CONTAINS

ELVIS SUN 1954 (12)
December 1, 1954 to December 31, 1954

> Back Elvis Sun Schedule <

Studio Session for Elvis Presley, December 8, 1954
Studio Session for Elvis Presley, December 20, 1954

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 - ©

UNKNOWN DATE LATE 1954

Elvis Presley performed in Leachville, Arkansas. Residents think this show comes from November or early December, but they may just be confusing the date with the January 20, 1955, appearance. If not, then this probably took place around the time of December 2, 1954, Helena show. A check of news sources came up empty.

Though the majority of residents of Leachville are white, Hispanic residency has increased significantly in the modern era, effecting a cultural change.

Current businesses include two banks, three restaurants (including a Mexican cafe), a drugstore, four gas stations, a furniture store, an auto parts store, beauty salons, seven churches, and a branch of Blytheville’s Arkansas Northeastern College. Howard Funeral Service was established in Leachville in 1917 and is the oldest business in town still in operation. Medical needs are met by a Main Street clinic, a vital asset to the farming industry and the Leachville community as a whole, since the city of Leachville is located thirty miles from the nearest hospital.

The rejuvenated city park is behind the elementary school and offers baseball fields, tennis courts, a walking track, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and playground equipment.

The city government is maintained by a small group, including the mayor, a city clerk/recorder, aldermen, three police officers, and a police chief. City Hall is a modest building on Main Street next to the library and the police station. It also houses the water company and a courtroom where local cases are tried.

DECEMBER 1, 1954 WEDNESDAY

In Texarkana at this time, Elvis Presley always appeared on Friday evening. this is verified by several residents who were in their teens at the time, including Dewanda Jo Smith and Pat Cupp. Carl "Cheesie" Nelson, age 16, was a high school student who had perfected an Elvis imitation. Before what was probably Elvis' first Texarkana performance, he met Elvis backstage at the Municipal Auditorium on Third Street.

Nelson so impressed Elvis with his version of "That's All Right", that during the show Elvis brought Cheesie on stage and they sang a duet. Accompanying Cheesie that night, along with Scotty Moore and Bill Black, was another high school student, Pat Cupp.

Cheesie Nelson worked the show "guarding the door upstairs", making sure there were no gate crashers. The late Jim LeFan told Elvis Presley about his imitator and at intermission arranged for the two to meet. Afraid of Elvis' reaction to what he had been doing, Cheesie at first refused to meet the original, "but the whole football team picked me up and took me backstage", he said. Elvis Presley was impressed. So much so he said he wanted to bring Cheesy on stage with him after intermission and they would sing a duet "Dance With Me Henry". As an encore, they sang "Fool, Fool, Fool" together.

Eddie Arnold, then KOSY's Gumdrop Kid in Texarkana emceed the show and remembers it well. After the show, Arnold said, he and Elvis Presley double dated and they went to Lacy's Drive-In and drank cherry Cokes. One day, weeks later, Nelson was at his dad's service station on North Seventh in Texarkana when he heard someone shouting, "Hey, Cheesy". He looked around and saw Elvis Presley standing beside his car. "Get in the car, Cheesy, and come with me. I'm on my way to the Louisiana Hayride". But Cheesy didn't melt. He stood his ground. After all, it was high school football season and there were just more important things to do.

Carl "Cheesie" Nelson remembers seeing the Browns and the Louvin Brothers, although he cannot remember if he performed with them or not. If he did, this would most likely place this appearance close to the December 2 show in Helena, Arkansas. After the show, Nelson and Elvis double-dated in Elvis' pink Ford Crown Victoria. Carl Nelson, who is currently president of Texarkana College, recalls that the show was promoted by Jim LeFan of KOSY radio.

Pat Cupp is a long-time musician from this area going back to the Cupp Family. He was lucky enough to be asked to fill in for Elvis Presley on the Louisiana Hayride in early 1956 while Elvis was off appearing on television. This led to a brief recording career on the R.P.M. label in Los Angeles.

Ernest Hackworth, then as now, was "Uncle Dudley" on KTWN in Texarkana. Hackworth met Elvis Presley on his first trip into Texarkana and the two became friends. He would often drive to Shreveport to catch Elvis Presley on the Louisiana Hayride. Very impressed with Elvis' showing on the Hayride, Hackworth called an old friend and said, "There's a kid at the Hayride tearing 'em up. You've got to come down here and have a look".

And it was not long afterward Tom Parker and his wife, Marie, arrived, staying over with the Hackworths. (It has been documented elsewhere that Elvis Presley, by this time, was becoming disgruntled with his management and was seeking a change). Hackworth said after meeting Parker, Elvis Presley asked him what he thought of Parker becoming his manager. "Look at Eddie Arnold", Hackworth remembers telling Elvis. "He took him and made him a star. I've never heard anything bad about him". The rest, as they say, is history.

On this month, Tom Parker, having convinced Vernon and Gladys Presley that he, and only he, could navigate Elvis' career through the musical minefield ahead, took over his contract from Bob Neal. Oddly, Neal turned it over without a whimper. Just as things were beginning to happen, he stepped aside, keeping nothing for himself. Strange things were beginning to happen in Elvis Presley's career.

"We knew he didn't want us around", says Scotty Moore. "Elvis was being brainwashed. We'd be traveling together in the same car, and Elvis would bring up something, the Colonel said so and so, I'd say, 'Elvis, you have to stand up and speak your mind. There's nothing wrong with you arguing about something'. He's say, 'Ah, well, I made a deal with him, I'd do the singing and he'd take care of the business'. He'd mumble and grumble about it for a day or two and that'd be it. He'd go ahead and do whatever it was he didn't want to do".

On this date, the Hyatt F.H.A. (Future Homemakers of America) in Fields, Louisiana, send Elvis Presley an typed letter. The letter states that Elvis Presley and his band were listed among two other bands as possibilities to play at an F.H.A fund raiser, and asks if he and the band could come in February or March. Also questions whether Elvis would require a fee or would be satisfied with a portion of the funds raised at the function. Elvis Presley never played Fields, Louisiana.

DECEMBER 2, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black played the Saint Mary's Parish Hall of the Catholic Club in Helena, Arkansas. Also sharing the bill were Jim Ed and Maxine Brown, with Bob Neal acting as MC. It is possible that the Louvin Brothers along with Bob Neal also performed on this date, but they are not mention in pre-show ad. Five hundred tickets for this two-hour performance were available at Helena's Model Pharmacy at a cost of 75-cents each. Elvis reportedly received $12.00 for tonight's show.

