- Charly Records Sun LP 1000 Series -

I Done Told You - His Sun Recordings 1955-1957 (Sun LP 1008) Gene Simmons
I'm Right Behind You Baby (Sun LP 1009) Ray Smith
Gonna Have Myself A Ball (Sun LP 1010) Malcolm Yelvington
Blue Suede Shoes (Sun LP 1014) Carl Perkins
Johnny Cash's Top Hits (Sun LP 1015) Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two
Good Ole Memphis Country (Sun LP 1016) Various Artists
Rabbit Action (Sun LP 1018) Carl Perkins & Junior Thompson
Rock-A-Billy Blues (Sun LP 1019) Various Artists
Rock Bop Boogie (Sun LP 1021) Various Artists
We Wanna Boogie (Sun LP 1022) Sonny Burgess & The Pacers
Rock And Roll Pills (Sun LP 1023) Various Artists
Hot Southern Boppers (Sun LP 1024) Various Artists
Hop Flop And Flay (Sun LP 1025) Various Artists
Rockabilly Tunes (Sun LP 1026) Various Artists
Sonny Burgess And The Pacers (Sun LP 1027) Sonny Burgess
Shake Around (Sun LP 1029) Various Artists
Rockin' Rollin' Country Style (Sun LP 1030) Various Artists
Country Rock Sides (Sun LP 1031) Various Artists
Sunset Special (Sun LP 1035) Various Artists
More Sundown Rockers (Sun LP 1036) Various Artists
After The Hop (Sun LP 1037) Various Artists
Feel Like Rockin' (Sun LP 1038) Various Artists
Sonny Burgess - Volume 3 (Sun LP 1039) Sonny Burgess
The Pumpin' Piano Cat (Sun LP 1041) Jerry Lee Lewis
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Sun LP 1042) Jerry Lee Lewis
The Great Ball Of Fire (Sun LP 1043) Jerry Lee Lewis
The Wild One Rockin' And A-Boppin... (Sun LP 1044) Jerry Lee Lewis
Kickin' Up A Storm (Sun LP 1045) Jerry Lee Lewis
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Sun LP 1046) Carl Perkins
Rock Island Line (Sun LP 1047) Johnny Cash
Billy Riley And The Little Green Men (Sun LP 1049) Billy Riley
Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings (Sun LP 1050) Roy Orbison
The Killer's Birthday Cake (Sun LP 1051) Jerry Lee Lewis
Killer's Rhythm And Blues (Sun LP 1053) Jerry Lee Lewis
The Sun Blues Archives - Volume 1 - Blue Guitar (Sun LP 1060) Various Artists
The Sun Blues Archives - Volume 2 - Bootin' Boogie (Sun LP 1061) Various Artists
The Sun Blues Archives - Volume 3 - Deep Harmony (Sun LP 1062) Various Artists

For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies <
Sun recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1008 mono

1958 was a big year for Gene Simmons. In April his first single was shipped, albeit some eighteen months after it had been recorded. He was called back into the Sun studio for some more sessions. Club dates around Memphis were plentiful and the future looked fairly bright and assured.

In October 1958 Gene even had a little ''boudoir brawl'', as the local papers called it, to enhance his image. After playing a gig at Danny's Club in West Memphis, Gene and his bass player Bobby Stewart noticed that two female patrons were in need of a ride home. Ever the gentlemen, Gene and Bobby escorted the ladies to their front doors and then, to ensure that no harm would befall them, even to their bedroom doors. After his courtesy had been rewarded, Gene fell asleep only to awake a few hours later when he became aware of being beaten with a shoe, which he later discovered to be his own shoe. The gentlemen wielding the shoe seemed to think that he had first call upon the affections of the lady, Mrs. Billie Jean Pennington, a divorced mother. The gentleman had even baby-sat Mrs. Pennington's daughter the previous evening while Billie Jean had cavorted with the rock and roll singer. Gene, realising at once that this was not a regular wake-up call, fled the house in a state of some considerable undress.

And that is what rock and roll singers did in the era before they took heroin and cocaine and bit the heads off live chickens, in case you didn't know. Despite fourteen blows to the head with his own show, Gene went back to Danny's Club the following night to discover a capacity crowd. And that is what a whiff of scandal will do to an artist's drawing power, in case you didn't know.

However, we're getting slightly ahead of ourself it's tome to back up a little and go back to Tupelo, Mississippi at outbreak of War. Gene and his brothers were out working in the fields and dreaming of the Grand Ole Opry. ''When I was a kid'', recalled Simmons, ''We'd get to the end of a ''ow out in the fields and I'd pull down a tree limb and present it was a microphone. I'd hold the hoe handle like it was a guitar and we'd put on a natural born Prince Albert Grand Ole Opry show''

The Simmons brothers had to settle for station WELO in Tupelo. Starting at some point in 1957, they got a show every Saturday morning. In the evening they played school house dates, workin' in a style that crossed between country and bluegrass. In 1953 they met Tupelo's boy wonder who had hitched a ride down Highway 78 to see his grandma.

