CONTAINS

Memphis
ELVIS 1954 (1-6)
January 1, 1954 to June 30, 1954

> Back Elvis Sun Schedule <

Live Recordings for Elvis Presley on Various Locations, 1954 (Possible)
Live Recordings for Elvis Presley on Eagle's Nest, Various Dates 1954 (Possible)
Demo Recording for Elvis Presley, January 4, 1954 (Sun)
Demo Recording for Elvis Presley, June 5, 1954 (Demo Tape Lost)
Rehearsal Session for Elvis Presley, June 26, 1954 (Tape Lost)

For Elvis Presley's Biography see > The Sun Biographies <
Elvis Presley's Sun recordings can be heard on the playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1954

With its unanimous decision in favour of school desegregation in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, the U.S, Supreme Court effectively overturns Plessy v. Ferguson.

The first families move into Levittown, a planned community in suburban Long Island; as a concept, "Levittown" comes to signify white flight from America's inner cities.

Salk Vaccine against polio, developed by Jones Salk in 1954.

Traveling salesman Ray Kroc signed California's McDonald brothers to a franchise deal, bringing suburban America the fifteen-cent burger. Drive-Ins in Memphis offered far more savory delights and more amenities, and any Memphis teen with a driver's license and access to dad's sedan regularly headed to barbecue joints like Leonard's and the Little Pig. Staffed by black waiters offering curb service, the Q joints were favorite hangouts for teens, who took their pulled pork sandwiches with a side of Red Hot & Blue, as Dewey Phillips blared from every car radio.

1954

Sheraton Records, a Baltimore record label, were only distributed locally in the north-east, so nothing came of this development and Jack Clement got tired of the duo with Buzz Busby. Being a developing "crazy" Jack Clement went off to join an Hawaiian band in Washington, D.C. He then this year up back in Memphis. That year he answered an advert for trainee dance instructors and he became an employee of the Arthur Murray School of Dancing on Main Street. He also went to the Memphis University to study English.

On evenings and weekends, Jack Clement played shows with a western-swing influenced country band run by a pal of his, truck driver Slim Wallace. Wallace's Dixie Ramblers played a regular at a spot in Paragould, Arkansas, and while returning one night Jack Clement and Slim Wallace plotted their entry into the record business later in 1956.

JANUARY 1954

Elvis Presley and his cousin Gene Smith start to attend the First Assembly of God Church in South Memphis. The Presleys have not attended any one church regularly since their arrival in Memphis, but Elvis and his cousin are looking for ways to meet girls.

Perhaps the most prominent members of the Assembly of God congregation are the Blackwood Brothers quartet, one of the leading gospel groups in the country.

Cecil Blackwood, a nephew of founding member James Blackwood, lives in Lauderdale Courts and recently started a kind of apprentice quartet called the Songfellows.

UNKNOWN DATE EARLY 1954

Elvis Presley hit the road and performed a one-night spot on the Barnyard Follies at the Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock, Arkansas, a very poor version of the Louisiana Hayride and Grand Ole Opry. The Chitling Switch Roadrunners were also appearing on the barnyard Follies that night and a year or so later, when they opened for Elvis Presley in their hometown, they swapped stories about that night.

Jim Ed Brown, now a performing member of the Grand Ole Opry, was the star of the Barnyard Follies and remembers Elvis Presley's appearance that night. Jim Ed Brown later toured with Elvis Presley during the Sun years.

"Actually, the first time we seen Elvis was in early 1954", said Bobby Bird, member of the Chitling Switch Roadrunner, "We were appearing on the Barnyard Follies at Robinson Auditorium in Little Rock, opening for Bill Monroe. This was before Elvis recorded that song "Mama" at Sun. Elvis had hitchhiked over from Memphis to be on the stage that night".

JANUARY 1954

At that time, Elvis Presley cut his hair at Jim Thomas Barber Shop at 201 South Main. After stardom in 1957, the Memphis Press-Scimitar reported the following: "Girls Elvis has his hair cut at Jim's Barber Shop. But don't rush down to the place. Elvis never has enough sheared off to make many souvenirs". Thus began the rush of fans anxious to take home a bit of Elvis' hair.

Albert Gale, who had been cutting the rock star's hair since Elvis was not famous, remembers those days well. "Girls used to come in and collect Elvis' hair off the hair cloths. It was really embarrassing", he said.

At that time, Jim's Barber Shop was located at 201 South Main Street, where it occupied the southeast corner of the Malco Theater. In the 1980s, the theater was renovated and renamed the Orpheum.

As part of the theater's transformation into a cultural center, Jim's was asked to move. Today, the barber shop is located on North Third Street within the heart of the downtown business district.

UNKNOWN DATE 1954

Elvis Presley frequented at Culpepper's Chicken Shack at 204 Hernando Street, Memphis. When Mr. Culpepper's Chicken Shack opened in 1932, its clientele was mostly drunks and gamblers, but that soon changed. His belief that everyone deserved the best of service, not to mention his tasty barbecue chicken, made his restaurant a favorite of Beale Street entertainers and patrons. What's more, it attracted the attention of Boss Crump, the political leader of Memphis, and he spread the word to the white community, many of whom daringly ventured to Beale to visit Culpepper's.

Elvis Presley was one of many young white men who ate at Culpepper's. At any given time at Culpepper's, one might see men in their working clothes sitting next to a couple in a tuxedo and evening gown. And one never knew what celebrity might walk into Culpepper's.

Cab Calloway and Bing Crosby dined there, as did William Holden and Mae West. Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King were regulars. What appealed to celebrities and working class alike is that Mr. Culpepper always threaded everyone the same, regardless of their dress or position in life.

Of course, Elvis Presley felt this way too. Once, someone asked Elvis why he referred to Mr. Culpepper, a black man, as "Mister". Elvis replied, "I've been calling him Mister all along, why would I change now''?

CULPEPPER'S CHICKEN SHACK – Located at 614 Vance, Memphis, Tennessee, this ghost pit was the last in a line of restaurants known as Culpepper’s Chicken Shack, a name that was legendary in early Memphis barbecue. Four decades of that famous cooking ended tragically here.

The owners, Walter and Hattie Culpepper, started in 1932 on Fourth Street, just off Beale. They served average folks, gamblers and ''sporting people'' (according to Mr. Culpepper’s obituary), and some of the top entertainers of the day, from Cab Calloway to Bing Crosby to Elvis Presley, and Stax musicians in the 1960s.

They served blacks and whites alike, despite the deeply segregated society. Mr. Culpepper’s obit stated that Boss Crump was a patron, which served to blunt police harassment and bring the Chicken Shack to the attention of white Memphis.

A fire led to a move to 204 Hernando, and the restaurant continued to flourish throughout the 1940s. A second shop was opened at 1664 Kansas. Around 1970, this building at 614 Vance became the Chicken Shack’s new home. In 1971, during a robbery at the restaurant, Hattie Culpepper was pistol-whipped, a beating so severe that her injuries kept her hospitalized until her death in 1992, according to Mr. Culpepper in an interview for her obituary. He said the attack erased any desire to keep the Chicken Shack going. He died three years later at age 85.

UNKNOWN DATE JANUARY 1954

Elvis Presley perform at the Cotton Club in West Memphis, Arkansas. The clubs across the river in West Memphis were a daunting sight. They were located in small, ramshackle buildings and had antiquated sound system. The bars were creaky and ill-stocked. The crowds were abusive violent, and hard to please. Small radio stations that broadcast the blues would urge people to come to these clubs.

Howlin' Wolf used to come straight from labouring in the fields to do his show. A hulking man with a soft heart, he loved to see the white boys playing the blues, and often picked up a great deal from them himself.

"I was singing with Clyde Leoppard's Snowy Ranch Boys at the Cotton Club in West Memphis", said Barbara Pittman. "Elvis loved the way I sang "Cold, Cold Heart".

"I really learned my craft playing with the Snearly Ranch Boys", Marcus Van Story recalled. "We played all types of music from bluegrass, country and blues...". Musicians like Marcus Van Story and Stanley Kesler grew up with the blues. "It was natural for us to listen to black music from childhood on up", Van Story commented.

The musicians in the Snearly Ranch Boys either lived at Ma Snearly's Boarding House or hung out to jam. They included Smokey Joe Bauch on piano, Paul Burlison on guitar, Clyde Leoppard on drums, Hank Bowers on guitar-trumpet, Barbara Pittman on vocals, and Stanley Kesler on bass. "Elvis Presley was around watching what we were doing", van Story remarked. "He was always so nervous", Van Story continued, "but he was learning about the music, no doubt about that".

Marcus Van Story played a number of small concerts with Elvis Presley in 1954-1955. "Elvis Presley was friendly with everyone", Van Story remembered.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The Club Handy was an favourite hangout in Beale Street for musicians, inclusive Elvis Presley frequented. The club was a gathering place for rhythm and blues performers, and the manager, Andrew "Sunbeam" Mitchell, brought in young and untried acts. He made a nice profit by allowing exceptionally-talented musicians to perform at the Club Handy. They played for so little that a fraternal atmosphere was necessary to survive the lack to pay. The musicians slept in small rooms adjacent to the club, so it was tantamount to a boarding school. He watched intently as vocalists and musicians interwove the blues with oungent vocal styling.

PROBABLY LIVE APPEARANCE FOR ELVIS PRESLEY

HISTORICAL INTERLUDE - CLUB HANDY,
195 HERNANDO STREET, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
UNKNOWN DATE JANUARY 1954
MANAGER - ANDREW "SUNBEAM" MITCHELL

The recordings are included because of interview with Andrew Mitchell.