According to Levon Helm, ''I think Bob Evans took us to the Catholic Club in Helena to see Elvis’ show. It was just Elvis, Scotty Moore on guitar, and Bill Black on standup ''doghouse'' bass. No drums. There was a law that said you couldn’t have a drummer in a place where drinks were served. Well, it was just a madhouse. Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins and his band were also on the show, and they were great, but when the kids saw Elvis they went crazy. The girls were jumping up and down and squealing at Elvis in his pink jacket and jet-black hair, and he was wiggling and dancing during Scotty Moore's electric guitar solos, played with thumb and finger on the bass strings while his other fingers picked the melody with lots of echo and reverb. It was fantastic, early rockabilly, always circling and real bouncy, with an almost jazz feel to it. The kids around us were screaming so loud it was hard to focus on what the musicians were doing; all I remember is they were rockin' down. It was hot. It was crackin'. Bill Black was playing the down beat on the pull of a bass string, then doubleslapping the strings against the fretboard to hit the backbeat. At a break in the music he'd spin the bass and Elvis would kick out his leg as he delivered the punch line of ''Good Rockin' Tonight''. I remember Scotty's grin as he helped Bill bring the song back in while my own feet were tapping the deck with a life of their own. Elvis was absolutely great''.

- Levon Helm, This Wheel’s On Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band, pp 36-37

DECEMBER 3, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley to appear at the American Legion Hall in Mount Pleasant, Texas. Headlined on the show was Jim Ed and Maxine Brown. According to Gary Bragg, ''I listened to a lot of music, and one night I heard a singer sing a song called ''That's All Right''. I listened every night to hear that song again and to find out who the singer was.

It was so different to any of the country songs I listened to, and I couldn't get it out of my mind. I went to the record store to order the record, and they had never heard of Elvis Presley. I was probably listening to a radio station out of Memphis''.

''When the record store finally did get the record for me, I played it over and over again until I knew it by the heart. Sometime later, I was in town, and I saw this handbill in a window, advertising a music show coming to the American Legion Hall in Mount Pleasant. Headling the show was Jim Ed and Maxine Brown and in smaller letters under there heading was Elvis Presley. I could hardly wait until the day arrived''.

''The American Legion Hall was just five blocks from out house. My dad died when I was just three months old, so it was just my mother and myself, a teenager at the time. We did not own a car, so we walked if we went anywhere. We got to the hall, probably an hour early. There was nobody there but us, and some people from the local radio station. Jesse Pate and Bob Brown were disc jockeys for the KIMP station in Mount Pleasant''.

''I needed to use the restroom, But I found out that the two Brown sisters were using it for a dressing room. There was only one restroom in the building. There was a Gulf station next door, so I went over there. When I got there, the door was not locked, so I went on in, but it was occupied. This guy was standing there looking in the mirror, combing his hair. He had a rust colored suit on, and there were two belts hanging from the back of the jacket. Evidently he was about ready to leave because he picked up a bag and walked out of the restroom. We both walked around to the front of the station, and we both gos a drink from the machine. This guy wasn't dressed like anybody I had ever seen. He had on a pair of wing tip shoes and there were no heels. They were just flat. Sometime during our conversation I found out that he was with the music show and that he was Elvis Presley. At the time I had not seen a picture of Elvis. I told him he was the reason I was going to the show. We walked back over the Legion Hall together and went by his car, and he either put something in it or took something out. We went into the hall, and he started tuning up for the show. Elvis sing several song, a Hank Williams song, ''Old Shep'', another or two, and ''That's All Right''. Bill Black was slappin' the stand-up bass, sounding like a drum. As he played, he kind of slapped it in time, and that gave a ''thump, thump'' sound like on his recordings. I was disappointed when he left and the Browns came on''.

''There was a girl who lived across the street from me, and I could not wait to tell her about seeing Elvis Presley. She was three years older than me''.

And than according to Nancy Holcomb, ''My friend and neighbor, Gary Bragg, had invited me to go with him, but I did not go as I had never heard of Elvis at that time. The next morning, Mac (Gary Bragg) came over and told me what I had missed''.

''Therefore, the very next weekend, I talked my parents into taking me to Shreveport, Louisiana, to see him there It (the Mount Pleasant show) was December 3, 1954, and I went to see him at the Louisiana Hayride on December 11, 1954, as it is duly recorded in my diary''.

According to Bonnie Brown, sister of Jim Ed and Maxine said, ''I wasn't on stage but spent the whole time in the backroom with Elvis, the place was full of props, and I remember Elvis combing his hair in front of the mirror all the time. He kept asking me if I wasn't going on stage to sing, but I wasn't''.

Jack Blackburn said, ''The National Guard was sponsoring and I took up tickets. There was no big crowd, I'd say somewhere around fifty. I was a guardsman, and Fred Bright was the commander. Fred Bright got Elvis Elvis to come to Mount Pleasant''.

Mrs. Bright said, ''Elvis was to play at the Louisiana Hayride the next night. He didn't have the money to get there, and Fred lent him cash. Elvis came back through and paid the debt''.

After the Legion Hall show, the band proceeded to Alps Cafe, before heading for Shreveport.

DECEMBER 4, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley performed his regular Saturday night gig on the Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, Louisiana.

DECEMBER 7, 1954 TUESDAY

Marty Robbins recorded his version of "That's All Right", which was issued by Columbia Records (21351). This was the first cover version of a song recorded by Elvis Presley. Although Robbins' version is more country-oriented than Elvis', it is closer to Elvis' record than to the original by Arthur Crudup. Robbins version also outsold Elvis' record by a large margin.

DECEMBER 8, 1954 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley, Texas Bill Strength, and the Parker Brothers Band performed at the P & G parking lot in West Memphis, Arkansas. According to Paul Burlison said that Elvis sang with him and Johnny and Dorsey sometime in 1953, long before Elvis recorded ''That's All Right''. Burlison claimed the event happened at J & S Motors, a used car lot that hired the trio to perform, and was broadcast live over KWEM in West Memphis. It is most likely Burlison was actually referencing the show from 1953, the show at P & G's car dealership on this date.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

According to a Sun Records "session sheet", Elvis apparently attempted to record "Tomorrow Night" and "Uncle Pen" during a session on this date. No other information is available, and the tape from this session was not transferred to RCA Victor in December 1955.

Sam Phillips' one-man campaign to merchandise Elvis' records was aided by Bob Neal's promotional skills. As a result of their combined expertise, Bob Neal and Sam Phillips persuaded the press to focus on Elvis' stage show.

There was a strong demand for a new Presley record, prompting Sam Phillips to schedule another recording session prior to Christmas. There was still no national recognition for Elvis' records, but the first two Sun singles had a strong regional success.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ELVIS PRESLEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 5: WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 8, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

The recordings marked with an asterisk(*) are included because of interviews with Sun session musicians.

