© March 1982 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 101 mono

This three individually sleeved LPs box set containing 54 recordings interspersed with many extracts of fascinating session conversation, alternate takes and false starts. Each LP sleeve bears a detailed track by track analysis of the enclosed recordings. Here an overview of Carl Perkins' recording career during the Sun Records years; a detailed session discography and liner notes by Colin Escott, Hank Davis, and Martin Hawkins. Each album has been mastered in mono. Album compiled by Martin Hawkins. Mastered by Bob Jones. Sleeve design by Adam Yeldman.


Record 1 Side 1
''Hillbilly Juke Box''
Record 1 Side 2
''One For The Money''
Record 2 Side 1
''Boppin' The Blues''
Record 2 Side 2
'For The Show''
Record 3 Side 1
''Put Your Cat Clothes On''
Record 3 Side 2
''Go Cat Go''

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


© March 1982 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 101-1-A/B mono

Record 1 Side 1 ''Hillbilly Juke Box''
1 - Honky Tonk Gal (Not Originally Issued)
2 - Movie Magg (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
3 - Turn Around (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
4 - Movie Magg (Original Flip 501)
5 - Turn Around (Original Flip 501)
6 - You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
7 - Gone Gone Gone (Original Sun 224)
8 - Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing (Original Sun 224)
9 - What You Doin' When You're Crying (Not Originally Issued)
10 - Drink Up And Go Home (Previously Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

Honky Tonk Gal (Not Originally Issued) 1:57
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Sometime in the fall of 1954, the Perkins Brothers Band, Carl, Jay and Clayton, and their new drummer, W.S. Holland, date the trip to Memphis to try to get onto Sun Records. No-one can recall exactly when this was, except that it was after the boys heard Presley's first record on the radio, probably in August, and after they saw his show at Betthel Springs. W.S. Holland told us that this first trip to Memphis to audition was only about the third time he had ever played with the band. It seems most likely this was in October

The earliest tape of the Perkins band, recently discovered among hundreds of boxes of an auditions and out-takes, is dated October 1954. This may have been made on that very first trip to see Sam Phillips, or maybe this was the result of a second visit. Either way, it contained five versions of ''Honky Tonk Gal'' and one of ''Movie Magg'' in that order, recorded over the top of a black vocal group session.

It seems, then, that ''Honky Tonk Gal'' was the first Perkins recording made in the Sun studio. As far as we can determine, this is an original song written by Carl. Hank Thompson wrote and recorded a song of the same title, but the verses are entirely different. In any case, Carl sings in the first two takes of his ''Honky Tonk Babe'' and the title line is altered for subsequent attempts. The take included here is the fifth and last.

The performance itself is straight out of the Jackson bars and the Perkins style seems to be fairly well developed. The feeling is jaunty not jumping, exuberant not ecstatic, but the bluesy guitar is there and it was only a short step from here to rockabilly music.

Movie Magg (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:02
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

According to Carl, this was the first song he ever wrote. It was begun in 1945 for a talent show in Bemis, and refined over the years during the early gigs of the Perkins Brothers Band. It mixes the heroics of the western movie with personal experience and a honky-tonk rhythm.

This appears to be the first demo version, recorded at the same time as ''Honky Tonk Gal''. The sound is perhaps a little more country than the final take but otherwise is not notably different. It only remained to sort out some minor lyric problems and clean up the opening notes of the guitar solo, and Carl would have the basis of his first record.

Listening to the simple, pure energy of this early take the boundless talent of this artist must have been blindingly clear to Sam Phillips. It is obvious that nobody had to twist Carl Perkins' arm into putting some bounce into his brand of hillbilly music.

Just to be sure of his discovery, Sam sent Memphis disc jockey's Dick Stuart and Bob Neal to check out Carl's stage act at the 'El Ranch' in Jackson. Bob Neal recalls being impressed. He also says that Elvis Presley was with them. This attention must have surprised Carl because only a few months earlier he had travelled to see Presley and a recording contract for himself had seemed as remote as ever.

Turn Around (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:10
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

When Carl and his band had first auditioned for Sam Phillips, he had marked ''Movie Magg'' as a possible single release but he asked Carl to come up with some other original songs as well. ''Turn Around'' was the answer.

Sam was planning to move into country recordings in a big way at this time and he had arranged a demo session for October 25 with an old disc jockey friend and country fiddle player, Bill Cantrell. Cantrell and his songwriting colleague, guitarist Quinton Claunch were lined up to work with Maggie Due Wimberly on a song called ''How Long Will It Be'', later issued on Sun as ''How Long''. When Carl phoned to say he had another song ready, Sam asked him and the boys to come on down on that say and see what they sounded like with a fuller backing. Several demo takes ended up on tape, and this one complete version.

Carl was possibly uneasy about recording with the fuller sound behind him. He and his band had never met Bill or Quinton and there was evidently some discussion of the merits of hillbilly and honky-tonk boogie music. The Perkins boys mentioned Presley. Cantrell conceded that its ''great stuff'' though ''I don't go for it''. Any differences the players may have had were quickly reconciled and they combined to cut a moving country ballad with Cantrell kicking off on fiddle, Carl singing strongly in a voice as pure as spring water and Claunch and Jay Perkins developing a solid rhythm line.

There are only minor differences separating this from the previously issued version. The decision to shelve this one was probably based upon several instrumental fluffs during Cantrell's fiddle solo and not upon Carl's vocal performance.

Movie Magg > Flip 501-A > 2:05
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

By January 1955, Sam Phillips concluding his plans to issue a series of country records. On January 22 he called Carl in to record two of the songs they had worked on during October, one honky-tonker in Carl's own style and one neo-Hank Williams hillbilly song with Cantrell's boys. The ''A'' side, according to the master numbers Sam gave the pressing Plant, was "Movie Magg". This was the first release on a new label, Flip Records, designed by Sam to test out new artists in the local market.

This version of "Movie Magg" is brighter than the October demo with W.S. Holland slightly more in evidence and Carl biting the air with his guitar solos. It is essentially the same though, once again an authentic example of the music Carl had given the patrons of West Tennessee bar-rooms for some years.

Turn Around > Flip 501-B < 2:05
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Although originally the ''B'' side of the Flip record, ''Turn Around" has outlasted "Movie Magg''. It retains a proud spot in Carl's live act to this day and is usually announced, not quite accurately, as ''the first song I ever had on Sun records".

It's a truly expressive, personalised hillbilly song true to the spirit of Hank Williams with Carl's voice meeting Bill Cantrell's heartbroken fiddle notes perfectly and melting at the end of each verse into Stan Kesler's steel guitar. Carl plays a thumping bass rhythm on his electric gold-top Les Paul Gibson, more normally employed on the cutting treble strings. This must have been a real juke-box favourite around Memphis. The record did not get reviewed in the national trade papers but the local reaction was apparently encouraging.

Bill Cantrell and Quinton Claunch each received a fifteen dollar session fee for this song according to Sun's files. There is no mention of Kesler but his steel guitar can plainly be heard even though it does not feature strongly.

You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:35
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Through the spring of 1955 the Perkins band consolidated their local standing. They still had a regular gig at the El Rancho in Jackson, they began to get bookings in and around Memphis and, best of all. they signed up with Bob Neal's agency Stars Incorporated and travelled the mid-South with Elvis Presley. Soon Johnny Cash joined the show and in June the three artists played throughout the tri-state area tor one dollar admission.

By early summer, Sam Phillips was asking for another record from Carl. This time it was to be on the Sun label and would get national distribution if it showed potential. The choice of songs was crucial. Sam followed the standard pattern of coupling one rhythm number with a hillbilly weeper. Carl and the band started working in the studio and an undated tape, probably from July 1955, contains early versions of the two candidates for the uptempo side, ''Gone Gone Gone" and "You Can't Make Love To Somebody''.

