CONTAINS

Introduction
Disc 1 Sun Rise - In The Beginning
Disc 2 Sun Stars - The Principals
Disc 3 Sun Cream - The Key Components
Disc 4 Sun Shades - Rockabilly Central
Disc 5 Sun Styles - Rockabilly Crucial
Disc 6 Sun Streams - Blues & Country
Disc 7 Sun Set - Still Flying The Flag
Disc 8 Sun Days - From The Source
7'' vinyl Elvis Presley - The First Sun Recordings
Sun Datelines
Epilogue 

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 - ©

Introduction

The Inventory, dated July 1, 1969, outlined a potentially unique transaction. "For Sale, The Sun Record Company - One Careful Owner. Former participants include Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Rufus Thomas and Little Junior Parker". After a great deal of deliberation it was record producer Shelby Singleton who purchased the Sun catalogue that summer, which meant that he was now the owner of an independent record label, so revered, that it stood as the jewel in the crown of America's ever diverse musical culture. The publicity value on Singleton's landmark acquisition would have been a whole lot stronger, had it not been for the media's obsession with the then impending ''Woodstock'' festival. It might not have seemed relevant to those concerned with peace, love and understanding but their trendy happening could never have taken place without the existence of Sun Records. The same adage applied to other key events of the day: Elvis Presley Opening at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, The Johnny Cash Show airing on prime-time television and Jerry Lee Lewis returning to the charts as a reborn country singer. The yellow Sun label was without doubt the progenitor of industry trends long after its musical sell-by date. It is all the more remarkable therefore, that its wide swathe of rhythm and blues, rockabilly, country and straight ahead rock and roll, was shaped in some form or other by the illuminated efforts of one man - Sam Phillips.

Samuel Cornelius Phillips was born a Capricorn, on January 5, 1923 in Florence, Alabama. His particular sign of the Zodiac is said to produce deeply competitive people who are here on earth to create ''structure''. On that basis alone, the man is without doubt a lasting credit to his constellation. The youngest of seven children, he grew up during the depression years amidst a climate of discrimination, whereby theatres, rest rooms and even water-fountains were strictly segregated. Early ambitions to play the tuba and practice criminal law ultimately gave way to the more felicitous college pursuits of science, engineering and the rudiments of broadcasting. Sam mindfully chose the latter route and mastered his craft first as an announcer on stations in Alabama and Nashville, then later with the CBS affiliate WREC in Memphis where he became known as "Pardner", the popular presenter of an afternoon drive-time show. This appointment also enabled him develop his talents as an engineer and he learned to create sound effects and set the balance for dance bands who broadcast live from the Peabody Hotel's Skyway Ballroom.

As the 1940s drew to a close, Sam C. Phillips, as he was now known, felt confident enough to set up his own business and he raised the princely sum of $1,000 to convert an empty auto shop on Union Avenue into an office, complete with a small recording area out back. He christened his enterprise the Memphis Recording Service and when the facility opened on January 2, 1950, his publicity flyers claimed "We Record Anything-Anytime-Anywhere". Local broadcasters were offered dubbing facilities, station idents and commercials, whilst the attraction for domestic clients was the novelty of having functions such as wedding receptions, lodge meetings and pep rallies, all recorded onto 16" transcription discs. Technically-speaking, Sam's studio control room was fitted with a Presto recording console and mastering lathe, followed later by a state-of-the-art 900-P tape machine. In time to come and when funds allowed, a matching pair of Ampex 350 recorders would be installed along with an RCA 76-D mixing desk equipment that would help create the celebrated Sun' sound.

Sam was now a married man with a young family, so to guarantee a regular income and pay his monthly rent, he needed to maintain his position with WREC as well as work long days at the studio. This punishing schedule remained in place until the summer of 1951, when he realised he was working so hard he was on course for a nervous breakdown. Putting his own well-being before any financial interests, he ditched the security of the broadcasting gig and concentrated instead on the studio, primarily to develop one of his first discoveries. This was the local Newborn family jazz trio, whom he had bought to the attention of Jules and Saul Bihari, two brothers who were involved with the West coast RPM label. A series of demos were recorded and, encouraged by the novelty of the exercise, Sam's thought process abruptly went into overdrive. For some time he'd been observing the Delta blues scene which he knew was ripe for recording, especially as little had been happening since RCA and Vocalion had ceased their field trips to the South in the 1930s. To add weight to the argument, his buddy Dewey Phillips, an eccentric deejay who worked for WHBQ in Memphis, was also aware of the music's appeal through the reaction of his listeners. Although the two weren't related there was a common bond of resourceful deliberation, and in the summer of 1950 they endorsed their sentiments by issuing a single to test market reaction. The venture was on a distinctly amateur level, as evidenced by their ungainly label moniker of "It's The Phillips". The sole release, ''Boogie In The Park'', was the work of Joe Hill Louis, a multi- instrumentalist who worked as a houseboy for a wealthy Memphis family.

The theory was next put to the test when the Biharis brought along B.B. King and hired Sam to record the bluesman's first sides for their recently established company. After they developed a working relationship, B.B. King took the opportunity to introduce a gifted piano player into the fold, who hailed from Clarksdale, Mississippi, by the name of Ike Turner. Turner led a hot rhythm and blues outfit known as The Kings Of Rhythm and his vocalist, Jackie Brenston, immediately caught the ear of Sam Phillips and was duly thrust into the spotlight. Brenston's pivotal ''Rocket 88'' was issued on Chess early in 1951 and by May of that year, the record had cruised to the very top of the charts. Largely with the assistance of Ike Turner, the studio then played host in quick succession to Rosco Gordon, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf and Bobby Bland, all of whom had product leased by the Memphis Recording Service to RPM in Los Angeles and to Chess in Chicago. The company had certainly come a long way from recording such parochial fare as the "Miss Memphis Pageant" but it there wag any doubt as to what Sam's next should be, the answer came when his latest production also raced to the top of the rhythm and blues listings. This time though. it wasn't such a smooth excursion because the legal rights to the record, a driving blues by Rosco Gordon named ''Booted'', became a bone of contention between RPM and Chess. Sam found himself drawn into the argument when Leonard Chess declined to issue his latest batch of masters, making it patently clear that the writing was on the wall. Sam needed to start his own label and soon.

With funding jointly provided by record entrepreneur / fellow broadcaster, Jim Bullet and Sam's elder brother Judd, the Sun Record Company opened business in March 1952. Judd Phillips, then a vocalist with the close harmony Jollyboys Quartet, had a background radio where he'd worked with such diverse talents as Roy Acuff and Jimmy Durante. He came on board to handle promotion whilst Sam assumed the role of producer, engineer, maintenance man and company president, To manufacture its 78rpm stampers the company took on the services of ''Plastic products", a custom pressing plant sited in a Quonset hut on Chelsea Avenue, which was run by an assiduous character named Buster' Williams. The first projected Sun release, ''Blues In My Condition'' by Jackie Boy and Little Walter, made it as far as ''white label'' stage but it was prudently withdrawn after Judd Phillips encountered negative feedback from his circle of programme directors. Launching Sun Records may have been a baptism of fire but in the two years leading up to the emergence of Elvis Presley, there were many fine moments to savour: Some hillbilly, even a little gospel, but the majority of the first Sun singles were geared to what Sam Phillips knew best - pure Southern blues.

Compilation and Annotation
Stuart Colman
Project Concept and Co-ordination
Sam Szczepanski
Design and Layout
Alwyn Clayden

Packazing Concept
Sam Szczepanski and Alwyn Ckayden
with thanks to Michelle Callaghan at SRG & Andy Kyle at Jourdans
Mastering
Peter J. Reynolds, Colchester
Dialogue Editing and Digital Transfer for Disc 8: Steve Allen,
Blue Planet Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Vinyl Mastering
Masterpiece, London

With Acknowledgements to John Singleton at Sun Enteretainment Corporation,
and Erik Jung at Charly Licensing ApS and very special thank to
Gary Hovey at Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. 

We'd like to thanks the following individuals without whose invaluable research, archive material and shared enthysiasm this project would not have been possible: Bo Berland, Dave Booth Trevos Cajiao, Robert L. Campbell, Howard Cockburn, Colin Escott, Chris Giles, Peter Guralnich, Martin Hawkins, Lou Munson, Dan Penn, Robert Pruter, Wayne Russell, Dave Sax, Travis Wammack, Cliff White and Tony Wilkinson.

An 8 Compact disc boxed set. The discs with yellow label, have circle of musical notes and staff around the entire label, with excepted of the bar wherein "Memphis, Tennessee" appear. The letters SUN with sun rays pressed in light brown at the top of the label. Also included in the boxed set, an 72-page booklet with foreword and introduction notes with session information by Stuart Colman. Over the course of the past couple of decades, Colman have enjoyed the good fortune of speaking with a great individuals who were involved in the making of the Sun Record label. Some of the dialogues on CD 8 gathered dates back to the 1990s, whilst other probings have conducted after 2000. Many of the interviews declared their gratitude with regard to the way in which Sam Phillips and his hometown recording set-up furnished young hopefuls with a helping hand into the music business.

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-1 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 1 Contains ''Sun Rise - In The Beginning'' 

1 - Selling My Whiskey (1986) 1:20 Promotional Copies Only > Sun 174-B < 
(Jackie Kelly & Walter Horton) (Copyright Control)
Recorded February 25, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Horton (vocal, harmonica and kazoo), Joe Hill Louis (guitar and drums)
Jack Kelly (vocal and piano) 

Walter Horton and Jack Kelly were typical of the Delta bluesman who warmed to Sam Phillips' new recording climate. ''Blues In My Condition'', chosen from their various meanderings, was nominated as the first Sun single. However, due to an adverse reaction from area radio stations, the recording never made it past the promotional stage. Fortunately a fragment of the lower deck survived, allowing the true beginnings of the Sun label to be represented, right at the moment of conception. 

2 - We All Gotta Go Sometime (Joe Hill Louis) (983) 2:28 > Sun 178-A < 
(Joe Hill Louis) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded November 17, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal, guitar and harmonica), Willie Nix (drums)
Albert Williams (piano) 

The common thread running through these first four recordings is the presence of Joe Hill Louis. With the paint still drying on the Sun sign, this talented individual from the wryly-named Froggy Bottom, Tennessee, was crucial to Sam's game-plan. As well as playing just about any instrument thrust in front of him, Louis could fashion a decent song and he cut s through of leased masters before the homespun doctrine heard here served as his one Sun single. 

3 - Bear Cat (Rufus Thomas) (1953) 2:51 > Sun 181-A < 
(Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller) (Chappel-Morris Limited)
Recorded March 8, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal), Joe Hill Louis (guitar)
Tuff Green (bass), Houston Stokes (drums) 

Disc jockey, vocalist and one-time ''Rabbit's Foot Minstrel'', Rufus Thomas, perceived ''Bear Cat'' as an adjustment, a response, or more accurately, an answer record to Big Mama Thornton's ''Hound Dog''. Guileful plagiarism might have been nearer the mark, although the public, unlike Dog's publishers, weren't concerned with such a grievance. The resulting sales put Rufus in the rhythm and blues Top 10 and despite having to deal with an impending lawsuit, Sun Records had just scored its first hit. 

4 - Baby Please (The Prisonaires) (1953) 2:29 > Sun 186-A <
(R.S. Riley) (Warner Chappel Music Limited)
Recorded June 1, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Bragg (lead tenor vocal), Ed Thurman (tenor vocal), John Drue (tenor vocal),
William Stewart (baritone vocal and guitar), Marcel Sanders (bass vocal),
Joe Hill Louis (guitar), Willie Nix (drums) 

Southern record mogul Jim Bulleit, who had helped bankroll Sun just a few months prior to this recording, was the intermediary who put the Prisonaires together with Sam Phillips. Bob Stantley Riley was, like the group, an inmate at Nashville's State stockade and could take credit for ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' along with vocalist, Johnny Bragg. For this, the flipside of their launch vehicle, Joe Hill Louis was brought in to add his chunky guitar phrases to Riley's beseeching lyric. 

5 - Feelin' Good (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1953) 2:57 > Sun 187-A <
(Herman Parker) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded June 18, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
John Bowers (drums), William Johnson (piano),
James Wheeler (tenor saxophone) 

The notion of a distant locomotive whistle replicated by a chiming blues guitar over a rhythm set to a loping rhumba boogie, epitomises numerous Sun recordings. For many years the Cotton Belt railroad hauled a procession of passenger traffic through Memphis' Union Station and the essence and imagery of the machinery inspired many a songwriter. Herman ''Junior'' Parker was no exception and his upbeat-titled ''Feelin' Good'' racked up a second hit for Sun. 

6 - Silver Bell (The Ripley Cotton Choppers) (1953) 2:17 > Sun 190-B < 
(Edward Madden) (Redwood Music Limited)
Recorded July 11, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Raymond Kerby (guitar), James Kerby (guitar), Ernest Underwood (fiddle),
Pete Wiseman (bass) 

As a vocal outing during the late forties, ''Sugarfoot Rag'' became a benchmark hit for Red Foley. It was equally effective as an instrumental by its creator, guitarist Hank Garland, and in time to come several other catchy workouts would follow its thrust. Taking their cue from Bob Wills, the rustic-sounding Ripley Cotton Choppers (famous around Shelby County for their regular radio broadcasts) homed in on their neat equivalent, ''Silver Bell'', for what amounted to an exploratory Sun one-off. 

7 - Beggin' My Baby (Little Milton) (1953) 2:31 > Sun 194-A <
(James Milton Campbell) (Tristan Music Limited)
Recorded July 28, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Little Milton (vocal and guitar), Jesse Knight (bass),
Willie Sims (drums), Ike Turner (piano),
C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone) 

James Milton Campbell, late of Inverness, Mississippi, was first afforded an audience with Sam Phillips by the keen-eyed Ike Turner. Ike booked the players and together they cut this unashamed clone of Fats Domino's ''Goin' To The River'' for the topside of his first Sun single. Some five years later, partnered by one-time Sun musician, Oliver Sain, Little Milton went on to open Bobbin Records in Chicago, before returning to Memphis during the latter days of the Stax label. 

8 - Wolf Call Boogie (Coy "Hot Shot" Love) (1954) 2:40 > Sun 196-A <
(Coy Love) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 8, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Coy Love (vocal and harmonica), Pate Hare (guitar),
Kenneth banks (bass), Houston Stokes (drums),
Mose Vinson (piano) 

A product of Clarkendale, Arkansas where he came into the world in 1914, Coy Love was taught to play the harmonica by his father. His relocation to Memphis brought regular work as a sign painter and he was briefly pacted to the Sun label where he cut ''Wolf Call Boogie'', a remarkable track that had all the freewheeling abandon of a 'field' recording. The Love career never developed any further and he became better known as a neighbourhood lothario before being killed in an Interstate pileup in June 1980. 

9 - Boogie Blues (Earl Peterson) (1954) 2:36 > Sun 197-A < 
(Earl Peterson) (Peer Music)
Recorded January 4, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Earl Peterson (vocal and guitar), Unknown Musicians 

Earl Peterson's recording circumstances portend to be more fiction than fact. However, in the early fifties it was still possible to load up a truck, drive hundreds of miles to a record company, tape a selection of songs and head on home. Sam Phillips was no fool because Peterson sang and yodelled in a confident Hank Williams' manner which, to him, oozed commercial appeal. Boogie Blues found a release and the label copy read "Michigan's Singing Cowboy" - a ploy to woo his modest, but nevertheless established fan base. 

10 - No Teasin' Around (Billy "The Kid" Emerson) (1954) 3:03) > Sun 195-A < 
(William Emerson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 1, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Ike Turner (guitar), Jesse Knight (bass),
Oliver Sain (trumpet), Eugene Fox (tenor saxophone),
Willie Sims (drums) 

William Robert Emerson broke the mould at Sun for the label's early affinity with Delta blues artists. A resident of Pinellas County, Florida, he experienced his first taste of the outside world when he served with the U.S. Air Force in Greenville, Missouri. It was there that his keyboard abilities came to the attention of Ike Turner who swiftly ushered him in the direction of 706 Union. Once he'd proved himself, Sam Phillips issued ''No Teasin' Around'' on Sun and also chose it as the primer for his new label, Flip Records. 

11 - My Kind Of Carryin' On (Doug Poindexter & The Starlight Wranglers) (1954) 2:02 > Sun 202-B <
William S. Moore-Doug W. Poindexter) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded May 25, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Doug Poindexter (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (guitar), Clyde Rush (guitar),
Bill Black (bass), Millard Yow (steel guitar), Tom Sealey (fiddle) 

Originally from Vanndale, Arkansas, Douglas Winston Poindexter was working at a Memphis bakery when Scotty Moore hired him to front his country sextet, the Starlite Wranglers. Inspired by the group's popularity at local nitespots like the Bel-Air and Beaufort Inn, Sam Phillips decided to capture their moment of glory and this solitary single resulted. Scotty, along with Bill Black, would shortly be sidestepping the scheme of things to become Elvis Presley's "Blue Moon Boys". 

12 - The Great Medical Menagerist (Harmonica Frank) (1954) 3:09 > Sun 205-A <
(Frank Floyd) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Spring 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Frank Floyd (vocal and harmonica) 

Floyd came from pure sharecropping stock and as a teenager in the 1920s he entertained carnival crowds with novelty songs, fire-eating and hypnotism. He first showed up at the Memphis Recording Service in 1951 and cut two singles which were leased to Chess. This talking guitar blues hybrid lies somewhere between Grandpa Jones and W.C. Fields, yet there is a clear hint of the soon-to-be-famous Sun slapback surrounding Floyd's quaint tent-show style of performing. 

13 - Right Or Wrong (Buddy Cunningham) (1954) > Sun 208-A <
(L. Douglas-L. Laney-C. Parman) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 1954 at Chess Studio, Chicago, Illinois
Buddy Blake Cunningham (vocal), The Cliff Parman Orchestra 

Born and bred in Jackson, Mississippi, Buddy Cunningham very nearly plumped for a career in minor league baseball. Instead he pitched himself as a vocalist, albeit in the style of forties' crooner, Russ Morgan. Using a song from Lew Douglas, an arranger who had once worked with Tommy Dorsey in his hometown of Chicago, Cunningham cut his own master and sold the tapes to Sun. In 1957 he had the honour of launching the Phillips International label with a slightly late follow-up. 

14 - Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (Malcolm Yelvington) (1954) 2:52 > Sun 211-A < 
(Jay Williams-Stick McGhee) (Universal/MCA Music Limited)
Recorded October 10, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Malcolm Yelvington )vocal and guitar), Gordon Mashburn (guitar),
Miles ''Bubba'' Winn (steel guitar), Jake Ryles (bass),
Reece Flemming (piano) 

Proving its worth in the white market, Sticks McGhee's rhythm and blues chestnut from the forties came up for air several times during the rockabilly groundswell. Sid King & the Five Strings latched on in Texas and the Rock And Roll Trio did the same in Nashville, but Malcolm Yelvington was first off the mark in Memphis when the song made the topside of his debut Sun single in 1954. As a newly-signed artist, he had to kowtow to the recently launched Elvis Presley when it came to the promotional spend. 

15 - Movie Magg (Carl Perkins) (1955) 2:12 > Flip 501-A < 
(Carl Perkins) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded January 22, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums) 

There were few more important individuals in the Sun story than Carl Lee Perkins. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist, he was harvested from pure Tennessee soil, a useful quality to have when knocking on the door of 706 Union Avenue. This vivid tale of a distrustful father waiting with a shotgun for any young upstart to dishonour his daughter, was full of probability. The song was chosen as the topside of Carl's debut single, which appeared on the short-lived Flip subsidiary. 