01* - "MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE" - A.S.C.A.P.
Composer: - Kokomo Arnold
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated Limited
Recorded: - Probably

02* - "THAT'S ALL RIGHT" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Arthur Crudup
Publisher: - Crudup Music
Recorded: - Probably

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar (Martin Dreadnought 18)
Unknown musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 1954

Elvis Presley performed Club Handy an historical interlude. This is what happened on Beale Street one winter evening on January 1954. The weather was cold, a wet, icy cold that seeped right through the heaviest of coats and cut straight to the bone. The young man loitering on 195 Hernando Street wasn't wearing a coat, and was obviously freezing. He paced back and forth in front of a small doorway, swinging his gangly arms back and forth, trying to ward off the cold.

He was wearing a bright pink suit that clashed terribly with his pale blue complexion. The pink suit seemed two sizes too big, giving him the look of a scarecrow. His belt and shows were white patent leather, and the shoes showed all the signs of having spent many an evening walking the hard, unforgiving pavement of Beale Street.

The few other people on the street that particular evening stared openly at the pink suit, even more intently when they realized that the young man in it was white, some kind of jive asshole standing near the corner of Beale and Hernando, freezing his tail off, not even wearing an overcoat.

His pacing was obsessive, faster and faster, in time with the wad of gum he was chewing. His hair was slicked back, and a lock of the greased pompadour kept falling across his eyes. He pushed it back in place without seeming to notice.

Finally, the small door opened and a caramel-coloured face peered out into the cold. "Elvis", the black man said into the gathering dark. "Elvis, goddammit boy! Are you ready or not? C'mon, boy". Elvis Presley quickly spat the gum into the gutter of Hernando Street and hurried over to the black man at the door. He pushed the slicked hair back into place for the umpteenth time, and his angular face broke into a wide grin.

"I'm sorry", said Elvis Presley. "I guess you caught me just dreamin' some, trying to keep warm". He was earnest, apologetic. "You don't watch out, boy, you get both our butts in the Memphis City Jail", the proprietor said. It was against the law for a white man to enter a black entertainment establishment (and even more against the law for a black man to enter a white entertainment establishment). Separate but equal was the byword, the way go keep the black men away from the white women, god forbid, and vice versa. The proprietor looked up and down the street, which was practically deserted in the evening
chill. "C'mon", he said, pushing Elvis Presley ahead of him up the narrow back staircase, "C'mon in".

The two went up the back stairs, into the Club Handy through the emergency exit. Although the night was still relatively young, the joint was already cooking, the steamy heat of moving bodies absorbing the winter cold. The feature attraction that night was just the house band, a group that usually fronted for local rhythm and blues singer Bill Harvey, and they'd worked the crowd into a white heat.

Elvis Presley entered the club, and a ripple of indignation moved through the crowd. There were special expressions, special masks, reserved for white people, and the majority of the faces slipped automatically into those expressions - smooth brown masks, neither frowning nor smiling, eyes that soon turned away. A few of the faces registered resentment, disgust. Another white boy, the faces said, come here to our ground to look and steal what he can, maybe leave tonight with a sleek brown woman on his elbow; ought to keep his white ass off Beale Street. The other faces showed amusement; eyes met and exchanged secret signals, totally lost on the young man in the pink suit. Look at him, the eyes winked back and forth, poor little white boy who wants to be a nigger.

Elvis Presley blinked in the smokey room, licked his lips and cleared his throat. His body, betraying his uneasiness, began moving to the music. The proprietor left his side and walked over to the bandstand, where he corralled the bandleader between numbers. There was much whispering between the two, with a few gestures and strange glances back at Elvis Presley, who waited quietly by the rear door. Finally the bandleader laughed and motioned for Elvis Presley to come over to the bandstand.

"Folks", the bandleader said to the attentive audience, "we got us a special treat tonight. Mr. Elvis Presley here, who go to works for Mr. Sam Phillips over at Sun Records, is gonna sing us a couple of songs. C'mon up here, boy!". Elvis Presley smiled and waved, and the crowd responded with thunderous applause and laughter. "Thank you very much", Elvis Presley said, turning to the band. "Let's sing some blues here. You boys know Sleepy John Estes' "Milkcow Blues Boogie".

The bandleader snorted, and before Elvis Presley turned around, the band dug into a hopped-up version of the blues standard. The band was puzzled. Elvis Presley wasn't singing what they were playing, at least not the right way. The beat was not the same - he was singing ahead of the jazzed-up blues beat, moving his body to punctuate the rhythm in his head. The band shifted tempo a bit, but something was still wrong, strangely, undefinable wrong.

The crowd sensed that the band and the singer were not together, but they were already moving to the white boy's new rhythm. It was somehow more fierce and less worldly than the dance music they were used to, more akin to the frantic honky-tonk blues than the classy Club Handy. Elvis Presley finished up to a scattering of applause. He was flushed, cocky, looking down from the stage into a sea of eyes and teeth. He pushed his hair back from his sweating face and sneered at the audience.

"Thank you thank you", he said. "Let's do some Big Boy Crudup now. Boys", he said to the band, "follow me now". The band fumbled around, blind men looking for the new beat. It was almost as if he couldn't sing rhythm and blues. His body jerked as the song poured out, leaner and meaner than anything Big Boy Crudup ever imagined. The crowd moved with the new beat, hypnotized by the swaying figure in the pink suit, looking deep into a pink crystal ball showing a pink vision of the future, a pink and white vision of the future.

The band stumbled again, reaching for the beat. The band members were consummate professionals, veterans of a million hours in a million smokey clubs, but this music was something different, so close to what they were used to playing that it made playing if difficult. The fingers want the old familiar patterns.

The applause after the sone was uneasy, but Elvis Presley couldn't feel it. The music in his head went round and round, and he knew in his heart and in his soul and in his guts that it was the music of the future, if anybody would just listen to it. He would find a way to make Mr. Sam Phillips understand if it took the rest of his life, because he knew he had the power. He knew that he, a white nigger from Tupelo, Mississippi, had the beat. Just like the crowd at Club Handy knew, down in their guts, that they'd just seen someone step on their graves.

While frequenting Beale Street, Elvis Presley began listening late at night to Gene Nobles and John "John R' Richbourg, who broadcast out of Nashville and played rhythm and blues tunes.

CLUB HANDY / PANTAZE DRUG STORE NO. 2 (JOYCE COBB'S CLUB) - ca. 1884. 195 Hernando Street / 209-211 Beale Street. With its windows recessed slightly from the facade to simulate the appearance of columns, this building used to have a cornice at the tops. Ita window heads are cast-iron. From 1896 through the 1960s, it was a drug store, first of George H. Battier, then beginning in 1929, the Pantaze Drug Store No. 2. Abe Plough, who founded Plough Pharmaceuticals in 1908, became the proprietor of Battier's Pharmacy around 1914. In 1920 he marketed the popular brand name St. Joseph's Aspirin.

Battier's and the Pantaze remained open 24 hours to accommodate the community. They also acted as an emergency room for victims of Beale Street's violence.

Around the corner at 195 Hernando Street was the entrance to the second and third floors. For years it had been used as a rooming house until the late 1930s, when it became the Coloured Citizens Association. In the mid-1940s, Andrew "Sunbeam" Mitchell opened a hotel on the third floor and used the second floor as a lounge.

Mitchell helped entertainers, like Little Richard and Roy Brown, who were stranded in Memphis from lack of work. Musicians stayed in the hotel and were charged a nominal fee for a bowl of chili, a feast fondly remembered by Beale Street regulars. The second floor lounge began as a place for jam sessions where local and out-of-town musicians played.

At one time it was called the Domino Lounge and after W.C. Handy died, renamed the Club Handy. Jazz and blues performers, such as Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Little Walter, among many others, performed there. Bill Harvey, the guru of Memphis musicians, led the house band in the late 1940s. B.B. King eventually took over the band. B.B. had played in Mitchell's Lounge beginning in the early 1950s.

ANDREW ''SUNBEAM'' MITCHELL - In 1985 photograph around the time he retired and sold the Club Paradise. Mitchell, owner of the old Club Paradise (which opened in 1965) and several nightclubs and businesses on Beale Street died in August 1989 at the age of 83. For four decades, Mitchell's clubs featured some of the biggest names in rhythm and blues. His Club Paradise at 645 East Georgia was Memphis' biggest night spot, with room for 2,500. In 1946, he purchased a club he eventually renamed Club Handy.

It was originally named Mitchell's Domino Lounge and was upstairs at Beale and Hernando over the old Pantaze Drug Store. Among performers who sat in on jam sessions was Elvis Presley. On any given night, patrons at his clubs might see performers such as Ike and Tina Turner, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Fred Ford, Stan Kenton, Lou Rawls, Little Richard, Denise LaSalle, Joe Simon, Count Basie, Albert King and Tyrone Davis. Several artists got their starts at his clubs, including Bobby 'Blue' Bland, B.B. King, Little Junior Parker, Johnny Ace and others.

- The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee

JANUARY 4, 1954 MONDAY

On Monday, January 4, 1954, Elvis Presley walked into Taylor's Cafe for a coke. Marcus Van Story was sitting at the counter and they talked. Elvis Presley was going into Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service to cut a vanity record. Van Story agreed to go with him. "I told Elvis it would be fun to do a couple of songs", Van Story recalled. "To loosen Elvis up, I remember him it was four dollars he was wasting to cut the song". Elvis Presley laughed at Van Story's good-natured remark. As they entered the Sun Records building, Elvis Presley remarked that there was an interesting sign on the studio wall. "I guess I'm in the right place, Marcus", Elvis commented.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Elvis Presley visited the Memphis Recording Service again. This time, Sam Phillips had a change to meet and talk to him. Elvis recorded "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You" and "I'll Never Stand In Your Way" on a ten-inch acetate disc for his own enjoyment, of possibly for a girlfriend. He paid his $3.98 (plus tax) and left. Phillips made a note to contact Elvis if the need arose for a singer.