"You Can't Make Love To Somebody'' was never in tact issued by Sam Phillips. A more subdued sounding, less spirited version was used much later when Shelby Singleton combed through the Sun vaults for filler on Sun International LP 112. This version is arguably better for several reasons. In fact, this record may offer one of the purest examples of the synthesis between hillbilly and rock and roll. Just listening to it conjures up terms like ''hillbilly bop'' or ''hillbilly bounce''.

Carl's vocal is decidedly country, whereas W.S. and Clayton contribute some driving drum and slap-bass work. Only the under recording of Carl's guitar mars the generally memorable status of this recording. There are also some fine lyrics on this version Listen boy, ain't no joy... which were not included on the released take.

Gone Gone Gone > Sun 224-B < 2:35
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

On July I I , Carl was ready to record his second single. He had settled for "Gone Gone Gone" as the best uptempo song and he sailed into it enthusiastically, spitting out the opening lines to this unusual variation on the boy-leaves-girl theme. The tongue-in-cheek insults in his song must have been refined in the Jackson bar-rooms where the verses were first tried out. The guitar boogie workout Carl employed behind his vocals was a powerful force. 'Billboard' , the national trade paper, picked up on that sound: "The rhythm sound is unusual and contagious", they enthused, "bounce blues in a flavorsome combination of country' and rhythm and blues idioms''.

Billboard had yet to get hold of the word rockabilly, but "bounce blues" does pretty well as a description for "Gone Gone Gone". Somewhere in the background is Bill Cantrell's fiddle playing, mixed down because Sam Phillips wanted to bring to the fore Carl's relentlessly fiery guitar. This is one of the earliest examples of Carl making a rocking masterpiece out of a hillbilly song. The solos, the shouts of encouragement to himself and the others and the scat singing are all typical Perkins trademarks.

Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing > Sun 224-A < 2:50
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

The reason Bill Cantrell was present, albeit only just, on "Gone Gone Gone" was that Sam had again asked him to fill out the sound on the hillbilly side of Carl's record. Bill, Quinton Claunch and Stan Kesler were present throughout the session. They came into their own on "Jukebox'' with Stan and Bill taking back-to-back solos midway. This is pure, beautiful country music, based in the Hank Williams style but full of Memphis idiosyncrasies. Although Carl s contribution to rockabilly is virtually immeasurable, it would have been interesting to see Carl develop as a pure country singer nevertheless.

The 'Billboard' reviewer found this record, "potent stuff''. It was, he said, "an effective back-county production of a dolorous chaff''.

What You Doin' When You're Crying (Not Originally Issued) 2:49
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

The fourth song cut on July I I was another hillbilly weeper complete with fiddle and steel. Again the Perkins and Cantrell teams combined to produce a marvellously expressive country record. This was real cry-in-the-beer material from Carl and Sam Phillips must have agonised for a while before he eventually chose to leave this one in the vaults and to release ''Jukebox''. Probably he felt that ''Jukebox'' by its very title, had more commercial potential than yet another love song, no matter how finely played.

The sound on this is very reminiscent of other Memphis recordings involving Cantrell, Claunch and Kesler. The team had recently made "Daydreamin" a hit with hillbilly singer Bud Deckelman on Meteor, and they went on to work with other local artists. They always achieved an identifiable Memphis hillbilly sound, of which Cart's ''Turn Around'', ''Jukebox'' and this song are prime examples.

Drink Up And Go Home (Previously Unissued) 3:30
(Joe Maphis-Johnny Bond) Southern Music

This slightly distorted demo recording was probably made around the latter part Of 1955, although it was found in on un-marked tape box. It seems that Carl recorded several of his favourite country songs during his years at Sun, and this one is a throwback to the sort of music Jay Perkins favoured in his part of the Perkins brothers' act.

The lead voice on this recording may be Jays, with Carl giving higher-pitched second-voice support, but it is also possible that the sound obtained through a single microphone deepened Carl's voice. Carl plays on the deadened boss strings of his guitar mile the plodding drumbeat echoes the singers' desolate mood.

''Drink Up And Go Home'' had been written by country singer and cowboy actor Johnny Bond and country guitarist Joe Maphis. Its waltz tempos and bluegrass harmonies did not make for typical Perkins fare, and it is an interesting contrast to 'Blue Suede Shoes' and the new directions that Carl was moving in.

Record 1 Side 2 ''One For The Money''
1 - Blue Suede Shoes (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
2 - Blue Suede Shoes (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
3 - Honey Don't (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
4 - Blue Suede Shoes (Original Sun 234)
5 - Honey Don't (Original Sun 234)
6 - Sure To Fall (Original Sun 235) (Unissued)
7 - Tennessee (Original Sun 235) (Unissued)
8 - Perkins Wiggle (Not Originally Issued)
9 - Boppin' The Blues (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
Original Sun Recordings

Blue Suede Shoes (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 1:56
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Through the second half of 1955, Carl continued to tour local clubs, schoolhouses and fairs, playing sometimes as a single act, sometimes with Elvis or Johnny Cash. His recording of ''Gone Gone Gone'' had round its way onto a few local charts and he was encouraged enough to keep writing songs, searching for the one that would break out nationally.

It was at a gig in his home town of Jackson that Carl and Johnny Cash stumbled across the answer. There in the crowd a hip youth with slicked back hair, a sharp suit and new suede shoes. Carl and Johnny noticed how he was extra careful not to get those shoes marked or trodden on. They agreed there must be a song there somewhere, and they agreed the shoes should be blue. Armed with this idea and title, Carl went home. In the middle of the night he got up and wrote the song on a potato bag.

This version is the earliest remaining demo of ''Blue Suede Shoes''. It may have been recorded earlier than the hit session, but almost certainty it was made in December 1955.

Listening to an alternate take of something as familiar as "Blue Suede Shoes'' can be quite upsetting. For a quarter of a century there has only been one version of this song by Carl and it is naturally the standard against which cover records and alternatives must be judged. Both this version, and the alternate take that follows, differ in some readily apparent ways to the released version. Also, both are arguably inferior to the released version.

On this earliest take, the familiar line "Go Cat Go" has not yet appeared. According to writer Robert Hilburn, Sam Phillips takes credit for the change. "I told Carl that 'Go Man Go' made it sound too country. 'Go Cat Go' made it into something altogether different and new. There are a number of other lyrical changes, especially in the first verse, which had not yet come together in the first take.

Despite the preliminary nature of this version, the band plays with considerable energy. Clayton's slap bass is especially prominent and forceful. It is interesting that Carl's solo is virtually identical to the one which appears on the final released version. This suggests that his solos were not totally spontaneous, anymore than recently discovered alternate tokes of Presley's work show Scotty Moore's to be.

Also missing is the familiar "Blue blue blue suede shoes" ending which added a considerable "hook" to the released version. Musically, Carl ends this version on an A7 chord, which creates somewhat more tension than the released version, on which a rather pretty A6 chord is used at the close.

Blue Suede Shoes (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:13
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

December 19 was a turning-point in Carl Perkins' career. Sam Phillips had heard Carl's new song and he had arranged a session to capture it for release
on Sun. Having sold his recording contract on Elvis Presley, Sam had begun to encourage Carl to perform and record less country and more rock and roll. "Blue Suede Shoes" struck him as just the sort of song that could tap the teenage market.

It was a long session, going on through the afternoon and far into the evening. Sam Phillips sent out for some booze and Judd Phillips, his brother and Sun's promotion man, has described it as a ''relaxed session".

This take lies somewhere between the previous one and the final released version. Carl's guitar solos, if not so biting, are interestingly different and the words are marginally changed. Carl has begun to use the line "Go Cat Go" but his country roots are still apparent: "drink my com from an old fruit jar''. In one more take, com would become liquor and mass appeal would triumph over regional folkways.