16 - Peepin' Eyes (Charlie Feathers) (1955) 2:15 > Flip 503-B < > Sun 503-B <
(Charlie Arthur Feathers) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded February 17, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charlie Feathers (vocal and guitar), Quinton Claunch (guitar),
Stan Kesler (steel guitar), Marcus Van Story (bass),
Bill Cantrell (fiddle) 

Artistically-speaking, Charlie Feathers walked a fine line somewhere between backwoods country and ''toothless'' rockabilly. By hanging out interminably at Sun, he pestered Sam Phillips into freeing-up some studio time to record his Appalachian-drenched ''Peepin' Eyes''. Here was a hint of things to come, like the high lonesome yelps and whoops that would become the Feathers' trademark. For now though, the side was considered fitting to be given just a 'trial' release on the new Flip outlet. 

17 - Uncertain Love (Slim Rhodes) (1955) 2:15 > Sun 216-B <
(Dotty Rhodes-Dusty Rhodes) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded February 23, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Slim Rhodes (guitar), Dottie Rhodes (vocal), Dusty Rhodes (vocal and fiddle),
Speck Rhodes (bass), Brad Suggs (guitar), John Hughey (steel guitar) 

Bandleader Slim Rhodes had been a broadcasting veteran around the mid-South since 1950, both on radio and TV with regular slots over WMC TV in Memphis and KA TV in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Sponsored by Mother's Best Flour, the shows were truly provincial - steel-player John Hughey was hired after Slim announced on TV that a slot was vacant in his band. ''Uncertain Love'' captures the last vestiges of old-time country which were then disappearing over the musical horizon. 

18 - Someday You Will Pay (The Miller Sisters) (1955) 2:23 > Flip 504-A < > Sun 504-A <
(Roy Miller) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 14, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elsie Jo Miller (vocal), Mildred Wages (vocal), Quinton Claunch (guitar),
Roy Miller (guitar), Marcus Van Story (bass), Bill Cantrell (fiddle),
Charlie Feathers (spoons) 

These two fine vocalists from Tupelo, Mississippi, were in fact sisters-in-law, Elsie having married Mildred's brother, guitarist, Roy Estes Miller. To begin with they performed as a trio, which was how they presented themselves at Sun when Sam Phillips first showed an interest early in 1955. Their first single presented here (as yet another release on the company's Flip ancillary) skips along with an abundance of charm, proffering as it does a back porch bib and braces rhythm. 

19 - Cry! Cry! Cry! (Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two) (1955) 2:29 > Sun 221-A <
(Johnny Cash) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded May 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Cash (vocal and guitar), Luther Perkins (guitar),
Marshall Grant (bass) 

Unflappable, understated and unmistakable would be sure fire descriptions of what made John R. Cash such a virtuoso at Sun. Raised on the banks of the Mississippi in rural Arkansas, he'd tried out as a trainee radio announcer but despite his rich baritone he didn't secure a broadcasting gig. By badgering Sam Phillips on an almost daily basis, he was allotted studio time and the plaintive ''Cry! Cry! Cry!'' from his third session, was chosen as the Johnny Cash launchpad in the spring of 1955. 

20 - The Signifying Monkey (Smokey Joe With The Clyde Leoppard Band) (1955) 3:19 > Sun 228-A < > Sun 393-A <
(Joe Baugh-Stanley Kesler-William Taylor) (Knox Music Ltd)
Smokey Joe Baugh (vocal and piano), Buddy Holobaugh (guitar),
Stan Kesler (guitar and steel guitar), Johnny Bernero (drums) 

In African-American culture, the tale of "The Signifying Monkey" can be traced back to Yoruba mythology in Nigeria. Basically, the primate in the story is the bad guy whose rumour mongering eventually gets the better of him. Joseph Baugh, from Helena, Arkansas, played piano alongside guitarist Paul Burlison in the Shelby Follin band, before bedding in at Sun as a house musician. He used his Rufus Thomas-voice when relating this sometimes bawdy parable for a Sun single, which was also on Flip.  

21 - The Chicken (Dance With You) (Rosco Gordon) (1956) 2:52 > Sun 237-A < > Flip 237-A < 
(Rosco Gordon) (Copyright Control)
Recorded February 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Foree Wells (guitar), Tuff Green (bass),
John Murray Daley (drums), Willie Wilkes (tenor saxophone),
Billy Duncan (alto saxophone), Charles Taylor (alto saxophone),
Richard Sanders (baritone saxophone) 

Rosco Gordon was one of the first artists to record at "The Memphis Recording Service" when it served as the pre-Sun designation of the facilities at 706 Union Avenue. Like all the best rhythm and blues artists he radiated eccentricity within a studio environment, casting a vivid image across his portfolio of goofball jump tunes. ''The Chicken'' was proof enough that he could be an amourist one minute and a humourist the next. His audacious "good evening friends" at the conclusion says it all. 

22 - Ooby Dooby (Roy Orbison) (1956) 2:14 > Sun 242-A < 
(Wade Moore-Dick Penner) (Peer Music)
Recorded March 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar), Johnny Wilson (guitar), James Morrow (guitar),
Jack Kennelly (bass), Billy Pat Ellis (drums) 

In 1 955, Roy Kelton Orbison was attending University in Denton, Texas where he encountered two musically-minded students, Wade Moore and Dick Penner. The pair farmed Roy a hastily conceived rockabilly opus which he duly taped at Norman Petty's studio - soon to become famous for the Buddy Holly hits. ''Ooby Dooby'' briefly appeared on Je-Wel Records before coming to the attention of Sam Phillips, with the result that the song was recut at Sun and became a sizeable hit. 

23 - Welcome To The Club (Jean Chappel) (1956) 1:54 > Sun 244-A <
(Mae Boren Axton) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded circa May 1956 at Bradley Film & Recording Studio,
804 16th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee
Jean Chapel (vocal), Grady Martin (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar),
Owen Bradley (piano), Bob Moore (bass), Farris Coursey (drums) 

It was rare for Sam Phillips to commission outside masters, largely because he'd long been in the business of leasing tapes of his own. In a complexity of issues, ''Welcome To The Club'' by Jean Chapel (born Opal Amburgey in Neon, Kentucky) was submitted to Sun courtesy of the enterprising Murray Nash, a one-time song-plugger who ran a publishing company in Nashville. Spurred on by the meteoric elevation of Elvis Presley, RCA Victor then sub-licensed the track in the fall of 1956. 

24 - Rock With Me Baby (Billy Riley) (1956) 2:13 > Sun 245-B <
(Billy Riley) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded April 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Riley (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), J.W. Bruner (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)
 

Having departed his native Arkansas, William Lee Riley put down roots in Memphis where he sang part-time with The Dixie Ramblers, a dyed-in-the-wool country combo whose guitarist Jack Clement and bass player Ronald "Slim" Wallace were about to launch their own Fernwood label. The plan was for the talented Billy Riley to become their inaugural signing but at the eleventh hour Jack Clement approached Sam Phillips, with the result that he and Riley both ended up at Sun. 

25 - Juke Box, Help Me Find My Baby ((The Rhythm Rockers) (1956) 2:17 > Sun 248-B <
(Sidney Gunter) (Asterisk Music)
Recorded June 1956 at Studio 56, Wheeling, West Virginia
Hardrock Gunter (vocal and guitar), Bobby Durham (percussion),
Robert Tuston (bass) 

Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Sidney Louis "Hardrock" Gunter flitted around a variety of recording situations before settling into a deejay slot in Wheeling, West Virginia. Using the radio station's facilities and adopting the Rhythm Rockers as a name, he recorded ''Juke Box'' for Cross Country, a dime store imprint based in Garfield, New Jersey. Getting wind of the developments, Sam Phillips entered the picture and released an edited version of the master some two months later. 

26 - Crazy Arms (Jerry Lee Lewis) (1956) 2:43 > Sun 259-A <
(Ralph Mooney-Charlie Seals) (Universal MCA Music Limited)
Recorded November 14, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Billy Riley (guitar), Roland Janes (bass) 

In the months leading up to his arrival at Sun, Jerry Lee Lewis had tried out unsuccessfully as a staff pianist at the Louisiana Hayride and was given short shrift by label bosses when he visited Nashville. Producer Jack Clement, then only just ensconced at 706 Union himself, had a more charitable attitude and he auditioned the piano man the moment he saw him. Crazy Arms was taped in an equally impromptu manner and its pre-holiday release marked the beginning of a whole new era. 

Original Sun Recordings 

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc. 

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 - ©

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-2 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 2 Contains - Sun Stars - The Principals

1 - Mystery Train (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1953) 2:28 > Sun 192-A < 
(Herman Parker-Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Carlin Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Kenneth banks (bass),
John Bowers (drums), Bill Johnson (piano),
James Wheeler (tenor saxophone)

In those seminal times when the birth pangs of rhythm and blues could still be felt, such diversities as be bop, smooth ballads and foreboding saga songs were all considered fair game as influences upon the new genre. It is in the latter category that mystery Train slots most fittingly for its author, the suave Junior Parker from Clydesdale, Mississippi. That other son of the same city, Ike Turner, acted as the go-between here, thereby earning his talent scout bonus from Sam Phillips.

2 - Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) (1955) 2:18 > Sun 234-A < 
(Carl Perkins) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded December 76, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

To survive as a commercial entity, rockabilly needed its very own anthem and Carl Perkins was the man to provide it. His ace-in-the-hole was simply that fashionable apparel was sacrosanct to the newly-affluent youth of the time and such an item as a pair of blue suede shoes needed to be treated with the utmost respect. In a move rarely seen at his company, Sam Phillips not only produced the recording, he had the disc pressed and ready for shipping into a potential million homes within ten days.

3 - Just Walkin' In The Rain (The Prisonaires) (1953) 2:42 > Sun 186-B <
(Johnny Bragg-Robert Riley-Buddy Killen) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 1, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Bragg (lead tenor vocal), John Drue (second lead tenor vocal),
William Stewart (baritone vocal and guitar), Marcel Sanders (bass vocal),
Ed Thurman (tenor vocal)

The Prisonaires' story is surely deserving of some homogeneous Hollywood screenplay. Five inmates from the Tennessee State Penitentiary form a close harmony group and their headline song goes on to sell thousands of copies. To add to the growing plot, heartthrob crooner, Johnny Ray puts out a fresh version some three years after the original and this time, ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' becomes an international success. Soberingly, by then the group had split, their glory days already history.

4 - Red Hot (Billy "The Kid" Emerson) (1955) 2:29 > Sun 219-A < 
(William R. Emerson) (Knox Music Limited)
Billy Emerson (vocal), Calvin Newborn (guitar), Kenneth Banks (tenor saxophone),
Phineas Newborn (drums), Billy Love (piano), Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone), Band Chorus

It doesn't take much imagination to discern that Billy "The Kid" Emerson got his nickname from a fascination with the famed Western outlaw. A similar story surrounds his enduring ''Red Hot''. This was a slogan he'd originally heard as part of a cheerleaders' chant at a Friday night football game, and like most of his self-penned items, the title went on to become more familiar by other artists. When the first covers began to roll in, the hit-less piano-player was heading to Chicago for stage two of his career with Vee-Jay.

5 - I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two) (1956) 2:46 > Sun 241-B <
(Johnny Cash) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded April 2, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Cash (vocal and guitar), Luther Perkins (guitar), Marshall Grant (bass)

The principal feature of Johnny Cash's ''I Walk The Line'' is the long nasal drone that heralds each new verse from this pledge of loyalty to his first wife, Vivian. If the truth be known, this was nothing other than a happy accident - the artist was simply trying to get in tune. Because there were just a couple of hits to refer to at this stage, the industry was using the phrase, "MC Folsom Prison Blues". The tag wouldn't last long though, because a great many more Johnny Cash triumphs were on the horizon.

6 - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Jerry Lee Lewis) (1957) 2:56 > Sun 267-B < 
(David Curlee Williams) (EMI Music Publishing)
Recorded February 1957 at 707 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Roland Janes (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

In true Sun tradition, ''Shakin''' was another monster hit that should be filed under happenstance. Sam Phillips' and Jack Clement's policy of "let's see what you've got", had always been the mode for letting an artist have his head. The might and power that this level of rock and roll record generated, gave Jerry Lee Lewis the license to stick his chest out and challenge any would-be competition to stand up and be counted: The braggadocio persona was already in place.

7 - Paralyzed (The Million Dollar Quartet) (1980) 2:40 (Not Originally Issued)
(Otis Blackwell) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded December 4, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar),
Jerry Lee Lewis (piano), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

There have been countless meetings of minds throughout rock music history but the events that took place in Memphis, Tennessee early in December 1956, represent the first time any such milestone occurred. Elvis happened by during a Carl Perkins session at which the young Jerry Lee Lewis was on piano. Johnny Cash was present for some of the time but when Elvis held court with his newly-recorded ''Paralyzed'', it was Carl and Jerry Lee who were on hand to lend support.

8 - Rock 'N Roll Ruby (Warren Smith) (1956) 2:54 > Sun 239-A < 
(John R. Cash) (Bug Music Limited)
Recorded February 5, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Warren Smith (vocal and guitar), Buddy Holobaugh (guitar), Jan Ledbetter (bass),
Johnny Bernero (drums), Stan Kesler (steel guitar), Smokey Joe Baugh (piano)
Unknown (vocal harmony)

Whichever party you choose to believe, either Johnny Cash or George Jones was responsible for ''Rock 'N' Roll Ruby''. The former always took the credit whilst the latter may well have peddled ''Ruby'' simply to settle an outstanding bar bill. One thing is for sure, Warren Smith (late of Yazoo City, Mississippi) was on the receiving end, just as he annexed at Sun. The lyric cast Warren smack in the middle of a teenage world, a scene he would embellish several times in the months to come.

9 - Go! Go! Go! (Roy Orbison) (1956) 2:10 > Sun 242-B <
(Roy K. Orbison) (Warner Chappell Music Limited)
Recorded March 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar), Johnny Wilson (guitar),
James Morrow ( guitar), Jack Kennelly (bass),
Billy Pat Ellis (drums)

One of the muddier areas of first generation rock and roll is the way in which composer credits very as the years go by. To begin with, ''Go! Go! Go!'' was copyrighted in 1956 as a co-write between Roy Orbison and his drummer, Billy Pat Ellis. In just a matter of months the song yielded further spoils when it was reworked as ''Down The Line'', the flipside of ''Breathless'' by Jerry Lee Lewis. By this stage, Roy had waved goodbye to the Teen Kings and Ellis' contribution was ungraciously erased.

10 - We Wanna Boogie (Sonny Burgess) (1956) 2:26 > Sun 247-B < 
(Sonny A. Burgess) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded May 2, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sonny Burgess (vocal and guitar), Joe Lewis (guitar), Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass),
Russell Smith (drums), Kern Kennedy (piano), Jack Nance (trumpet)

It wasn't too long ago that folks out to have a good time would ''cuttin' a rug''. When the refer to a night on the town as – rock and roll generation came into being, particularly south of the Mason Dixon line, the lingo got a tad more boisterous and mutated into ''climbin' the wall''! Growing up in Newport, Arkansas, Sonny Burgess understood such parlance and when the chance came to record at Sun, he conjured up the mood perfectly with his all-pervading ''We Wanna Boogie''.

11 - Raunchy (Bill Justis & His Orchestra) (1957) 2:24 > PI 3519-A <
(Sid Manker-William Everette Justis) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded June 5, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Bill Justis (alto saxophone), Sid Manker (guitar), Roland Janes (guitar),
Sid Lapworth (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano), Two tenor saxophones overdubs

There's no shortage of cliches in rock and roll, in fact one of the most well-trodden myths concerns ''the million-seller that was just an afterthought''. In the case of ''Raunchy'' this was half-true. William Everette Justis was pushing thirty when he landed at Sun, an unlikely age for anyone to become a teenage idol. At the end of an uneventful vocal session, the Justis band worked on a riff, honing the results into what would become ''Raunchy''. Bill Justis was about to be launched as a pop star.

12 - Drinkin' Wine (Gene Simmons) (1958) 2:43 > Sun 299-A <
(Eugene Morris Simmons) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 3, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Gene Simmons (vocal), Carl Simmons (guitar), Jesse Carter (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums

Back on Tupelo soil, Eugene Morris Simmons was born in that enclave of rockabilly awareness some eighteen months prior to Elvis Presley. In 1955, off the back of a thoughtful mention from Elvis himself, Sam Phillips invited Gene to showcase at 706 Union. Like so many others, he was to return several times before his one single made it onto tape. As ''Jumpin"' Gene Simmons, he progressed to nudging the U.S. Top 10 in time for the Halloween celebrations of 1 964 with ''Haunted House''.

13 - Flyin' Saucers Rock And Roll (Billy Riley & His Little Green Man) (1957) 2:06 > Sun 260-A < 
(Ray Scott) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded December 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Riley (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Marvin Pepper (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano)

When Sam Phillips pressed the red button on his Ampex tape machine to record Billy Riley's second single, he was taking the plot of a sci-fi drive-in movie and turning it into a mesmeric rock and roll classic. The elements that he'd gathered together were right on target. Riley's hoarse throat vocal, Jerry Lee's freestyling at the studio upright and Roland Janes, with his eerily-echoed whammy bar, were enough to frighten anyone's horses. No wonder they were dubbed "The Little Green Men".

14 - Dreamy Nights (Dickey Lee & The Collegiates) (1958) 2:32 > Sun 297-B < 
(Dickey Lee Lipscomb) (Copyright Control)
Recorded March 3, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Dickey Lee (vocal and guitar), Marvin Pepper (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Charlie Rich (piano),
Allan Reynolds, Bill Talmadge, Daved Morris,
Eddie Well, J.L. Jerden, and
David Glenn (chorus)

Sun-friendly deejay, Dewey Phillips was hero-worshipped around Memphis for his wild shows on WHBQ, particularly by the local music fraternity. Dickey Lipscomb was one such admirer and in the summer of 1957, the renegade broadcaster helped secure him an audition over at 706 Union. Dickey plundered an area more usually associated with groups like the Del-Vikings rather than southern glee club traditions and his close-harmonied ''Dreamy Nights'' became Sun single number 2.

15 - A Thousand Guitars (Tracy Pendarvis) (1960) 2:41 > Sun 335-A < 
(Tracy Pendarvis) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Tracy Pendarvis (vocal and guitar), Johnny Gibson (guitar),
Sid Manker (bass), Merrill ''Punk'' Williams (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano)

In time-honoured fashion, Tracy Rexford Pendarvis homed in on the fabled Sun Record company by loading up his car in Cross City, Florida, and heading north west to Memphis. Already under his belt were two singles he'd cut for the local Scott label on the strength of winning a radio station talent contest. Sam's house producer, Ernie Barton, was sufficiently impressed and this ethereal-sounding "rockaballad" became Tracy's debut Sun single and the company's first release of the 1960s.

16 - Tootsie (Carl McVoy) (1958) 2:31 > PI 3526-A <
(Quinton Claunch-William ''Bill'' Cantrell) (Peer Music)
Recorded November 1957 at RCA Studio, 1610 Hawkins Street, Nashville, Tennessee
Carl McVoy (vocal and piano), Chet Atkins (guitar), Ernie Newton (bass),
Johnny Bernero (drums), John ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone)

Carl McVoy, a country cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, hooked up with songwriters, Quinton Claunch, Bill Cantrell and Sun's Ray Harris to cut this master and issue it on the brand new Hi label. When the single encountered distribution problems, the tapes were sold to Sam Phillips who reissued the track some six months later on Phillips International. Chet Atkins took charge of the production as well as leading the rhythm section which swings like a clock, right down to the dixieland ending.

