959 WEDNESDAY
Johnny Horton recorded a special version of ''The Battle Of New Orleans'' for England, replacing
''We fought the bloody British'' with ''We fought the bloomin' rebels''.
The Jordanaires join poet Carl Sandburg as guests on the NBC variety series ''The Milton Berle
MAY 15, 1959 FRIDAY
Webb Pierce recorded the Mel Tillis-penned ''I Ain't
Never'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.
MAY 16, 1959 SATURDAY
The Everly Brothers' Don Everly and his wife, Mary Sue, have a daughter, Venetia Ember Everly, in Nashville, Tennessee.
MAY 18, 1959 MONDAY
Kitty Wells and Webb Pierce recorded as duo ''Finally''.
The Crickets recorded the original version
of ''I Fought The Law'', written by group member Sonny Curtis. It's destined to become a country hit for Hank Williams Jr. almost 20 years later.
A history lesson makes
history as Johnny Horton's recording of ''The Battle Of New Orleans'' goes to number 1 on the Billboard country single chart.
MAY 20, 1959 WEDNESDAY
Faron Young recorded ''Country Girl'', written by Roy Drusky, at Nashville's Bradley Film and Recording Studio.
Cowshill is born in Newport, Rhode Island. The only daughter in the family pop group The Cowsills, she contributes to a trio of the late-1960s hits, including ''Indian Lake'', which Freddy Weller revamps for country customers in the 1970s.
MAY 21, 1959 THURSDAY
Carl Smith recorded the Mel Tillis-penned ''Ten Thousand Drums'' at the Bradley
Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
MAY 22, 1959 FRIDAY
Gene Autry's Golden West
Broadcasters buys Seattle radio station KVI.
MAY 23, 1959 SATURDAY
Beaulieu graduates from junior high school in Austin, Texas, just before she meets Elvis Presley in West Germany.
MAY 25, 1959 MONDAY
Johnny Horton and his historical hit ''The Battle Of New Orleans'' are featured in both Time magazine and Newsweek.