*"TOMORROW NIGHT" - A.S.C.A.P.
Composer: - Sam Coslow-Will Grosz
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Probably Tape Box 10 - Sun Unissued/Lost
Recorded: - December 8, 1954

*"UNCLE PEN" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Bill Monroe - Written in 1951
The song was based on Monroe's real-life uncle, Pendleton Vandiver.
Publisher: - Unichappel Music
Matrix number: - None - Probably Tape Box 10 - Sun Unissued/Lost
Recorded: - December 8, 1954 - Acetate

"I know the song", recalled Sam Phillips. "No I don't remember Elvis him recorded this. I would have been the only one that would've recorded it at Sun and I do not remember that, I would almost stand on that flat-footed and say that, but like you say, it's been a long time - I don't remember that".

*"JUANITA" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Rufus Thomas-Willis-Stone
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None - Probably Tape Lost
Recorded: - December 8, 1954 - Source: Rufus Thomas
Released: - Sun Unissued

Rufus Thomas recorded "Juanita" at Sun Records on Monday, April 21, 1952. The master was sold to Chess Records in Chicago, who released it a few months later. "Juanita" (Chess 1517) did not chart. Some have said that Elvis Presley sang "Juanita", on tour in 1955 and may have recorded it while at Sun Records. Possible dates: February 6, 1955; November 13, 1954; or something in December 1954.

A few years later, when Rufus Thomas recorded "Juanita" for Sun Records in April 1952, Sam Phillips didn't believe in its commercial possibilities. As a result, it had been sold to Chess Records. It failed to make the charts. "Sam Phillips sold me the damned song to get even with me", Leonard Chess recalled. Why Elvis Presley selected the song for his act is a mystery. Rumour has it that Elvis Presley watched Thomas perform "Juanita" in local clubs. Combined with that, it probably was simply due to his penchant to experiment with rhythm and blues songs, coupled with the fact that he had just visited with Rufus Thomas in Memphis. Neither songs was satisfactory, and Sam Phillips shelved the tapes. They also failed to cover Rufus Thomas' "Juanita". While Elvis Presley was recording, Sam Phillips informed him that Marty Robbins had just released a cover version of "That's All Right". Ironically, Robbins' rockabilly cover, which owed little to Arthur Crudup's blues version, outsold Elvis Presley's tune. It was frustrating to Elvis Presley that a country artist could bastardize a blues tune and have it sell so well. He didn't begrudge Robbins his success, but the episode served to intensify Elvis' search for unique material. He hoped to come up with a blues tune that would fit his style.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar (Martin Dreadnought 18)
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar (Gibson ES 295)
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass (Kay Maestro M-1)
Doug Poindexter - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

(Above) A hand-painted cardboard poster advertising Elvis Presley performing in person at the Eagle's Nest Club. The Eagle's nest was located just outside of Memphis on Highway 78, where this poster hung in the doorway. Presley performed 16 times at the Eagle's Nest in 1954. This poster was purchased from "the back room" of the Eagle's Nest by Elvis memorabilia expert Rosalind Cranor, who later sold the piece to Los Angeles KRTH 101 disc jockey Brian Beirne in the 1980s. The poster has been signed in silver marker by Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana. 36 by 24 inches. It was made for Elvis Presley's December 10, 1954 gig at the Eagle's Nest.

DECEMBER 10, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley's for last performance at the Eagle's Nest Night Club in Memphis, Tennessee, and performed an acoustic version of "Milkcow Blues Boogie". After the weak applause, Elvis Presley was convinced that the song lacked commercial appeal. Sam Phillips was right. He finished his brief fifteen-minute intermission stint that night at the Eagle's Nest with "That's All Right", "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" and "Good Rockin' Tonight".

DECEMBER 11, 1954 SATURDAY

In the "Folk Talent & Tunes" column in Billboard, it was reported that "the hottest piece of merchandise on the "Louisiana Hayride" at the moment is Elvis Presley, the youngster with the hillbilly blues beat".

Elvis made another appearance on the "Louisiana Hayride". He was also a guest on the "Red River Roundup" record show, which followed the "Hayride" on KWKH radio at 11:00 p.m., the latter hosted by "Balin"-wire Bob Strack. Strack kidded Elvis Presley about his music, remarking that Presley's records were very popular. Pointing his finger out the window, Strack laughed as fifty lovesick girls stared through the KWKH glass pane. Strach commented on other signs of Presley's popularity. The screams from girls in the audience at the "Hayride", Strack remarked were not typical of the show. "You're something special", Strack informed Elvis Presley. Strack also commented that phone calls requesting Elvis' music tripled when he performed in the Shreveport area. During the interview, Strack asked Elvis Presley about his success: "I never had too high hopes or ideals, because... the circumstances of our lives didn't give room to dream too big...", Elvis Presley responded. This humility was honest and characteristic of Elvis Presley during his early years. He was still unaffected by show business.

DECEMBER 13, 1954 MONDAY

Handwritten letters. Sent from Scotty Moore in Memphis to Tom Diskin at Jamboree Attractions in Chicago. Moore writes: ''I would like some information in regard to your company as to whether it is a publishing company or if you do booking... I am the personal manager of Elvis Presley, a Sun recording Star who has two current hit records ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' b/w ''That's All Right'' and ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' b/w ''I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine''.

''I would like to have this information as I am interested in booking I would appreciate any information you could give me in regard to someone who does booking in Chicago territory. Tank you, Scotty Moore, 983 Belz Street, Memphis, Tennessee.

Tom Diskin responds: ''Thank you so much for your letter regarding your artist and while we are a booking and promotion agency I don't have anything at present where I could place your artist. There are few outlets for hillbilly entertainers in this area around Chicago. Kindest Regards, Tom Diskin.

At the time Moore's letter was written the guitarist was acting manager of the group, Elvis wouldn't sign with Bob Neal until January 1, 1955. Tom Diskin was booking the Chicago area for Colonel Tom Parker and sent this relected latter to Moore without the knowledge that Colonel Tom Parker had seen Elvis perform just two days earlier in Texas, and was interested in the young performer. Two days after sent Disking this letter he and the Colonel would see Elvis perform at the Louisiana Hayride, and the Colonel; would speak to Bob Neal about becoming involved with Elvis career.

DECEMBER 14-17, 1954 TUESDAY-FRIDAY

At some point during this time, most likely before Christmas, Elvis Presley makes an appearance in Gladewater, Texas, at a show put on at the Mint Club by Tom Perryman, a local disc jockey, who will continued to book Elvis in the northeast Texas area well into the following year. Because newspaper ads either do not exist or simply have not been found, his earliest appearances in this region have yet to be precisely dated.