17 - That's The Way I Love (Johnny Carroll) (1957) 2:36 > PI 3520-A < 
(Johnny Carroll) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded June 23, 1957 at Clifford Herring Studio, Fort Worth, Texas
Johnny Carroll (vocal and guitar), Jay Salem (guitar),
Bill Bunton (bass), George ''Mickey'' Jones (drums),
Bill Hennen (piano)

The popular concept that the chemistry of rockabilly was drawn largely from rhythm and blues and country is fine, yet influences came from all sides. Searching for that elusive success formula, Texas-born John Lewis Carrell went the extra mile by dipping into vocal group territory. In That's The Way I Love, his sole single for Phillips International, the "ba ba diddle it" chant was an unashamed lift from the Cadillacs' Speedo, the doo wop smash from a couple of seasons previous.

18 - Walkin' Shoes (Onie Wheeler) (1985) 2:15 Not Originally Issued
(Onie Wheeler) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded December 6, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Onie Wheeler (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Smokey Joe Baugh (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano)

Home for Onie Wheeler was in Senath, a rural community nestling on the edge of the Mark Twain Forest in southern Missouri. His recording initiation began with the Agana label in Flint, Michigan, and ahead of a momentary stop-off at Sun he spent four years with the mighty Columbia. Having Memphis agent Bob Neal as his representative, he often shared the bill with local rock and roll acts and although ''Walkin' Shoes'' never secured a place in the catalogue, this was the closest his got to the genre.

19 - Shake Around (Ray Smith) (1978) 2:51 Not Originally Issued
(Ray Eugene Smith) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 19, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Smith (vocal) Stanley Walker (guitar), Dean Perkins (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano)

At the last tally, there were at least three "Ray Smith"s cutting sub-rock and roll records in the late fifties. Two contenders came from Oklahoma but the Ray Smith of Sun fame, was Kentucky born and bred. A multi-faceted performer (piano, guitar and drums were all part of his impressive musical resume), he could also draft a half-decent piece of material when pushed by his producer, Bill Justis. The ebullient ''Shake Around'' was cut during Ray's first sortie to Sun early in 1958.

20 - Pretend (Carl Mann) (1959) 2:40 > PI 3546-B <
(Douglas-Parman-LaVere) (Universal/MCA Music Limited
Recorded August 24, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Mann (vocal and piano), Eddie Bush (guitar),
Robert Oatsvall (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

How Sam Phillips chose which of his imprints he would place an artist on, remains a topic of some conjecture. Having said that, it seems somehow appropriate that Carl Mann from Huntingdon, Tennessee, had his recordings represented by In the wake of his initial the Phillips International label. In the wake of his initial success with a supercharged treatment of ''Mona Lisa'', Carl came up with a further Nat "King" Cole outing, ''Pretend'', and the track was cut on the afternoon of his seventeenth birthday.

21 - Greenback Dollar, Watch And Chain (Ray Harris) (1957) 2:58 > Sun 272-A < 
(Homer Ray Harris) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded April 7, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Harris (vocal and guitar), Wayne Cogswell (guitar), Red Hensley (steel guitar),
Unknown (bass), Joe Reisenburg (drums), Wayne Cogswell, Red Hensley,
and Roy Orbison (chorus)

Geographically speaking, Mississippi, (the Northern border lies just below the city of Memphis) was an ideal state from which to feed exuberant wannabes into the Sun domain. Homer Ray Harris was born there in 1927, which made him one of the more senior contenders to figure in Sam Phillips' growing rockabilly empire. His second single, ''Greenback Dollar, Watch And Chain'', comes from the folksy end of public domain and features a young Roy Orbison in the chorus.

22 - Rebound (Charlie Rich) (1959) 1:55 > PI 3542-A < 
(Charlie Rich-William Everette Justis) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded February 5, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charlie Rich (vocal and piano), Bradd Suggs (guitar),
Cliff Acred (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

''Rebound'' was the nearest Charlie Rich came to assimilating a pure rock and roll performance in all the time he was at Sun. A product of Arkansas turf, his love of jazz and blues spawned an intimate style that was fine-tuned during a spell with the U.S. Airforce. However it was undoubtedly Jerry Lee Lewis whom he was trying to emulate when he committed this rattling little exercise to tape. The song was also cut by ex- labelmates, Conway Twitty for MGM and Ray Smith for Judd respectively.

23 - The Hucklebuck (Earl Hooker) (1977) 3:08 Not Originally Issued
(A. Gibson) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded August 10, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Earl Hooker (guitar), Pinetop Perkins (piano), Willie Nix (drums)

Rich in tone, spirit and originality, Earl Hooker's take on the Paul Williams classic from 1949, is high on the list of Its overlong shelf-life is doubtless outcast Sun masters. attributable to the casual free-for-all that accounted for his fleeting parley at Sun. A nomadic guitar player throughout his all too brief life, Earl Zebedee Hooker was a strategic part of Ike Turner's Delta substratum and he sandwiched in this exemplary session, between visits to King in Florida and Argo in Chicago.

24 - Tragedy (Thomas Wayne) (1977) 2:12 Not Originally Issued
(Fred Burch-Gerald Nelson) (Burlington Music Corporation Limited)
Recorded February 15, 1962 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Thomas Wayne (vocal), Scotty Moore (guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar),
Robert McGhee (bass), Al Jackson (drums), Larry Muhoberac (piano),
Probably De-Lons consisting of Sandra Brown, Nancy Reed,
and Carol Moss (vocal chorus)

The younger brother of Johnny Cash's guitarist Luther, Thomas Wayne Perkins was another son of Mississippi although he attended school in Memphis. ''Tragedy'' first came into his life in 1958 when he recorded the song for the local Fernwood label alongside a close harmony trio: Nancy Reed, Carol Moss and Sandra Brown, known as the De-Lons. Some three years later, when a new version charted by the Fleetwoods, he cut this facsimile at Sun in the exact same style and key.

25 - I Need a Man (Barbara Pittman) (1956) 2:56 > Sun 253-A <
(Barbara Pittman) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded April 15, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Barbara Pittman (vocal), Buddy Holobaugh (guitar), Marcus Van Story (bass),
Johnny Bernero (drums), Smokey Joe Baugh (piano),
John ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone)

Still very much in her teens, Barbara Ann Pittman earned her professional grounding in familiar Memphis nitespots such as the Eagles Nest and the Cotton Club. She fronted an outfit led by local drummer Clyde Leoppard and several of his sidemen were on hand when her inaugural recordings were made at 706 Union. There was little doubting what she had in mind with this title, to wit, the light soprano she'd been displaying on stage was convincingly replaced by a hot-blooded growl.

26 - After The Hop (Bill Pinky & The Turks) (1958) 2:05 > PI 3524-A < 
(W.Pinkney-William Everette Justis) (Knox Music Limited
Recorded February 7, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Bill Pinkney (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano),
Bill Justis (tenor saxophone),
The Turks consisting of Willie Peppers, Gerald Hendrix,
Tom Abston, James Curry (chorus)

Velvet-timbred Bill Pinkney devoted the greater part of his career to the treasured Drifters vocal group (whose formative years stemmed from 1953 to 1956), before a dispute over finances bringing about his departure. He formed a short-lived outfit known as the Flyers, then headed to Memphis where he set up shop with his latest incarnation, the Turks. Once there he conceived this knee jerk response to ''At The Hop'' with producer Bill Justis for a one-off 45 on Phillips International.

Original Sun Recordings 

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc. 

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 - ©

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-3 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 3 Contains - Sun Cream - The Key Components

1 - Great Balls Of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis) (1957) 1:54 > Sun 281-A <
(Jack Hammer-Otis Blackwell) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded October 8, 1957 at Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Jay W. Brown (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

This ageless paragon of rock and roll stands as the true equity of the Sun heritage. New York publisher, Paul Case, gave Jack Hammer's irresistible title to Otis Blackwell, who came up with an entirely new discourse. After agreeing to cut the song, Jerry Lee initially wrestled with his conscience over the tone of the lyrics. The deliberation was worth it because many highlights resulted, particularly his demarcating piano solo that shamelessly hocks the bass riff from Little Richard's Lucille.

2 - Ain't Got A Thing (Sonny Burgess) (1957) 2:09 > Sun 263-A < 
(Sonny Burgess-Jack Clement) (Ridgetop Music/Universal Music Publishing Limited)
Recorded Late 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis
Sonny Burgess (vocal and guitar), Joe Lewis (guitar), Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass),
Kern Kennedy (piano), Jack Nance (tromped), Russell Smith (drums) Band chorus

Few folks within the company realised what a commercial clarion call for rock and roll lovers there was, tucked away on the flipside of Sonny Burgess' second Sun single. Judging by their sense of urgency the players knew differently, and with Kern Kennedy as the focal point at the studio upright they created a track that truly motors along. Sonny christened his five-piece the Pacers after a short-winged airplane and the band went on to rule the roost locally for the next fifteen years.

3 - Tiger man (King Of The Jungle) (Rufus Thomas) (1953) 2:50 > Sun 188-A <
(Sam Burns-Joe Hill Louis) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded June 30, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums), William Johnson (piano),
James Wheeler (tenor saxophone)

Gregarious and macho from day one as a recording artist, Rufus Thomas was thirty-six years old when he recorded this hormonal exclamation. Freshly-scribed by Sun stablemate, Joe Hill Louis, ''Tiger Man'' maintained Rufus' creature feature theme that began with his rhythm and blues smash, ''Bear Cat'', earlier in the year. Rolling tom toms, some wiry lead guitar and a set of chest-beating howls added up to the kind of record that Rufus would play on his own radio show over WDIA, and he most likely did.

4 - Guess Things Happen That Way (Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two) (1958) 1:52 > Sun 295-A <
(Jack Clement) (Polygram Music Publishing Limited)
Recorded April 9, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Cash (vocal and guitar), Luther Perkins (guitar), Marshall Grant (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano)
Overdub May 1958 with Ed Bruce, Sara Bruce, Nita Smith,
and Lee Holt (vocal chorus)

With Columbia Records tarrying, Johnny Cash rode out his Sun contract in style with this grade A 45. Music designation at the time could be addled and some industry pundits were pigeonholing the artist as a folk singer. ''Pop country'' might have been nearer the mark considering the way in which producer Jack Clement crafted the arrangement. Above all, the golden tones of Cash's vocal had become instantly recognisable giving a comfort value to each of his eagerly awaited releases.

5 - I Shall Not Be Moved (The Million Dollar Quartet) (1980) 3:11 Not Originally Issued
(Traditional) (Public Domain)
Recorded December 4, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar), Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar),
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

Fittingly dubbed "The Million Dollar Quartet" by an imaginative local journalist from the Press-Scimitar, this momentous gathering of Elvis, Carl, Jerry Lee and Johnny Cash at Sun offered a unique snapshot of the city's golden foursome. A selection of much-loved spirituals formed the backbone of their spontanety and ''I Shall Not Be Moved'' brings some vibrant old time religion to Sam's doorstep. "'This is fun - I like that!" comments an inspired Jerry Lee Lewis at the close.

6 - Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo (Carl Perkins) (1958) 2:28 Sun LP 1225
(Willie Perryman) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded March 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

This nimble spokes phrase harks back to the early twentieth century, however, Carl would conceivably have picked up the lyric from hearing Piano Red's rhythm and blues rewrite in 1951. By a remarkable coincidence, Red was recording a new live version of the song in Atlanta just as Carl's permutation was being cut in Memphis. Within days of their session, the Perkins band would be torn asunder after they were involved in a serious auto wreck en route to the Perry Como TV Show in New York City.

7 - No More Cryin' The Blues (Alton & Jimmy) (1959) > Sun 323-B <
(Jimmy Harrell-Alton Lott) (Copyright Control)
Recorded June 5, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Alton Lott (vocal and guitar), Jimmy Harrell (vocal),
Roland Janes (guitar), Billy Riley (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Once in a while Sun Records might take a call regarding an act from the Louisiana Hayride and it was the show's entrepreneurial Tillman Franks who put in a good word for Alton and Jimmy. The two buddies from Hillsboro, Mississippi had already seen the inside of a recording studio when they tried-out for Ace Records but their real worth came when they made it up to Memphis. A hasty audition became a fully-fledged session some two months later, from whence this fine 45 emerged.

8 - Pearly Lee (Billy Riley) (1957) 2:39 > Sun 277-A <
(Billy Riley) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 30, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Riley (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Marvin Pepper (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano),
John ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone), Band (chorus)

Billy Riley's third instance in the Sun studio represents one of the last times when Jerry Lee Lewis would muster as a sideman. By way of an endorsement, the impulsive piano pumper mortgaged the opening gambit used here for his eternal ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On'', which was recorded just a few days hence. ''Pearly Lee'' meanwhile, was furnished with handclaps and a chorus overdub to arrive at the kind of gloss normally lavished on an A-side. That distinction went to ''Red Hot''.

9 - It's Me Baby (Malcolm Yelvington) (1956) 2:30 > Sun 246-B < 
(Reece Flemming) (Ridgetop Music)
Malcolm Yelvington (vocal and guitar), Gordon Mashburn (guitar),
Miles ''Buddy'' (steel guitar), Billy Weir (drums),
Frank Tolley (piano)

''It's Me Baby'' by the benevolent Malcolm Yelvington is so down-home, it rates as a thirteen bar blues. Equally intriguing is the stanza that bears a striking resemblance to Jay McShann's ''Confessin' The Blues'' - not that anyone was paying anything like that much attention to detail. The song's creator was Malcolm's longstanding piano player, Reece Fleming, a musician who covered his 88 keys in the stride fashion of a previous generation. The track emerged as a B-side in August 1956.

10 - Love Is A Gamble (Ike & Bonnie Turner) (1976) 2:12 Not Originally Issued
(Ike Turner) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded August 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ike Turner (vocal and guitar), Bonnie Turner (vocal and piano), Jesse Knight (bass), Willie Sims (drums), Raymond Hill (tenor saxophone)

Off the back of his involvement in a raft of pre-Sun recordings made at 706 Union Avenue by rhythm and blues pioneers like Jackie Brenston, Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King, Ike Turner was periodically apportioned studio time for his own needs. As the itinerant leader of The Kings Of Rhythm, he introduced into the ranks a coquettish piano-player conveniently known as Bonnie Turner. One of the less-chronicled female acquaintances in Ike's life, she nevertheless showed great promise on the spirited ''Love Is A Gamble''.

11 - Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache (Warren Smith) (1972) Not Originally Issued
(Lilly May-Wriston Auguste Bea Thompson) (EMI United Partnership)
Recorded circa February 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Warren Smith (vocal and guitar), Al Hopson (guitar), Jimmy Lott (drums)

In terms of Sun's chart legacy, ''Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache'' was unquestionably the Warren Smith success that got away. Its vacuous relegation to the back burner can be part-explained by the presence of Bob Luman's rival version on Imperial, but only just. Originally entitled ''Who You Been Lovin''' and written by amateur tunesmith Lilly May, with cursory help from one Wriston Auguste Thompson, the song was hook-filled and brimming with hit potential: It was not meant to be.

12 - Flea Circus (Bill Justis) (1959) 2:24 > PI 3544-A <
(H. Cropper-Bill Justis (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 30, 1959 at Pepper-Tanner Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Bill Justis (tenor saxophone), Vernon Drane (tenor saxophone),
Roland Janes (guitar), Sid Manker (guitar), Billy Riley (guitar),
Cliff Acred (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano)

Early in March 1959 producer and instrumentalist, Bill Justis, departed from Sun for pastures new. He returned briefly just a few weeks later to fulfill his contractual obligations and recorded one final single, the reverb-laden ''Flea Circus''. His reticence to control budgeting costs had been at the heart of the problem and with eight players present, this session was no exception. Some token respite was gained from the track being recorded at one of Memphis' cut-price jingle studios.

13 - I Won't Be Rockin' Tonight (Jean Chapel) (1956) 2:12 > Sun 244-B <
(Mae Boren Axton) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded circa May 1958 at Bradley Film & Recording Studio,
804, 16th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee
Jean Chapel (vocal), Grady Martin (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Owen Bradley (piano), Bob Moore (bass), Farris Coursey (drums)

Jean Chapel's well-proportioned coupling to ''Welcome To The Club'' was touted as an answer disc to Elvis' ''Good Rockin' Tonight''. Considering that the two songs bear scant relation, this was high-order hype, probably from the writer herself, Mae Boren Axton, who happened to run a thriving PR company. Taken at a markedly unconcerned pace, the track stands up perfectly well in its own right and Ms. Chapel delivers a comely vocal that conjures up a sassy, almost burlesque mood.

14 - Claudette (Roy Orbison) (1988) 1:57 Not Originally Issued
(Roy Orbison) (Warner-Chappell Music Limited)
Recorded circa February 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar) Unknown Musicians

Towards the end of Roy Orbison's tenure at Sun, he began to concentrate more on developing as a songwriter than as a performer. One of his infrequent outings took him to Indiana for a concert appearance with the Everly Brothers, and it was there that he played Don and Phil the basis of ''Claudette'', a eulogy to his then-new wife. As the flipside to their multi-million selling ''All I Have To Do Is Dream'' it became Roy's dream ticket into Nashville. His full band demo is presented here.

15 - You Made A Hit (Ray Smith) (1958) 2:25 > Sun 308-B < 
(Walt Maynard) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded September 12, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Smith (vocal), Stanley Walker (guitar), Dean Perkins (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano)

Despite such obvious talents, Ray Smith never actually broke through on Sun and he would have to wait until ''Rockin' Little Angel'' scored on Judd, late in 1959. The assertively titled ''You Made A Hit'' was supplied by Walt Maynard, a jobbing songsmith from the Claunch - Cantrell writing camp - a team who regularly supplied material to Memphis-based recording artists. The session itself combined Smith's own guitarists, Stanley Walker and Dean Perkins with Sun's house rhythm section.

16 - Listen To Me Baby (Smokey Joe Bauch) (1955) 2:32 > Sun 228-B < > Flip 228-B < > Sun 393-B <
Joe Baugh-Stan Kesler) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded Summer 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Smokey Joe Baugh (vocal and piano), Buddy Holobauch (guitar),
Stan Kesler (steel guitar), Bill Taylor (trumpet),
Johnny Bernero (drums)

As Sun strove to establish a recognigable identity, Smokey Joe Baugh offered a crucible that was one-part Bill Haley on the intro, one-part Elvis in the phrasing department and one-part Bob Wills at the close. His wide-span octaves on the higher register of the studio Spinet were a key factor too, Brenslon's ''Rocket 88'' some four years earlier. Unfortunately, his tardiness eventually cost him the gig as Sun's session pianist.

17 - Little Fine Healthy Thing (Billy "The Kid" Emerson) (1955) 2:38 > Sun 233-A <
(William Emerson) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded May 31, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Emerson (vocal), Billy Love (piano) Calvin Newborn (guitar),
Phineas Newborn Snr (drums), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Jewel Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone)

In his twenty months spent with Sun, Billy Emerson added five quality singles to the catalogue, For this, his concluding release, he called upon the talents 0f Phineas Newborn senior along with his younger son Calvin, to play drums and lead guitar. Also fleshing out the line-up was Billy ''Red'' Love, one of Sun's growing band of workaday sidemen, who look over the piano stool leaving The Kid plenty of room to conjure up the wolfish howls that introduce each chorus.

18 - Vibrate (Mack Self) (1977) Not Originally Issued
(Mack Self) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 4, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mack Self (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Therlow Brown (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass) Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

The traditional circuit of of regional radio in rural Arkansas, was the route taken by Mack Self to lay his musical credentials in front of Sam Phillips. As so often happened at Sun, when he was invited to the studio, Mack had to accept there'd be a good deal of hanging around whilst he waited his turn all the mike. A pair of true blue country sides released over two years apart was the total sum of his efforts, whilst the peppery ''Vibrate'' languished undeservedly for the next two decades.