As Marcus Van Story hung around the recording studio, Elvis Presley, who was a little nervous, talked with Marion Keisker, Sam Phillips' secretary, which helped relieve his tension. Marcus Van Story also chatted with Keisker until Elvis Presley invited him into the recording booth, where Van Story added some gentle guitar licks to the tunes.

DEMO RECORDING FOR ELVIS PRESLEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
PRIVATE RECORDING: MONDAY JANUARY 4, 1954
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

For Elvis' demo recording(s) click on the available > buttons <

> ''IT WOULDN'T BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU'' - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:02 <
Composer: - Jimmy Wakely-Fred Rose
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - CPA5-5102 - Not Originally Issued
10-inch acetate courtesy of Sean O'Neal
Recorded: - January 4, 1954
Acetate recording mastered from acetate at BMG Recording Studios,
1133 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY., 1994
Released: - February 5, 1999
First appearance: - RCA BMG (CD) 500/200rpm 07863 67675 2-2-4 mono
SUNRISE ELVIS PRESLEY
Reissued:- October 19, 2010 RCA Sony Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 11826 2-13-4 mono
THE COMPLETE ELVIS PRESLEY MASTERS

> ''I'LL NEVER STAND IN YOUR WAY'' - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:01 <
Composer: - Fred Rose-Walter Henry Heath - Written in 1953
Publisher: - Clint Horner Copyright 1941
Matrix number: - CPA5-5101 - Not Originally Issued
10-inch acetate courtesy of Sean O'Neal
Recorded: - January 4, 1954
Acetate recording mastered from acetate at BMG Recording Studios,
1133 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY., 1994.
Released: - June 17, 1997
First appearance: - July 14, 1997 RCA BMG (CD) 500/200rpm 07863 67469 2-1 mono
PLATINUM - A LIFE IN MUSIC
Reissued: - February 5, 1999 RCA BMG (CD) 500/200rpm 07863 67675 2-2-4 mono
SUNRISE ELVIS PRESLEY

It was January 4, 1954 when Elvis Presley went back to Sun Records. He'd cut his first demo record there the previous summer, and his return was almost certainly part of a strategy to remind Sun owner Sam Phillips of his existence. Rumour had it that he'd already been showed away from the other record company in town, Meteor Records, so if he was to get on record it would have to be at Sun. We can hear Elvis Presley apprehension but we can also hear hints of the bravura and confidence that would soon be his. Its almost impossible to reposition ourselves in time to listen to this recording through Sam Phillips' ears in 1954, but even then we'd be missing something. We'd need to see Elvis. There must have been something strangely compelling about him, and Phillips saw through the insecurity and hesitation to the promise.

"I'll Never Stand In Your Way" was Fred Rose's last hit. He wrote it with Hy Heath (his co-writer on "Take These Chains From My Heart"). Rose was a Nashville music publisher, and his close ties with MGM ensured that this song went simultaneously to country singer Ernie Lee and pop singer Joni James. Joni's version was a fleeting hit in the latter months of 1953, prompting Elvis Presley to record it.

(Name Or. Or. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar (Martin Dreadnought 18)
Marcus Van Story - Probably Some Guitar Licks

Van Story, who liked the recording, urged Elvis Presley to use some local musicians to strengthen his music. After the session, Elvis Presley hoped to meet Sam Phillips, but the Sun Records owner was too busy to talk. Unfortunately, Phillips was selling his records and searching for new talent, and had little time to talk with Elvis Presley. Listening quickly to Elvis Presley's vanity record, Sam Phillips wasn't convinced that Presley's music would fit into either the country-rockabilly market or the pop field. His talent was much different than the singers that Sun released. Despite these thoughts, Sam Phillips wrote a brief note to bring Presley back into the studio for an audition. Elvis immediately took home and play the record on the family's Sears-Roebuck record player.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

SEAN O'NEAL - Elvis collector. Sean O'Neal's wife, Tracy, was on vacation and looking through an classified advertisement in an out-of-town newspaper that spotted: Elvis Presley Collection, unreleased photos, records. She quickly telephoned long distance. The person on the other end of the line said the collection included some 200 photos, the latest being about 1961. The oldest photo in the collection had a pencilled notation on the back cover, "Elvis at 7".

The collection also included the script for "G.I. Blues", complete with notes; Elvis signed musicians union card, signed in 1956; 40 to 50 LPs, and some acetates. One of the acetates reads on the label, Memphis Recording Service.

Amazed at contents of the collection, Sean O'Neal quickly called his wife in that town and told her, "Whatever you do, buy it!". "I flew down and brought that acetate home with me in my lap on the plane", he said. "I made an tape recording of this acetate with a handheld recorder. It was obvious to me it was Elvis Presley. I knew RCA would be interested in it".

He telephoned a media contact, within 20 minutes, Roger Semon of England, one of RCA/BMB expert was on the line to Sean O'Neal. "I played him about 15 seconds of the tape", O'Neal said. "He said, 'That's Elvis. Ernest Jorgensen and I are coming listen to it". They flew in to listen to the second acetate Elvis Presley ever cut.

On October 1993, lots of negotiations have taken place between Sean O'Neal and RCA/BMG since, but, he says, "at this point it looks out the window with RCA". However, its still possible RCA will buy the acetate. The second acetate - at the moment the most desirable record in the world! - will be among thousands of rock and roll, blues and rhythm and blues items to be offered at Guernsey's remarkable four-day rock and roll action set on January 19-22, 1994 in new York City.

For years, all the Elvis experts have listen "It Wouldn't Be The Same Without You" on the Aside; "Casual Love Affair" on the B-side. Not So! "I'll Never Stand In Your Way" is the flip side of the acetate, which has typed-on the labels. "Most think with this acetate, all they would have to do is walk into RCA and get a check for a million dollars", said O'Neal. "That's not going to happen". O'Neal has offered, via the upcoming Guernsay's auction, the union card, and an acetate of "Crawfish". He's saving the photos for himself with plans to develop a photo book. In addition to O'Neal's acetates, Guernsey's will be offering nearly 400 other acetates used in the recording of Elvis' records.

Elvis' second acetate, Elvis paid 4 dollars to record at Memphis Recording Service, failed to even draw an opening bid at Guernsey's rock and roll auction in New York. In the case of the second acetate, opening bid was $10,000. Auctioneers had predicted it would sell for $200,000 or more. Sean O'Neal, the acetate's owner, withdrew the collectible. "I'm probably going to wait and try again with a more major auction, like Sotheby's or Butterfield & Butterfield", said O'Neal. Later, RCA/BMG buy the acetate for worldwide release.

JANUARY 4, 1954 MONDAY

That night at Leonard's Drive-In, Elvis Presley presented his second acetate to a petite blonde, sitting in a corner booth with three of her girlfriends. The girl blushed under Elvis' steady gaze but didn't avert her eyes when the agreed to a date the following Saturday. "Maybe I ought to have you autograph this now for when you get famous", the girl said. "You don' need my name on a piece of paper - you got me", he said.

JANUARY 24, 1954 SUNDAY

Fourteen-year-old Dixie Locke, a sophomore at South Side High School, notices Elvis Presley at a church function and, making sure that he overhears, makes plans with a girlfriend to go roller-skating Saturday night.

JANUARY 30, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley, dressed in a black outfit with a bolero jacket, met Dixie Locke, at the Rainbow Rollerdrome, Memphis roller-skating rink, located at 2879-81 Lamar Avenue in Memphis. During the next few years, she would be one of Elvis' steadiest dates. They both attended the First Assembly of God Church at 1085 McLemore Avenue. At South Side High School, Dixie Locke was one of the most sought after girls and Elvis Presley, never confident with women or relationships, felt reassured with her on his arm.

In February 1954, she agreed to a "trial engagement". The Lockes, on the other hand, were one step up the social ladder from the Presley's, and Dixie's parents warned their daughter that her two goals - love and marriage - were not possible with Elvis Presley.

"I think Dixie was the one girl Elvis loved most in his life", Aunt Lillian remarked. Elvis Presley ones commented: "She was kind of small with long, dark hair that came down to her shoulders and the biggest smile that I've ever seen anywhere". Problems between them developed when Dixie eventually complained about spending too many nights at Sun Records after Elvis Presley made his second vanity record for Sam Phillips in 1954. "There were so many nights we'd go over to the recording studio", Dixie later recalled. Her recollections are notable because they challenge the notion that Sam Phillips recorded Elvis Presley with little preparations. Like many Memphis singers, Presley had caught Phillips' attention long before his first recording session. Locke married, becoming Mrs. Dixie Semmons. Locke was loosely portrayed by Melody Anderson as a girl named Bonnie in the 1979 TV movie "Elvis".

RAINBOW "ROLLERDROME" ROLLER SKATING RINK - Memphis roller-skating rink, located at 2879-81 Lamar Avenue in Memphis, which Elvis Presley enjoyed frequenting in the 1950s. The managers was Joe and Doris Pieraccini, the family had two entertainment business on Lamar Avenue: Clearpool, which contained the Eagle's Nest, and Rainbow Lake, an amusement complex that included the Rainbow Roller Skating Rink.

Before stardom, Elvis Presley sometimes took Dixie Locke there on Friday nights in 1953 and 1954. At that time, although the late Joe Pieraccini remembered Elvis Presley asking to play his acetate (the song is unknown) in the skating rink jukebox.