DECEMBER 16, 1954 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley visited with his girlfriend Dixie Locke and others the Flamingo Night Club on Beale Street went to see blues guitarist Calvin Newborn doing while playing the guitar. For four years, the Newborn Orchestra performed at the Plantation Inn in West Memphis, Arkansas, before moving back across the river to Clifford Miller’s Flamingo Room in downtown Memphis.

Incendiary photographs by Ernest Withers and George Hardin capture Calvin’s on stage energy: He danced, leapt, and slid across the floor with his guitar in his hands, never missing a note.

“My hang time was like Michael Jordan’s, but I was dunkin’ the guitar!” Calvin boasts today. “I was known as Flying Calvin, the king of after-hours blues on Beale Street.” A young Elvis Presley, a frequent haunt of Beale Street clubs, would later borrow moves like these after becoming a close friend of Calvin and the Newborn family.

DECEMBER 18, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley again appeared on the Louisiana Hayride, Municipal Auditorium, Shreveport, Louisiana. While driving to appear on the Saturday, December 18, 1954, "Louisiana Hayride" show, Elvis Presley thought a great deal about his upcoming recording session and it was important to record another regional hit record.

According Carolyn Bradshaw, ''I had been out to California to do a show with Ernie Ford. He had a daily radio show and a Saturday night TV show in Los Angeles. There was a young woman on the show who was pregnant, and I replaced her the last three months of her pregnancy. When I came back to the Hayride, Elvis was there. All the girls were telling me, 'You're gonna have to see this new guy, wow''! I was thinking, 'Who is this upstart? He can't be that hot'. When I saw him, it wasn't just that he was magnetic, like an electric eel, he was exactly my type''.

''I was seventeen. I didn't have a contract with the Hayride, it was just agreed that I would be there every Saturday night. I came back from California just before we got into the Christmas Holidays''.

Elvis includes Otis Williams and the Charms "Hearts of Stone" and Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle And Roll", two current rhythm and blues hits, along with his more familiar repertoire as ''That's All Right'', and ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''.

Carolyn was presented that night as a special guest, and Elvis Presley instantly invited Carolyn to come out for a few shows the next week.

UNKNOWN DATE WINTER 1954

At the abandoned service station at Jackson and Manassas Street in Memphis, an old couple, about 75 years old, opened a mom-and-pop cafe in the building, serving hamburgers and short orders. They put in a jukebox and they had Elvis' songs on it. Once the kids at Humes High found out, they started flocking to that place for lunch. "Rube Boyce and I were assigned to keep order in the cafeteria at lunch and it wasn't long before we were notice a 50 to 75 percent dropoff in kids in the cafeteria", recalled Malcolm Phillips, coach of Humes High, "They were all going over to that place on the corner to eat hamburgers and play Elvis songs on the jukebox. They would pull that jukebox to the door and put their nickels in, play Elvis records and dance in the parking lot. T.C. Brindley, the principal, made an announcement one day that from that moment on the kids would have to have a pass to get off the school grounds during school hours. He was trying to stop them from going over there for lunch", says Malcolm. "And he checked closely. Still, about 25 percent of the kids managed somehow to get off-campus passes for lunch".

DECEMBER 19, 1954 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley visit Scotty Moore's apartment for rehearsal for his next Sun session the next day. First they did an old blues number that had become a western swing standard in different versions by Bob Wills and his brothers, Billy Jack and Johnnie Lee, over the years.

The new version opened up in a beautiful, slow, lilting blues tempo that almost seemed to tease the listeners, until Elvis Presley announced, with just a trace of amusement in his voice, "Hold it, fellas, that don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change". And plunged into what became known as "Milkcow Blues Boogie".

The other side was a new song by a Covinton, Tennessee, theater manager named Jack Sallee, whom Sam Phillips had met when he came into the Memphis Recording Service to make some promos for his Friday night hillbilly jamboree. Sam Phillips said he was looking for original material for his new artist, and Jack Sallee went home and wrote a song "You're A Heartbreaker" was the first of Elvis' songs on which Sam Phillips owned the publishing, and it was also the closest that they had come to date to an explicitly country number.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Since blues tunes were important to Elvis Presley, he searched for an obscure blues song, settling on a tune by a Georgia bluesman, Kokomo Arnold. After launching his music career in the South, Arnold had moved to Chicago and made his living bootlegging whisky. Music was a sideline for him, but Arnold was a still a historically significant bluesman who influenced many performers.

Sam Phillips liked the idea of using "Milkcow Blues Boogie" because he believed that a rhythm and blues or blues tune couplet with a country ballad was still the best way to advance Elvis Presley's career. The recording session was an excellent one. Elvis Presley started slowly, then announced, "Hold it, fellas let's get real real gone".

According to Sam Phillips, ''It's called ''Milk Cow Blues'' there was no boogie on it. I took the liberty of taking the old country song and called it ''Milkcow Blues Boogie''. It was a play, kinda like ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''. Who would take an old broken down hillbilly song called ''Milk Cow Blues'', and attempt to foister it upon the public? We did. You have to get people's attention in different ways. I didn't listen to the market to see, you could get confused like that, if you were trying to do something other than being a copyist''.

And about the slow and fast arrangement he said, ''Well, that was my suggestion, and I was always very hesitant to put words on the front end, because of jukeboxes. At that time they didn't like the spoken words, Elvis he loved Bill Kenny of the Ink Spots so much, and Bill's narrations, that Elvis really instinctively was pretty damned good at it''.

He then completed an extraordinarily vigorous version of the song. After listening to the cut, however, Sam Phillips had some reservations about "Milkcow Blues Boogie". He believed that Elvis' version lacked the ingredient necessary to become either a country or pop hit. Sam Phillips suggested they try another tune.

A payment slip of November 15 seems to indicate a session date, but it may be a falsification; December 8 has also been mentioned as a possible date for this session. Its more than likely that other songs were tried out on the session, although apparently no other tapes survive. RCA never received master tapes our outtakes from this session from Sun; their masters were dubbed from a SUN 78rpm.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ELVIS PRESLEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 6: MONDAY DECEMBER 20, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

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

> ''MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE'' - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:38 <
Composer: - James "Kokomo" Arnold
Publisher: - Leeds Music Incorporated Limited - MCA Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-140 - Unknown Take
Recorded: - December 20, 1954 - Sales 20,600 copy's
Going on forty-five years later, and it still works - that corny false start, Elvis Presley mewling like okey country bluesman (see, he could have gone to Havard), then breaking off command, "Holt it fellas!", "That's don't move me", "let's get real... real gone, for a change". "Wellllllll", before crashing into a jumped up, hiccuping version of the same tune. Had Sam Phillips subtitled it "HISTORY LESSON NUMBER ONE", the point couldn't have been clearer. Or more irrefutable.
Released: - December 28, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 215-A mono
MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE / YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

"Milkcow Blues Boogie"

Well, I woke up this morning,
And I looked out the door.
I can tell that old milk cow
By the way she lowed.