19 - Rock Boppin' Baby (Edwin Bruce) (1957) 2:18 > Sun 276-A <
(Edwin Bruce) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded May 8, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Edwin Bruce (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Smith (piano)

In a gesture of faith that was rare for the time, William Edwin Bruce acquired funds to cut a demo thanks to a graduation gift from his parents. The youngster cherished the Sun recordings of Carl Perkins, so it was to 706 Union that he took his song ideas bolstered by some useful publicity from his then employers at the Memphis Press-Scimitar. A genuinely impressed Jack Clement took Bruce under his wing and the broody yet confident ''Rock Boppin' Baby'' surfaced in the summer of 1957.

20 - Broke My Guitar (Eddie Bond) (1978) 2:08 Not Originally Issued
(Eddie Bond) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 25, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Eddie Band (vocal and guitar), Unknown Musicians, Unknown Chorus

Right from the start, Eddie Bond displayed an equal radio of rockabilly and country within his musical framework. After cutting some high quality but low selling sides for Mercury, he breezed into Sun and there he squirreled away a clutch of demos. The most curious element of his somewhat odd ..Broke My Guitar'' is a total lack of verses. Such an omission defies the basic logic of song structure; choruses that butt up against each and every middle eight further complicate the issue.

21 - My Babe (Narvel Felts) (1976) 1:53 Not Originally Issued
(Willie Dixon) (Jewell Music Publishing/Bug Music Limited)
Recorded April 5, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Narvel Felts (vocal) Leo Barnett (guitar), J.W. Grubs (bass),
Bob Taylor (drums), Jerry Tutle (tenor saxophone)

Early in 1955 blues harmonica player, Little Walter, scored an rhythm and blues chart-topper with his adaptation of the gospel standard, ''This Train''. Retitled ''My Babe'', the song went on to pick up several rock and roll covers, in particular two highly contrasting versions by Dale Hawkins and Ricky Nelson. Arkansas-born Albert Narvel Felts had broached the idea somewhat earlier, at his second try out at Sun, which came just a few weeks after he was auditioned by the ever willing Jack Clement.

22 - In The Mood (The Hawk) (1960) 2:23 > PI 3559-B <
(Andy Razaf-Joe Garland) (Peter Maurise Music Limited)
Recorded January 21, 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (piano), Roland Janes (guitar),
Jay. W. Brown (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

In the wake of his brief cameos in ''Disc Jockey Jamboree'' and ''High School Confidential'', Jerry Lee Lewis was approached to take the lead role in a movie about a piano-playing nightclub owner. Although the film never saw completion, a soundtrack was recorded and Jerry's personalised boogie of ''In The Mood'' made it onto a single. In a ploy to sidestep the AFM, who were then hustling for the artist's unpaid union dues, the track was issued on Phillips International credited to The Hawk.

23 - Ain't Go No Home (Carl Mann) (1960) 2:40 > PI 3569-B < 
(Clarence Henry) (Francis Day & Hunter Limited)
Recorded October 16, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Mann (vocal and piano), Eddie Bush (guitar),
Robert Oatsvall (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

The irresistibly playful ''Ain't Got No Home'' was an imaginative choice for inclusion on Carl Mann's debut album. The song had been a major rhythm and blues success and crossover hit for its writer, Clarence Henry, early in 1957 and had garnered strong audience reaction when Carl performed it on stage. Although the ''frogman'' and ''baby girl'' gimmicks were retained, he traded the hard eights feel of the original for a buoyant swing at what became his final visit to the original Sun studio.

24 - Sally Jo (Rosco Gordon) (1958) 2:07 > Sun 305-A <
(Rosco Gordon-Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded July 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal), Freddy Tavares (guitar), Unknown (drums)

The ramble tamble Rosco Gordon wrapped up a two-year hiatus at 706 Union with this truly off-the-wall ode to ''Sally Jo''. For his swansong, Rosco applied the tried and tested adage of "'why use any more musicians when two will do perfectly well". Fortunately, Sun was well-versed in making sparse combos sound a whole lot bigger than they otherwise might. The credited guitarist here is Freddy Tavares, an Hawaiian born musician who helped design the Fender Jazzmaster.

25 - Take And Give (Slim Rhodes) (1956) 2:24 > Sun 256-A <
(Ronny Hesselbein-E.C. Slim Rhodes ) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded August 14, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sandy Brooks (vocal), Slim Rhodes (guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar), Spec Rhodes (bass), John Hughey (steel guitar), Johnny Bernero (drums)

By the summer of 1956, Elvis Presley's domination of the American charts was casting a mesmeric sway over the way in which pop recordings were being crafted. With this issue in mind, the Slim Rhodes troupe set out to freshen up its rube-like profile by introducing a husky new vocalist named Sandy Brooks. Whilst the exercise didn't quite generate a hepcat image, it nevertheless heralded the crux of the band's Sun inventory. The angst wrought from this torturous ballad is proof itself.

26 - Popcorn Polly (Charlie Rich) (1985) 2:28 Not Originally Issued
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded June 16, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charlie Rich (vocal and piano), Billy Riley (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Martin Willis (alto saxophone)

Charlie Rich's first few months at Sun were one long round of demo sessions, with Sam Phillips doing his level best to nail down a precise musical direction. In the spring of 1958 he began cutting with the studio house band and this ensuing teen confection became tagged as an ostensible master. The fact that it didn't fuel Sam's proviso for the Rich debut, was almost certainly due to ''Polly's'' aberrant chorus: Flattened thirds didn't figure in rock and roll songs too much at the time.

Original Sun Recordings 

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc. 

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 - ©

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-4 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 4 Contains - Sun Shades - Rockabilly Central

1 - Put Your Cat Clothes On (Carl Perkins) (1972) 2:51 Not Originally Issued
(Carl Perkins) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded December 4, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar), Clayton Perkins (bass),
W.S. Holland (drums), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano)

Due to its tape vault incarceration, this ebullient rally cry didn't enter the collective public conscious until the early 1970s. By that stage Carl had all but erased ''Cat Clothes'' from his memory, which is odd considering that the song was tried out at Sun on at least three separate occasions. In their earlier attempts the Perkins band adopted something ot a souped-up hillbilly approach but when Jerry Lee Lewis augmented the line-up as a session pianist, the outcome was a good deal more fearsome.

2 - Johnny Valentine (Andy Anderson) (1985) 2:13 Not Originally Issued
(Andy Anderson) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded Late 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Andy Anderson (vocal and guitar), The Rolling Stones: Joe Tubb (guitar),
Harold Aldridge (guitar), Billy ''Cuz'' Covington (bass),
Roy Estes (piano), Bobby Lyon (drums)

In Andy Anderson's world, the Rolling Stones actually came from Clarksdale, Mississippi. His group of that name was formed in 1954 and their forays around the local college circuit gave them the confidence needed to address Jack Clement at Sun. Given the run of the studio they cut a raft of originals the strongest of which was ''Johnny Valentine'', a cool chunk of swagger that highlighted Anderson's smoky lead vocal. The song eventually saw light of day as a recut on Felsted Records.

3 - Rainin' The Blues (Ernie Barton) (1958) 2:44 > PI 3528-B <
(Allen Wingate-Jo Wingate) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ernie Barton (vocal and guitar), Ronald Smith (guitar), Bob Hadaway (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano),
Vernon Drane, Allan Page, Billy Riley (vocal chorus)

Ernie Barton was never actually a household name within the Sun hierarchy, yet he played a more than significant role during his three-year tenure beginning in 1957. In his capacity as an artist and a producer, he showed a predilection for the true essence of the label and created his records accordingly. This atmospheric composition formed the topside of his first single and came from songwriter Allan Wingate, who was recording at the time as Allen Page for the local Moon label.

4 - Cotton Pickin' Boogie (Johnny Bernero) (1986) 3:15 Not Originally Issued
Recorded November 4, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Bernero (drums), Thurman Enlow (vocal and piano), Hugh Jeffries (steel guitar),
Herman Hawkins (bass), Johnny ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone),
Hank Bowers (trumpet)

When Elvis chose to use drums during the latter stages of his time at Sun, Johnny Bernero was one of the players who fulfilled the task. Apart from his musical capabilities Bernero was easy to hire because he worked right across the street from the studio at the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Company. On a couple of occasions he was given the chance to flex his wrists as a possible artist and the high-tailed ''Cotton Pickin' Boogie'' represents an area of excitement that Sun rarely covered.

5 - You Better Believe It (Tommy Blake & The Rhythm Rebels) (1976) 2:42 Not Originally Issued
(Tommy Blake) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 16, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Tommy Blake (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano)

As Thomas Van Givens, Tommy Blake sounded like a portrait painter prior to his having aspirations to make it in music. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, he fronted an adolescent country outfit on local radio during the early fifties before upscaling to the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas. Regional imprints took care of his early recording career before Sun beckoned late in 1957. Unissued at that stage, ''You Better Believe'' It stems from his second go round at 706 Union some six months later.

6 - Love Is My Business (Cliff Gleaves) (1976) 2:22 Not Originally Issued
Quinton Claunch-William Cantrell) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded circa 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Cliff Gleaves (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Sid Manker (bass),
Charles ''Pinkey'' Buehl (drums), Charlie Rich (piano)

Despite a set of chancy lyrics (for the time) i.e. "sittin' and a- hinkin' with my pencil in my hand", the macho ''Love Is My Business'' encompassed a strong hook and a surging backbeat. Local deejay Cliff Gleaves first cut a version at Sun, then resurrected the idea for Jack Clement's short-lived Summer label after the song had gained a late cover by Memphis piano player Bobby Wood. Gleaves ultimately made his mark as a key member of Elvis Presley's inner-circle.

7 - What'cha Ginna Do (Sonny Burgess) (1991) 1:58 Not Originally Issued
(Aghmet Nugetre) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded circa 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sonny Burgess (vocal and guitar), J.C. Caughron (guitar),
Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass), Kern Kennedy (piano),
Bobby Crafford (drums)

The rhythm and blues charts provided a regular source of material for sequestering by rockabilly performers during the fifties, and it was to Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters that the astute Sonny Burgess looked for ''What'cha Gonna Do''. Even with all of the Sun trappings in place a single didn't materialise, yet on the plus side pianist Kern Kennedy underwrote the track with an early slab of the blues-driven "Memphis Beat", a figure that would become par for the course during the sixties.

8 - Take Me To That Place (Jack Earls & The Jimbos) (1990) 2:20 Not Originally Issued
(Jack Earls) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 19, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jack Earls (vocal and guitar), Warren Gregory (guitar),
Johnny Black (bass), Danny Wahlguist (drums)

The railroad town of Woodbury in Cannon County, Tennessee, lies about forty-five miles to the south of Nashville. This rural backdrop was home to Jack Wayne Earls up until his seventeenth birthday, then he relocated (via nearby Manchester) to Memphis where he roomed with an elder brother. He first presented his credentials to Sam Phillips in 1955 and various musical explorations took place. A solitary single ensued, whilst the esoteric ''Take Me To That Place'' represents the conclusion of his efforts.

9 - Love My Baby (Hayden Thompson) (1957) 2:12 > PI 3517-A < 
(Herman Parker Jr.-Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded December 20, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Hayden Thompson (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Marvin Pepper (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano)

Hayden Eugene Thompson originated from Booneville, Mississippi, where in 1955 he made his tenderfoot recording debut for the local Von label alongside a still wet-behind-the-ears Johnny Burnette. The sweet smell of Elvis Presley's success, was sufficient to lure the teenager to 706 Union and his thundering ''Love My Baby'' was captured for posterity during one of Sun's busiest ever periods. For added measure, a precocious Jerry Lee Lewis railroads the studio Spinet.

10 - The Cause Of It All (Roy Orbison) (1974) 2:28 Not Originally Issued
Roy Orbison-Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded Unknown date at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar), Johnny Wilson (guitar),
Jack Kennelly (bass), Billy Pat Ellis (drums)

At this juncture Roy Orbison was also following the mesmeric lead of Elvis Presley. Small wonder then that his petulant ''The Cause Of It All'' abounds in a sea of vocal hiccups that bounce all around the slapback: To drive the point home one can sense he even curls his lip. Although undocumented, Roy's band the Teen Kings were almost certainly present on this occasion, which was likely to have been little more than a run through at demo level. This would account for the song's haphazard conclusion.

11 - Don't Be Runnin' Wild (Ken Cook) (1977) 2:00 Not Originally Issued
(Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Knox Music Limited)
Ken Cook (vocal), Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar), Billy Riley (guitar),
Jack Clement (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano), Bill Justis (tenor saxophone)

Roy Orbison brought fellow-Texan Ken Cook to Sam Phillips during the spring of 1957 and a basic work tape at 706 Union resulted. Looking to promote his publishing catalogue for Together the two performers delivered some exceptionally tight harmonies, a feature that inspired several Orbison backtracks to be tried out with Cook's vocal overdubbed.

12 - Rock Me Baby (Jimmy Haggett) (1985) 1:51 Not Originally Issued
(Jimmy Haggett) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded circa 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy Haggett (vocal and guitar), Charlie Hardin (guitar),
Billy Springer (steel guitar), Jackie Lee Adkins (bass),
Don White (drums)

So many radio personalities were frustrated vocalists during the fifties, irked no doubt by the task of having to push other people's talents. Jimmy Haggett was working as a country deejay on KBOA in Kennett, Missouri, when he chanced his arm at Sun with this yelping Perkins-styled bopper. The track comes from an entirely different neighbourhood to his one cornball single on Sun, and whether it was because he got a little too close to Carl's cherished style, the master was deemed unworthy.

13 - Ten Cats Down (The Miller Sisters) (1956) 2:21> Sun 255-A <
(Quinton Claunch-William Cantrell) (Knox Music Limited)
Elsie Jo Miller (vocal, Mildred Wages (vocal), Buddy Holobaugh (guitar)
Jan Ledbetter (bass), Johnny Bernero (drums),
Johnny ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone)

Here was a prime opportunity for Sun to tap into the growing teenage market rather than service a faltering country audience. Sax replaced fiddle as the sidemen - this time largely made up of players from Johnny Bernero's band - worked hard to make the track jump accordingly. Vocally speaking the girls exude a great deal of savvy which gained them an entirely new mantle, far removed from the indigenous harmonies that had set the standard on their earlier releases.

14 - Bop, Bop Baby (Wade & Dick & The College Kids) (1957) 2:11 > Sun 269-A < 
(Dick Penner-Wade Lee Moore) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded December 14, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Wade Moore (vocal), Dick Penner (vocal and guitar),
Don Gilliland (bass), Bob Izer (guitar), Roger Berkely (drums)

For their sole Sun outing, Wade Moore and Dick Penner were given a sub-credit of "The College Kids" which indeed they were. North Texas State University in Denton was their seat of learning and part of their daily routine was to lie in the sun on the frat house root and write songs for fun. Things got a little more serious when Roy Orbison chanced upon ''Ooby Dooby'' but they kept this raw workout for their own session which was taped during the Yuletide vacation of 1956.

15 - Lovestruck (Jerry McGill & The Topcats) (1959) 2:06 > Sun 326-B <
(Ernie Barton) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded January 21, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry McGill (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
\Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano),
Unknown (female chorus)

Even by Southern good ole boy standards, the name of 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 one-time road manager for Waylon Jennings. On a more positive level, J. M. Van Eaton's 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.

16 - Ooh, That's Good (Patsy Holcomb) (1981) 1:58 Not Originally Issued
(Patsy Holcomb) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded June 17, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Patsy Holcomb (vocal) Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass)
Jimmy M. van Eaton (drums), Charlie Rich (piano)

Aurally-speaking, with the sound board at 706 Union being set for balance on a semi-permanent basis, there was often little distinction between demos and master sessions. In this instance the somewhat embryonic material, fashioned by Patsy Holcomb's adolescent phrasing, points to the former. Even so there's a genuinely committed approach from the musicians, in particular Roland Janes, whose flowing stratospheric guitar break adds a crucial authority to the side.

17 - Come On Little Mama (Ray Harris) (1956) 2:20 > Sun 254-B <
(Ray Harris-Wayne Cogswell) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded June 20, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Harris (vocal and guitar), Wayne Cogswell (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Joe Reisenburg (drums)

In its original 45 rpm form, ''Come On, Little Mama'' proved to be a serious challenge for the avid listener as the single was pressed on particularly low grade vinyl. Only in recent years, with the advent of the digital format, has it been possible to soak up the full impact of what Ray Harris first set out to achieve. As a point of interest, his right hand man was a fine guitarist by the name of Wayne Cogswell who saw success of his own when he penned ''Teensville'' for Chet Atkins.

18 - Did You Tell Me (Narvel Felts) (1981) 2:25 Not Originally Issued
(Narvel Felts) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 23, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Narvel Felts (vocal), Leon Barnett (guitar), J.W. Grub (bass),
Bob Taylor (drums), Jerry Tuttle (tenor saxophone)

On the strength of an audition for Sun producer Jack Clement, Narvel Felts and his guitar-player, Leon Barnett, returned to their native Missouri and rounded up a full blown band. Six months later they were back in Memphis where a half dozen sides found their way onto a reel of stock studio tape, from which ''Did You Tell Me'' is derived. A further offensive in the spring of 1957 proved fruitless, so Narvel would have to wail until Mercury came a-calling before he'd make his debut on record.

19 - Rock All Night (Glenn Honeycut) (1985) 2:03 Not Originally Issued
Glenn Honeycutt) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded December 28, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Glenn Honeycutt (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar),
Marvin Pepper (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano)

Mississippi genealogy reveals that the Honeycutts of Belzoni, embraced the bloodline of the Presleys in Tupelo, thereby making Glenn a distant cousin of the King of Rock And RolI. Alter completing his military service, he sought out Sam Phillips but was initially considered too country for the Sun roster. Things changed when Jack Clement, with whom he shared ranks in the newly-formed Rhythmaires, helped score a one single deal that highlighted a ballad rather than the want on ''Rock All Night''.

20 - Fine Little Baby (Dick Penner) (198) 2:37 Not Originally Issued
(Dick Penner) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded February 16, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Dick Penner (vocal and guitar), Don Gilliland (guitar),
Unknown (bass, drums and piano)

Whilst his partner Wade Lee Moore continued his studies, the somewhat more ambitious Dick Penner returned to Memphis to try his luck as a solo performer. Surmounted by a primitive combo whose guitarist toted a razor-sharp Fender Telecaster, he managed to find an edge in what was essentially a crooner's lilt, for the soon-to-be-stowed ''Fine Little Baby''. Overshadowed by the coming might of Jerry Lee Lewis, he headed for a career of a different tack entirely - high order intellectualism.

21 - Everlasting Love (Barbara Pittman) (1958) 1:59 > PI 3527-A < 
(Stanley Kesler) (Copyright Control)
Recorded February 24, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Barbara Pittman (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Sid Manker (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano),
Bill Justis (tenor saxophone)

Sun's house-bass player Stan Kesler, became Barbara Pittman's representative knowing full well that the company had yet to launch a successful female act. After his artist's debut single was released, he set about reorganising her status with the result that Barbara signed to the Phillips International imprint simply because "the label looked pretty". ''Everlasting Love'', the second of her three fine singles, was a cover of Don Hosea's original on the Kesler-owned Crystal label.

22 - Me And My Rhythm Guitar (Johnny Powers) (1986) 2:37 Not Originally Issued
(John Pavlik) (Asterisk Music)
Johnny Powers (vocal and guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar), Billy Riley (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Martin Willis (tenor saxophone)

By the time he'd reached his eighteenth birthday, Johnny Powers had already seen two high-octane singles released on local Detroit labels. Both were cut from standard rock and roll cloth but as the ex-John Pavlik hailed from the same northern-most region as rockabilly best-seller Jack Scott, he readily adopted the latter's dusky baritone for his brief moment in the Sun spotlight. Powers would ultimately find his true worth on the shop floor of the music industry, in mastering and distribution.