It was there in 1958 that Red West first introduced Elvis Presley to his cousin Sonny West. The Rainbow Rollerdrome was situated next to the Rainbow Lake swimming pool. In the 1950s it cost fifty cents to get in and twenty-five cents to rent skates. As a celebrity, Elvis Presley rented the rink for the entertainment of him and his friends at about $70 a night. Some of the games they played were "War" and "Crack The Whip", which at times got pretty physical. After a while they, began to wear knee and elbow pads. Elvis Presley rented the Rainbow Rollerdrome the night before he was inducted into the Army on March 23, 1958.

Mrs. Doris Pieraccini, wife of Joe, remembers charging Elvis Presley just thirty-five dollars. She provided rollerskates, food, and drink for everyone in his party and helped keep out those not invited. Sometimes a crowd would bang on the windows and doors when it was known that Elvis Presley was skating. Often, Elvis arrived at the rink in a nondescript truck instead of one of his famous cars in order to keep his party a secret.

In spite of all the chaos, Elvis remained a cheerful, pleasant guest. When a friend of Doris brought her daughter to the rink, Elvis spent time skating with the child.

One employee of the rink, Will McDaniel, earned a name for himself by knocking Elvis Presley down. Because McDaniel was wearing a shirt with the moniker "Bardahl" on the label, he has been known by that name ever since. Occasionally, Elvis would tear his shirt or pants, and one of the entourage was sent to find a replacement. After Elvis threw away the torn clothing, Doris would retrieve it from the trash. To this day, she has remnants of two pairs of pant, as well as a shirt worn in Love Me Tender.

It was here that Elvis Presley first met T.G. Sheppard while rollerskating. Around 1995-98, the Rainbow Rollerdrome is part of Pancho's Restaurant Corporation facility. The original colour-patterned concrete floor of the skating rink is still intact. The building that housed the restaurant, which was once adjacent to the rink, is also still there, though now is used as a storage room.

The night before Elvis Presley was inducted into the Army, Elvis rented out the Rainbow Rollerdrome. Elvis Presley was drafted on December 19, 1957, but he requested a sixty day deferment. The night after his mother's death in August 1958, Elvis Presley skated again, and marked the end of the skating parties. Doris never saw him again after 1958.

Rainbow Rollerdrome, maybe that was the actual name of the roller-skating rink, but the entire complex on Lamar Avenue will forever be known as Rainbow Lake, which also included a huge outdoor swimming pool, fancy restaurant, picnic grounds, and more.

Rainbow Lake was opened way back in 1936 by Joe Pieraccini, when that stretch of Lamar Avenue (at Dunn) was on the outskirts of town. In the early years, it was mainly a place to swim; the skating rink wasn’t added until 1942. Memphis kids had a great time at Rainbow Lake over the years, but brother, the place was plagued by trouble. In 1947, it made all the newspapers when more than two dozen sailors from the Naval Air Station at Millington staged a bottle-throwing, drunk-punching, free-for-all with a group of civilians. It finally took a Naval Court of Inquiry to sort out all the mess and clear most of the charges.

In 1957, a rock-and-roll dance party held in Rainbow’s famous Terrace Room, and hosted by two of the most famous disk jockeys in Memphis history, Wink Martindale and Dewey Phillips, got out of hand when many of the kids (some of them just 15 years old), got rip-roaring drunk. Rainbow lost its beer license after that.

Then there were fires, robberies, and even an accidental drowning in the big pool. Rainbow Lake could never seem to get good press. In 1958, the owners announced they were turning the 14-acre complex into a private resort, to be called Rainbow Lake Country Club. They planned to build a 40-unit luxury motel, and even add a 500,000-gallon indoor swimming pool. None of that ever happened.

In 1963, a department store called Big M announced it had leased the site and would tear down all the buildings and fill in the swimming pool. For some reason, none of that ever happened either, and newspaper headlines announced, ''Rainbow Lake To Stay Put''. Well, it did for six more years, anyway. Then the Memphis AFL-CIO Building Association purchased the property for $700,000. They turned the Terrace Room, once billed as ''The South's Finest'', into meeting space, and converted the old skating rink into offices. The swimming pool filled up with trash and rainwater.

Then came more bad press. A fire in 1975 did $300,000 damage, and in 1979 the building association went bankrupt. Finally, in December 1981, the Mexican food and restaurant chain Pancho's bought the site for its headquarters and food-processing plant. But they moved out some years ago, and the site was a scruffy vacant lot. It was the end of the Rainbow.

JANUARY 31, 1954 SUNDAY

Elvis calls up Dixie Locke, and they go to the movies.

FEBRUARY 1954

Jud Phillips purchases Jim Bulleit's interest in Sun Records and sets up a new distribution system unrelated to Bulleit's Delta and J-B labels. Sun registers the Hi-Lo Publishing Company with B.M.I., to publish Sun copyrights.

Country recording artist Hardrock Gunter is put in touch with Sam Phillips when working with Phillips' brother-in-law, Jim Connally, at radio WJLD in Birmingham, Alabama. Unable to spare the time to get to Memphis, Gunter record two songs locally and ships them to Phillips for release on Sun. The titles are "Gonna Dance All Night" and "Fallen Angel", performed in a western-swing style. The A side has rock and roll overtones in the Bill Haley mould.

Jud Phillips borrowed $1200 and bought Jim Bulleit out. Sun was now free from outside interference, and Sam Phillips could negotiate his own business deals. This was an important turning point for Phillips. During the year, Sam frantically recorded numerous black acts. Jud Phillips helped sell the product by making a deal with a Shreveport, Louisiana, distributor, Stan Lewis, who agreed to get Sun Records played on local radio.

FEBRUARY 1954

Elvis Presley, Gene Smith, and Dixie Locke at the K's Drive-In, located at 166 Crump Boulevard, Memphis. The couples would pile into Elvis' old Lincoln and head to K's for cheeseburgers and milk shakes. Sometimes Elvis Presley would bring along his guitar and entertain the group.

On Sundays Elvis and other mempbers of their Sunday school class sneak off from the Assembly of God Church service to hear the preaching and singing at Reverent W. Herbert Brewster's colored church on East Trigg, just a few blocks away. Brewster, a noted gospel songwriter and civil rights activist, is a stirring orator, perhaps best known today for Mahalia Jackson's version of his ''Move On Up A Little Higher'' and Clara Ward's ''How I Got Over''.

K'S DRIVE-IN (KRYSTAL) (NOW K'S RESTAURANT) - K's Drive-In was a favorite hangout on Summer Avenue in Memphis. It was the short of place where you could ease your care into the parking slot with your date beside you and call your order into the intercom conveniently located at window level. In a few minutes, a carhop would deliver your food, securing the tray to your window. When Elvis Presley was a teenager, the restaurant did a big business, employing twenty-one carhops at one time.

Its been years since K's stopped their drive-in business and renamed themselves K's Restaurant. When the neighborhood began to decline, they shortened their hours, closing at 2:00 each afternoon. Still, the restaurant is operated by the same family and has kept the menu the same, and it still serves some of the best home cooking in the city.

FEBRUARY 16, 1954 TUESDAY

Barely two weeks after their first meeting, Elvis brings Dixie Locke home to meet his parents.

FEBRUARY 26, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley and Dixie Locke attend the All-Night Gospel Singing at Ellis Auditorium together for the first time. Elvis, Vernon, and Gladys are regulars at this monthly event, an all-star gospel show put on by the Blackwood Brothers.

The Blackwoods are Gladys' favorite group, but Elvis prefers the more charismatic Stateman Brothers, whose flamboyant bass singer, Jim Wetherington ("Big Chief"), and virtuosic lead singer, Jake Hess, he particularly admires.

MARCH 1954

Earl Peterson's "Boogie Blues" (SUN 197) is released at about this time, as is SUN 198 "Troublesome Waters" by Howard Seratt. Neither disc is successful commercially but they represent an increasing commitment to country music on the part of Sun Records.

MARCH 1954

Hardrock Gunter's "Gonna Dance All Night" (SUN 201) is released at about this time. Ernie Chaffin, later to record for Sun Records, makes his first recordings this month in Nashville.

MARCH 5, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley and Dixie Locke attend the annual Minstrel Show at Humes High School.

MARCH 6, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley files his first federal income tax return. His job classification is checked off as "semi-skilled", and his return shows income of $129.74 from M.B. Parker and $786.59 from Precision Tool, with no deductions or exemptions.

MARCH 19, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley leaves Precision Tool, where he is not particularly happy with either the work or the razzing he is forced to put up with because of the length of his hair.

APRIL 2, 1954 FRIDAY

With Dixie Locke, Elvis Presley returns to Humes High School for another talent show.

APRIL 17, 1954 SATURDAY

A Billboard article headlined "Teenagers Going for Music With a Beat" explores the increasing fascination with rhythm and blues among white teenagers, as well as the inviting commercial possibilities for record companies and record retailers. "The teen-age tide has swept down the old barriers which kept this music restricted at a segment of the population", the New York-based trade weekly declares, merely hinting at the social implications .

APRIL 18, 1954 SUNDAY

Dixie Locke has Easter dinner with Elvis Presley's family.

APRIL 20, 1954 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley begins work at Crown Electric Company located at 475 North Dunlap, where he starts out driving a truck at $1 an hour, delivering supplies to building sites. He is hoping for the chance to train to be an electrician. The warmer weather, Elvis Presley and Dixie Locke often go to Riverside Park, where Elvis plays his guitar and sings for Dixie and other friends.

Sometime during the spring Elvis tries out for the Songfellows, the junior Blackwood group, and is crushed when according to his recollection, he is told that he "can't sing" - though other members of the group later insist that they meant he couldn't sing harmony.