Hold it fellows, that don't move me.
Let's get real, real gone for a change.

Well, I woke up this morning
And I looked out the door
I can tell that that old milk cow
I can tell the way she lowed.

Well, if you've seen my milk cow,
Please ride her on home.
I ain't had no milk or butter
Since that cow's been gone.

Well, I tried to treat you right,
Day by day.
Get out your little prayer book
Get down on your knees and pray.
For you're gonna need,
You're gonna need
your loving daddy's help someday.
Well, then you're gonna be sorry
For treating me this way.
Well, believe me, don't that sun
look good going down?
Well, believe me, don't that sun
look good going down?
Well, don't that old moon look lonesome
When your baby's not around.

Well, I tried everything to
get along with you.
I'm gonna tell you what I'm going do.
I'm gonna quit my crying,
I'm gonna leave you alone.
If you don't believe I'm leaving,
you can count the days I'm gone.
I'm gonna leave.
You're gonna need your
loving daddy's help someday.

Well, you're gonna be sorry
You treated me this way.

A theater manager from Covington, Tennessee, was the first to come to Sam Phillips' rescue: Jack Sallee ran the Ruffin Theatre, which hosted a hillbilly jamboree on Friday nights. He went to the Memphis Recording Service to record a few promo shots for the show, and listened while Sam Phillips related his dilemma for original material. A few days later, while eating breakfast, Sallee came up with the idea for "You're A Heartbreaker". He made a rough demo for Sam Phillips who liked it. The song was Sallee's first and last published composition. It was an undistinguished piece of material (one of the few Presley songs that almost no one has attempted to cover or revive), but Phillips owned the rights to it and Elvis Presley duly recorded it.

On "You're A Heartbreaker", drummer Jimmie Lott was brought in to augment Elvis Presley's sound. Lott was a well-known local drummer, but the use of a drummer was a major change for Elvis' music. No record was kept of which cuts Lott played on, but he probably also appeared on an alternate cut of "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone".

> ''YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER'' - B.M.I. - 2:12 <
Composer: - Charles "Jack" Alvin Sallee
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U-414 SUN - BOX 9
Recorded: - December 20, 1954 - Sales 20,600 copy's
Released: - December 28, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single SUN 215-B mono
YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER / MILKCOW BLUES BOOGIE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801 DI-3-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1
02(2) - "YOU'RE A HEARTBREAKER" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Charles ''Jack'' Alvin Sallee
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - BOX 9
Recorded: - December 20, 1954
Released: - Unissued

"You're A Heartbreaker"

You're a heartbreaker,
You're a love faker,
A heartbreaker playing with fire.
You're a tear snatcher,
You're a quarrel patcher,
But you can't break my heart anymore,
For I just found someone else
who's sure to take your place.
Someone I can always trust
and to fill this empty space.

You're a heartbreaker,
You're a love faker,
But you can't break my heart anymore.

You're a smooth talker,
You're a real cool walker,
But now you have talked out of turn.
You're a high stepper,
You're a eye-catcher,
But you won't catch my glances anymore.
For I just found someone else
who's sure to take your place,
Someone I can always trust
and to fill this empty space.

You're a heartbreaker
You're a love faker,
But you can't break my heart anymore.

You're a heart breaker
You're a love faker,
A heartbreaker playing with fire.
You're a tear snatcher,
You're a quarrel patcher,
But you can't break my heart anymore.
For I've just found someone else
who's sure to take your place.
Someone I can always trust
and to fill this empty space.

You're a heartbreaker,
You're a love faker,
But you can't break my heart anymore.

Unlike most artists who recorded for Sun, Elvis Presley did not turn up on the doorstep of 706 Union with a guitar case full of original songs. Presley was more likely to have heard a tune on the radio or jukebox, become obsessed with it, and to have worked up a novel arrangement with Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Although this gave music journalists something to write about, it was a costly procedure for Sam Phillips. Every Presley record pressed on Sun provided income for a music publisher. That income came out of Phillips' pocket.

By the third record Presley recorded for Sun, Phillips was determined to get at least one of his copyrights on the disc. This resulted in "You're A Heartbreaker", one of the weakest, least reissued tunes in the Presley/Sun archives.

When Elvis Presley left the session, he was still very happy with "Milkcow Blues Boogie". Keeping with his timetested procedures, Sam Phillips allowed that it was best to test the new tune before a live audience. Actually, all the ingredients for a mainstream rock and roll hit had coalesced during the recording of "You're A Heartbreaker". The echo used in the song, for example, contributed an early, almost mystical quality to it, and the instrumental background was raw and energetic.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elvis Presley - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar (Martin Dreadnought 18)
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar (Gibson ES 295)
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass (Kay Maestro M-1)
Jimmie ''James'' Lott - Drums (Gretsch Round Badge Kit)
Doug Poindexter - Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JAMES "KOKOMO" ARNOLD - Also known as "Gitfiddle Jim", born in Lovejoy, Clayton County, just South of Atlanta, Georgia, on February 15, 1901, Arnold was influenced by John Wigges, and was an unlikely musical influence upon Elvis Presley.

He interested in music early and learned some guitar from his influenced cousin John Wigges at the age of 10, he later raised and worked on the farm through his teens. His nickname "Kokomo" is from title of his 1934 song "Old Original Kokomo Blues". (Kokomo is a coffee brand).

Arnold moved in 1919 from Georgia to Buffalo, to work outside music, occasionally worked on small clubs in Buffalo area from 1924. He also worked with Willie Morris in the local clubs of Glen Allen , Mississippi in late 1920s.

He also moved to New York, where he learned his music in the streets. In 1929 Arnold moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he made and sold bootleg whisky much of his life. Arnold worked mostly from 1929 to 1930s outside the music with occasional gigs in the local clubs and juke joints in the area.

In 1930, he recorded for the Victor label in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1934 to 1935 for the Decca label in Chicago, and recorded in 1936 for the Decca label in New York City and Chicago. He was also a musician who had a race hit in 1934, "Old Original Kokomo Blues". The flip side to this record was "Milk Cow Blues", which Elvis Presley recorded as "Milkcow Blues Boogie". Believed he recorded and accompaniment with Oscar's Chicago Swingers for the Decca label in Chicago, Illinois, and worked on 33rd Street Club in Chicago in 1937, recorded for the Decca label in Chicago in 1937 and in New York City in 1938.