23 - Fire Engine Red (Jim Williams) (1985) 2:22 Not Originally Issued
(Jimmy Williams) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded June 12, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy Williams (vocal) Unknown Musicians

Raised in a not untypical government housing project in Memphis, James B. Williams fronted the Dixielanders, a sixteen-piece dance band that worked society venues throughout the mid-South. When new trends demanded change, he created the nucleus of a rock and roll combo and locked into 706 Union through the ever-resourceful Jack Clement. Unlike the gentle approach of his one Sun single, ''Fire Engine Red'' was considered too hot a prospect to be given a catalogue number at the time.

24 - Rock Baby, Rock It (Johnny Carroll) (1980) 2:21 Not Originally Issued
(Johnny Carroll) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded June 23, 1957 at Clifford Herring Studio, Fort Worth, Texas
Johnny Carroll (vocal and guitar), Jay Salem (guitar), Bill Bunton (bass),
George ''Mickey'' Jones (drums), Bill Hennen (piano)

''Rock Baby Rock It'' was the title of a juvenile movie that had such a marginal showing, it has become better known in recent years than at the time of its release. The song was one of four sides cut by Johnny Carroll in Texas and dispatched to Sam Phillips for possible licensing consideration. Two of the more commercial submissions from the session made it on to a single, whilst this tour de force, which was much nearer to his Decca sides from a year previous, languished in its tape box.

25 - Baby Doll (The Four Dukes) (1978) 1:55 Not Originally Issued
(Unknown) (Copyright Control)
Recorded March 29, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Four Dukes members probably Billy Dawn Smith (lead vocal),
Donnie Sehested (tenor vocal), Tommy Smith (baritone vocal),
Edward "Sonny" Benton (bass vocal)
Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano)

One of Sam Phillips' most commendable qualities was his willingness to appraise little league acts, especially at a time when Sun was enjoying regular hits on an international basis. With the advent of bequiffed rockabillies giving his label a profound new identity, black performers had become sparsely represented in the company catalogue. ''Baby Doll'', from a scratch tape by the Four Dukes, offers a rare excursion into the vocal group stylings that were then flooding out of the east coast.

26 - Baby Please Don't Go (Billy Riley) (1958) 2:06 > Sun 289-A <
(Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded November 25, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Riley (vocal and guitar), Pat O'Neill (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Paulman (piano), Martin Willis (tenor saxophone)

For single number four out of the Sun box, Billy Riley greased-up this old blues standard to suit his sandpapered larynx and with Roland Janes away on tour backing up Jerry Lee, he played lead guitar himself. The cornerstone of his arrangement was a muted riff in the verses, which is mighty close to a similar deal on Gene Vincent's ''Dance To The Bop'' - a hit single at the time. Inspired though it was, the record's sales didn't elevate Riley's status any higher in the company pecking order.

Original Sun Recordings 

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc. 

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 - ©

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-5 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 5 Contains - Sun Styles - Rockabilly Crucial

1 - I've Got Love If You Want It (Warren Smith) (1957) 2:12 Sun 286
(Johnny Moore) (Campbell Connelly & Corporation Limited)
Recorded October 6, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Warren Smith (vocal), Al Hopson (guitar), Roland Janes (guitar),
Will Hopson (bass), Jimmy Lott (drums)

Not so much a cover, this was more a spirited revival of the Slim Harpo tune from six months earlier which had caught Warren Smith's ear over WDIA in Memphis. Taken in a higher key and with a major hike in tempo, the arrangement was purposely detailed for teenage ears. For once all of the elements seemed to be in place for Warren to break through, except to say that most of Sun's promotional energies by late 1957 were totally geared towards the latest singles by Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.

2 - Ubangi Stomp (Jerry Lee Lewis) (1958) 1:48 Sun LP 1230
(Charles Underwood) (Warner-Chappell Music Limited)
Recorded September 5, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Roland Janes (guitar),
Jay W. Brown (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

In the fall of 1957, at one of his many "you ain't heard nothin' yet" sessions, the pumpin' piano man rubbed maximum salt in the wound by reworking Warren Smith's two recognised calling cards, ''Rock 'N' Roll Ruby'' and ''Ubangi Stomp''. The latter title (which surfaced on both an extended player and as part of the Jerry Lee Lewis album) achieves supremacy thanks to the 'engine-room drive' of the rhythm section, fortifying the artist in the manner to which he's accustomed.

3 - Sweet Woman (Edwin Bruce) (1958) 2:46 > Sun 292-A <  
(Ed Bruce) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded January 26, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Edwin Bruce (vocal and guitar), Billy Riley (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano)

Vocally-speaking, Edwin Bruce could easily have passed for a more senior figure during his stay at Sun, yet he was just eighteen when he cut ''Sweet Woman'' in January 1958. A mere twelve months later he extended his talents into acting and made his television debut in the police drama, The Naked City on ABC TV. In 1962 he found success as a songwriter with ''Save Your Kisses'' (the B-side of Tommy Roe's ''Sheila''), ahead of enjoying hits of his own for RCA and Monument.

4 - Let's Bop (Jack Earls & The Jimbos) (1974) 1:57 Not Originally Issued
(Jack W. Earls) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded June 4, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jack earls (vocal and guitar), Warren Gregory (guitar),
Johnny Black (bass), Danny Walquist (drums)

In PR terms, with his steady job working for a national bread company, Jack Earls should have been billed as '"The Singing Baker". Such an attention-grabbing sobriquet though was never utilised, due to his pursuing a most unrockabilly-like domestic existence. Although his live gigs were few and far between, Jack Earls' set list dispelled any thoughts of a cosy image and the fire-breathing ''Let's Bop'' was captured for posterity right after he finished work, the first Monday in June 1956.

5 - Me And My Blues (Teddy Reidel) (1979) 1:54 Not Originally Issued
(Teddy Redell) (All Rock Music)
Recorded circa November 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Teddy Redell (vocal and piano), Roland Janes (guitar),
J.C. Caughron (bass), Bobby Crafford (drums)

Sometimes it pays to consider a make-over in the moniker department at an early stage. After making an exploratory visit to 706 Union in 1957, piano man Theodore Delano Reidel saw the rationale behind such a move and his first singles, which appeared on the Vaden label, were credited to Teddy Redell. Never an artist to be short of material, he later returned to what was then the new Sun studio and laid down ''Me And My Blues'' as part of a series of demos using players from Sonny Burgess' Pacers.

6 - Drive In (Mack Vickery) (1985) 2:14 Not Originally Issued
(Mack Vickery) (Copyright Control)
Recorded November 20, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mack Vickery (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Nineteen years old and fresh out of Alabama (with a stop off in Michigan), Mack Willard Vickery landed in Memphis during December 1957 and promptly coerced Sun custodian, Stan Kesler, into arranging a demo session. The hormonal ''Drive In'' was one of his first attempts at songwriting - a craft that would hold him in good stead in time to come. During the interim he would have to humble down through a series of light-touch singles made for Princeton, Gone, Jamie and far beyond.

7 - Jumpin' Jack (Cliff & Barbara Thomas) (1990) 1:56 Not Originally Issued
(Cliff Thomas) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 15, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Cliff Thomas (vocal and guitar), Ed Thomas (vocal and piano),
Babara Thomas (vocal), Stan Kesler (bass), Otis Jett (drums)

Avoiding the temptation to exploit their family jewels, Sam Phillips label-copied the three Thomas siblings in several permutations, sometimes as Cliff Thomas, Ed and Barbara, then on other occasions as plain and simple, Cliff Thomas. The threesome hailed from Jackson, Mississippi and arrived on Sun's doorstep in the summer of 1957. Four quality singles emerged on the company's Phillips International subsidiary, although the smart-licked ''Jumpin' Jack'' wasn't one of them.

8 - Domino (Roy Orbison) (1973) 2:39 Not Originally Issued
(Roy K. Orbison) (MPL Communications Limited)
Recorded circa 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar), Johnny Wilson (guitar),
James Morrow (guitar), Jack Kennelly (bass),
Billy Pat Ellis (drums)

When designated as ''Cat Called Domino'', this untypical mumble-fest from Roy Orbison nowadays carries a co-writer credit for Norman Petty. Petty was Roy's original producer down in Clovis, New Mexico, and this tenuous sharing of the spoils is attributable to Roy recutting the song during a return visit to the Petty studio in 1957. Despite the strong performance here, the track was released - albeit with unnecessary overdubs - only after Roy Orbison had achieved international success.

9 - Yakety Yak (Malcolm Yelvington) (1973) 2”39 Not Originally Issued
(Malcolm Yelvington) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded January 12, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Malcolm Yelvington (vocal and guitar), Gordon Mashburn (guitar),
Miles ''Bubba'' Winn (steel guitar), Billy Weir (drums),
Jake Ryles (bass), Reece Fleming (piano)

In many ways he was the John Wayne of rockabilly. A big man with a big heart, Malcolm Yelvington was more than just a performer, he was part of the very fabric of Southern culture. Such seniority (he was thirty-six when Sam Phillips invited him on board) reflected a diverse musical upbringing that encompassed the many fruits of western swing. ''Yakety Yak'' was all set to go when the first Presley rumblings began to happen, and with the master languishing, Malcolm alighted at Meteor where a recut resulted.

10 - Sweetie Pie (Tommy Blake) (1958) 2:08 > Sun 300-B < 
(Tommy Blake-Jack Ross) (Tristan Music Limited)
Recorded March 16, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Tommy Blake (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano), Edwin Bruce (percussion)

Tommy Blake's lascivious enunciation on Sweetie Pie, the second of his two Sun singles, rates highly on the confidence scale. Thwarted by his lack of progress as a performer, he concentrated on songwriting and made the transition by providing hard-hitting country for the likes of Johnny Cash, Carl Belew and Ray Price. Unfortunately a growing tendency to live out the lyrics of his songs finally got the better of him, and in 1985 he was killed in a domestic dispute with his wife.

11 - Lonely Wolf (Ray Harris) (1976) 2:53 Not Originally Issued
(Ray Harris) Ridgetop Music)
Recorded April 7, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Harris (vocal and guitar), Wayne Cogswell (guitar),
Red Hensley (vocal and guitar), Joe Reisenberg (drums),
Unknown (bass), Unknown (piano), Wayne Cogswell,
Red Hensley, Roy Orbison (vocal chorus)

Ray Harris's second session tor Sam Phillips was a rampant affair, akin to one of the famous Sun studio parties that, if folklore is to believed, were fuelled by copious amounts of Thunderbird wine. Although it win a release at the time, the teeth-baring ''Lonely Wolf'' was too good to be left on the shelf and it fully deserves its place here. The title was a tad prophetic, as the entrepreneurial Harris would soon be on his way to helping set up the rival Hi label.

12 - Look At That Moon (Carl Perkins) (1985) 2:23 Not Originally Issued
(Carl Perkins) (Universal Music Publishing Limited)
Recorded late 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

Had events been different, Carl Perkins' mentor, Hank Williams, may well have latched on to such a tailor-made piece of material as ''Look At That Moon'' and become a part of the rockabilly foundation himself. This joyous little opus was committed to tape by Carl at his final visit to the Sun studio late in 1957 ahead of his new deal with Columbia. For once he was backed up by an electric bass rather than the tried and tested upright played by his brother, Clayton.

13 - Red Velvet (The Kirby Sisters) (1986) 2:22 Not Originally Issued)
(Johnny Chaylor-Betty Kirby-Mary Kirby) (Copyright Control)
Recorded February 5, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Betty Kirby (vocals and piano), Mary Kirby (vocals and clarinet,
Sandy Kirby (unknown instrument), Clarence ''Tonk'' Edwards (guitar),
Gene Harrell (guitar), Ivan Greathouse (steel guitar),
Bill Fairbanks (drums), Del Puschert (saxophone)

In the last conversation I had with Malcolm Yelvington just a couple of weeks before his passing in February 2001, I offered the possibility that his piano man, Reece Fleming, might have been involved in the recording of ''Red Velvet'' by the Kirby Sisters. Despite a distinctive boogie in the solo, Malcolm was unable to shed any further light on the subject. The girls themselves showed promise with their well-drilled harmonies on this solitary demo dating from February 1956.

14 - Don't You Worry (Hayden Thompson) (1985) 2:12 Not Originally Issued
(Hayden Thompson) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded September 6, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Hayden Thompson (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano), Marvin Pepper (bass)

Not only was this career best recording passed over, it escaped its rightful heritage due to the master tape being misfiled. Rather than the artist taking on what would have been an unlikely pseudonym, the tape box apparently referred to a Sid Watson, who had no involvement in the session. Beyond Sun, Hayden made his way to Chicago where he cut a custom 45 for the dime store Beat label, whilst further sides appeared on Profile and Arlem.

15 - Mad At You (Mack Self) (1959) 2:18 > PI 3548-B < 
(Mack Self) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded March 28, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mack Self (vocal and guitar), Therlow Brown (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Jimmy Evans (bass and harmony vocal), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Motivated initially by Sam Phillips and later by Jack Clement, Mack Self set out to prove he could forge the kind of material that would eventually slot into the Sun mandate. His full-bodied ''Mad At You'' was first tried out at 706 Union in 1956, then a master was cut a year later, although there was no release as such until October 1959. The sweet-spot harmony comes courtesy of Fender bass player, Jimmy Evans, who was on loan from the Harold Jenkins band at the time.

16 - I'm Gonna Rock (Louie Robertson) (1998) 2:10 Not Originally Issued
(Eddie Bond) (Copyright Control)
Recorded August 12, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Louie Robertson (vocal and piano), Travis Lavoid Wammack (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Child prodigies surfaced with a determined regularity when rock and roll was taking its first unsure breaths and Little Louie Robertson was the token boy wonder at Sun. A talented keyboard player, he was fresh out of Alabama and debuted in 1959 on Temple Records with the Del Rays - a sizeable combo that spawned most of Muscle Shoals' finest session men. ''I'm Gonna Rock'' comes from one of five pilot sessions cut at 706 Union with his schoolboy buddy, Travis Wammack, on guitar.

17 - Baby I Don't Care (Carl Mann) (1960) 2:11 PLP 1960
(Eddie Bush) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 14, 1960 at 636 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Mann (vocal) Eddie Bush (guitar), R.W. Stevenson (bass),
.S. Holland (drums), Charlie Rich (piano)

At first glance, this title could easily be confused with Leiber and Stoller's lip-curling opus from the soundtrack of ''Jailhouse Rock''. Such an anomaly, however, was unlikely to enter the thought process of Carl's guitarist, Eddie Bush, when he wrote and recorded ''Baby I Don't Care'' for the top side of his own Phillips International single. Carl tackled Eddie's whirl away rocker just a few weeks later, early in 1960, during his first visit to the recently completed Sun Studio on Madison Avenue.

18 - Beat It (Tracy Pendarvis) (1986) 2:41 Not Originally Issued
(Tracy Pendarvis) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Tracy Pendarvis (vocal), Johnny Gibson (guitar), Sid Manker (guitar or bass),
Merrill ''Punk'' Williams (drums), Jimmy Wilson (piano)

Tracy Pendarvis managed to sustain no less than three 45s during his twelve months at Sun, all of which crested the realms usually associated with Carl Mann and Charlie Rich. Bearing in mind the pop climate of the time, it was understandable that he might focus on such an image, which makes the unissued ''Beat It'' all the more remarkable. In place of a light touch arrangement and some expected teen cliches, we get a demented piano player and a screwball lyric straight out of Deliverance: Hallelujah!

19 - Bop Pills (Macy Skipper) (1985) 2:28 Not Originally Issued
(Macy Skipper-Melton McNatt) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded Unknown Date at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Macy Skipper (vocal and bass), Brad Suggs (guitar), Melton McNatt (piano),
Nelson Grilli (tenor saxophone), Slick Glissom (drums)

The delightfully-named Macy "Skip" Skipper was born September 2, 1920 in St Louis, Missouri, where he began his long career playing bass with the Swift-Jewel Cowboys. His move to Tennessee created the latitude for a try-out at Sun and with guitarist Brad Suggs in charge, his work tape offered up the scatty ''Bop Pills''. In time he would be represented on vinyl by singles on Light and Stax, and he was still performing, usually in the Masonic lodges of Shelby County, right up until his death in April 2001.

20 - I Feel Like Rockin' (Kenny Parchman) (1956) 2:33 > Sun 252-B < Unissued
(Kenneth Parchman) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded September 10, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Kenny Parchman (vocal and guitar), R.W. Stevenson (bass),
Ronnie Parchman (drums), Jerry Lee Smith (piano)

Kenneth Parchman was a product of Madison County, Tennessee who, with his brother Ronnie on drums and future Mar-Kev, Jerry Lee "Smoochy" Smith on piano, recorded ''I Feel Like Rockin''' for a projected Sun 45 in the summer of 1956. When the release was inexplicably withheld, he proceeded to jump ship and with his band, the High Hats, he recut two of the titles he'd attempted at Sun, ''Treat Me Right'' and ''Get It Off Your Mind'', for singles on the local Jaxon and Lu labels.

21 - She's Gone Away (Ernie Barton) (1985) 2:34 Not Originally Issued
(Ernie Barton) Ridgetop Music)
Recorded April 6, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ernie Barton (vocal and guitar), Unknown Musicians

Guitarist, vocalist, writer and producer, Ernie Barton had to forsake the Sunshine State and up sticks to Memphis before anyone at 706 Union would take him seriously. His persistence finally paid off and he recorded his primary sides at Sun early in 1957. This first cut of ''She's Gone Away'' (the song was redone two years later) smoulders with an innate quality but the track served only as a stopgap prior to Barton's two singles appearing in the Phillips International catalogue.

22 - Life's Too Short To Live (Joe Lewis) (1988) 1:53 Not Originally Issued
(Joe Lewis) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 2, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Lewis (vocal and guitar), Sonny Burgess (guitar),
Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass), Kern Kennedy (piano),
Russell Smith (drums)

At six feet four, Joe Lewis cut an imposing figure as the joint front man of Sonny Burgess' Pacers. He picked a solid rhythm guitar and carried the reputation of being a popular figure within the band. In other words it made good sense for Sam Phillips to investigate his capabilities when he brought Sonny in to tape his maiden sides, and the finesse rolled over into this wild high-stepper. Sadly the title proved to be portentous, as the gangly musician lost his life in a car wreck during the 1970s.

23 - That's The Way I Feel (Jimmy Pritchett) (1985) 2:19 Not Originally Issued on Sun
(Smith-Hyde) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded circa April 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy Pritchett (vocal and guitar), Hank Byers (guitar),
Jan Ledbetter (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Smokey Joe Baugh (piano)

When producer Stan Kesler tell foul of technical problems at WHBQ, he cajoled Sam Phillips into setting him hire 706 Union to tape his hot new discovery, Jimmy Pritchett. Using sidemen from Clyde Leoppard's band (including the torrid Smokey Joe, who donates the earthy piano solo) he recorded a single master for release on his budding Crystal label. ''That's The Way I Feel'' cropped up again a couple of years later when Johnny Burnette cut a calmed down version for Liberty.

24 - Judy (Rudy Grayzell) (1958) 2:06 > Sun 290-A <
(Paiz-Dick Ketner) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded October 15-16, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rudy Grayzell (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Dick Ketner (bass),
Otis Jett (drums), Jimmy Smith (piano)

Rudy Jiminez Grayzell vaunted one of the most traveled pedigrees of any artist who ever made it to Sam Phillips' doorstep. This firecracker Texan had already accumulated innumerable releases for Abbott, Capitol and Starday before most Sun hopefuls had vacated the study hall. Deejay Charlie Walker was the intermediary who set up a one-single Sun deal and Bill Justis, in one of his first productions for the label, took charge of the session that produced the breathless ''Judy''.