Honey Don't (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:20
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Although Sam Phillips had been keen to record "Blue Suede Shoes' , the song originally picked for the ''A'' side of Carl's next record "Honey Don't''.

This version is one of several Carl recorded on December 19, each with significant word changes. Carl seems generally to have experimented widely with his songs and out-takes are precise carbons of the issued versions. "Honey Don't'' went through more the most as Carl struggled to find right verses and the best guitar solo.

This version is still an "idea demo". There is less emphasis on finished lyrics or solos, and more stress on the overall ''feel'' of the song. Such sessions often produced very powerful recordings, which were unfortunately not fit for commercial release. This version of "Honey Don't'' is one such take. There is an urgency and vibrato to Carl's vocal on the opening verse which is quite affecting. Unfortunately the lyrics during this segment are confused. It is worth noting that the classic line 'You got sand all over your Shoes" hod not yet come into existence on this although "Hang on it children, Iet's rock'' is already in evidence.

Even though the lyrics are far from polished, the unusual chord change from E to C is present in this early take. This unexpected change in an otherwise conventional 12 bar boogie contributes to the song's impact.

The guitar Carl used for the first time on this session was a Gibson ES-5 Switchmaster and he worts up an impressive boogie rhythm on his new implement. The days when Carl couldn't afford even new strings for his old guitar were gone, but his style remained same. He explained, 'I'd slide along to where I'd had to tie a knot and push up on the string 'cause I couldn't jump over the knot. Maybe if I'd been able to afford new strings at the start I wouldn't have developed the pushing up on the strings and I'd have sounded like everybody else".

Blue Suede Shoes > Sun 234-A < 2:12
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

This became Carl Perkins third record. his second on Sun, issued in a rush in the first of January 1956. record a double ''A'' side and Sam Phillips was hopeful of getting a hit. He needed one. He had gone on record in the pres as saying his sale of Presley's contract a stepping stone out of the red and onto greater things. He had put his reputation on the line.

At first, ''Shoes'' received an enthusiastic reaction from jukebox operators. Billboard agreed in their country review page on February 13: 'Perkins contributes a lively reading on a gay rhythm ditty with strong rhythm and blues styled packing. Fine for the jukes". Sam Phillips had hoped for even more though. He sensed the appeal of the shoes theme as a symbol of the teenage lifestyle and he could hear sales potential leaping out of the grooves with the heavy beat and Carl's sharp spluttering solos which cut throught the jumping rhythm.

Sam and Judd put renewed effort into marketing the disc, and Billboard soon reported again, now under the heading ''This Weeks Best Buys''. "Difficult as the country field is for a newcomer to crack these days, Perkins has come up with some wax here that has hit the national retail chart in almost record time. New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville. Richmond, Durham and other areas report it as a leading seller. Interestingly enough, the disc has a large measure of appeal for pop and rhythm and blues costumers''.

Before long, the record was in the top five of all three charts; Country, Rhythm and Blues, and Pop. It was the first total crossover rock and roll, rockabilly hit.

Honey Don't > Sun 234-B < 2:45
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

This side of the third Perkins single was quickly ignored as the media voted tor 'Sues''. Certainly the lyrics about girls but hint that they might did not have the same jukebox appeal but the music is still a classic example of country-boogie blending into rod and roll. Carl carries a resounding, boogie figure on guitar while the heavely amplified slap-bass and drums give this side as much if not more punch than its illustrious topside.

Again, Billboard used words like ''rhythm ditty'' to describe this archetypal rockabilly record. The word rockabilly itself did not come into regular use in the trade papers until the fall of 1956. Presley and Perkins had created something bug, but no-one yet knew what to call it.

Sure To Fall > Sun 235-A < (Sun Unissued) 2:35
(Carl Perkins-Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell) Hi-Lo Music

With the looming success of Sun 234, Phillips quickly had Perkins back into the studio. He wanted to get some songs "in the can'', and as it turned out he was to do so. However, choice of material was strange.

It seems that Sam scheduled two country songs for release very quickly following on ''Blue Suede Shoes''. Some test pressings were made but the record was not issued. This version of ''Sue To Fall'', made in January 1956, features Jay Perkins on lead vocals with Carl singing harmony. It is therefore possible that the record was to have been issued under Jay's name.

''Sure To Fall", was primarily Bill Cantrell's song and it been tried out during the ''Shoes'' session of December, when Cantrell had agreed with Phillips that ''Shoes'' and "Honey Don't'' were better bets. ''That little mistake'', said Cantrell, ''not putting my song out ''Blue Suede Shoes'', that eventually cost me about S140.000 in lost royalties."

"Sure To Fall" eventually release on Carl's first and only Sun E.P. It is a plaintive country ballad, pleasant but not astounding, primarily memorable for having Jays voice on it and for containing an unusual, almost guitar from Carl midway.

In May 1981, Cart told interviewers Davis and Escott with some pleasure that Paul McCartney just phoned him to say they recorded this song as a single for Ringo Starr.

Tennessee > Sun 235-B < (Sun Unissued) 2:58 
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

This song was another Perkins original, destined to be the ''B'' of the ill-fated Sun 235. Like ''Sure To Fall'', it features Jay's singing, this time not only harmonizing but swapping verses with Carl. It is an entertaining country number, rather in the ''Movie Magg'' mold, and may well have seen several years service with the band in this or other forms. The verses are not related save in the way they extol the virtues of the Volunteer State, and such a chauvinistic anthem would have had them on the tables on a Tennessee Saturday night.

The composition and the sentiments are both reminiscent of Carl's schoolbook autobiography and this would have been a strange release indeed in the wake of ''Blue Sue4de Shoes''.

Perkins Wiggle (Not Originally Issued) 2:37
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

As far as we know, Cart's next visit to the studio after the abortive Sun 235 session came in March 1956. The actual date is in question. It was filed as being March 22, but must actually have been place earlier since Carl was scheduled to be in New York on March 24.

The first song made at the March session was the "Perkins' Boogie" that Cart had been playing at the El Rancho and other Jackson clubs for years. Here, it is revamped and retitled, ''Perkins Wiggle". Carl told us he groaned when this was eventually issued but it certainly does his reputation no harm at all.

When Carl sings about his boogie being "a red hot rhythm we understand'' he hits on an interesting point. No-one, really really. in March 1956 knew what his music, or Elvis' was. Everyone called it something different. Carl himself, in his songs uses the words ''bop'', ''boogie'', ''rock'' and others. Billboard, in its trade reviews, called this sort of per-rockabilly music ''country rock and roll'' or ''boogie'' or even ''rhythm and blues''. It was not until September 1956 that they first used the word ''rockabilly'' in reviewing a Sun record. That was Malcolm Ellington's ''Rocking With My Baby'', were he is called ''one of Sun's string of talented rockabillies''.

Boppin' The Blues (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:10
(Carl Perkins-Curley Griffin) Hi-Lo Music

Carl's March 1956 session contains this interesting warm-up version of "Boppin' The Blues". It is slower than the previously-known version and clearly lacks focus and direction though the bluesy guitar solos and W.S. Hollands bombshells partly compensate. The drummer appeared to be the only band member who played with verve throughout this take, but idea fragments do appear here and there such as Carl's high chord fill around his vocal - an idea that was dropped later. This version is a reminder that it is not simply the song that makes a hit record; it takes a first-rate performance too.

The song was co-authored by Curley Griffin, Carl's neighbour in Jackson. Griffin was a part-time disc jockey and songwriter who was in touch with other local country outfits like Ramsey Kearney and Jimmie Martin s Combo. In the wake of Elvis' and Carl's success these bands were all "boppin' the blues" , according to Griffin, and song stemmed from that observation. Griffin himself recorded locally for Jimmy Marlin's Atomic label. His "Got Rockin' On My Mind" is interestingly similar to Carl's Sun sound and it just might be that Carl and his band played on that session, particularly since master copies were recently found in the Sun vaults.