(Above) (1) Mrs. Gladys Tipler points to place Elvis carved name while working for her husband. (2) The truck on 353 Poplar Avenue Elvis drove at the time ''That's All Right'' turned into a hit. (3) Mrs. Gladys Tipler of Crown Electric, Memphis,circa 1956. (4) After recording ''That's All Right'' Elvis earned a weekley paycheck, totalling $43,68, from Crown Electric until October of 1954.

CROWN ELECTRIC COMPANY - Memphis electric contracting firm, located at 475 North Dunlap, Memphis, Tennessee, for which Elvis Presley worked beginning November 1953. Crown Electric was owned by Jim and Gladys Tipler.

In early 1956 the firm moved from 475 North Dunlap to its 353 Poplar Avenue location. Elvis Presley made a little over $1.25 an hour, which he gave to his mother. His job consisted of driving either the company's Ford F-100 pickup truck or the blue Dodge panel truck and delivering supplies to the men on job.

In addition, Elvis Presley worked in the warehouse. Elvis Presley claimed to have studied electricity in the evening to learn more about the job, but where he attended classes has not yet been determined.

Elvis Presley still worked here when his rise to fame began a year later with the SUN 209 release "That's All Right"/"Blue Moon Of Kentucky". Ironically, a few years before, singer Dorsey Burnette had driven a truck for Crown Electric, with brother Johnny Burnette. Paul Burlison, an electrician with Crown and already a member of Johnny Burnettes' Rock And Roll Trio, remembers that Elvis Presley returned for a visit not long after he left Crown "He pulled up to the front door in that pink Cadillac and blowed his horn. 'Come out here Gladys, I got something I want to show you. Look what that little ole guitar bought me", Burlison recalled.

Elvis Presley stopped by to visit the Tiplers on several other occasions, once bringing along with actor Nick Adams, who was staying with him at Graceland. As for the truck that he drove at Crown, the Tiplers sold it. Several years later, a man asked them if they'd be interested in buying an old truck with a bad motor. Mr. Tipler recognized it immediately - it was Elvis' old truck. The same dealer who bought it from Mr. Tipler had sold it to this man. Mrs. Tipler always wished her husband had bought it back, though they knew by then that Elvis Presley would never have occasion to drive it again.

After Elvis' employment, in 1956, Crown Electric Company was located near the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Lauderdale Street, which is now Danny Thomas Boulevard. It was a short walk south of 462 Alabama Avenue and Lauderdale Courts. The Crown Electric Company is no longer in business, B&H Hardware stands later at 353 Poplar Avenue, where Crown Electric once stood. Today the building which housed the company has been replaced in 1983 by the Exxon gasoline station. Two important locations are within eyeshot of the Crown Electric site. Poplar Tunes is catty-corner to the site, and the Presley's first Memphis apartment at 572 Poplar Avenue is also visible.

Elvis Presley was working for Jim and Gladys Tipler at Crown Electric Company. Here is the way Jim Tipler told the story on tape before he passed away: "We had put in a call to Tennessee Employment for a truck driver. We knew this lady up there and she began looking out for us. She called us one day and said she had a real nice young boy who wanted a job; needed a job badly. We told her to send him down to 474 North Dunlap, where Crown was located at the time.

We interviewed and hired him. He started by driving a truck for us, taking electrical materials out on the jobs for the electricians. After a while, he started helping the electricians on the job, pulling wire, doing a bunch of odds and ends things. That's where I think this story got started about him studying to become an electrician. Really, he was never an electrician; he just helped the electricians every so often.

Other than his long hair, which we weren't used to, he looked like a typical young teenager. That made him a little suspicious to us because at that time you weren't seeing many people with long hair. He'd go out on the job and he'd really take care of that hair. Then he'd come back in and run to the mirror and start combing his hair. He kept that hair real nice. After he had been working for us a while, and started getting to play in some of the clubs around town, he would get my wife, Gladys, to make appointments for him and he started going to the beauty shop, getting his hair fixed.

When he first started working for us, he didn't tell us of his interest in music, but after he had been with us about a month, he commenced telling us all about it, about what he was doing. Also, he told us what he would like to do if ever he made a hit or something. He told us he would like to buy his mother a home and that made a big hit with us. Here was a young man making a statement that the first thing he wanted to do was buy his mother a home. Of course, that's the first thing he did, on out Aubudon Drive, when he started making some money.

Now and then he would bring his guitar to work and show us how to play it. Mostly, when he'd play some place like the Bon Air, he'd tell us and we would gather up a crowd and go out there and hear him. We thought that went over real good. Everybody would just get up from their tables, crowd the dance floor in front of the band, and watch him sing and shake that leg.

Every once in a while, when he would come in, to work, and be messing around, combing that hair, Gladys would tell him, 'You'd better put that guitar down. It'll be the ruination of you if you don't put that guitar down'. Things turned out just the opposite. It's a good thing he didn't follow her advice. He was with us a good seven or eights months before his records came out.

One day, after that first record, he said he needed some time off to go down and do a radio interview. He told us he would put in a plug for Crown Electric on the air - that he worked there. And after that interview, the phones started ringing. They were really ringing. I'm not sure it was because of the plug he gave us on the air, but he thought it did''.

''Listening to him sing around work, at Clearpool, the Silver Slipper and Bon Air, places like that, I really thought he was going to make it big. The way people at those clubs left their seats and gathered around him, on stage, that was a good sign to me that everybody liked him and he would really make it. After Dewey Phillips introduced that song on his show, we all got enthused, but we had no idea it was going to become the hit it did''.

''I think he really began his gyrations at Clearpool. When he was there, he would really beat that guitar and really shake that leg. Everybody would just get up and holler.

I think that's the kind of thing that really kicked him off - shaking that leg. Of course, his singing was good, too. I had never before seen anyone where people would get up from their seats and gather around the stage and just clap and holler for him like that.

Years later, it was my wife's birthday and Elvis was getting ready to play Las Vegas. We flew out. I didn't want Elvis to know we were there. I went to the maitre d' and told him I wanted a seat where Elvis couldn't miss us. The maitre d' got us a seat so close we could lay our arms on the stage.

When Elvis came out, he went to the right and talked to those people. Then he came back by our table. We he got near us and saw Gladys and me sitting there at the front table, he got down on his knees and started shaking my hand, and he put his arm around Gladys and was hugging and kissing her. Then he asked what we were doing there, and we told him it was Gladys' birthday and we had come out to celebrate it with him. He thought that was real nice of us to come out there. He got up, from kneeling, and announced, 'These are the people I used to drive a truck for Mr. and Mrs. Tipler'.

I asked him if we could visit backstage after the show and he told us to come on. There, we talked to him and Mr. Vernon Presley about fifteen or twenty minutes. He never forgot old friends. I went down to his place (Graceland) two or three times when he had those little movie stars there visiting. Different girls would be sent there for two weeks to built up their publicity. Once, when I was head of the Electrical Contractors Association, the group came to Memphis for its convention. They asked if I could arrange a group visit to Graceland. I arranged it with Elvis. We took three buses down there. One of the bus drivers (seeing dollars dance in his head) asked Elvis if he could begin bringing tours down there on the ground, and Elvis told him, 'No, sir. If it wasn't for Mr. Tipler, you wouldn't be in this yard now'.

He'd always do things like that for me if I asked. We thought as much of him as if he were our own son. I don't think anyone else could have thought more of their own son than we thought of Elvis Presley", recalled Tipler.

Elvis Presley trimmed his hair at Blake's Coiffure, owned by Blake Johnson, at the suggestion of Gladys Tipler, the wife of James Tipler, who owned Crown Electric, where Elvis Presley was working at the time.

MAY 8, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis and Dixie Locke attend this day the annual Memphis Cotton Carnival where Elvis Presley runs into Ronald Smith in a performance at the Hi-Hat Supper Club on Third Street in Memphis. According to Smith, he introduced himself as an entrepreneur and arranged for the gig before he had a band.

He "borrowed" Eddie Bond's Stompers, a local country outfit in which Smith played guitar. After adding Ace Cannon on saxophone to give the combo a "pop" sound, he brought in Elvis as the vocalist. Bond said that one of the songs they performed was "Tryin' To Get To You", which Elvis Presley would later recorded.

MAY 9, 1954 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley and Dixie Locke attend the Oral Roberts Crusade in Memphis. As one of the most well-known and controversial American religious leaders of the 20th century, Roberts's preaching emphasized seed-faith. His ministries reached millions of followers worldwide spanning a period of over six decades.

His healing ministry and bringing American Pentecostalism into the mainstream had the most impact, but he also pioneered TV evangelism and laid the foundations of the prosperity gospel and abundant life teachings. The breadth and style of his ministry, including his widely publicized funding appeals, made him a consistent subject of contention among critics and supporter

MAY 15, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley and Dixie Locke go to the Hi-Hat Club on South Third. Elvis is wearing his bolero jacket with a pink shirt and accompanies himself on the guitar, singing two songs. The tryout does not get him a job, and in later years Elvis will dramatize the rejection by saying that Eddie Bond told him to go back to driving a truck.

The owners of the Hi-Hat Club, Tom and Mary, were former Arthur dance instructors who had invested their profits in the creation of a beautiful music club. They wanted a pop music band, but most of the Memphis groups performed country or hillbilly music. Eddie Bond and his group, a country artist and band that were decidedly un-pop, were reorganized by Ronald Smith, who also urged the hiring of Elvis Presley as a guest vocalist.

Ronald and Eddie Bond, who were also performers on KWEK in West Memphis, gave away tickets to the Hi-Hat's Saturday Night Show. "I asked Elvis Presley to bring Dixie Locke out to the Hi-Hat", Smith recalled. "Elvis was nervous but I told him the band could play anything".

It was at this May 1954, club engagement that Elvis Presley was first introduced to Eddie Bond. "I was outside and talked in my car", Bond remarked.