25 - Miss Pearl (Jimmy Wages) (1978) 2:36 Not Originally Issued
(Jimmy Lee Wages) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded Unknown Date at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy Wages (vocal), Charlie Rich (piano), Ray Harris (guitar),
Jessie Carter (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Period photo shots depict a dapper, bow-tied Jimmy Lee Wages looking for all the world like he's pitching to become a Southern diplomat. In actual tact, this son of Tupelo worked in construction whilst quality time at weekends was spent playing gigs alongside other locals such as Ray Harris and the Miller Sisters. Jack Clement was the company representative who gave the somewhat off-the-wall chanter a shot at Sun, and the rabid ''Miss Pearl'' became the undoubted highlight of his visit.

26 - Right Behind You Baby (Ray Smith) (1958) 2:23 > Sun 298-B < 
(Charlie Ridge) (Knox Music Limited)
Ray Smith (vocal), Stanley walker (guitar), Dean Perkins (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Charlie Rich (piano)

Such a solid piece of material (from the pen of Charlie Rich) as ''Right Behind You Baby'' should have catapulted Ray Smith into the Sun fast track. Unfortunately, the record was released in April 1958, at a time when Sun had no less than nine singles to contend with. After his eventual success on Judd, he flitted between a myriad of labels including Infinity, Smash, Warners, Vee-Jay and Tollie. Disillusioned to the very end, Ray Smith died 29th November 1979 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Original Sun Recordings 

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc. 

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 - ©

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-6 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 6 Contains - Sun Streams - Blues & Country

1 - Move, Baby Move (Billy "The Kid" Emerson) (1955) 2:49 > Sun 214-A <
(William R. Emerson) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded October 24, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Elvin Parr (guitar), Robert Prindell (drums),
Bennie Moore (tenor saxophone), Charles Smith (alto saxophone),
Luther Taylor (trumpet)

During the early 1950s in the world of rhythm and blues, if one performer annexed another's work it wasn't considered a cardinal sin. The odd lawsuit might result (as in the case of Rufus Thomas' ''Bearcat'') but Jesse Stone who had authoured the famed ''Shake Rattle And Roll'', kept a low profile when Billy Emerson transformed his song into ''Move, Baby Move''. Following a shift to Chicago, "The Kid" (as he'd become known) then worked his way through most of that city's independents.

2 - Get Rhythm (Johnny Cash) (1956) > Sun 241-A < 
(Johnny Cash) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded April 2, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Cash (vocal and guitar), Luther Perkins (guitar), Marshall Grant (bass)

It's tracks like this that make Johnny Cash almost impossible to categorize. Part country, part rockabilly, part folk (as was the popular description of the day), the man in black encapsulated all of this and more in his quest to be different. ''Get Rhythm'' was the third of his countless Sun singles, yet its appearance as a mere flipside, demonstrates the proliferation of quality material that was there for the choosing. Johnny would shortly be performing the song on Jackie Gleason's CBS TV show.

3 - My Baby (James Cotton) (1954) 2:24 > Sun 199-A <
(James Cotton) (Copyright Control)
Recorded December 7, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Cotton (vocal), Pat Hare (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass), Houston Stokes (drums),
Billy Love (piano), Harvey Simmons (tenor saxophone), Tom Roane (tenor saxophone)

James Cotton was just seventeen when he began hosting his own radio show over KWEM in West Memphis. That same year of 1952 he was playing harmonica with Howlin' Wolf, hanging out with Bobby Bland and playing on his first recording at 706 Union with drummer Willie Nix. He was also driving an ice truck at the time and had to obtain special permission to leave work early to make this session. Showing all the force of rock and roll, ''My Baby'' was the finer of his two Sun singles.

4 - In The Dark (Earl Peterson Michigan Singing Cowboy) (1954) 2:36 > Sun 197-B <
(Ollie ''Mack'' McGee) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 4, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Earl Peterson (vocal and guitar), Unknown (guitar, steel guitar, and fiddle)

Cowboy serenader, Earl Peterson represents a time when the steed parked outside of Sun Records had four legs instead of wheels. His ''In The Dark'', written by Western tune-smith, Ollie "Mack" McGee, was nevertheless rich in vocal quality and the track benefited from some tasteful Chet Atkins-style lead guitar fills. Peterson returned to Tennessee from his home in Illinois late in 1954, and re- worked some of the material he'd cut at Sun for Don Law at Columbia Records in Nashville.

5 - Fools Hall Of Fame (Rudi Richardson) (1957) 2:41 > Sun 271-A < 
(J. Freeman-Danny Wolfe) (Warner Chappell Music Limited)
Recorded March 1957 at at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rudi Richardson (vocal and piano), Unknown Musicians,
Mike Gardner, Jimmy Hart, Steve Spear, James Tarbutton,
and David Beaver (vocal chorus)

Whilst still a child, Memphis-born Rudolph Richardson Riles moved to Chicago and debuted on the Miracle label in 1946. He was back in Memphis a decade or so later where he cut a session at Sun that included two Danny Wolfe songs, ''Teenage Hangout'' and ''Fools Hall Of Fame''. Both Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash tried the latter title and at one stage even Elvis Presley wanted to record it. Six months after his single was released, Rudi died of drug and alcohol abuse in a Memphis hotel room.

6 - Tennessee (Carl Perkins) (1958) 3:06 Sun LP 1225
(Carl Perkins) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded December 19, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

The date on the calendar highlights a critical stage in the reawakening of America's music industry; it also represents the most fluid period that Carl Perkins would ever experience as a songwriter. ''Blue Suede Shoes'' was a product of this session and so too was Tennessee, a glorious piece of hokum with a barrelhouse chorus capable of raising the patriotic hairs on a great many necks. Sam Phillips briefly envisioned the track as a single credited to Carl and Jay Perkins.

7 - The Boogie Disease (Doctor Ross) (1954) 2:36 > Sun 212-A <
(Charles Isaiah Ross) (Bug Music Limited)
Recorded circa September 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Doctor Ross (vocal), Tom Troy (guitar), Bobby Parker (drums)

The use of ''Doctor'' along with ''Professor'' and ''Deacon'', as authoritative musical designations, was common practice during the formative years of rhythm and blues. Isaiah Ross became Doctor Ross every time he took his one-man band on the road, although on this occasion he added guitar and drums for the stomping ''The Boogie Disease''. Unfortunately, further delights were not to be had as he departed from Sun, concerned that his royalties were being used to promote Elvis Presley.

8 - Split Personality (Bill Taylor & Smokey Joe) (1955) 2:23 > Flip 502-B < 
(Stanley Kesler-William E. Taylor) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded February 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Bill Taylor (vocal, Smokey Joe Baugh (vocal and piano),
Marcus Van Story (bass), Buddy Holobaugh (guitar),
Stan Kesler (steel guitar), Clyde Leoppard (drums),
Johnny ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone)

For this snappy little hoedown, vocalists Bill Taylor and Smokey Joe took a leaf out of the western swing novelty manual. At the time they were both frontliners with Clyde Leoppard's Snearly Ranch Boys, stepping up to the mike to sing one minute and playing a hot trumpet and piano the next. Stan Kesler also featured strongly, in this instance outlaying some fancy steel work. Released on Flip, ''Split Personality'' represented one of the first times "rock' and roll" was mentioned in a country song.

9 - Look To Jesus (The Jones Brothers) (1955) 2:51 > Sun 213-A < 
(Eddie Hollis) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded January 28, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charles Jones (vocal), Jake McIntosh (vocal), Bill Gresham (vocal),
John Pryke (vocal), James Rayford (vocal) Eddie Hollins (vocal),
Charles Bishop (guitar)

Memphis has been at the hub of gospel music ever since the era of pioneering songwriter, Thomas Dorsey, during the 1930s. After World War Il, there was a profusion of close harmony groups travelling the South (spreading the word and selling a whole lot of records), so it wasn't surprising that Sun might sooner or later enter the fold. The locally popular Jones Brothers boasted six very powerful voices, which, for Sam Phillips, proved difficult to balance and difficult to market.

10 - Feelin' Low (Ernie Chaffin) (1957) 2:36 > Sun 262-A < 
(Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux ) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded December 12, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ernie Chaffin (vocal and guitar), Pee Wee Maddux (guitar),
Ernie Harvey (steel guitar), Leo Lodner (bass)

Fresh out of Water Valley, Mississippi, Ernie Chaffin was managed by Murphy Monroe, a musician and song-smith better known as "Pee Wee" Maddux. His recording career began in 1954 with the incipient Hickory roster, then later a residency on WVMI in Biloxi, Mississippi, proved useful when it came to attracting attention at 706 Union. This first of four stylish singles cut for Sun actually found a U.K. release on London American. He died in 1997 following a tractor accident on his farm.

11 - Baker Shop Boogie (Willie Nix) (1952) 2:42 > Sun 179-A <
Willie D. Nix) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 2, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar),
James Cotton (harmonica), Albert Williams (piano)

Skinny as a rake and blessed with a loftiness that would do a high school basketball player proud, Willie Nix was one of the first musicians to be hired when the Memphis Recording Service opened for business in 1950. In the pre-Sun days, Sam Phillips hived-out Nix's recordings to RPM and Checker and then with the tag of "The Memphis Blues Boy" he came good for one in-house single with this personalised checklist of rolls and buns. Later sides appeared on Chance in Chicago.

12 - Hula Bop (Smokey Joe Baugh) (1978) 2:54 Not Originally Issued
(Stanley A. Kesler-William B. Taylor) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded August 25, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Smokey Joe Baugh (vocal and piano), Buddy Holobaugh (guitar),
Stan Kesler (steel guitar), Johnny Bernero (drums)

Surprisingly, this was deemed superfluous to needs when Smokey Joe waxed his maiden recordings at Sun. The idea drew heavily on the song that co-writer Bill Taylor had come up with earlier in the year (which Smokey Joe had played on) - ''Split Personality'' by Clyde Leoppard & The Snearly Ranch Boys. Stan Kesler, the other half of the writing team, realised the moment and cut a version for his own Crystal label by Jimmy Knight, a vocalist who had also worked with the Snearly outfit.

13 - Ain't That Right (Eddie Snow) (1955) 2:39 > Sun 226-A <
(Eddie Snow) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded July 19, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Eddie Snow (vocal and piano), Floyd Murphy (guitar),
Jeff Greyer (drums), Eddie Davis (tenor saxophone),
Bennie Moore (tenor saxophone)

A further carving from the suburbs of West Memphis was pianist Eddie Snow. A veritable corner-stone of the smartly-named In The Groove Boys from Osceola, Arkansas, he first trod the boards at Sun with the group's guitarist Elven Parr and later cut this solo offering which was effectively Ray Charles' ''It Should've Been Me'' sideways. He eventually headed for Cairo, Illinois, to earn his living as a welder and to become the leader of his own outfit appropriately dubbed The Snowflakes.

14 - Tell 'Em Off (Onie Wheeler) (1959) 1:59 > Sun 315-B <
(Onie Wheeler) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded November 11, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Onie Wheeler (vocal and harmonica), Roland Janes (guitar),
Stan Kesler (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Jimmy Wilson (piano)

Onie Wheeler cut some hot country sides for Columbia, yet when he tried out at 706 Union, his mournful-like wail (awash with house slapback) sounded a good deal nearer to rockabilly. His one Sun outing, ''Tell 'Em Off'', was held back for over a year, by which time the veteran singer was working at a shoe factory in his home state of Missouri. Fortunately the respite turned out to be temporary, proving that you couldn't keep a man down who had a voice like a spilled barrel of tar.

15 - I Feel So Worried (Sammy Lewis With Willie Johnson) (1955) 2:38 > Sun 218-A <
(Willie Johnson-Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 28, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sammy Lewis (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Joe Nathan (drums), L.C. Hubert (piano)

Smokestack lightning in a bottle would be a fair account of ''I Feel So Worried''. The song's steam-driven pulse coupled the driving rhythm of ''Mystery Train'' to the formidable roar of Howlin' Wolf. This scenario can be partly explained by the presence of Willie Johnson (born March 4th 1923 in Senatobia, Mississippi) who had occupied the guitar chair in Wolf's group. Double-headed by Memphis harmonica player, Sammy Lewis, (born August 9th 1932) this made for a classic Sun blues issue.

16 - Please Convince Me (Buddy Blake) (1957) 2:17 > PI 3516-B <
(Bettye Maddux) (Copyright Control)
Recorded March 29, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Buddy Blake (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Stan Kesler (bass),
Jimmy M. van Eaton (drums), Smokey Joe Baugh (piano),
Unknown (chorus)

In order to help define a fresh image away from the main label, crooner Buddy Blake Cunningham was chosen to launch the new Phillips International outlet in November 1957 with a cover of this West Coast ballad by songwriter Bettye Maddox. However, the fact that the track was marketed as a country release confused the issue and sales were purely on a local basis. After his final session at 706 Union, the by now well-versed Blake departed to set up his own Cover Records operation.

17 - Feelin' Bad (Junior Parker's Blue Flames) (1978) 2:44 Not Originally Issue
(Herman Parker-Sam Cornelius Phillips) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded October 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker _vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
John Bowers (drums), William Johnson (piano),
James Wheeler (tenor saxophone)

1953 was a banner year for Herman "Junior" Parker. He worked regular shows with the Johnny Ace Revue and secured a record deal at Sun for his own group, the Blue Flames. It might have seemed a good idea at the time, considering their rhythm and blues Top 10 success with ''Feelin' Good'', but if ''Feelin' Bad'' were to have made it into the release schedules, such a pessimistic title would have scuppered any potential airplay. The track was replaced at the eleventh hour with ''Love My Baby''.

18 - Ten Years (Jack Clement) (1958) 2:19 > Sun 291-A < 
(Jack Henderson Clement) (Universal Music Publishing Limited)
Recorded February 17, 1958 at RCA Victor Studio B. Nashville, Tennessee
Jack Clement (vocal and guitar), Bob Moore (bass), Jimmy Wilson (piano),
Probably Anita Kerr Singers (chorus)

In the wake of Sun going global, Sam Phillips became snowed under with his daily production and engineering chores. He sorely needed an extra pair of hands and Jack Henderson Clement, from Whitehaven, Tennessee, came on board to oversee these tasks in the spring of 1956. When the time came to debut as an artist, he showed true artistic commitment by stumping up a chunk of his own money to record in Nashville and he then leased the masters back to his somewhat cautious employer

19 - Time Has Made A Chance (Jimmy DeBerry) (1953) 2:45 > Sun 185-B < 
(Jimmy DeBerry-Cornelius Sam Burns) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 16, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy DeBerry (vocal and guitar), Raymond Jones (drums),
Mose Vinson (piano)

Originating from Gumwood, Arizona, James DeBerry harks right back to the Memphis Jug Band days of 1939, which was when he first recorded for Vocalion and Okeh. His main claim to fame lies in ''Easy'', a languid instrumental duet with harp wizard Walter Horton that preceded this single by just a matter of weeks. DeBerry's erratic metre heard here, is matched by a piano that is so wonderfully cranky, it makes the average set of honky tonk keys sound like a Bechstein grand.

20 - Call Of The Wild (Texas Bill Strenght) (1978) 2:14 Not Originally Issued
(Stanley A. Kesler) (Copyright Control)
Recorded July 19, 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Texas Bill Strength (vocal and guitar), Scotty Moore (six string bass),
Stan Kesler (steel guitar), R.W. Stevenson (bass),
D.J. Fontana (drums), Larry Mohoberac (piano)
Gene Lowery Singers (chorus)

Radio and television presentation was "Texas" Bill Strength's calling card and after departing his native Houston, he became a regional personality broadcasting throughout Georgia, Minneapolis and Tennessee. He forged a secondary career as a vocalist and recorded with moderate success for a variety of labels including Coral, Capitol and eventually, Sun. Unreleased at the time, ''Call Of The Wild'' went on to become a Top 30 country hit in the hands of Warren Smith.

21 - Don't Do That (The Five Tinos) (1955) 2:31 > Sun 222-A <
(The Tinos) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded March 26, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Five Tinos; Luchrie Jordan, Melvin Walker, Marvin Walker, Haywood Hebron,
Melvon Jones (vocals, Calvin Newborn (guitar), Kenneth banks (bass),
Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums), Robert Garner (piano),
Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone)

Whilst it's right to underline the fact that Sun seldom touched upon rhythm and blues vocal groups, it's worth remembering that most attempts by Sam Phillips to emulate what Ahmet Ertegun was doing in New York, were often reciprocal. Glen Reeves, Hal Willis and Jay Holliday were all cutting full-blown rockabilly for the Atlantic organization, right at the time when the Prisonaires, the Jones Brothers and the Five Tinos were cooing away down in Memphis: What goes around surely comes around.

22 - Sherry's Lips (David Houston) (1963) 2:21 PI 3583 > Sun 403-A <  > Sun 403-A <
(Bob Montgomery) (Acuff-Rose Music Limited)
Recorded late 1962 at Sun Studio, 7th Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee
David Houston (vocal) Probably Jerry Kennedy (guitar), Grady Martin (guitar),
Henry Strzelecki (bass), Hargus Robbins (piano), Buddy Harmon (drums),
Anita Kerr Singers (chorus)

As early as 1950, "Little" David Houston was performing novelty songs on the Louisiana Hayride in his hometown of Shreveport. He was actually raised in nearby Bossier City where his parents were tight with the legendary crooner, Gene Austin. A word in producer Bob Montgomery's ear brought forth this fine country single which likely features ace session-guitarist, Jerry Kennedy, handling the Duane Eddy-styled fills. Sadly, David Houston died of a brain aneurysm in 1993.

23 - Cheese And Crackers (Rosco Gordon) (1957) 2:50 > Sun 257-A <
(Hayden Thompson0 (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded October 25, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Phillip walker (guitar), L.W. Canty (bass),
Joe W. Payne (drums), James Jones (tenor saxophone),
Lionel Prevost (tenor saxophone)

His head to one side, and with the kind of inert enunciation that someone like Mose Alison would adopt in the seasons ahead, Rosco Gordon used his larynx more as an instrument than as a vocal attribute: Witness his gargling fluid delivery on ''Cheese And Crackers''. Even more oblique is the rolling piano intro. which conjures up the accompaniment to a silent movie - the part where the villain makes his entrance. There must have been a permanent high at Sun cutting records like this.

24 - Gone And Left Me Blues (Jimmy Louis) (1960) 2:27 > PI 3565-A < 
(Ray Scott) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded summer 1960 at Sonic Studios, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy Louis (vocal) Probably Roland Janes (guitar),
Billy Riley (bass), Stan Kesler (steel guitar),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Jimmy Louis was well known for his radio shows on KWFM in West Memphis, where he warbled country songs live on air. Billy Riley saw some mileage in this homespun sentiment and offered his Nita label as a home for the master of ''Gone And Left Me Blues'', a song written by Ray Scott who'd also been responsible for Riley's classic ''Flyin' Saucers Rock And Roll''. Distribution snags meant that outside help was required and Sam pitched in with a re-release on Phillips International.

25 - Jelly Roll King (Frank Frost) (1962) 2:31 > PI 3578-B <  
(Frank D. Frost) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded April 28, 1962 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Frank Frost (vocal, guitar and harmonica), Jack Johnson (guitar),
Roland Janes (bass), Sam Carr (drums)

By 1962 rhythm and blues recordings with customary paradoxical lyrics were becoming difficult to track down. Even so, the spoon fed gait of commercial Chicago rhythm and blues was regularly putting Jimmy Reed records into the Hot 100, a fact that wasn't lost on Sam Phillips. In his short but fertile tenure with Phillips International, Frank Frost delivered his goods in the Reed style to the tune of an album and a single: Later sides were on Jewel, Earwig and Paula. He died in October 1999.