Kokomo Arnold worked also in the Club Claremont in Chicago in 1939, in Ruby's in Chicago in 1940, and worked mostly outside the music in Chicago in the area from 1940. By 1941 Arnold had given up music and returned to work in local steel mills.

Kokomo influenced artists as Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Fred McMullen, Sam Montgomery, Curley Weaver and Elvis Presley. Kokomo Arnold was one of the great post- Depression bluesmen, and was one of the greatest blues singers ever recorded. Worked in 1962 for the gate Of Horn in Chicago, he later suffered a heart attack at home, he moved to and died on November 8, 1968 in the DOA at Provident Hospital in Chicago. Kokomo Arnold is buried at the Burr Oak Cemetery in Worth, Illinois.

DECEMBER 22, 1954 WEDNESDAY

It is possible that Elvis Presley on this date played the Lake Cliff Club in Shreveport on this date. For this special holiday gig, the trio was paid $100 each, which they looked upon as a Christmas bonus. The source for this date reportedly comes from Elvis.

About two days before Christmas following a Shreveport club date, Elvis recalled, he Scotty and Bill were en route back to Memphis. Elvis Presley was asleep in the back seat when Scotty Moore was stopped for speeding in Mississippi, probably on Highway 61. As a holiday gift from the officer, they were allowed to continue with only a warning.

"I thought, here goes my Christmas money for a traffic ticket. But the officer let us go with a warning... After the officer left, the three of us got out of the car and counted our money by the car headlights. The money was mostly in dollar bills. Man, that was the most money I ever had in my pockets at one time! I blew the whole bundle the next day for Christman presents", recalls Elvis Presley in a 1966 interview with Memphis Commercial Appeal reporter James Kingsley.

DECEMBER 23, 1954 THURSDAY

The graduating class of Hawkins High School faced a senior moment; the Class of 1954 trip to Panama City, Florida, loomed near, and the fudge sales hadn't raised enough cash to get them even to Longview. So three enterprising young men zipped over to Shreveport on the weekend to catch the Louisiana Hayride and hopefully convince one of its singers to do a show at their alma mater.

One of the new singers of the Hayride broadcast, some guy with the unlikely name of "Elvis," seemed perfect for the job; he was hip, he was now, he was within their limited budget.

The three pounced on their victim as he exited the auditorium. Doil Stone, high school senior and future salesman-of-the-year, explained their impoverished situation. Performer and performers struck a deal and sealed it with a hand-shake. Elvis would play at the Hawkins High School gym in December.

Tonight's show was in the middle of an oil field at the High School Gymnasium in Hawkins, Texas. Admission for this 8:00 p.m. show and dance that followed was $1.00 for adults. On this Friday afternoon, Elvis Presley and his band wheezed into town in a yellow Bellaire, borrowed from Scotty's wife, Bill Black's bass strapped to the roof. They rambled up the main drag and turned into the high school parking lot stashed behind the downtown strip.

They unloaded the Chevy in the parking lot, piece by piece, hugged the equipment to the bassbal gym, where a narrow two-foot-high platform had spontaneously appeared overnight with the help of some industrious high school elves.

While they assembled and tested the mikes, amps, lights, and other band paraphernalia, the town's pride and joy, the Hakin's Hawks hooped it up fifteen feet from the stage, preparing to defeat their East Texas rivals with Jordan-esque moves.

Forty minutes into the practice, the basketbal players heard a disembolied voice behind them.

Mind if I play? Asked the newcomer with sideburns.

Team captain Billy Bob Pruit looked the skinny singer over, sizing up the competition. Sure, he said. Someone, get that kid a jersey and shorts. (Apparently Elvis didn't resemble much of a threat.)

Elvis eventually lured Scotty and Bill into the game, and in the end, the evenings' entertainment retired with a net worth of 20+ points, depending on who's telling the story. Fortunately, NBA scouts were not lurking that day, or history might have turned out very differently.

That night the inhabitants of the Humble Oil town had turned out in groves of droves, some out of curiosity, some because there wasn't much else happening on a Friday night in East Texas. Although that marvelous invention called "television" started making its debut across the country, few homefolk actually owned one. And even if your family splurged and bought a set, the TV signal in most of Texas was still too weak to receive clear images. The good news was that in most of East Texas, you had a choice of three channels, a virtual smorgasbord of selection. The bad news was that they all broadcasted snow.

So most of the population of the oil town turned out, as well as the bored and restless from neighboring villages. At a buck a pop, the closer geographically.

A deliriously happy and financially prosperous Doil Stone and his equally ecstatic co-conspirators welcomed the musicians as the entertainers rolled to a stop in front of the gymnasium. To open the show, Elvis invited petite stunner and on-again off-again girlfriend Carolyn Bradshaw of the Hayride. She was Carolyn Bradshaw, 1954 promptly whisked away to the girls' locker room to prepare, as the gentlemen retired to their respective abode to await their cue.

After a tantalizing period of time, Elvis vaulted to the stage in the memorable pink and black suit that would soon serve as his trade-enthusiastic roar from the pumped-up crowd. Like a foreshadowing of this time next year, girls screamed, cried, and did their impression of pogo sticks in saddle oxfords.

Younger girls in the audience laughed at the hysterics of the older girls, and in the back of the auditorium, student Don Dierlam frantically adjusted his new gadget, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, in an mark costume. Leg twitching, he launched into school trip to Florida suddenly seemed much "Hearts of Stone," only to be met with an early attempt to become a Napster executive.

Much to his chagrin, the tape later revealed static, a couple of F sharps, and enough screaming to rival the Roman lion dens. The jam session ended with a "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," literally. Students, reluctant to lose the concert high, bought souvenir pictures hawked by Bill Black for fifty cents and waited to get the signature of the wild man they had just heard on stage.

CHRISTMAS WEEK 1954

A letter from Sun Record Company' Marion Keisker mentioning Elvis’s third Sun single. A straight manufacturing-business letter from Marion Keisker, the woman and office manager of Sun Records who first encountered the young Elvis Presley several times before owner Sam Phillips became involved. The first three paragraphs of this letter involve Keisker discussing manufacturing parts with a distributor in Philadelphia for Elvis's new single ''Milkcow Blues Boogie'' backed with ''You're A Heartbreaker'', which she hopes “should be the biggest yet''.