"I had known Elvis before, when he sang over at the Home For Incurables", said Bond. "My father sold paint to the Home. I had met Elvis over there and knew he could sing anything. So, I asked Elvis if he wanted to sing pop with Eddie Bond and The Stompers down at the Hi-Hat, and he jumped at the chance. He came down and began singing with us. He sang three or four weeks with us". "I was amazed by Elvis' knowledge of pop music, he knew all the songs on that day".

(Above) Hi-Hat Club, Memphis, Tennessee. The building with the Sisco TV sign was the site of nightclubs including one with the name Hi-Hat. The Hi-Hat was located at Third Street (Highway 61) on the edge of town and featured country and western music.

When Ronald Smith took over Bond's Stompers for nightclub dates, he often brought in Ace Cannon, so it happened that when Elvis Presley performed with the band, he was backed by some of Memphis' best musicians. "Elvis loved the Hi-Hat Club and couldn't stop talking about singing there", Ronald Smith remembered.

The music was pop and there was no brawling. At the Hi-Hat, Mark Waters played drums, Dino Dainesworth played saxophone and clarinet, Elvis Presley vocal, Ronald Smith played guitar, and Aubrey Meadows played piano.

"Sitting right in front of the bandstand were a man and two woman. We called them the Board of Directors. One of them owned the club. After they heard Elvis and saw Elvis, they came to me and said, 'If you don't get rid of that greasy-haired redneck, we will get rid of you!", said Eddie Bond.

"I was making fifteen hundred dollars a week at the time. Not long out of high school. That was big money in those days. I wasn't about to give that up. What else could I do? So I fired Elvis!'.

"I'm probably the only person in the world who can legitimately lay claim to having fired Elvis". "Not long after that, Elvis recorded "That's All Right" at Sun, Elvis took off, headed toward becoming a legend. The owner came to me then and said, 'We might let him back if he wants to come back'".

"I went to Elvis and gave him the offer. He kind of laughed. said, sure, he would come back to the Hi-Hat, but it would cost them twenty-five hundreds dollars a week''!

MAY 17, 1954 MONDAY

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that separate educational facilities for blacks and whites "are inherently unequal". With that decision the Court overturned the precedent of "separate but equal" set by the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case and set the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION - On May 17, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board Education that separate educational facilities for blacks and whites "are inherently unequal". With that decision the Court overturned the precedent of "separate but equal" set by the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case and set the stage for the civil rights movement in the 1960s. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played a major role in the instigation of the case, which centered around Linda Brown, a black child denied admission to a Topeka, Kan., elementary school because of her race.

Brown brought together five related cases from South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, Kansas, and the District of Columbia. All of which challenged racial segregation as a violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The arguments heard by the Court centered on the intentions of the framers and ratifiers of that amendment.

In the briefs, unanimous opinion delivered by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Court ruled that the separate-but-equal doctrine, which held that racial segregation was permissible as long as equal facilities were provided for both races, was in violation of the equal-protection clause. The justices wrote that the segregation of white and black children in public education "generates a feeling of inferiority" among the black children that could have an irreversible detrimental effect on the rest of their lives. In the spring of 1955 the Court heard arguments about how their Brown decision might be implemented. At the end of these arguments the Court remanded the four cases back to the district court with the order to take whatever steps were necessary to "admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties in these cases".

The Brown decision and the Court's demand for swift integration did not bring about the immediate desegregation of public schools. The only school boards legally bound by the Brown decision were those named directly in the cases on which the Court ruled, and the only laws held unconstitutional were those specific laws cited by the plaintiffs. Ordinarily, rules of constitutional law decided by the Supreme Court are universally accepted and implemented where they apply. Technically, however, compliance is voluntary, and there was intense resistance to implementation of the controversial Brown decision. The political branches of government were employed to speed integration. The threat by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to withhold federal education funds from school districts that persisted in segregation policies was one such way of encouraging integration. May school districts began busing students from one neighborhood to another in an effort to achieve integration. May southern states sought to obstruct integration through "massive resistance", and in 1965 less than 10 percent of the South's black students were in integrated public schools.

The Brown doctrine, which said that segregated schools are illegal, was extended to apply to other public facilities through separate court cases involving, for instance, the segregation of beaches (in Maryland), golf courses (in Atlanta), and recreation facilities (in Memphis). Probably the most famous case ever decided by the Supreme Court, Brown v. Board of Education was the first step in major reform of not only public education but also race laws and policies in almost all aspects of American life.

JUNE 1954

Doug Poindexter's "Now She Cares No More"/"My Kind Of Carying On" (SUN 202) is released. This recording features Scotty Moore and Bill Black, who become Elvis Presley's backing musicians.

JUNE 1954

Elvis Presley drove ten miles to Doc's Bar in Frayser, where he could get on stage any night he wanted to and practice his craft in front of what seemed to be generally disinterested audience. Patrons at Doc's never forgot Elvis Presley, however, and later showed up regularly at his Memphis shows. It was during this period that Elvis Presley began experimenting with an uptempo version of Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right".

At Doc's bar, Elvis Presley sang five Crudup's songs. The other four songs are, ''Rock Me Mama'', ''My Mama Don't Allow Me'', ''Cool Disposition'', and ''Everything's All Right''. Few people recognized the songs when Elvis Presley sang them, because they were performed in a very unique upbeat rockabilly style.

FRAYSER, MEMPHIS - is a neighborhood in north , Memphis, Tennessee. Frayser developed in the mid twentieth century as an industrial, working class suburb due to its proximity to the industrial area of Memphis, including a large International Harvester plant. As the factories in the area began to close, the population of Frayser began to markedly dwindle in the 1970s and 1980s, and it stands at just under 50,000 today. With a large minority of its residents earning incomes below the poverty line, only 6% holding college degrees, and a continued lack of business and industrial investment, the neighborhood is now one of the most economically depressed & highest crime-rated areas of Memphis. Additionally, the neighborhood faces environmental problems because of industrial waste runoff and contamination at or near the sites of now abandoned factories, which has made some land in Frayser virtually uninhabitable without cleanup.

The community is also the home of multi-award winning songwriter Gary Harrison. Among his many hit songs is "the Wrong Side of Memphis", a number one record for Trisha Yearwood It is an autobiographical song about leaving Frayser for Nashville.

Hip-hop artist, Frayser Boy, also hails from the Frayser community.

JUNE 1954

Demo session details unknown. On page 133 of Sean O'Neal's 'Elvis Presley Memorabilia' is a June 9, 1954 receipt for a two-sided acetate from the "Memphis Recording Service''. The caption claims it's possibly for "That's All Right''/''Blue Moon Of Kentucky", but that's impossible because Presley didn't cut the tunes until a month later. Looking closely at this June, 1954 two-sided acetate receipt, it is clear Elvis cut two sides (Master 0914-A and 0914-B) on Saturday, 6/5, and picked up his acetate dub on Wednesday, 6/9.

This documentation is likely for a song like, perhaps, ''Casual Love''. Especially if combining the receipt with Sean O'Neal's revealing interview with www.epgold.com. 'Elvis Presley Memorabilia is available on Sean O'Neal's www.elvispresleyblvd.com. The flipside is likely another slow country ballad with just Elvis on guitar, i.e. not ''Without You'' since Elvis paid for the acetate. The song ''Casual Love Affair'' was actually first listed as ''Casual Love'' by Jerry Hopkins, the ''Affair'' part was added later for some unknown reason. The song could actually be Careless Love.

The receipt is very similar to the one for ''I'll Never Stand In Your Way''/''It Wouldn't Be the Same Without You'', but it hasn't been verified as being real, and must be fake, as the price ($8.25) is wrong. It should be $4.00 for both sides, and not $4.00 for each side!

JUNE 1954

During the month, Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records, received a demonstration record of a song titled "Without You", sent by Peer Music, a Nashville music publisher. Phillips tried in vain to locate the singer of the demo. Marion Keisker, Phillips' secretary, suggested that he call Elvis Presley in to see if he could sing the song. Well, Elvis was called by Sam Phillips and asked to drop by the studio to see if he could sing a new song that Phillips had discovered.

Virginia Wynette Pugh remembers her mother coming home from her job at University Park Cleaners in Memphis telling how the boss', Carney Moore, brother Scotty and a couple of friends had been rehearsing for a recording session in the hat-blocking room at the cleaners. "Mother used to come home and tell us about the noise upstairs where those kids were playing loud music every day", she said. "Mother remembers Elvis as a sweet, nice kid, polite and kind of shy", said Pugh, who later became a big-time recording star on her own... under the name of Tammy Wynette. Her father, William Hollis Pugh, who died when she was an infant, was a well-known guitarist in northern Mississippi. As a result, she had grown up in a home filled with musical instruments. Nearly forty years later, Tammy Wynette would recall the experience with relish. "Oh, yes, I watched Scotty many times", she says. "There was this old black guy who worked in the back and Scotty would go back there with his guitar, and this old black man and him would talk back and forth about guitar licks". As the summer of 1954 wore on, she was drawn inextricably to a series of practice sessions held upstairs over the dry cleaners - and to the mystery of the boy named Elvis.

UNKNOWN DATE SUMMER 1954

Elvis Presley entered the Music Box Night Club (Hideaway) located at Commerce Street in Nashville, looking for a job. Roy Hall, owner of the club recalls, "I was drunk that night, I didn't feel like playing piano, so I told him to get up there and start doing whatever in hell it was that he did. I fired him after just one song that night. He wasn't no damn good".

It is an interesting story but doubtful, since Elvis Presley was living and working in Memphis at the time. It seems to be popular among rockers who didn't make it big to claim they fired Elvis Presley from their acts or clubs. Singer Eddie Dean also claimed to have fired Elvis Presley. There is one segment of Hall's story that might be credible - that he gave Jerry Lee Lewis a job at his club in 1956, and it was there that Lewis first learned Hall's song "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".