26 - Don't Knock What You Don't Understand (Dane Stinit) (1966) 2:16 > Sun 402-A <
(Mitt C. Addington-Allen Reynolds) (Screen Gems-EMI Music Limited
Recorded January 29, 1966 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Dane Stinit (vocal and guitar), Billy Wood (bass),
Billy Adams (drums), Bill Yates (piano/organ)

This was one of the last occasions when Sam Phillips worked the Sun mixing board in pursuit of a hit recording. In fact until Dane Stinit fired him up, he hadn't participated in any kind of hands-on manner for some time. The artist was out of Kentucky and happened to be visiting Memphis when he came to Sam's notice. This "golden throat" vehicle surfaced complete with a melody hocked from the British song, ''No Other Baby''. What Johnny Cash thought of the endeavour is unknown. 

Original Sun Recordings  

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc.  

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 - ©

© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-7 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun/Flip standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 7 Contains - Sun Set - Still Flying The Flag

1 - 706 Union (Brad Suggs) (1959) 2:24 > PI 3545-A < 
(Brad Suggs) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded July 21, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Brad Suggs (guitar), Billy Riley (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano), Martin Willis (alto saxophone)

In 1950, Brad Suggs was hired under the rustic persona of "Pee Wee", as a guitarist for the Slim Rhodes Band. Some six years hence (this time seduced by the charms of rockabilly) he quit the band to make his solo debut on Meteor. With Sun now firmly established, he worked sessions and cut the occasional middle-of-the-road instrumental under his own name. His tribute to ''706 Union'' was not lost on The Fireballs who later requisitioned the melody for a chart single entitled ''Vaquero''.

2 - Walkin' And Talkin' (Mack Owen) (1960) 2:12 > Sun 336-A < 
(Mack Edward Owen) (Copyright Control)
Recorded November 20, 1959 at RCA Studio, 1610 Hawkins Street, Nashville, Tennessee
Mack Owen (vocal), Hank Garland (guitar), Ray Edenton (guitar), Bob Moore (bass),
Buddy Harmon )drums), Floyd Cramer (piano), The Jordaniares (chorus and handclaps)

Mack Edward Owen came into the world on July 27th 1936 in Athens, Alabama, and got his start in the entertainment business working on a Chicago TV show. His brief visit to the Sun catalogue came about as a result of meeting Sam Phillips in Nashville, who just happened to be in the city checking out sites for a new Sun studio. The rock and roll bug never really took a hold for Mack Owen and he made an early withdrawal into the clergy, prior to working as a trade unionist.

3 - Reconsider Baby (Billy Adams) (1964) 2:53 > Sun 394-A <
(Lowell Folsom) (Tristan Music Limited)
Recorded September 21, 1964 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Adams (vocal), Lee Adkins (guitar), Al Jackson (drums),
Bill Yates (piano), Russ Carlton (tenor saxophone)

Weaned on country but fashioned by rock and roll, Billy Wayne Adams woodshedded around Memphis after moving there as a sixteen year-old from his native Mississippi. In time he progressed to working with artists like Carl Perkins at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, then onto recording under his own name with singles for Home Of The Blues and Apt. His next stop was at Sun where he settled into a down-home groove and became hip to adventurous material like this rhythm and blues standard.

4 - The Return Of Jerry Lee (George Klein & Louis) (1958) 2:34 > Sun 301 < 
(Jack Clement-Barbara Pittman) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded May 28, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
George Klein (narration)

On the very same day that the U.K. Daily Express lambasted visiting rock and roll star Jerry Lee Lewis and his young bride Myra with the headline, "Exodus Of A Fallen Idol", producer Jack Clement was hard at work back in Memphis, editing together a new single. ''The Return Of Jerry Lee'' was based on Buchanan and Goodman's Flying Saucer break-in records, and it featured the voice of deejay George Patrick Klein, who wryly linked the narrative in the style of an investigative reporter.

5 - Hey Baby Doll (Eddie Bush) (1993) 1:59 Not Originally Issued
(Eddie Earl Bush) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 25, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Eddie Bush (vocal and guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar), Robert Oatsvall (bass),
W.S. Holland (drums), Carl Mann (piano)

The wayfaring Edward Earl Bush saw military service in Hawaii, a season with the Louisiana Hayride staff band and a single on the Jaxon label prior to making his mark at Sun. Impressed by his hot licks on Carl Mann's records, Sam Phillips turned the spotlight on Eddie Bush and this neat shuffle was the product of his first session. A single finally emerged but his glory didn't come until 1965 when he scribed Eddy Arnold's country chart-topper, ''What's He Doing In My World''.

6 - Sweet And Easy To Love (Vernon Taylor) (1959) 2:31 > Sun 325-A <
(Roy Kelton Orbison) (Carlin Music Corporation)
Recorded March 8, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Vernon Taylor (vocal and guitar), Bradd Suggs (guitar), Billy Riley (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Charlie Rich (piano),
Martin Willis (tenor saxophone)

Vernon Walton Taylor Alderton trimmed his lordly name down when he became the host of his own TV show in Washington D.C. Country star Mac Wiseman then entered the frame and helped set up a session at Dot in Nashville, although neither of his subsequent releases fared well. Following a guest spot on 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.

7 - Snow Job (The Memphis Belles Featuring Shirley) (1959) 2:08 > PI 3547-A < 
(Bettye Hodges) (Copyright Control)
Recorded October 14, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Shirley Sisk (organ), Roland Janes (guitar), Billy Riley (bass),
Brad Suggs (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano)

Shirley Ruth Sisk grew up in Memphis as Ernestine Brooks and during her sophomore year she cut two sides at 706 Union for a possible release on Chess. She then remained on the fringes until her keyboard proficiency was applied to this rinky dink organ instrumental under the guise of The Memphis Belles. As Shirley Sisk she appeared on Sun in 1961, guested on some latter day Jerry Lee studio dates, then joined her family's longstanding involvement with the United Methodist Church.

8 - You Better Dig It (Bill Johnson) (1989) 2:08 Not Originally Issued
(Charles Underwood) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 14, 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Bill Johnson (vocal), St. Clair Pinckney (tenor saxophone),
Al ''Brisco'' Clark (alto saxophone), Hubert Perry (bass),
Sammie Jackson (drums), John Wingfield (guitar)

Bill Johnson and The Four Steps ff Rhythm first recorded ''You Better Dig It'' during the summer of 1959 for Talos Records, a one-shot label owned by Bob Ritter and Carl Sanders in Augusta, Georgia. Some six months later, accompanied by the future James Brown band, the rampant blues shouter (aka as Johnny Lee Hamilton) re-cut the song with producer Charles Underwood. Two more Lloyd Price-styled sides from this four track session found their way onto a solitary Sun 45.

9 - I'll Wait Forever (Anita Wood) (1961) 3:04 > Sun 361-A <
(W.J. Williams) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded December 28, 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Anita Wood (vocal and harmony vocal), Charlie Rich (piano) Billy Riley (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums) Strings Probably: Joan Gilbert, Noel Gilbert,
Nino Ravarino, Elizabeth Jetter and Joe Bracciante

Anita Louise Wood, a pert ex-beauty queen from Jackson, Tennessee, was on hand to kiss Elvis Presley goodbye when he joined the U.S. Army. The two had dated since 1957 so when W. J. "Red" Williams (a Bill Justis discovery who had once tried out as an artist at Sun) wrote a ballad based on the affair, she jumped at the chance to record it. Her feelings were further emphasised via singles on the local Nita and Santo labels but her loyalty proved to be futile - due to a certain rival party.

10 - I've Got It Made (Thomas Wayne) (1962) 2:22 > PI 3577-A < 
(Bob Rice) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded February 15, 1962 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Thomas Wayne (vocal0 Scotty Moore (guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar),
Al Jackson (drums), Robert McGhee (bass),
Larry Muhoberac (piano), Unknown (chorus)

One of the lesser-charted routes taken by rock and roll artists during the calmer climate of the early sixties, was the sprucing up everyday pop songs with sub-gospel arrangements. In his search for an elusive second hit after the best-selling ''Tragedy'', Thomas Wayne adopted this very principle when he cut ''I've Got It Made''. However, a perfunctory female chorus didn't add any commercial edge and after one further single on Santo, the artist chose to pursue a career in studio engineering.

11 - Alice Blue Gown (Ray B. Anthony) (1959) 2:01 > Sun 333-A <
(H. Tierney-J. McGarthy) (Redwood Music Limited)
Recorded October 12, 1959 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rayburn Anthony (vocal), Eddie Bush (guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar),
R.W. Stevenson (bass), Tony Austin (drums), Carl Mann (piano)

One of eight children, Rayburn Anthony was born in Humboldt, Tennessee, learned to play guitar through an elder brother and touched down at Sun thanks to Carl Mann who'd seen him perform at an after-hours club. Carl also helped supply musicians for his debut session, which included this forty year-old song (originally written for President Roosevelt's daughter, Alice). As Anthony Rayburn he later scored in songwriting, his first success being ''Caution To The Wind'', the flipside of Sandy Posey's ''Born A Woman''.

12 - Rolando (Roland Janes) (1986) Not Originally Issued
(Roland Janes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded February 11, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roland Janes (guitar), Billy Riley (guitar), Pat O'Neill (bass),
Jimmy M. van Eaton (drums), Martin Willis (tenor saxophone)

In addition to playing lead guitar on the early Jerry Lee Lewis records, Roland Janes had a great deal more to offer in that he could write, engineer and produce as well. Born in 1933 in Brookings, Arkansas, Roland came to Sun early in 1956 where he got his chance to shine some three years later. None of the sides cut at this session were commissioned, yet ''Rolando'' certainly impresses - despite its conspicuous melodic parallel with Buddy Holly's ''Modern Don Juan''.

13 - Apron Strings (Curtis Hoback) (1986) 2:38 Not Originally Issued
(Aron Schroeder-George David Weiss) Minder Music Limited)
Recorded January 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Curtis Hoback (guitar), Coy Lomax (bass), Joe Ritchie (drums)

Although it never attained any kind of chart showing, this versatile opus certainly did the rounds. Outside of Cliff Richard's U.K. cover, the song was recorded by Billy The Kid and Jay B. Lloyd, then even Private Presley toyed with its prospects during his tour of duty in Germany. Curtis Hoback, a rockabilly from Rayburn Anthony's hometown, Humboldt, teed off with the self-explanatory Tom Dooley Rock And Roll for Lu Records in Jackson and later cut several singles for publisher Murray Nash during the sixties.

14 - Honey Bee (Don Hinton) (1960) 1:56 > PI 3556-B < 
(Narvel Felts-Don Hinton) (Ridgetop Music)
Recorded March 16, 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Don Hinton (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Sid Manker (guitar),
Billy Riley (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Charlie Rich (piano)

An ardent Elvis Presley devotee, Donald L. Hinton grew up in Carruthersville, Missouri wearing cool clothes, driving a slick car and singing the kind of rock and roll songs that he hoped the King would approve of. A taste of the real thing came when he opened for Carl Perkins, a move that gave him the presence of mind to supply Sun with a rack of demos he'd concocted with Narvel Felts. His moment at the label came and went in a heartbeat but the peppy ''Honey Bee'' is a deserving legacy.

15 - Uncle Jonah's Place (Harold Dorman) (1961) 1:42 > Sun 370-A < 
(Harold Dorman) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded September 16, 1961 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Harold Dorman (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), O.T. Shaw (bass), Al Jackson (drums),
Bobby Wood (piano), Martin Willis (tenor saxophone),
Vinnie Trauth (tenor saxophone)

Harold Dorman's calling card was ''Mountain Of Love'', a beat ballad that went on to see a great many revamps, most notably by Johnny Rivers, David Houston and Charley Pride (who, like the song's composer, hailed from the tiny town of Sledge, Mississippi). Dorman's twelve months as a Sun artist brought forth some quality sides, the strongest of which is this derivitive of Gary U.S. Bonds' double-track style. Not too long after, the bright lights had faded and he was earning a living repairing typewriters.

16 - You Don't Love Me Anymore (Ira Jay Lichterman) (1960) 2:34 > Sun 351-A < 
(Ira Jay Lichterman-Dover) (Copyright Control)
Recorded late 1959 Unknown Location
Ira Jay Lichterman (vocal) Unknown Musicians

The grandly-named Ira Jay Lichterman II was a jingle writer who supplied the Memphis radio fraternity with station-idents and drive-time commercials. In return for a publishing glad hand, Bill Justis opened the door at Sun and Ira scored overnight when Ray Smith cut his novel ''Rockin' Bandit''. The track included here amounts to his token artistic moment, mainly because composing was his first love. He wrote for the Stax label in later years along with his golfing-partner, Steve Cropper.

17 - Somewhere Along The Line (Danny Stewart) )1960) 2:45 > PI 3561-A <
(D. Padgett) (copyright Control)
Recorded January 6, 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Danny Stewart (vocal), Roland Janes (guitar), Scotty Moore (bass),
Lee Cornello (drums), James Terry (piano), Bill Justis (tenor saxophone),
Vernon Drane (tenor saxophone), Nelson Grill (saxophone),
Charlie Rich (piano)

Baby-faced Danny K. Stewart, from Jackson, Tennessee, got his initial look in at 706 Union after Bill Justis spotted his band working the Memphis clubs behind Sun artist, Dickey Lee. In terms of influences it would be fair to say that Elvis figured big in Stewart's life, a fact borne out by the vocal mannerisms on his anguished ''Somewhere Along The Line''. After a spell working in TV and radio he set up a highly lucrative real estate business, selling property in Shelby County.

18 - Groovy Train (Wade Cagle & Escorts) (1960) 2:30 > Sun 360-A <
(Wade Cagle-C. Mooney) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded July 27, 1960 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Wade Cagle (guitar), Charles Strasburg (bass), Rocky Haye (drums),
William Morninggold (piano), Ray McCarthur (tenor saxophone)

Guitarist, Wade Cagle Jr, brought along a welcome touch of Duane Eddy when he landed at Sun in the summer of 1960. Operating out of Pensacola, Florida, where his younger brother Conner worked in the nightclub business, Cagle toured the length and breadth of the country (often with road warrior, Wayne Cochran) and ended up in Las Vegas. It was here that he was to discover his true destiny, working alongside some of the world's top golfers as a tournament supervisor for the PGA.

19 - I Betcha' Gonna Like It (Jeb Stuart) (1962) 2:37 > PI 3575-A < 
(B. Killen-Riley King) (EMI Music Publishing Limited)
Recorded late 1961 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jeb Stuart (vocal), Scotty Moore (guitar), Brad Suggs (bass),Al Jackson (drums),
Larry Muhoberac (piano), Robert Oldham (tenor saxophone),
William Maherry (tenor saxophone)

Charles Jones led an rhythm and blues combo in his hometown of Memphis alongside a teenaged Isaac Hayes. In a highly implausible move, Jones adopted the name of Jeb Stuart (after a General who'd fought in the Civil War) before setting out to find a record deal. Thanks to a good word from Rufus Thomas, Phillips International unfurled the red carpet in 1960 and this Joe Tex- styled stomper very nearly became a national breakout. As Jeb Stuart, he later recorded for Kent, King and San Wayne Records.

20 - Everybody's Searching (Bobby Wood) (1961) 2:16 > Sun 369-B <
(S.D. Davidson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 15, 1961 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Bobby Wood (vocal and piano), Scotty Moore (guitar), Elbert Adair (guitar),
Billy Wood (bass), Eugene Keller (drums),
Johnny ''Ace'' Cannon (tenor saxophone)

Born in 1941 , Bobby Wood was educated in New Albany, just west of Tupelo, Mississippi. Ahead of his long career as a top keyboard session player, he first experienced the inside of a recording studio when he covered ''Love Is My Business'' for Vin Records in January 1959. At the turn of the decade he worked as sideman at Sun under the tutelage of Stan Kesler and this lone 45 was cut at the end of a Harold Dorman record date. Further sides appeared on Joy, Mala and MGM.

21 - Sittin' And Thinkin' (Charlie Rich) (1962) 3:05 > PI 3582-A <
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Limited)
Recorded August 9, 1962 at Sun Studio, 7th Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee
Charlie Rich (vocal and piano), Kelso Herston (guitar), Lightnin' Chance (bass),
James Wilkerson (drums), W.P. Ackerman (organ),
Boots Randolph (tenor saxophone),
Brenston Banks, Solie Fott, Lillian Hunt,
Cecil Tanner (strings)

If there was one last hit that Sun might possibly have clinched, it was this top-drawer piece of country wisdom. Charlie Rich had more than paid his dues by this juncture and the reward for five years hard work was a star quality foundation. Billy Sherrill (his future hit producer at Epic) respected such virtue and as Sam Phillips's general factotum for the company's Nashville studio, he glossed ''Sittin' And Thinkin''' with all the trappings that a potential crossover smash could warrant.

22 - Times Sho' Gettin' Ruff ( The Quintones) (1963) 2:16 > PI 3586-A < 
(J.D. Rogers) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 1962 at Melotone Studio, Mobile, Alabama
The Quintones: Charles Lewis, Bobby Smith, William Lowery,
Ray Thompson, Woodrow Bryant Jr.

In 1959 writer and publisher Jimmie Rogers established a Memphis connection by supplying ex-Sun artist, Ray Smith, with his one sizeable hit, ''Rockin' Little Angel''. He also made custom masters with a house band at his demo studio in Mobile, Alabama, from whence he pitched this one-off instrumental (along with a ballad by The Teenangels) in the direction of Sam Phillips. The earthy workout caught Sam's imagination and it was chosen as the final release on Phillips International.

23 - Peek-A-Boo (Randy & The Radiants) (1965) 2:12 > Sun 395-A <
(Bob Simon) Copyright Control)
Recorded October 17, 1964 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Randy Jay Haspel (vocal and guitar), Ed Marshall (guitar),
Howard Calhoun (bass), Mike Gardner (drums),
Bill Slais (tenor saxophone)

It was unheard of for Sun to tread on ''beat group'' turf, that is until the arrival of Randy & The Radiants, a sophomore quintet who pre-empted the blue-eyed Memphis soul of The Box Tops. Vocalist Randy Haspel was the most active member of the group, forming Rich Mountain Tower in 1970 (with a quadraphonic album on Ovation) and in 1997 linking with drummer Mike Gardner for a Randy & The Radiants reunion. He currently hosts his own radio show on WEVL-FM in Memphis.

24 - Night Train From Chicago (The Jesters) (1989) 2:13 Not Originally Issued
(Teddy Paige) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 22, 1966 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jim Dickinson (vocal and piano), Teddy Paige (guitar),
Jerry Phillips (guitar and maracas), Billy Wulfers (bass),
Eddie Robertson (drums)

As in the instance of Randy & The Radiants, Sun tended to steer clear of set-piece groups (solo acts were a good deal less expensive to record). The Jesters were skittish both in name and musical direction, to the point that they owed more to British art school than to Southern cool school. The driving force behind the restless five some was Teddy Paige, a gifted if somewhat unconventional guitarist who could summon up inspired themes like ''Night Train From Chicago'' with ease.

25 - Breaking Up Again (The Climates) (1967) 2:42 > Sun 404-B < 
(James Thomas) (Copyright Control)
Recorded late 1966 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Thomas (lead vocal), The Climates: Bobby Wood (organ),
Reggie Young (guitar), Tommy Cogbille (guitar), Mike Leech (bass),
Gene Chrisman (drums), Charles Chalmers (tenor saxophone),
Floyd Newman (tenor saxophone)

Harmony-wise, the Climates took a leaf out of Curtis Mayfield's book to try and glean some of the success he'd achieved with the Impressions. In terms of a groove, the players looked no further than to Stax Records for inspiration and to guitarist Tommy Cogbill for the arrangements. Sam's eldest son Knox was in charge of this production, whilst Judd Phillips was back on the scene running the promotion department. Further sides were issued on the short-lived Holiday Inn label.