The detailed song-by-song notes and liner notes by Colin Escott, Hank Davis, and Martin Hawkins.

For Biography of Carl Perkins See: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


© March 1982 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 101-2-A/B mono

Record 2 Side 1 ''Boppin' The Blues''
1 - Boppin' The Blues (Original Sun 243)
2 - All Mama's Children (Original Sun 243)
3 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Original Sun LP 1225)
4 - Carl Perkins In Richmond (Radio Spot)
5 - Somebody Tell Me (Previously Unissued)
6 - Carl Perkins In Memphis (Radio Spot)
7 - Dixie Fried (Original Sun 249)
8 - I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (Original Sun 249)
9 - Sweethearts Or Strangers (Not Original Issued)
10 - Keeper Of The Key (Previously Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

Boppin' The Blues > Sun 243-A < 2:49
(Carl Perkins-Curley Griffin) Hi-Lo Music

"Boppin' The Blues" appeared on Sun in May 1956 just as Carl was getting back into action following his car smash. It coincided with a series of one-niters that swept Cart and his "Blue Suede Shoes" through the south during May, June and July 1956. Billboard hailed the release as "a sock performance, loaded with flavour and with potential for all three markets", adding, ''there shouldn't be any problems with this one". In fact , there were some, particularly in the pop market where the record only went to number 70 on Billboard. The record failed altogether in rhythm and blues and Carl was left only with a very respectable sale in the country market, surprisingly, where the disc hit number 9.

All Mama's Children > Sun 243-B < 2:04
(Carl Perkins-Johnny Cash) Hi-Lo Music

Continuing the theme that everybody was bopping the blues and turning to rock and roll, Carl and Johnny Cash combined to re-write the story of the woman who lived in a shoe. Blue suede, of course. Significantly, they want to roll and to rock and to bop till they stop but there is still no mention of rockabilly. Yet that is exactly what this music was.

Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Original Sun LP 1225) 2:10
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

Concluding the March session was a song that appeared only on a Sun album, two years later, despite being a solid slab of raw rockabilly. The theme of the song seems to be the adulation that Can was starting to receive after "Shoes" hit the big-time. Carl treats it as a joke and writes some humorous verses but this is obviously something that attested him deeply because he wrote several other songs on this theme. It was not in fact a new theme and this title has its origins embedded deep in country music.

The unissued takes contain various different verses cent-ring around Carl's "blue car'', maybe a reference to Elvis' pink Cadillac. The music on those takes is not up to standard unfortunately and most are rough demos.

Carl Perkins In Richmond (Radio Spot) Previously Unissued 1:00

This is one of a series of radio trailers recorded in Sam's studio, probably by Bob Neal since they advertise a Stars Inc. package show. Stars Inc. package show. Stars Inc. had been formed by Bob Neal and Sam Phillips, the disc jockey and the record man, as a booking agency for Memphis recording artists.

Carl's exhausting round of personal appearances in the months following ''$hoes" seemed to attract good reviews it not the intense publicity that surrounded Presley. Floy Case, writing a magazine column called 'Folk and Country Views and reported: "Cart Perkins, Sun's replacement for Elvis Presley, is playing up a storm on his personals throughout the South and South-West. Accompanying him on many of dates is Johnny Cash, another contender for the rhythm and blues crown'".

Somebody Tell Me (Previously Unissued) 4:10
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

This is from a recently-discovered tape box which seems to belong to a demo session made on June 5. 1956 and which centred around the song "Dixie Fried". This song fits that date nicety because it is another of Carl's soul-searchers related to the effects of his sudden rise to fame.

The rather thin sound may result from the absence of a prominent slap bass. Bands as tight as Carl's could simply not afford to lose a single element of their sound. In compensation, Carl's jam session solos are quite unusually bluesy. Nowhere here in his previously issued recordings of this period does he play with such aggressive dissonance.

This session was made while J. B. Perkins was still quite sinds following the auto wreck of March. W.S. Holland can recall quite clearly that a local Jackson guitarist, Ed Sisco, joined the band to fill Jay's place both now and in 1958 when Jay died. It is possible that he commenced his recording career with Carl at this June session. Sisco, himself a local recording artist, used a stage name: Eddie Starr.

Carl Perkins In Memphis (Radio Spot) Previously Unissued 1:00

Another advert for Carl's early summer sweep of one-niters through the South and South-West. No doubt Bob Neal would have broadcast this many times on his 6 a.m. to 7.30 breakfast show on WMC, Memphis.

Dixie Fried > Sun 249-B < 2:52
(Carl Perkins-H. Griffin) Cedarwood Music

Cart seems to have had some difficulty getting a decent cut on this song. None of the out-takes from the June 5 session or from this undated session are very interesting. We have left in the two amusing false-starts that preceed final version and resulting Carl's threat to break his guitar. Fortunately he had no need. The boys come up with one of the gems of rockabilly just in time. It was issued in September as Carl's fourth single on the Sun label and reached number 10 on the country charts that fall.

Billboard reviewed the song as "a solid country rockin' tune" and gave it a ''spotlight pic''. It failed to crossover into the pop charts, though, and this is not surprising. The tough juke-joint lyncs, the cutting guitar and raw vocals mode this one of Perkins best records, but there was no it was going to strike a chord with the female teenies that would have had to buy it to get it into the pop charts. Sam Phillips deserves great credit for not nipping in the bud a performance of such presence and vitality, but in retrospect it did not have a chance on hitting the Hot 100.

I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry > Sun 249-A < 2:30
(Wanda Ballman) Knox Music

This was released as a double ''A'' side with ''Dixie Fried''. The recording apparently done around July or August 1956 with Eddie Starr on guitar and Jimmy Smith on piano. Jerry Lee Lewis was not yet on the Sun scene and the only pianist that W.S. Holland can recall working with on Carl's session was Smith, although Jimmy Wilson is another possibility and Smokey Joe Baugh once said he played on this. Smith was well-known in Memphis circles. A blind man, he played mostly with Eddie Bond and Slim Rhodes.

The song itself is a catchy if confused country ballad by disc jockey and writer Wanda Ballman of Mesa, Arizona who pitched other songs at Sun without success. Carl sings hearlily and turns the song into a swinging mid-pace rocker. Carl's solo lacks his usual fire but Smith's piano triplets provide a pleasant addition to Carl s sound and the song had a good chance in the pop field.

Billboard reviewed this in ''This Weeks Country & Western Best Buys'' column, ''It immediately comes into view in both the pop and country markets". They continued, "Disc has been out only several weeks with strong reports from Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Durham, Gallatin, Atlanta and Richmond''.

Sweethearts Or Strangers (Not Original Issued) 2;16

This and two other titles made at the "I'm Sorry'' session. They all feature a pianist, and, unusually , none were Perkins' own songs. "Sweethearts" has a strong swing along rockaballad feel to it like "I'm Sorry'' and could easily have fitted onto a country album that apparently mooted by Sam around this time.

All the same, it is strange that so gifted and prolific a songwriter as Cart would be happy to record so many non-original songs at this point in his career.

Keeper Of The Key (Previously Unissued) 3:00
(Howard-Devine-Guynes-Stewart) Southern Music

This is another of the several country songs Carl must have taking a liking to over the years and put down at a demo session one day in 1956. It written by, among others, country songster Wynn Stewart. It hit the country charts on Capitol in May 1956, with Stewart singing. Over the Xmas period, next winter, Carl recorded the song as part of the legendary ''Million Dollar Quartet'' sessions with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis backing him up.

At this earlier session, with full band, Carl turned in a really heartfelt performance. He sings strongly and soulfully on a country love song that had a gospel quality about it and which is accentuated in the rather dramatic musical finale. The recording is quite echoey even for a mid-1950s session, and Carl's vocal contains a recitation not unlike Presley's work on ''That's When Your Heartaches Begin''.