ROY HALL – Roy Hall was a character, for sure. A country musician from the Appalachians, he was variously a bandleader, night club owner, road manager, show promoter, newspaper proprietor, and general hustler. There was a time when he stayed drunk a lot and played up the legend of the two-fisted piano-pounder who wrote one of the anthems of rock and roll and recorded some of the rawest music ever to come out of the piano cracks between blues, boogie, and honky tonk music.

Roy Hall would boast that he recorded four million sellers, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "See You Later Alligator", "All By Myself" and "Blue Suede Shoes", omitting to mention that these songs were million sellers for Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley, Fats Domino and Carl Perkins respectively.

It is typical for the man. He was something of a fantasist. Often there was a lot of truth in his stories as well, but Hall succeeded in obscuring the truth in each of the few interviews he gave over the years, so attempting a reliable biographical sketch is no easy task.

Born James K. Hall on May 7, 1922 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, a town smaller than it sounds, some twenty miles from Bristol. ''That's the town that straddles the Tennessee state line'', he said. ''I was born on the Virginia side. To begin with, Nick Tosches (in his book "Unsung Heroes of Rock 'n' Roll") promoted the legend that Roy learned piano from "an old coloured man", who not only taught him the blues and the boogie, but also how to drink hard liquor. In reality Hall started to play the piano through his mother's influence. He had two lessons from a professional teacher, but found out that he was better at learning by ear. "I could just listen to a tune and play it right off", he told Martin Hawkins in 1974.

In 1930, Hall was living at 237 East Third Street with his mother, Florence, and her parents, the McCormacks. His father, Ray F. Hall, a railroad clerk, was lodging in nearby Gladeville on census day, but ten years on he and Florence were living together with eighteen year old James, for whom no occupation was shown. Possibly he was already working in the shadowy economy of the budding musician. He said, ''When I started to play, we would work at all little country dances and school halls and social events in little noaccount hillbilly towns. We played music for dancing mostly. I learned the piano first but I also learned to play the accordion 'cos that was what was used in a lot of folk music at that time, and it was easier to carry round the piano! Later on, when I got into the honky tonks and joints and all, then there was always a piano and I went back to that as my main instrument''. First, though Hall had to do his bit for the War effort. He enlisted in the Army on December 12, 1942 and was released on August 16 the following year. It was not a matter he ever wanted to discuss.

James K. became 'Roy' sometime around 1945 or 1946. ''About then'', Hall said, ''I worked some around Roanoke, Virginia, with some other boys, and we were the Hall Brothers. That was my first professional band really''. Hall started playing professionally as a sideman with Uncle Dave Mason from the Grand Ole Opry. By 1949 he had organized his own band, the Cohutta Mountain Boys. Roy played mainly piano with this five-piece outfit and he is not the singer on "Dirty Boogie" (Fortune, 1949) and "Mule Boogie" (Bullet, 1950), the two prototype rockers for which he is best known from this early period. The singer was the group's fiddle player, Frankie Brumbalough, but the record labels had Roy Hall's name out front and the songs are associated with him. These two songs are by no means typical of the recordings that Hall's band made in 1949-1950. Most of these were pure country, with some western swing thrown in for good measure.

In 1951 Hall formed a new band, the Eagles, which recorded three singles for Detroit's Citation Records. The next year Hall recorded two singles with piano instrumentals (inspired by the success of Del Wood's "Down Yonder") for the Tennessee label in Nashville. None of these early records achieved sales of any significance. Roy opened an after-hours joint in Nashville called the Hideaway where he played piano. Webb Pierce was a loyal customer at Hall's club and hired Roy as his piano player, using him on most of his recordings in 1954- 1955. Roy also did session work for Marty Robbins, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Patsy Cline. Legend has it that Elvis Presley came to Roy's club one night in 1954, looking for work, but that Hall fired him after just one night. "He weren't no damn good." More reliable is the claim that Jerry Lee Lewis played at the Hideaway for a few weeks in early 1955. According to Hall, that's where Lewis first heard "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". Hall claims to be the co-writer of this song (under the pseudonym Sunny David), with Dave "Curlee" Williams. It was first recorded by Big Maybelle on OKeh in March 1955 and then by Hall himself on September 15, 1955, after Webb Pierce had helped him to get a Decca record deal. However, a sample copy of this record shows Williams as the sole writer, and Williams is currently recognized as the sole composer, after legal action from his side. Still, most of the "experts" seem to give Hall some credit for the writing of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".

Roy recorded four sessions for Decca in 1955-1956 and these yielded some superb rockabilly recordings, like "Three Alley Cats", "Diggin' the Boogie", "Off-Beat Boogie" and "You Ruined My Blue Suede Shoes" (the last two originally unissued). Produced by Paul Cohen, these Decca tracks featured some of Nashville's finest session men, with a special mention for the guitar of Grady Martin.

After another single for the Fortune label in Detroit, Hall recorded two sessions for the Sun label in December 1957. The four resulting songs were not bad at all, but Sam Phillips refused to release them and they did not become available until decades later. His next stop was at Hi-Q Records in Detroit, a Fortune subsidiary. Two singles were released, the first of which (1958) was particularly good. It coupled the humorous talking blues "Bed Spring Motel" with a faster remake of "Three Alley Cats".

In 1960, Hall had a release on Pierce Records (Webb Pierce's label), "Flood Of Love"/"One Monkey Can't Stop the Show" and that's where Hall's career as a singer came to a provisional end. For the next two decades Roy would concentrate on production and promotional work.

None of his enterprises took off in a big way and Hall developed a drinking problem, but he quit alcohol in 1972. In the 1970s he published the "Nashville Enquirer" newspaper, which primarily dealt with the country music scene. He relaunched the Judd label in 1974 and later recorded an album for Barrelhouse Records of Chicago. He was still working on his big moment, confident that it would come, when he died on March 2, 1984 at the age of 61.

Roy Hall was no great vocalist, but he played a mean boogie piano and he wrote several songs that could easily have made it. In the words of Martin Hawkins: "He was there when it counted, even before it counted. Maybe there was a lot more to Roy Hall than we have been able to piece together, and maybe there was less. He had a raffish charm and left some music that endured from the ruckus of his life''.

JUNE 18, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley attended at the Ellis Auditorium the Blackwoods' last Memphis appearance. Also attended Governor Frank Clement in the audience.

JUNE 25, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley and Ronald Smith drove away to Poughkeepsie and Charry Valley, Arkansas, for one-night performance at the White River Festival in Batesville, Arkansas, just before Elvis' fateful July 5 recording date in 1954.

Ronald Smith got the invitation, to bring a band out to Kennedy Veterans Hospital to entertain the wounded troops, some holdovers from World War II, some from the Korean Conflict.

JUNE 26, 1954 SATURDAY

In May 8 1954 Sam Phillips received a demo-acetate that had been set aside for him by Red Wortham, the song publisher from Peer Records, who had steered the Prisonaires to Sun Records. Sam listened to it when he got back to Memphis, after an recording session with the Prisonaires in Nashville. It was a plaintive ballad called ''Without You'', sung by an unknown singer in a quavering voice that sounded like a cross between the Ink Spots and a sentimental Irish tenor, Sam could never remember, he may never have known, whether it came from a prisoner, and it was not really an accomplished performance, but the song stayed with him. Sam Phillips failed to locate the singer and to Marion Keisker Sam had begun to talk more and more about finding someone, and it had to be a white man, because the wall that he had run into with his recordings practically proved that in the present racial climate it couldn't be a black, who might be able to bridge the gap. ''Over and over I heard Sam say'', said Marion Keisker, ''If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars!''. And he would always laugh, Marion said, as if to underscore that money was never the point, it was the vision, it was what would come afterward. (In a Goldmine interview, Phillips said that although Jerry Hopkins has quoted him as saying it in his book, he never uttered those now famous words).

And than just a week before Dixie Locke was scheduled to leave for Florida, Marion Keisker called Elvis Presley around nine o'clock in the morning. "She said, 'Can you be here by three?", said Elvis Presley in later years. "I was there by the time she hung up the phone". "I guess I must have sat there at least three hours", Elvis Presley told Memphis Press-Scimitar reporter Bob Johnson in 1956. "I sang everything I knew, pop stuff, spirituals, just a few words of I remembered".

JUNE 26, 1954 SATURDAY

This rehearsal was probably not recorded. Several songs were attempted without success, but no other titles are known. It's not impossible that they tried ''Casual Love'', since this much talked about song obviously wasn't the flipside of the second acetate.

On Saturday, June 26, 1954, Sam Phillips called Elvis' house. Gladys Presley answered the phone, and she was amazed when Sam Phillips asked her to send her son down to the studio. Elvis Presley was there in twenty minutes, and he went through half a dozen takes of "Without You". Something just wasn't right about Elvis Presley, but Sam Phillips couldn't put his finger on the problem. Presley's vocals were uneven and Sam Phillips asked Elvis Presley if he would like a coke. They talked at length about music, and Sam Phillips suggested that Elvis Presley try another song. "You try one of your favorites", Phillips urged. When Elvis Presley sang Dean Martin's hit "That's Amore", Phillips advised Elvis Presley that he wasn't looking for a pop crooner. He lectured Elvis Presley on the necessity of infusing emotion and raw feeling into his songs. When Sam Phillips asked Elvis Presley for a tune he was comfortable with, Presley settled on "Rag Mop", although not the Ames Brothers 1950 hit, which wasn't Elvis' favourite version. As Sam Phillips talked to Elvis Presley he realized that Presley had been influenced by Joe Lutcher's "Rag Mop". Sam Phillips was astounded that Presley knew about the Los Angeles-based Lutcher, and even more surprised that Elvis Presley had a working knowledge of artists on Modern Records. Phillips had leased material to Modern, and he was happy that Elvis Presley knew their type of music.