Interestingly, in the fourth paragraph she questions the price this distributor charged Sun for pressing a mere 25 copies of Elvis's second single, ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' (which she calls ''210''). Paramount had billed Sun 15 cents apiece to make the records, but ''shouldn’t the charge have been 14 cents''? Keisker wondered. ''That is what we have been paying for 45's''.

This letter mention's Marion Keisker by name (since she wrote it), the woman who played a legendary role in the discovery of Elvis Presley, as she was the first person to ever record him, on July 18, 1953, when the future King recorded an acetate of ''My Happiness'' for his own.

DECEMBER 23, 1954 THURSDAY

In Houston's City Auditorium (Jesse H. Jones Hall) at 615 Louisiana Street, a series of performances by artists from Don Robey's Duke and Peacock Records erupted into front-page, ballad-singing rhythm and blues heartthrob Johnny Ace blew his brains out in a game of Russian roulette backstage, he died the following day. Some reports claim that Ace was trying to impress a girl sitting on his lap at the time. The hall, now renamed, houses the Houston Symphony Orchestra.

This seemingly insignificant incident had a definite impact upon the rising popularity of rock music - Johnny Ace became the first symbol of the more tragic aspects of the rock and roll lifestyle.

Johnny Ace was one of many Southern artists signed by Don Robey. After his death, Robey greased the publicity wheels and sent Johnny Ace's "Pledging My Love" to number 1 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues chart - a posthumous hit that helped romanticize the tragedy of his death.

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton was backstage in the dressing room with Johnny Ace had been playing Russian roulette - he'd made a hundred dollar bet, and won. Everyone then went about their business, including Johnny Ace.

"We all left the room and we went back and found Johnny dead", Big Mama recalled. "Word was some gangsters killed him". Whatever the cause of death, Elvis Presley was intrigued with the Johnny Ace affair.

He talked about Ace for years after the incident. Ironically, when Elvis Presley died in August1977, his cover version "Pledging My Love" replaced Charlie Rich's "Rolling With The Flow"as the number 1 on the Billboard Country and Western music chart. Elvis Presley's lifelong obsession with Johnny Ace had added another strange twist to the story of his career.

DECEMBER 24, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley went to Harry Levitch Jewellers at 176 South Main Street and bought an electric mixer for his mothers' Christmas gift. Harry Levitch was surprised when Elvis returned a few days later and asked for another electric mixer. It too was for his mother, Elvis explained.

She had never owned one before, and now that he could afford it, he wanted her to have one for each end of the kitchen so that she wouldn't have to walk back and firth.

DECEMBER 25, 1954 SATURDAY

Elvis spent Christmas with his family in their new home at 2414 Lamar Avenue in Memphis. A Memphis brick house rented by the Presley's from December 25 to mid-1955. Their telephone number was 37-4184, as it had been several months earlier. It was within walking distance of Airway's Used Cars. In 1968 the two-story house was converted into the Tiny Tot Nursery School.

Elvis Presley given himself a present, a 1942 Martin guitar that he bought for $175 from the O.K. Houck Company on Union Avenue. He was a little self-conscious about it; it seemed kind of extravagant to pay so much money, but this was the way he now made his living, he told himself, and he never hesitated, except when the man threw his old guitar in the trash. "The man gave me eight dollars on the trade-in", he told anyone who would listen afterward, still a little open mouthed with disbelief. "Shucks, it still played good", recalled Elvis Presley. He had his first name spelled out in black metallic letters across the blond wood of the Dreadnought 18, just as he had on his old guitar. It came out smartly on a diagonal below the fret board, and the guitar looked a lot more professional than his other one.

Elvis Presley appeared on the holiday edition of the Louisiana Hayride. Red West remarks on how different the reactions of female fans are from the males. He calls it "Crazy the way the women react".

DECEMBER 27, 1954 MONDAY

As a result of this quest for proper management, Elvis Presley finally signed a contract with Bob Neal, who, as noted earlier, had been "auditioning" for the role for several months already. The details of this management deal had actually been worked out a few months earlier, and the well-publicized signing with Neal was designed more to promote Elvis' third single, "Milkcow Blues Boogie" and "You're A Heartbreaker", than anything else.

Bob Neal was not a well-known national figure, but he was regarded locally as an honest man with a solid Southern reputation. Kenneth Herman pointed out that Bob Neal had the ability to inspire the acts he managed.

They met at photographer Lou Lowry's house where Elvis, flanked by Sam Phillips and Bob Neal, signed the new management contract. A set of fresh publicity photos was taken, presented an updated version of Elvis' and the group image. The group picture, though, showed Scotty Moore and Bill Black wearing their Starlite Wranglers outfits.

The official picture, which ran in the trades and in the March issue of "Country & Western Jamboree", shows Elvis Presley sitting at a desk with a fireplace behind him, pen poised, grin crooked, hair perfectly coiffed. Sam Phillips and Bob Neal stand beside him on either side. Sam Phillips has his hand companionable on Elvis' right shoulder, Bob Neal is wearing a broad smile and an elaborately bowed western tie, while all three stare straight into the camera.

Using his gaudy Memphis Promotions Agency stationary, Bob Neal went to work earning his fifteen percent commission for Elvis' concerts. Immediately, Bob Neal raised Elvis' concerts fee from a range of $100 to $250 a night to $300 to $500. The problem was that Bob Neal couldn't always secure good-paying engagements. As a result, Elvis Presley often accepted lower-priced jobs. During 1955, however, under Neal's skilled guidance, Presley earned $55,000, an excellent sum for a regional artist.

According to Bob Neal, ''Well, I worked out just a simple thing without consulting my attorney or anything, just a simple, management-type-contract, that I would be his manager and set up bookins. Of course, he was underage, so his mother and Vernon both, or one or the other, signed the contract. I would get fifteen percent for the work I did''.

Elvis and the band had to do something about transportation for Houston that day, as Scotty Moore's wife was getting tired of riding the bus when the trio went on the road in her car. Elvis bought a Lincoln Cosmopolitan with only ten thousand miles on it. He had his name and Sun Records painted on the side and installed a rack for instrumentation on the top.

DECEMBER 28, 1954 TUESDAY

Houston, Texas, Elvis Presley headlined at Cook's Hoedown Club, 602 Capitol Avenue, as part of the "Yuletide Jamboree and Dance". Other acts included singer/songwriter Floyd Tillman, hot rocker Link Davis, Tommy Sands, Laura Lee and Hub Sutter. Bill Collie was the evening's emcee. Tickets were $1.25 at the door, and about 1.50 persons attended.