Record 2 Side 2 ''For The Show''
1 - Be Honest With Me (Previously Unissued)
2 - That Don't Move Me (Previously Unissued)
3 - Lonely Street (Not Originally Issued)
4 - Pink Pedal Pushers (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
5 – Matchbox (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
6 - Your True Love (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
7 – Caledonia (Not Originally Issued)
8 - Her Love Rubbed Off (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
9 - You Can Do No Wrong (Not Originally Issued)
Original Sun Recordings

Be Honest With Me (Previously Unissued) 2:43
(Fred Rose) Maurice Music

Continuing his country favorites session, Carl chose an old Gene Autry hit from the summer of 1946 which had probably been in his repertoire ever since. It had been written by Fred Rose, the former pop composer who turned country' during the forties and who founded the Acuff-Rose publishing company in Nashville in 1942.

Even though a satisfactory version of this song was never reached, this early take is surprisingly effective. The use of key changes throughout the recording generates considerable excitement, and Clayton maintains the energy level by walking his slap bass through each of the key changes. The tentative nature of this take becomes obvious during the second half of the solo, when there is contusion over whether the guitar or piano will take the lead. Unfortunately neither of them did. The sound of Carl's guitar is quite powerful and the song tokes on a strong boogie feel during the final verse.

A much faster version also found, though this sounds less appropriate for the type of song and it may be that Sam Phillips experimented with speeding up the tape.

That Don't Move Me (Previously Unissued) 2:30
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

This is a hitherto unknown recording, one of seven takes found in a single undated tape box. Most likely it was recorded sometime during the middle or end of 1956. It is plainly an unpolished "idea demo", undeveloped lyrically and musically stark.

Carl's solo isn't even an attempt at a solo - ifs just a 12 bar non-vocal segment. Nevertheless, the take has an incredible amount of raw energy. It begins with the train sound of Carl's opening guitar phrase and is sustained throughout. Clayton's slap bass is prominent and driving, especially during the second guitar break. W.S. also uses his tom tom effectively during the instrumental breaks. IVs somewhat surprising that this song wasn't developed further. It might have become one of Perkins most effective Sun recordings.

Lonely Street (Not Originally Issued) 2:43
(C. Belew-Snowden-Stevenson) Palace Music

This country song of Carl Belew's was later made into a pop hit by Andy Williams and others. In Carl's hands it comes somewhere between the two styles. There is also some gospel intensity in Carl's flying, crying voice which contrasts strongly with the stolid rhythm and very over-amplified bass guitar runs.

The date of recording is uncertain, but most likely this is a late 1956 Jimmy Smith session.

Pink Pedal Pushers (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:10
(Carl Perkins) Hill and Range Music

This is the original demo version of a song Carl later recorded with his band at Sun, but which did not appear on record for the first time until February 1958, on Columbia. It was Carl's first hit on leaving Sun, making number 17 on the country charts and number 91 in pop. Obviously it was originally written as a sequel to "Blue Suede Shoes".

This is a rare opportunity to near Carl playing acoustic guitar. Its clear that he didn't need a slap bass and drums behind him to generate energy and the gentle falsetto scatting keeps the listener (and Carl!) from taking the rather trite poppish lyrics too seriously.

Matchbox (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:58
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

Sometime during December 1956 or January 1957, the Perkins band was in the studio with a new session pianist, Jerry Lee Lewis, just in from Louisiana with his first Sun record in the can. They worked on at least three songs before returning for a final session at the end of January.

This demo session produced an alternate take of one of Carl's best-known songs, "Matchbox". Carl and Jerry both play a boogie bass, as on the later version, but the structure is looser at this early stage and Jerry's right hand playing is slightly more in evidence. Carl's solo is basically the same as is W.S.'s memorable drum roll leading into it. On this take Carl sings three verses before soloing; this was cut back to two on the final take creating a considerably more focused performance.

Your True Love (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:58
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

Like "Matchbox", Carl and Sam saw 'Your True Love" as a potential hit. While only one demo of "Matchbox" remains on tape, there are at least six early versions of "Your True Love" , most with a vocal
chorus from the band. Sam's engineer and producer Jack Clement was very keen on expanding the Sun rockabilly sound and was probably responsible for the choral innovation.

The first thing one notices about this example of the earlier versions is the tempo. It sounds sluggish. one wonders if Sam Phillips hadn't reached the same conclusion before deciding to speed up the tape on the released version.

Nevertheless, there are a number of features of this alternate toke that are quite effective. Cart's "rebel yell", his cry of "ah" at the start of his guitar solo blends eerily into the first notes of his solo, so that one can hardly separate voice from guitar. On the final verse, Carl uses his guitar to punctuate the vocal lines (The Big the little …'') very effectively. Perhaps the one reason why this track wasn't selected for release is the final note that Carl sings. On the word "me", his voice goes noticeably flat, a peril of singing and playing lead guitar simultaneously.

Caledonia (Not Originally Issued) 2:02
(Moore) Cheerio Music

This seems to have been the first song put down at a session of January 30 that was geared to producing Cart's next single. No doubt there were demo's on tape at one time but only two exciting and fairly polished takes remain. The song is an rhythm and blues standard from the early tones associated with Louis Jordan. Cari's performance is one of his most attacking, both vocally with his frenzied scat ending and instrumentally with that punishing guitar solo. It shows he had mastered the rhythm and blues idiom and he brings new life to an old warhorse.

Her Love Rubbed Off (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:40
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Continuing in a powerful mood, Carl put a lot of energy into three takes of "Her Love Rubbed Off'. After one take, he's ready to fight. "Let's get this sonofabitch finishes''' he shouts. ''If I can get that damned key we can get if''.

The previously unissued take included here is not as polished as the known version, though similar in construction. There is an intense sound with a solid bass and jagged guitar solos. Carl almost spits the words out. He howls and cries. This was never issued in the fifties but if it had been it was what Billboard reviewers called "potent stuff'''.

Why a finished recording of this song was never completed is something of a mystery. Carl and the band do come close, however, both on this version and the more widely known take released by Shelby Singleton in the early 1970s. Both the arrangement and musical construction are somewhat unusual (which might have affected the decision to abandon the project). The chorus is written in a minor key, which resolves into a major for the verses. There is a prominent slap boss and vaguely Latin rhythm, but the recording is nearly lost in a sea of echo. It seems that nobody on either side of the control room window was taking the session
very seriously.

You Can Do No Wrong (Not Originally Issued) 2:22 
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

Inspired possibly by Jerry Lee Lewis, this January' session was Cart's most rocking one. Classic piled upon classic as Jerry's piano continued relentlessly on and Carl penetrated the air with his solos. "You Can Do No Wrong" started out as a kind of love song but it soon turned into a rocker and ended up with way over-the-top lyrics that parodied "Blue Suede Shoes". One can imagine that lines about teasing cats, stealing hats, ripping my clothes and punching my nose just emerged from the heat of the moment. Sam Phillips must have enjoyed this session, even though songs like this were hardly top ten candidates.

The detailed song-by-song notes and liner notes by Colin Escott, Hank Davis, and Martin Hawkins.