26 - Back In My Arms Again (Load Of Mischief) (1968) 2:44 > Sun 407-A < 
(Brian Holland-Lamont Dozier-Edward Holland) (Jobete Music)
Recorded late 1967 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
David Mayo (vocal), Mike Houseal (guitar), Ken Woodley (organ),
Ray Sanders (bass), Larry Wall (drums)

More than fifteen years after Jackie Boy & Little Walter first set the Sun wheels turning, it was the bizarrely-named Load Of Mischief who finally applied the brakes. Vocalist David Mayo was the cornerstone, drafting in players from a variety of Memphis bands and bequeathing them a trendy, good time image. Knox Phillips took the bait as producer and by treating this Motown song with a Stax-styled arrangement, he came up with the unlikely goods for what was to be the swansong Sun 45.

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© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc.  

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© 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-8 mono digital
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952-2002 - A COMMEMORATIVE COLLECTION

For music (Sun standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

Disc 8 Contains - Sun Days - From The Source

Over the course of the past couple of decades, Stuart Colman have enjoyed the good fortune of speaking with a great many individuals who were involved in the making of the Sun record label. Some of the dialogue gathered here dates back to the 1970s, whilst other probings have been conducted in 2002 on the very cusp of Sun's 50th Jubilee. Many of the interviewees declared their gratitude with regard to the way in which Sam Phillips and his hometown recording set-up furnished young hopefuls with a helping hand into the music business.

1 - Dialogue''/''Red Headed Woman (Sonny Burgess) (1956) 4:20 > Sun 247-A <
(Albert Austin ''Sonny'' Burgess) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 2, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sonny Burgess (vocal and guitar), Joe Lewis (vocal guitar),
Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass), Russell Smith (drums),
Kern Kennedy (piano), Jack Nance (trumpet)

Allowing for some serious competition, Sonny Burgess boasted one of the wildest stage acts of all rockabilly performers. He endorsed this first Sun single by dying his hair a full-blooded crimson and working up an outlandish routine to get the message across. Despite his public persona, Sonny was known to be a reserved individual. During his first U.K. visit in April 1984 Stuart Colman managed to catch him in an impetuous mood, and he was more than eager to impart his role in the label's story.

2 - Dialogue''/''The Black Haired Man (Jack Clement) (1956) 4:01 > Sun 311-A <
(Jack Henderson Clement) (Jack Clement Music Incorporated )
Recorded October 30, 1958 at RCA Victor Studio B, Nashville, Tennessee
Jack Clement (vocal harmonica and drums), Billy Riley (guitar),
Brad Suggs (guitar), Cliff Acred (bass), Unknown (chorus)

In addition to his talents as a singer and songwriter, Jack Clement could claim a high degree of studio savvy in the role of recording engineer. When Stuart Colman met up in Nashville during the early weeks of 2002, he outlined the everyday circumstances of a Sun studio session. His technical speciality was without doubt the art of microphone placement and here he explores the largely untested world of overdubbing, by adding harmonica and percussion after the main track had been recorded.

3 - Dialogue''/''Trouble Bound (Billy Riley) (1956) 3:32 > Sun 245-A <
(Billy Riley) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded early 1956 at WMPS Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Riley (vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar),
Ronald ''Slim'' Wallace (bass), Johnny Bernerro (drums)

It was quite an event when Billy Riley performed his inaugural British concerts in June 1979. Stuart Colman conferred about the route he'd taken to Sun Records just prior to his shows, and he quite clearly shared the same air of anticipation as the crowds who turned out en force to see him strut his stuff. Anointed with an abundance of musical talent, a striking profile and an ability to generate an optimum response, Billy kept this foundational piece of moodiness in his live set for several years.

4 - Dialogue''/''Rockin' With My Baby (Malcolm Yelvington) (1956) 3:12 S > Sun 246-A <
(Malcolm Yelvington-Jones) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded February 2, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Malcolm Yelvington (vocal and guitar), Gordon Mashburn (guitar),
Miles ''Bubba'' Winn (steel guitar), Billy Weir (drums),
Jake Ryles (bass), Frank Tolley (piano)

In his latter years, Malcolm willingly adopted the role of strolling ambassador of the Sun studio. Whilst his wife popped down town to have her hair done, he would act as a tour guide around 706 Union Avenue, much to the delight of visiting fans. It was there that Stuart Colman was able to glean some fascinating anecdotes from this most genial of characters - a musician who had witnessed both the curtailment of out- moded country fashions and the inception of vibrant new rockabilly stylings.

5 - Dialogue''/''Save That Money (Rufus Thomas) (1953) 3:48 > Sun 188-B <
(Rufus Thomas Jr.) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 30, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas Jr. (vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums), Bill Johnson (piano),
James Wheeler (tenor saxophone)

Fun-loving, frivolous and wildly eccentric, Rufus Thomas was unquestionably the clown prince of Sun Records. All of these attributes were on display when Stuart Colman met up in his hometown of Memphis, where he held court and played, as only he could, to the assembled gallery. Even so, there was another side to the man. When the circumstances were correct, Rufus would sidestep the waggish nature of his recordings and settle down into a more mellow frame of mind as can be educed here.

6 - Dialogue''/''Little Queenie (Jerry Lee Lewis) (1959) 3:21 > Sun 330-A <
(Chuck Berry) (Arc Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 28, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Brad Suggs (guitar),
Cliff Acred (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

In February 1989, Jerry Lee Lewis flew into the U.K. along with his portraying actor, Dennis Quaid, to help promote the glitzy biopic, ''Great Balls Of Fire''. As part of the general hoopla, Jerry Lee checked into the Westbury Hotel in central London, the location where he'd stayed during his first visit to the country in 1958. It was there that Stuart Colman got to discuss numerous aspects of his intriguing career, particularly the way in which this classic Chuck Berry song entered the Lewis repertoire.

7 - Dialogue''/''I Done Told You (Gene Simmons) (1958) 4:37 > Sun 299-B <
(Eugene Morris Simmons) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 3, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Gene Simmons (vocal), Carl Simmons (guitar), Jesse Carter (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)
 

Gene Simmons could wear a pompadour along with the best of them - indeed his credentials for assuming a role in the fraternity of Delta rockabilly were spot on. ''I Done Told You'' epitomises his unmistakable Mississippi patois, which hadn't altered one bit when Stuart Colman spoke at the time of his British debut in the fall of 1987. Backwoods to a tee, and with a wry smile on his face, he earnestly recalled the route taken from his Tupelo home, in his quest for the glamour of Sun in Memphis.

8 - Dialogue''/''Lend Me Your Comb (Carl Perkins) (1957) 2:26 > Sun 287-A <
(Kay Twomey-Ben Weisman-Fred Wise) (Alamo Music)
Recorded December 6, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), Jay B. Perkins (vocal and guitar),
Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. Holland (drums),
Bernie (steel guitar), Jimmy Wilson (piano)

Although it sounds tailor-made for the Perkins' vernacular, this was in fact a cover of the vapid original by Carol Hughes. Full marks therefore to the maestro for taking a New York pop confection and glazing it convincingly with a rockabilly veneer. Carl was extremely proud of his brother Jay's vocals on this swansong Sun single, a fact that he endorses here in a 1978 interview Stuart Colman undertook, in the middle of a promotional campaign to launch his then-new album, ''Ol' Blue Suede's Back''.

9 - Dialogue''/''Two Young Fools In Love (Barbara Pittman) (1957) 3:44 > PI 3518-A <
(Jack Clement) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 5, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Barbara Pittman (vocal and harmony vocals), Jack Clement (guitar),
Roland Janes (guitar), Billy Riley (bass)

There was no doubt that Barbara Pittman had the wings of a dove when it came to vocal standing. She could flutter, trill and express her sentiments with a highly convincing timbre, especially when the material reflected her own young years, as was the case with this nascent Phillips International single. In May 1994 Stuart Colman convened her in the control room of the original Sun studio, where she spoke amongst other things about cutting demos for Elvis and her regard for the talents of Jack Clement.

10 - Dialogue''/''Good Lovin' (Dickey Lee & The Collegiates) (1957) 3:57 > Sun 280-B <
(Kirkland-Taylor-Jesmet) (Barnhill Music Corporation)
Recorded August 10, 1957 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Dickey Lee (vocal and guitar), Allen Reynolds (vocal and guitar),
Marvin Pepper (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Bill Talmadge, Eddie Well, Daved Moore, J.L. Jerden,
David Glenn, Allen Reynolds (vocal chorus)

During Stuart Colman Nashville téte a téte, conducted in January 2002, Dickey Lee had nothing but heartfelt acclaim for the way in which Sun helped prise open music industry doors during his season as an aspiring rockabilly. Dickey's sentiments need to be extended even further, because the coterie of buddies who were rounded up to help fashion this full vocal retread of The Clovers' Good Lovin', include Allen Reynolds, the producer responsible for Garth Brooks' vast catalogue of global hits.

11 - Dialogue''/''Lonely Weekends (Charlie Rich) (1960) 3:02 > PI 3552-A <
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 14, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charlie Rich (vocal and piano), Roland Janes (guitar), Billy Riley (bass),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Martin Willis (baritone saxophone),
The Gene Lowery Singers: A. Davis, B. Gross, D. Horton, P. Jacobs,
C. Walker, P. Walker (vocal overdubs and handclaps)

Although he'd suffered ill health in recent years, Cecil Scaife was happy to discuss his role as promotions manager for Sun when Stuart Colman met in Nashville early in 2002. A charismatic individual, Cecil was responsible for birthing Charlie Rich as a hit artist, at a time when new rock and roll stars were becoming distinctly thin on the ground. His was a world that revolved around radio stations and deejays who were willing to apportion airplay - something that Charlie never forgot.

12 - Dialogue''/''When It Rains It Pours (Billy "The Kid" Emerson) (1955) 4:10 > Sun 214-B <
(William R. Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded September 18, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Elven Parr (guitar), Bob Prindell (drums),
Bennie Moore (tenor saxophone), Charles Smith (alto saxophone),
Luther Taylor (trumpet)

Released the same day as Elvis' third Sun single, ''Milkcow Blues Boogie'', (and also a favourite of the Hillbilly Cat's) this captures the kind of foreboding bluesiness that was already beginning to disappear from the Sun game-plan. Considering his status during this seminal period, Billy "The Kid" Emerson was hardly over-interviewed. His harrowing tale of how he journeyed to Memphis to cut the record, stems from a chat Stuart Colman had during his maiden visit to the UK at the beginning of the Eighties.

13 - Dialogue''/''Mona Lisa (Carl Mann) (1959) 3:34 > PI 3539-A <
(Jay Livingston-Ray Evens) (Famous Music Corporation)
Recorded October 1958 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Mann (vocal and piano), Eddie Bush (guitar),
Robert Oatsvall (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

Stuart Colman first had the pleasure of meeting and working with Carl Mann, by way of a European tour in 1978. Although extremely laid- back as a person, he surprised a lot of audiences in the way he so accurately recreated his Phillips International material live on stage: Not surprisingly his calling-card, the distinctive ''Mona Lisa'', was a highlight of the set. We were reacquainted in September 1984, when Carl explained the circumstances that lead up to the recording of his biggest hit.

14 - Dialogue''/''Hillbilly Fever (Music) (Jerry Lee Lewis) (1961) 3:30 > Sun LP 1265-A <
(George Vaugh Horton) (Anglo-Pic Music Corporation Limited)
Recorded March 22, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums),
Bradd Suggs (guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Cliff Acred (bass)

As the house drummer at Sun, Jimmy 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 this clip was taped, was crucial to the recording equation. So when Jerry Lee might suddenly decide to re-jig something like this "Little" Jimmy Dickens hit from 1950, Jimmy M. would be all fired up ready to go to work in the blink of an eye.

15 - Dialogue''/''Be Mine, All Mine (Johnny Powers) (1959) 3:48 > Sun 327-B <
(Tommy L. Moers-Johnny Pavlik) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded August 12, 1959 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Powers (vocal and guitar), Brad Suggs (guitar),
Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), Martin Willis (tenor saxophone)

Stuart Colman was able to grill Johnny Powers about his long and varied career when he headlined a series of shows in the U.K. during May 1986. As he explains here, his time at Sun was brought about in a somewhat freewheeling manner by an insidious character named Tommy Moers. Although his Memphis connection might have been short and sweet, Johnny was nevertheless associated with the company long enough to pervade some of the rockabilly passion that was then becoming tough to track down.

16 - Dialogue''/''Cadillac Man (The Jesters) (1966) 3:24 > Sun 400-A <
(Tommy Minga) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 22, 1966 at 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jim Dickinson (vocal and piano) Teddy Page (guitar),
Jerry Phillips (guitar and maracas), Billy Wulfers (bass),
Eddie Robertson (drums)

Like his brother Knox, Jerry Phillips perpetuates the family bloodline with a combination of pride and dignity. His indoctrination couldn't have been more appropriate, because at aged six he was allowed to sit in the Sun studio control room, where he watched his father record The Prisonaires singing ''Just Walkin' In The Rain''. Some twelve years later he found himself on the other side of the glass with The Jesters, a local fraternity combo who delivered the last of the killer Sun singles. 

Original Sun Recordings   

© Original Sun Recordings, licensed from Sun Entertainment, Inc.   

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 - ©

Elvis Presley The First Sun Recordings

1 - My Happiness (Elvis Presley) (1990) Demo Acetate Not Originally Issued > PD 82227-1-1 <
(Borney Begantine-Betty Peterson): Chappell Music Limited)
Recorded July 18, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee.
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar)

Six weeks after graduating from Humes High, Elvis Presley plucked up the courage to put his voice down on tape. There were several studios available in Memphis but he was drawn to the Sun facility because of the hype generated by The Prisonaires' debut session. As Sam Phillips was out of town his secretary, Marion Keisker, set up the Ampex to record ''My Happiness'', a song Elvis had been trying out on his then- girlfriend, fourteen year-old Regis Vaughan. He was also keen to impress his mother, as she was still his biggest fan.

2 - That's When Your Heartaches Begin (Elvis Presley) (1992) Demo Acetate Not Originally Issued > PD 90689(5)-5-1 <
(Fred Fisher-Billy Hill-William Bill Raskin) (Fisher Music Publishing Limited)
Rec.orded July 18, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee.
Elvis Presley (vocal and guitar)

The Presley family home in 1953 was at 462 Alabama Street, just a few blocks away from M.B. Parker's machine shop where Elvis was now employed. His boss, in a charitable move, thoughtfully gave him a Saturday afternoon off, as well as advancing funds to pay for this recording. The second song on the, agenda, ''That's When Your Heartaches Begin'', first surfaced by The Ink Spots in 1940 and as a favourite in the Elvis household, it would come up for air on more than one occasion, most notably as a million-selling single in 1957.

Sun Datelines

1952 Sun Records comes into being in March.

1953 One year after launch, Sun rides high in the rhythm and blues listings via Rufus Thomas' ''Bear Cat''.

1954 Sun's sister label, Flip, is launched in February. Elvis Presley signs with Sun in the summer, whilst Carl Perkins does the same three months later.

1955 Johnny Cash officially joins the Sun roster in March. Elvis Presley signs his RCA contract in Sam's office at Sun, on November 21st. Flip is phased out at the end of the year due to pressure from Max Feirtag's west coast label of the same name.

1956 Carl Perkins' ''Blue Suede Shoes'' gives Sun one of the biggest U.S. hits the year. Roy Orbison arrives at the company in March, whilst Jack Clement is hired as a producer and engineer at $90.00 a week on June 15th, just two months after bringing Billy Riley to the label. During the fall, Jack is also on hand when Jerry Lee Lewis undergoes an impromptu audition at the Sun studio.

1957 Charlie Rich is hired as a writer and sideman. ''Raunchy'', by Bill Justis, goes gold on the new Phillips International subsidiary, the very week that Jerry Lee does the same with ''Great Balls Of Fire''.

1958 Carl Perkins signs with Columbia on January 25th. Judd Phillips departs to set up his own label and Cecil Scaife takes over his role as promotion manager. Johnny Cash signs with Columbia on August 1st, the same month that Roy Orbison relocates to RCA. Ernie Barton becomes an in-house producer.

1959 Jack Clement and Bill Justis depart from the fold, whilst Carl Mann arrives at Phillips International, almost by default, The legendary Sun studio at 706 Union Avenue, closes its doors during November.

1960 The new Sun studio in Memphis is belatedly launched at 639 Madison Avenue. Producers, Jim Vienneau (MGM), Johnny Vincent (Ace), Lew Chudd (Imperial) all attend the inauguration.

1961 A further Sun studio, this time on the site of the Cumberland Lodge building in Nashville, opens in February and is christened when Jerry Lee's rendering of ''What'd' I Say'' (one of the first sides recorded there) turns out to be his ''comeback'' hit. Ex-rockabilly vocalist and future country bigwig, Billy Sherrill, is taken on as an engineer and part-time producer.

1962 Various members of Booker T. & the MGS moonlight from Stax, as session men at Sun. Out of the blue, the Phillips International imprint is involved in a flurry of album activity.

1963 Encouraged by Chet Atkins, Charlie Rich departs for RCA's Groove ancillary. Jerry Lee Lewis does the same (via Frank Casone) in September, heading for Mercury's Smash label. Carl Mann quits town to join the military and Phillips International is wound down, after pressure from the Philips Electronics group in Holland.

1964 Whilst Sun remains quiet in the homeland, the big names - Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison - carry the touring torch across the U.K.

1965 Sam Phillips puts out Jerry Lee's final Sun single, ''Carry Me Back To Old Virginia'', as a ''spoiler'' for his new Smash release. The Original Sun Sound by Johnny Cash, is the last Sun LP to be issued. Jack Parnell, programme director at WHBQ In Memphis, refuses to play Randy & The Radiants because he claims that Sun no longer promotes any of their releases.

1966 Sam Phillips is coaxed into producing his first Sun sides (with newcomer, Dane Stinit) in several years. The Jesters, featuring Sam's younger son Jerry, offer hope for the future with their hard-driving single, ''Cadillac Man''.

1967 Jerry's elder brother, Knox, is now virtually in charge of everything that Sun is involved in.

1968 The final Sun 407 release creeps out in January.

1969 Sun records sold to Shelby Singleton on July 1st.

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Epilogue

When word got out that Sun Records was up for sale, Sam Phillips found himself courted first by Goddard Lieberson from Columbia, then by Jerry Wexler from Atlantic. The most serious development though camewhen Memphis promotion man, Eddie Braddock, brought Marshall Chess down from Chicago, a move that inevitably narrowed the field. Despite generous figures being touted from each of the interested parties, it was the structure of the offer made by Shelby Singleton that proved to be conclusive.

Born in Waskom, Texas, Singleton had been the regional promotion man tor Pappy Daily's Starday and 'D' labels in the late fifties, a nexus that took him to Mercury where he graduated to producing Brook Benton, Cyde McPhatter and Leroy Van Dyke. When the company opened its Smash subsidiary in 1961 , he proved his worth by signing Bruce Channel, Joe Dowell and Roger Miller, followed soon after by the acquisition of three ex-Sun stars, Dickey Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich. The funding which enabled him to pitch for the Sun transaction, came in the wake of Jeannie C. Riley's Harper Valley PTA - a major international success in 1968 that was a product of his recently launched Plantation label.

The initial deal called for Sun to be maintained as a going concern, bringing new acts on board and keeping the legend intact. This homespun idyll however, was put on the back burner when Sun International was formed, specifically to concentrate on repackaging the prodigious back catalogue. Singleton's strategy paid off immediately and within six weeks of the contract ink drying, Jerry Lee was riding high in the country top-ten with ''Invitation To Your Party''. New signings did come eventually but they were administered in a low key fashion, an indication that the new owners realised that Sun in the seventies could never seriously compete with Sun in the 1950s. They were very much correct. There could only ever be one Elvis Presley, one Johnny Cash, one Carl Perkins and for that matter, one Sam C. Phillips. It was all a question of a time, a place and a situation, because in the great gameplan of things, the big wheel only ever rolls once.

Stuart Colman, 2002

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