Peer Music, a Nashville publisher, sent a demo tape of a song called "Without You" to Sun Records. Written by a white inmate at the Nashville Maximum Security Prison, Sam Phillips had first encountered the song, in unpublished form, on May 8, 1954, visit to see the Prisonaires at the Nashville State Penitentiary. Their rendition of the tune had failed to interest Sam Phillips, however. Eventually, a black singer was used by Peer Music to cut an acetate test pressing. In a cover letter, Peer pushed the tune as a natural for almost any Sun blues artist. It was common for music publishers to hire demo singers to make recorded samples of their songs, and because Peer executives realized that Sam Phillips had a stable of excellent blues singers, they neglected to identify the black singer that did the demo. After listening to the song, however, Phillips couldn't think of a Memphis artist to record it. Executives at Peer were surprised, then, when Phillips requested the singer's name, a singer who bore a striking resemblance to Roy Hamilton. Peer Music, however, had no record of the vocalist.

For a week, Sam Phillips pondered the question of who could effectively provide the vocal on "Without You". Sam Phillips constantly read the Billboard, Record World, and Cash Box chart. This encouraged Sam Phillips because it showed that white record buyers were eager to spend their money on black music, something which had not previously been the case.

After spending considerable time trying to find the right black artist, Sam Phillips instead began looking for a white artist to record black music. It was Marion Keisker's continued urgings that finally prompted Sam Phillips to consider Elvis Presley. Sam Phillips realized that Elvis Presley, more than any other white singer he knew, sounded a lot like the black singers. Still, it took Sam Phillips a month to bring Elvis Presley into the Sun studio; the groundwork was carefully laid for Elvis Presley's recording debut.

At that session, which probably took place in late May or June 1954, Elvis ran through several other songs he knew. Phillips took note that Elvis had talent and a few weeks later had Scotty Moore and Bill Black meet with him for rehearsals that led to Elvis' first commercial recording session on July 5, 1954. At Memphis State University located on Central Avenue in Memphis, on August 16, 1979, Jud Phillips played the Sun tape of Elvis Presley singing "Without You".

"I brought that record from the maximum security prison in Nashville", recalled Sam Phillips. "I had recorded The Prisonaires and I had "Just Walking In The Rain" out by 'em which was a big record, later covered by Johnny Ray. Anyway, I couldn't get The Prisonaires out anymore, they were all longtermers, black people, and I could not get 'em out. The Governor Frank Clement, was a little afraid as he'd already gotten a little flak about them coming to Memphis, even though I paid for the transportation, for the guards, the gas - so much a mile for the vehicle that they came in and ... well, they came in two vehicles actually! So I went over there to record them inside the prison and I had heard from a guy over there by the name of Red Wortham, his uncle worked as a guard in the prison and Wortham, whom I really didn't know at the time but he knew of what I was doin' over here and he was after getting things recorded, he told me there was these people over there in prison and all they had was time on their hands and he said there should be a wealth of material and stuff and maybe even talent".

"So I got over there and Red had gone out to the prison and recorded this on a little old portable acetate recorder and, believe me, it was sometin' like Jimmie Rodgers recorded in 1929! But the song sounded good and at that time I was thinking... because actually the only two things I heard Elvis do when he came in was "My Happiness" and this Ink Spot thing "That's When Your Heartaches Begin". So I thought about him doin' this song that Red played me, "Without You".

"Presley came in, I was workin' on some tapes in the control room, listenin' to them by myself, Marion was up front... this was before I'd heard "Without You", this was when Presley first came in... I'm backtracking a little here... But I wrote his name down, how to get hold of him, and put it on the little old spindle up front as we were goin' out the door. And Marion was standing there, Elvis and I were talkin' and I told him I was goin' to the maximum security prison to see if I could find some songs and if I did I'd give him a call".

"So when I got back from seein' Red, that's when I called Elvis and he came over. I got Scotty Moore and Bill Black and they came to the studio and I played the song to 'em and tried to do it on the spot. I saw we were getting nowhere with it.. It was a ballad, and so I gave them the record If I recall correctly, I may have made a dub on that, I don't recall... Anyway, they had the record, took it with 'em and I said, 'Y'all go home and woodshed this thing and let's see what we can come up with'".

"So they went home and spent a couple of days - they all worked and had to do it after work in the evening. They came back and we really tried to do this thing, but it just never came off. So I set 'em free to work on anything, tellin' 'em the main thing was to get familiar with themselves. Elvis had never played with anybody in his life at all. I don't know, this went on for three or four months and we just couldn't seem to come up with that groove that I just really felt I could get outta' this guy".

"Finally, I just decided... we were getting ready to rack it up and go home... and I told 'em 'Let's try it again'. Now, keep in mind I heard sometin' in Presley that intrigued the hell outta' me and it wasn't 'the most beautiful voice in the world', although he did have a beautiful voice, but I wasn't carin' about that. You had Eddie Fisher, Perry Como, Dean Martin, Patti Page, Doris Day... I wasn't interested in that, I couldn't do anything with it. I couldn't approach anything that I had in mind to do between black southern music and white southern music, the thing that I grew up on, and white and black southern religious music".

"I was looking for these things and the kinship there. I don't know exactly how I expected it to take place, I really do not, I guess it's just like a scientist in a lab with some test-tubes and a little acid here and whatever else. That's exactly what I consider my studio that y'all have been in: 706 Union was my lab of communicating with people - most especially the younger people. I'll tell you one other thing that is very important on this: I did not go into that studio one time thinkin' I was gonna make a hit record and be rich. I knew that I had to keep the doors open because I had two small children, gosh, one of 'em was about eight- years-old, the other was about five by the time Elvis came along - one of 'em was five and the other two when I opened the doors, so I had to make a living".

"But I remember very well the day Presley first came in there - I was busy that day and it's a wonder I even accepted him and didn't tell Marion to have him come back later, because I had gotten where I wasn't doin' any personal recording much, I didn't have the time".

Its been reported that Elvis Presley recorded "Rag Mop" at Sun Records later in 1954, but no copy of the recording has ever surfaced. Sam Phillips was sufficiently impressed to call Scotty Moore, who had been working with Phillips to develop local talent. (Moore had been a frequent visitor at Sun Records, and he hung around Miss Taylor's cafe, next door to the Sun Studios).

Sam Phillips watched Elvis Presley intently through the glass of the control room window, and was no longer taping him, and in almost every respect this session had to be accounted a dismal failure, but still there was something... Sam Phillips just nodded and spoke in that smooth, reassuring voice: "You're doing just fine. Now just relax. Let me hear something that really means something to you now". When it is over, Elvis Presley was exhausted, he felt limp but strangely elated. "I was an overnight sensation. A year after they heard me the first time, they called me back!", he always told interviewers in later years.

JUNE 27, 1954 SUNDAY

After the session of June 26, 1954, Sam Phillips called upon Scotty Moore, asking Moore to also arrange for Bill Black to be there. Sam Phillips respected Scotty Moore's intuitive feeling about musical talent, and Sam Phillips urged Scotty Moore to set up an occasion a few days prior to the session where he could get to know Elvis Presley. 

Scotty Moore recalls his first meeting with Elvis Presley: "Well my first meeting was naturally a couple of weeks before, or rather, no, it wasn't a couple of weeks before, it was a few days before our first actual session''. 

''I had been working with Sam Phillips for several months trying to come up with a record, an artist, a song, anything we could make a buck with and during this process Elvis' name came up and Sam Phillips gave me his number and I called him to come over to my house". What Moore failed to note or remember was that it was Sam Phillips who had instructed him to get to know Elvis Presley before the first recording session, and not something Scotty Moore had done just for the sake of making Elvis' acquaintance.

JUNE 28, 1954 MONDAY

Elvis showed up at Leonard's Drive-In, 1140 South Bellevue Avenue, Memphis. Instead of being full of stories about his session, he was subdued and reluctant to talk about what happened until pressed. "I don't know why but it was jus' awful. I was jus' awful. It was a pretty 'nough song but I couldn't get 'hold of it. Mr. Phillips made me sing it over and over, with a band, without a band... He tried being' nice but he hated the way I sang it, everyone could tell. Nobody would look me in the eye. It was so humiliatin'. I wanted to run outa there and not look back".

Elvis Presley let out a trembling sigh and looked up with puppy-soft eyes, his vulnerability apparent enough to break your heart. "I couldn't believe it when he tol' me to come back the next afternoon 'cause he wanted me to try somethin' else. I'da never let me back in the door".

JUNE 29, 1954 TUESDAY

Two members of the well known southern singing group The Blackwood Brothers, and the son of a local banker died in a fiery plane crash outside Clanton, Alabama, following, and that brought Chilton County's Annual Peach Festival to a tragic end. The death of R.W. Blackwood (32), and Bill Lyes (33), both of Memphis. Also killed was 18-year-old John Ogburn, son of Clanton banker J. Archie Ogburn, who founded the gale festival. The twin-engine plane hit a bump on the runway at the small municipal field, spectators said, and flopped over and exploded in flames. Intense heat kept rescuers from recovering the bodies immediately. R.W.'s youngster brother, Cecil, was Elvis' classmate at the Assembly of God Sunday school.

For Elvis Presley's Biography see > The Sun Biographies <
Elvis Presley's Sun recordings can be heard on the playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

 

For Elvis Presley's Biography see > The Sun Biographies <
Elvis Presley's Sun recordings can be heard on the playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

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