For Biography of Carl Perkins See: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


© March 1982 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 101-3-A/B mono

Record 3 Side 1 ''Put Your Cat Clothes On''
1 - Roll Over Beethoven (Not Originally Issued)
2 - Matchbox (Original Sun 261)
3 - Your True Love (Original Sun 261)
4 - Put Your Cat Clothes On (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
5 - Put Your Cat Clothes On (Not Originally Issued)
6 - Only You (Original Sun LP1225)
7 - Pink Pedal Pushers (Not Originally Issued)
8 - That's Right (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
Original Sun Recordings

Roll Over Beethoven (Not Originally Issued) 2:51
(Chuck Berry) Arc Music

At a time when Carl and Jerry were on a rhythm and blues kick with "Caldonia" and "Matchbox" , this Chuck Berry rocker must have seemed a natural for the session. Berry's version had been a hit in mid-summer 1956, reaching number 7 on the rhythm and blues charts and number I in pop. The drumbeat is maybe a little slow but Jerry's pumping piano is well to the fore and Cart winds up on a couple of caustic solos. This was a perfect vehicle for a guitar and piano workout on a cold January night. In fact, there is some suggestion in the slurred lyrics that there could have been a few empty bottles on the floor, bringing a little warmth to a chilly 706 Union.

Matchbox > Sun 261-A < 2:05
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

"Matchbox" has always been hailed as one of Carl Perkins' finest recordings. It has certainly been one of his best-known over the years and it still figures prominently in his stage show. When it was released In 1957, though, it was not an A-side and it received little attention from the pres. Billboard dismissed it in one line, as "a driving blues featuring Sun's familiar sound with heavy emphasis on the beat''.

Once again, the presence of Jerry Lee and his relentless piano boogie backup seemed to bring the best out of Carl. "Matchbox" had been in his repertoire for some time but he had never played it so fast or with such an attaining style.

He had worked up his version of this standard blues refrain over the years, probably taking the basic lyrics from the blues he overheard in the cotton-fields as a kid. Most likely he never did near Blind Lemon Jefferson's most famous recording, but it is essentially the same song lyrically.

Your True Love > Sun 261-B < 2:41
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

This was the song chosen as Carl's first A-Side of 1957. Today it seems one of Perkins' weake, songs but at that time Sam Phillips obviously saw it having a main chance of recapturing Carl's fading national pop audience. It had fairly innocuous teeny lyrics, a catchy tune and a vocal backup all laid over a basic rocking Sun sound. Even so, Sam figured that to give himself more than an even chance he had to lighten Carl's heavy duty country-boy vocals. He hit on the idea of speeding up the tape.

Whether Sam used a take recorded at the earlier January session is unclear, but most likely he took one made on January 30. Either way, he cut about 17 seconds from the overall running time and made Carl sound like a northem Roy Orbison and the Chorus sound like the Chipmunks.

Surprisingly, this ploy almost worked. The song made number 13 on the country charts and climbed to 67 on the pop charts before running out of steam. Billboard had picked it as a Review Spotlight on February 16, calling it "a swingy blues with an attractive off-beat quality and interesting backing by a youthful-sounding vocal chorus". Later, it appeared in the Country & Western Best Buys column which reported the disc as "moving out quickly''. The report went on: "Interestingly, many country sources did not have the record in stock when contacted but most eastern and midwest pop sources did".

Put Your Cat Clothes On (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:42
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Rounding off the January sessions, Cart made takes of a song he had apparently been working on in the studio for some months. Like "You Can Do No Wrong", ''Cat Clothes'' is a development of the blue suede shoes theme. The very earliest demos on tape seem to come from June the previous year and are very rough demos with no piano.

This first January take is still of demo quality but Carl and Jerry both take interesting solos and W.S. Holland propels the song at a storming pace, particularly over the first two thirds of the distance. There is the exciting sense of eavesdropping at a recording session. We get a strong sense of what a fine session pianist Jerry Lee would have become (at least in support of Perkins), had his own career not deflected him. Despite the fact that there are some rather sloppy chord changes and general confusion, Carl manages to take an extremely biting solo the second time around. In addition, he manages to create some powerful and humorous vocal imagery: imagine a woman rocking so hard that "she knocks the polish off her toes".

Put Your Cat Clothes On (Not Originally Issued) 2:45
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

This final take of "Cat Clothes" first appeared in the early seventies and has justifiably been seen as one of the outstanding songs that Sun were not able to get around to issuing in the fifties. In this case it may have been the length of the song that put Sam off, or the fact that Carl didn't employ a pianist in his stage band. Maybe he figured it was too gimmicky. All this is unfortunate because it was a great rock and roll record.

This take has more echo and presence than the others, and if possible an even faster beat. W.S. Holland must have been jumping out of his seat as he hurled the pace forward and, if he hadn't already learned how, one can imagine this song giving Jerry Lee the urge to kid( that piano stool across the room as he dived into his solo.

Only You (Original Sun LP 1225) 3:15
(Buck Ram) Rand Sherwin Music

During 1957, Sam Phillips was beginning to think in terms of LP releases. At one time, a country album was in the worts but eventually the ''Dance Album'' appeared in 1958 as a mixture of all Cart's styles, "Only You", a vocal group ballad, was included.

The song had been written by rhythm and blues musician and producer Buck Ram and had been an rhythm and blues number one for the Platters in the summer of 1955. It was also a crossover hit in the pop market.

Carl seems to really feel the song as he sings strongly and plaintively enhancing the appeal of what was anyway a fine ballad. The heavy, tubby drumbeat seems to heighten the tension, and Cart picks a subdued, introspective solo.

Pink Pedal Pushers (Not Originally Issued) 2:22
(Car Perkins) Hill and Range Music

According to various notes found in Carl's tape-boxes, Sam Phillips at one time envisaged a far different ''Dance Album'' to the one that finally emerged. Songs scheduled to appear at first included 'I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry'', ''Keeper Of The Key'', "Roll Over Beethoven" and this one, "Pink Pedal Pushers".

In the event, 'Pushers" was never issued at all by Sam and it may be that he didn't get a fully-fledged version from Carl. Apart from the earlier demo, there are three sluggish performances from the "Only You" session and this one presentable take. Even this is not too far removed from a demo. There is a tubby bass drum and one electric guitar run from Carl rising from the otherwise steady rhythm. A lot more work would have been done before this would have appeared on Carl's first L.P.

Maybe, Carl kept the song back as soon as he had made up his mind to leave Sun and steadfastly refused to cut a masteroble tape during 1957. Certainly Columbia lost no time in using it as a single in 1958.

That's Right (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 2:30
(Carl Perkins-Johnny Cash) Hi-Lo Music

By the end of March 1957, "Your True Love" had died away as a potential hit and Carl was in the studio working on his next single. Maybe he hadn't liked the speeding-up experiments, or maybe it was Sam's decision, but the choice of ''That's Right'' followed a completely different release pattern.

"That's Right'' goes bock again to the "Dixie Fried'' school and the rough bar-room heroics of Carl's youth. We should be grateful it ever got as far as a final take. It stood about as much chance of crashing the Hot 100 as the row shouting blues upon which it was loosely based. This was essentially southern music again. Sam even left in local phrases like ''flat right'', perhaps knowing that this was not going to hit with the teeny boppers but persuaded by the sheer intensity of Carl's performance. It is a mean and menacing song, barely relieved by some rural humor. Listen to the way Carl hits (not plays) the strings on the opening phrase. When Carl says its right, you know its right.

Record 3 Side 2 ''Go Cat Go''
1 - That's Right (Original Sun 274)
2 - Forever Yours (Original Sun 274)
3 - I Care (Not Originally Issued)
4 - Y.O.U. (Not Originally Issued)
5 - Look At That Moon (Previously Unissued)
6 - Lend Me Your Comb (Previously Unissued Alternate Take)
7 - Lend Me Your Comb (Original Sun 287)
8 - Glad All Over (Original Sun 287)
9 - Right String Baby (But The Wrong Yo Yo) (Original Sun LP 1225)
Original Sun Recording

That's Right > Sun 274-B < 2:30
(Carl Perkins-Johnny Cash) Hi-Lo Music

The final version of ''That's Right'' contains a perfected example of what W.S. Holland refers to proudly as "a brand new double bass-drum rhythm. I invented that. Never heard it on a record before then". Certainly it is an effective sound, emphasising Carl's seamy ballad that he seems to have written on a drunk one night with Johnny Cash. Carl spits out the challenging lyric, occasionally kicking the beat forward in his guitar solos and generally having a good time..