''On Saturday afternoon we'd left the radio station and we were at a friend's house. This lady was Elvis Presley's third cousin and he had stopped by on the way to his grandma's house. We were introduced and this lady said that Elvis was interested in music. I handed him the guitar but he shied away and said, 'Now, I just play to myself. You guys go ahead and play'. He had hitched down with his cousin Billy Smith and after 15 or 20 minutes they had to go. We didn't think too much about it, of course. Then, a few months later, we heard his first record on the radio. Betty said, That's my cousin who came by'. I said, 'Well, I'll be...''.

Presley soon became a local celebrity within a hundred miles of Memphis and one afternoon his manager, Bob Neal, phoned Gene at the radio station to ask him if he could line up a schoolhouse gig for his boy. ''He asked us to line up a programme and said we could be on the show if we made the arrangements. We played the show and I sat and talked to Elvis afterwards. I said, 'Tell me about this record label y'all with'. You didn't think of a record label being that close to home. I asked Elvis if he could get me an audition. He said he'd try. About a month later I got a call from Sam Phillips. He said, 'My boy just played a show down there. Said you had a pretty good little outfit. Why don't you come up and audition?'. We just played country stuff on that first trip and I remember Sam told me, 'That would be the best country music I would ever want to record but now there's this new thing. Why don't you take your fiddle and mandolin and wrap 'em around a tree and come back with some hot guitar'. So we did''.

One of the first songs that the Simmons band recorded, ''Down On The Border In Mexico'' has survived on tape. It featured Gene's brother Carl on mandolin, John Green on fiddle, Talmadge Hester on guitar and Jesse Carter on bass. It was sharp and accomplished country music with the latin rhythm fostered by Johnnie and Jack on RCA Victor. However, Phillips had other sounds in his head.

By the time Gene and Carl Simmons reappeared at the Sun studio in 1956 they had lost their fiddle and guitar players. Carl Simmons had taken over on lead guitar and Jesse Carter stayed on string bass. They cut six songs in the rockabilly style. Those songs, which included ''Drinkin' Scotch'' and ''Blues At Midnight'' showed that Gene had certainly mastered the new idiom and Jesse Carter had a full sound on the bass but Carl Simmons still had some distance to go in mastering the hot guitar. Nevertheless, they had a pure and unvarnished sound that was the very essence of rockabilly music.

Sam Phillips chose not the release anything from that session. He called the boys back at the beginning of January 1957 and paired them with his house drummer which at that point, could have been either Johnny Bernero of Jimmy Van Eaton. They re-recorded ''Drinkin' Scotch'' as ''Drinkin' Wine'' and ''I Done Told You'' were scheduled for realease almost immediately with Sun 255 and Sun 256 but, for some reason were withdrawn at the last minute.

It was not until June 1958 that Sam Phillips finally got around to releasing Gene Simmons' Sun single. By this point, it had two major strikes against in the primitive rockabilly sound was out of style and had been replaced to a great extent by a fuller sound. In addition, every ounce of Sun's resources were consumed in trying to salvage something from the scandal that had engulfed Jerry Lee Lewis. The record sank without a trace.

''We never thought that we would ever get a record out on Sun'', recalled Simmons. ''I never figured out why Sam sat on that record as long as he did. I know that Sun was still a one man operation at that time and I was never the pushy type. Most artists would be over there every day trying to get Sam to put their record out. I just told everyone back in Tupelo that we were on Sun Records and I had a dub that I played to death on the radio but I never thought Sam would issue anything. I remember some years later, I was at the party over at Hi Records. Sam was there and he said, 'Gene Simmons was the most patient man I ever had under contract. One day, I was in the studio and I played his songs and I decided I was gonna come out with them'. It was really a shock when Sam called and told us to come up to Memphis to sign the contracts. We hit the ceiling. After the record came out we started taking gigs a little further afield. We got as far as the boothills of Missouri. We eventually decided that we'd be better off if we moved to Memphis. I guess we moved here in 1958 and I started playing the clubs in Memphis and West Memphis – the Cotton Club, Danny's Club, played like that. We also hit the road up to Canada. Harold Cudletts had a circuit up there. Conway Twitty was plying it. Ronnie Hawkins and so on. We went up in 1958. In fact, I met my wife up there in London, Ontario. In 1959 we went back and I got married, brought her down to Memphis''.