The show benefited the Golden Park Volunteer Fire Department. Pappy Covington had booked the appearance, and about 150 people attended. The crowd was festive, and Elvis Presley closed the show with an hour-and-a-half performance. When he was called back for an encore, Elvis Presley surprised Scotty and Bill by closing with a cover version of LaVern Baker's "Tweedlee Dee".

According disc jockey Smokey Stover from KRCT radio in Baytown said, ''The hottest country music in the Houston area in those days was Cook's Hoedown Club. In twas located in downtown Houston at the intersection of Capital Avenue and Smith Street. The place seated approximately 1500 people. The place was packed. The women went crazy over him''.

Mayme Frawford Holx said that, ''In 1954, I was fifteen years old, and on December 28, my uncle, Allen Parks, took his daughter Peggy and me to see Elvis at Cook's Hoedown in Houston. My cousin Peggy got in to see Elvis, but they wouldn't let me in because I wasn't old enough. My uncle and I sat in his pickup until it was over, and I just cried because I couldn't go in to see Elvis''.

And Peggy Hightower said, ''Although she had the right chest, Mayme didn't have the right ID, and she got to sit with Daddy out in the car, and let us dance for about three hours. They did let her come in the door and retrieve Augustine and me. She got a glimpse. We had a restaurant, a 24-hour truck stop, and had a jukebox played, the more money my daddy got. The truck drivers would match you quarter for quarter for five plays, and I was really good at it, and we had the jukebox going all the time''.

''Natural Music Company from Brenham serviced the jukebox machines, cigarette machines, and pinballs. We set up a howl for Daddy to take us (to see Elvis). Augustine lived with us, she was one of our waitresses. We all loved dancing. Everybody went to the dances, including Grandma. It was the sound. We had seen pictures of him, he was pretty to look at. I think we did a lot more looking than we did dancing. We were shoulder to shoulder. He looked good and he sounded good. The ceiling was very low.

The stage was not far high. There were tables around the outer edge. We had a table close to the stage. There were a lot of females. He spoke to us, said 'Hello' and asked if we had a good time. And we told him that our cousin was in the car and that she couldn't come in, and he said, 'Oh, that's sad'.

And Sandra Lawson said', Daddy took several pictures. However, the only surviving photo is a close-up of us. The show was over, and Daddy asked Elvis if he would take a picture with us''.

Elvis Presley may well have played other Texas and Arkansas dates over the next three days, including the Red River Arsenal, near Texarkana. Elvis Presley's third Sun single "Milkcow Blues Boogie"/"You're A Heartbreaker" (SUN 215) are released on this day. In December, a paternity suit was filed against Elvis by a Mississippi teenager, but the case was later dismissed.

In December, Elvis' photo appeared in the souvenir program from the "Louisiana Hayride", which sold for only a dollar.

Tony Sepolio, owner of the Paladium, owned a club called the Hayloft on Old Galveston Road in Houston, Texas, and he brought over Elvis Presley and Tommy Sands on one occasion, most likely during these days.

DECEMBER 29, 1954 WEDNESDAY

The Memphis Press-Scimitar reports that "Elvis Presley, the 19-year-old Memphian whose first two records ("Blue Moon Of Kentucky" with "That's All Right" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" with "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine") won him quick acclaim, has signed a management contract with Bob Neal, WMPS folk music disc jockey, it was announced today''.

''Presley, who appears each Saturday night on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, said increasing demands for appearances made a manager necessary, and he preferred a Memphian for the job. Two other Memphians are in his group and appear with him on the Louisiana Hayride. They are Guitarist Scotty Moore and Bill Black on bass''.

''The affiliation was announced simultaneously with release of Presley's latest records "Milkcow Blues" and "Heartbreak". He records for Sun Records Co. a Memphis firm headed by Sam Phillips''.

Starting in the new year Neal will book dates within his own listening area on an exclusive basis as well as setting up engagements through the Hayride network in such far-flung new territory as west Texas and eastern New Mexico. A variant of the "spiky haired" photograph from Elvis' original July 27 interview at the Press-Scimitar is used to accompany this story, which also announces the simultaneous release of Elvis' third Sun single.

According Bob Neal, ''I set up a little office in a building right across from the Peabody Hotel at Union. I had an office in there where I did correspondence and handled fan club things. Helen my wife, was the original fan club president and we had fan club cards made up. Plus a good percentage of the booking we did at that time followed the trend that I had going for a number of years... going out and working shows in the territory, because having a good following on WMPS, I could travel a range of 150 to 200 miles around town. I'd simple set up a date in a schoolhouse, auditorium, or something like that. Basically I would do all the advertising on my show, because we covered all the territory. Sometimes we'd buy a few window cards or like that... then we'd go out and do the show''.

Ronald Smith, guitarist in Eddie Bonds band The Stompers said, ''Bob rented a cheap offices across from the Peabody Hotel. I think they called it Elvis Presley Enterprises or something like that. What i won't forget is going up there to visit Elvis. They had a phone in that office that Scotty, Elvis or Someone had painted red with fingernail polish! They had glued some fake plastic jewels on this phone. I was afraid to ask if it was meant to be a bad joke or what''.

UNKNOWN DATE DECEMBER 1954

Elvis Presley appeared at Humes High School for the Christmas show, and all the teachers and kids flocked around, but some of them acted stuck-up, like they thought he was going to act stuck-up first, which didn't seem right at all.

Elvis Presley's new single, his third for Sun Records, came out simultaneously with the announcement of the new management setup. They had chosen ''Milkcow Blues Boogie'' and ''You're A Heartbreaker'' from a pre-Chrismast session, and the reviews were as encouraging as before. In retrospect, ''You're A Heartbreaker'' ended up being the least acclaimed of all of Elvis' original Sun releases. Although ''Milkcow Blues Boogie'' in the minds of many was the hot side, ''You're A Heartbreaker'' was the designated radio cut, the track that the success of the single ultimately depended upon. The record would, in the end, be the poorest seller of Elvis' five Sun singles. In Texas at least, no matter how convincing the Presley version, ''Milkcow Blues Boogie'' would always belong to Bob Wills.

DECEMBER 31, 1954 / JANUARY 1, 1955 FRIDAY/SATURDAY

Elvis Presley appeared at a special New Year's Night broadcast from Eagle's Hall, Houston, Texas, which Biff Collie also set up. (See 1955 Elvis Presley 1).

Sometime in late December 1954 or early January 1955, Elvis Presley purchases what will become the band's first official automobile. With Bob Neal's help, he buys a used, tan-colored, 1951 Cosmopolitan Lincoln, putting a rack on top for the bass, with "Elvis Presley - Sun Records" painted on the side. It replaces Scotty's wife Bobbie's 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

> Page Up <

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 - ©