Forever Yours > Sun 274-A < 2:34
(Carl Perkins) Knox Music

This fine love-song appeared as the flipside of "That's Right". Carl was increasingly toying with ballads through 1957, perhaps sensing that the era of the pounding rocker was nearly over. But this ballad had a solid beat and must have been a southern jukebox favourite. It is more intricate than Carl's earlier ballads and perhaps shows the influence of Jack Clement who was beginning to produce more and more Sun sessions and to contribute ideas to Sam.

I Care (Not Originally Issued) 2:16
(Carl Perkins) Hi-Lo Music

Continuing on a ballad kick, Carl recorded "l Care" and "Y.O.U.", sometime in the summer of 1957. Again, Jack Clement may have had a hand in the arrangements because, unusually for Carl, the acoustic guitar takes pride of place on ''I Care", a gently swinging love-song.

Y.O.U. (Not Originally Issued) 3:22
(Fred Gonwell Bain) Cedarwood Music

"Y.O.U." retains the acoustic feel of "l Care" but is a much more interesting and effective production. With the oohing voices at the back it seems almost as if Carl and Sam had dug out some old Prisonaires 78s to inspire them, until a sequence of poppy wawawa's come in later on. Moving to the narrative passage, Carl takes us from black doo-wop to images of Hank Williams or as Luke the Drifter. In all, this Sun version is infinitely superior to the sugary version Don Law had Carl cut six months later for single release on Columbia.

Look At That Moon (Previously Unissued) 2:15
(Carl Perkins) Cedarwood Music

Several of the songs Carl taped at Sun during 1957 re-emerged during his later career. One of these is "Look At That Moon" a song Carl obviously liked because he made other demos of it for Dollie, Decca and Columbia. There is a bootleg of the Dollie demo and there is an album with a Sun version of the song by Carl Mann, but this is the first time one of Carl Perkins' recordings of the song has been legally issued.

This demo does not do the song justice, despite a slapping drumbeat from W.S. Holland, Who was responsible for the Carl Mann version when he left Perkins' band, and some vocal tricks and an effective leaping guitar solo from Carl. It is obviously not a polished take and only this and one other version have survived. Judging from the master-tape boxes, this was apparently done at a session, probably in December 1957, when Carl was working primarily on "Lend Me Your Comb". Sam may have thought that these two teen-oriented lyrics would have made a good single release. The only slight question mark about the date
comes because "Moon" has a pianist and "Comb" does not.

Lend Me Your Comb (Previously Unissued Alternate Take) 1:55
(Kay Twomey-Ben Weisman-Fred Wise) Carlin Music

Carl Perkins' last Sun single was tied into a Warner Brothers rock and roll exploitation movie called ''Disc Jockey Jamboree". A loose and creaking plot had been constructed to pull together a series of wildly different two-minute song plugging spots. Warners had circulated several pop music agents earlier in 1957 and deals were done with Imperial and Sun among other record labels. Sun were to come up with two artists, Warners would commission a choice of songs. It has been said that Carl Perkins had fist choice of songs and turned down "Great Balls Of Fire" in tavour of "Glad All Over''.

No-one chose "Lend Me Your Comb", though Carl did like it well enough to put it out as a flipside. It had been written on demand by three New York pop writers who also wrote several movie songs for Presley. In comparison, this was a good one.

This is a snort alternate take, one of several where Carl and Jay turn a pop song into a good old- fashioned country' duet.

Lend Me Your Comb > SUN 287-B < 1:56
(Kay Twomey-Ben Weisman-Fred Wise) Carlin Music

The finished cut of "Comb" retains the duet vocals from Carl and Jay and is a good country-pop record. Carl's guitar work is complemented in places by steel guitar and there is just possibly a way-back piano sound which would fit in with "Look At That Moon" being cut at the same time. The unknown steelie may well have been Pee Wee Maddux since Maddux played with Ernie Chaffin and there are some Chaffin demos on the same tape as used for the Perkins session.

Billboard reviewed Sun 287 quoting ''Comb" as the A-side. The song, they said, "has other versions but this could be tops in the county market. It also has pop appeal. The flip is also in a rockabilly vein and Perkins does it in the film "Jamboree".

Glad All Over > Sun 287-A < 1:38
(Aron Schroeder-Sid Tepper-Roy C. Bennett) Carlin Music

This finished master is the only remaining version of "Glad All Over'' even though it was recorded in the Sun studio. It is lamentably short for a single release but what there is of it is good popular rockabilly. W.S. 's cymbals counter Carl's throaty guitar intro and resonant solo and the record bounces along nicely until that premature conclusion. Carl and his band travelled to California to lip-synch this song for the movie cameras, and it also appeared on a limited disc jockey edition soundtrack album at a stage when Warner Brothers were first considering going headlong into the pop record business. Carl, on the label of the Sun single, was billed as ''The Rocking Guitar Man" as though Sam Phillips was trying to remind the public who Carl was.

Right String Baby (But The Wrong Yo Yo) (Original Sun LP 1225) 2:32
(Tom Perryman) Hill and Range Music

Apparently recorded at Carl's last Sun session, 'Yo Yo" is in many ways a fitting song to end this boxed set. It has what might be called Perkins' best and most typical sound, uncluttered rockabilly with powerful guitar and slapped boss. The song goes back to Perkins roots. It was an rhythm and blues top ten hit in May 1951 for ''Piano Red" Perryman and Carl probably learned it from a Jackson jukebox sometime soon after.

Basically, it is an enthusiastic guitar boogie workout. It leaves us just the right image of Carl, a country boy hooked on ''music with a beat'', as he called it.

One month later he had signed with Columbia and was recording in Nashville. He went on to make some very great recordings, but had the consistent, controlled energy and innovation of the music in this Box.

Shortly after this last Sun session, the original Perkins band began to disintegrate. Jay B. Perkins died in 1958 and Carl quit touring for some time. W.S. Holland made an album with Carl for Columbia, then quit to go into the engineering business. Before long he had spotted Carl Mann and was back in the business recording for Sam Phillips. Then he joined Johnny Cash's band in the early 1960s and remains with Cash today. Eddie Starr and Clayton Perkins continued to tour with Carl into the 1960s. Clayton died in 1974. Eddie Starr is a disc jockey in Huntingdon, Tennessee. 

The detailed song-by-song notes and liner notes by Colin Escott, Hank Davis, and Martin Hawkins. 

For Biography of Carl Perkins See: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


The details of Carl Perkins' Sun recording sessions have been taken mainly from the session sheets filed with the American Federation of Musicians and from the dates and other information contained on or in the original master tape boxes. Even so, there are gaps and there are still questions left unanswered. We have filled some gaps from details given in interviews by those Who were present at the time. Where any doubt exists about the accuracy of the information, we have preferred not to use it.

The record release numbers at the right of each title refer in each case to the original, earliest disc, be it single, EP or album. The numbers in brackets after each title refer to the different takes of each song. An (*) asterisk denotes that the take is included in this Boxed Set of albums.

There are four songs not included in the Box. These are the remainder of the "Pink Pedal Pushers'' demo session. In each case, Carl's children are talking or playing in the background and we feel these are better omitted since they barely quality as demos. The million dollar quartet session is also omitted.

Unless otherwise indicated, the Carl Perkins band plays on each recording. Carl Perkins on lead vocals and lead guitar; Jay B. Perkins on rhythm guitar; Clayton Perkins on upright bas; and W.S. Holland on drums.

Where additional musicians have been used, these are noted against each session.

Recordings made at the Sun Studio, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, unless noted.

October 1954
Honky Tonk Babe (1-2) Unissued
Honky Tonk Gal (1-2) Unissued
*Honky Tonk Gal ( -3) Phonogram 6467.028
*Movie Magg ( -1) Sun Box 101

October 25, 1954
Turn Around ( -1) Unissued
*Turn Around ( -2) Sun Box 101
add Bill Cantrell (fiddle); Quinton Claunch (guitar)

January 22, 1955
*Movie Magg ( -2) Flip 501
*Turn Around ( -3) Flip 501
Add Bill Cantrell; Quinton Claunch (guitar) on ''Turn Around''

July 1955
Gone Gone Gone (1-2) Unissued
*You Can't Make Love To Somebody ( -1) Sun Box 101
You Can't Make Love To Somebody ( -1) Unissued

July 11, 1955
*Gone Gone Gone ( -3) Sun 224
*Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing ( -1) Sun 224
*What Ya Doin' When You're Crying ( -1) Phonogram 6467.028
You Can't Make Love To Somebody ( -3) Sun LP 112
Add Bill Cantrell (fiddle) except on ''You Can't make Love''; Stan Kesler (steel guitar) and Quinton Claunch (guitar) on ''Jukebox'' and ''Crying''

*Drink Up And Go Home ( -1) Sun Box 101
Add Jay B. Perkins (vocals)

December 19, 1955
*Blue Suede Shoes ( -1) Sun Box 101
Blue Suede Shoes ( -2) Unissued
*Blue Suede Shoes ( -3) Sun Box 101
Honey Don't ( -1) Unissued
*Honey Don't ( -2) Sun Box 101
*Blue Suede Shoes ( -4) Sun 234
*Honey Don't ( -4) Sun 234
Sure To Fall ( -1) Phonogram 66641.180

January 20, 1956
Sure To Fall (2-5) Unissued
*Sure To Fall ( -6) Sun 235 (DJ)
Tennessee ( -1) Unissued
*Tennessee ( -2) Sun 235 (DJ)
Add Jay B. Perkins (vocals)

March 1956
*Perkins Wiggle ( -1) Phonogram 6467.028
Boppin' The Blues ( -1) Unissued
*Boppin' The Blues ( -2) Sun Box 101
*Boppin' The Blues ( -3) Sun 243
All Mama's Children (1-7) Unissued
*All Mama's Children ( -8) Sun 243
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (1-5) Unissued
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby ( -6) Charly CR 30105
*Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby ( -7) Sun LP 1225

June 5, 1956
Dixie Fried ( -1) Unissued
Cat Clothes (1-6) Unissued
Somebody Tell Me ( -1) Unissued
*Somebody Tell Me ( -2) Sun Box 101
Eddie Star replaces Jay B. Perkins (guitar)

Dixie Fried (2-4) Unissued
*Dixie Fried ( -5) Sun 249
Eddie Star probably replaces Jay B. Perkins

I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry (1-3) Unissued
I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry ( -4) Sun International 10
*I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry ( -5) Sun 249
Sweethearts Or Strangers (1-2) Unissued
*Sweetheart Or Strangers ( -3) Charly 30003
*Keepers Of The Key ( -1) Sun Box 101
Be Honest With Me (1-3) Unissued
*Be Honest With Me ( -4) Sun Box 101
Eddie Star replaces Jay B. Perkins (guitar); and add Jimmy Smith (piano)

That Don't Move Me (1-6) Unissued
*That Don't Move Me ( -7) Sun Box 101

Lonely Street (1-4) Unissued
*Lonely Street ( -5) Charly 30003
add unknown pianist. Probably Jimmy Smith

December 4, 1956
Keeper Of The Key (Sun LP 1006)
Omit band. Add Elvis Presley guitar and vocal accompaniment, Jerry Lee Lewis (piano and vocal accompaniment)
Father Along Sun (LP 1006)
Blessed Jesus Sun (LP 1006)
Summertime Has Passed And Gone (Sun LP 1006)
I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling (Sun LP 1006)
Omit band. Add Elvis Presley (vocals and guitar; Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals)
Down By The Riverside (Sun LP 1006)
I Shall Not Be Moved (Sun LP 1006)
Add Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals)
Peace In The Valley (Sun LP 1006)
Omit band. Add Elvis Presley (vocals and guitar)
Just A Little Talk With Jesus (Sun LP 1006)
Walk That Lonesome Valley (Sun LP 1006)
Omit Carl Perkins (vocals) Add Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis (vocals)

*Pink Pedal Pushers ( -1) Sun Box 101
Breakin' My Heart ( -1) Unissued
Take Back My Love ( -1) Unissued
Redwing (1-3) Unissued
Down By The Riverside ( -1) Unissued
Omit band. Add Valda Perkins (vocals) on ''Riverside''.
These demos were probably made ad Carls' home.

January 1957
*Matchbox ( -10 Sun Box 101
Put Your Cat Clothes On (7-8) Unissued
Your True Love (1-5) Unissued
*Your True Love ( -6) Sun Box 101
Add pianist. Probably Jerry Lee Lewis

January 30, 1957
Caldonia ( -1) Unissued
*Caldonia ( -20 Phonogram 6467.028
Her Love Rubbed Off ( -1) Unissued
*Her Love Rubbed Off ( -2) Sun Box 101
Her Love Rubbed Off ( -3) Sun LP 112
You Can Do No Wrong (1-4) Unissued
*You Can Do No Wrong ( -5) Phonogram 6467.028
You Can Do No Wrong ( -6) Charly CR 30152
*Roll Over Beethoven ( -1) Phonogram 6467.028
*Matchbox ( -2) Sun 261
*Your True Love ( -7) Sun 261
Put Your Cat Clothes On (3-9) Unissued
*Put Your Cat Clothes On ( -10) Sun Box 101
*Put Your Cat Clothes On ( -11) Hilltop JS 6013
Add Jerry Lee Lewis (piano)
''Your True Love'' ( -7) is a speeded-up tape exactly as used for issue on Sun 261

Only You ( -1) Unissued
*Only You ( -2) Sun LP 1225
Pink Pedal Pushers (2-4) Unissued
*Pink Pedal Pushers ( -5) Phonogram 6467.028

March 28, 1957
That's Right (1-3) Unissued
*That's Right ( -4) Sun Box 101
*That's Right ( -5) Sun 274
Forever Yours ( -1) Unissued
Forever Yours ( -2) Sun LP 112
*Forever Yours ( -3) Sun 274

I Care ( -1) Unissued
*I Care ( -2) Charly 30003
Y.O.U. ( -1) Unissued
Y.O.U ( -2) Charly 30152
*Y.O.U ( -3) Charly 30003

December 1957
Look At That Moon ( -1) Unissued
*Look At That Moon ( -2) Sun Box 101
Lend Me Your Comb (1-2) Unissued
*Lend Me Your Comb ( -3) Sun Box 101
*Lend Me Your Comb ( -4) Sun 287
Add Unknown (piano) and Unknown (steel guitar) and Jay B. Perkins (vocal) on ''Comb''.

December 11, 1957
*Glad All Over ( -1) Sun 287
Right String Baby (1-2) Unissued
Right String Baby ( -3) Charly CR 30152
*Right String Baby (But The Wrong Yo-Yo) ( -4) Sun LP 1225

The songs contained in this Boxed Set are referred to in playing order in the following notes. The status of the recording is shown in each case: Songs issued on the original Sun label in America are shown by their Flip, Sun or Sun LP release numbers.

Songs subsequently Sued on the Sun International, Phonogram or Charly labels are shown by the note 'Not Originally Issued'. Songs appearing for the first time ever in this Box are shown by the comment Previously Unissued'.

Alternative versions of songs previously issued on Sun, Sun International, Phonogram or Charly are denoted Previously Unissued Alternate Take. 

The detailed song-by-song notes and liner notes by Colin Escott, Hank Davis, and Martin Hawkins. 

For Biography of Carl Perkins See: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

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