The failure on the Sun deal forced Gene and Carl to look elsewhere. They became linked with the Chess operation out of Chicago and Gene saw three singles released under various names. Re-recording on a custom basis at the Hi/Royal studio, Gene and Carl recorded a complete session at some point during the summer of 1959. Two cuts, You Love Mr. Too'' and ''Out Of This World'' were pulled and released on Argo 5345 under the name of ''The Simmons''.

With the Bill Black Combo doing so well Gene decided that he would produce a single in the same style. He was touring with Black and did not want to alienate the amiable bassist who was nevertheless very protective of the greasy blues style he had spawned. So, Gene, Carl and bassist Bobby Stewart headed off to Chicago to record a Bill Black sound like session. Again, two cuts from the session, ''Cold Cold Heart'' and ''Frankie And Johnny'' were pulled for a single (Argo 5374) and issued under the name of the Bobby Stewart Combo. Gene recalled that he was later walking down a street in Jamaica with Black when the Stewart Combo record was lasting from a loudspeaker. Gene used that opportunity to tell Black about the identity pf the Bobby Stewart Combo.

Gene's last shot on Chess was the classic ''Goin' Back To Memphis'' (Checker 949) that Gene had written while he was driving back from a tour of Canada. Recorded at the Hi studio, it was in some ways the best thing he ever did. Within a year, Gene would be a mixture on the Hi label and would experience his greatest all-round success with his revival of ''Hainted House''. However, that is another story that can – and has – been told elsewhere. This set celebration of early Gene Simmons . It is rite with rockabilly passion and the element understated instrumentation of early rock and roll.

In October 1987 Gene Simmons ventured England to play at a rock revival concert, realised that he would be called upon to sing songs that he had forgotten 25 years ago. Gene sat down to soak hp his old music. Trying to remember the words and recapture the feel of ''Pop And Mama''. Gene said, ''It's so damned simple, it is complicated''.

Liner notes and compilation by Colin Escott. Co-ordination by Cliff White. Cover photo. Gene Simmons on Union Avenue, Memphis, 1958.

Side 1 Contains
I Done Told You
Drinkin' Scotch
Money, Money, Money
Juicy Fruit
You Can't Break The Chains Of Love
Crazy Woman
Drinkin' Wine
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
I Don't Love You Baby
Pop And Mama
Blues At Midnight
Down On The Border
If I'm Not Wanted
Guitar Boogie (Gene's Jumping Jive)
Shake, Rattle And Roll
Original Sun Recordings

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1009 mono

Many artists failed to get on Sun Records, some were lucky enough to get a recording session and a release, however not many had the opportunity of having two stabs at the cherry.

One such was Ray Smith who came to Sun early in 1958 recorded a dozen sides or so went on the Judd label and had a national hit with "Rockin' Little Angel" and subsequently returned to Sun in 1961 to record a further couple of singles.

Born to seventh child of a seventh son, Raymond Eugene was destined to be one of the wild men of rock and roll. He was born in Melber, a suburb of Paducah, Kentucky on October 30, 1934, and by the age of 6 was standing up in front of his class to sing "You Are My Sunshine".

After a series of jobs, Ray enlisted in the US Air Force in 1952 and was stationed for 19 months in Metz, France. He served a four year stint from 1956 to 1960 did a further four years reserve duty. It was a period of his life that he looked back on fondly, for the Air Force was instrumental in developing his singing career. On the direct orders of a sergeant he performed at a base concert, and won the talent contest which encouraged him to pursue this singing business further. Whilst stationed at the forces with Lee Standerford and Slim Whitman's brother Armand who played steel.

Upon his discharge from active service in June 1956, Ray Smith returned home and formed the Rock And Roll Boys, (The band consisted of the following members, Henry Stevens, Raymond Jones, Dean Perkins, and James Webb), having been converted from country music to rock and roll through hearing Elvis Presley in France. Raymond Jones on lead guitar and James Wedd on bass, both hailed from Bardwell, Kentucky, whilst steel player Dean Perkins was from Mayfield, Kentucky. From slightly further afield came drummer Henry Stevens, namely Metropolis, Illinois. It was in that self same town that the boys made their radio debut on WMOK. Further radio engagements followed in Benton, Paducah, Mayfield, Louisville all in Kentucky and eventually Newport, Arkansas. The Ray Smith also took television under the sponsorship of Beardsley Chevrolet on WPSD Channel 6 out of Paducah, and all told the weekly show ran for two-and-a- half years, Charlie Terrell who had previously managed

Onie Wheeler, saw Ray's show and offered his services as manager, an offer that was initially turned down by Ray Smith, but eventually Terrell's persistence paid off and he took on the management role in Ray's career. Within three days of so doing he had a recording contract arranged for Ray Smith with Sun Records.

After three singles for Sun without a hit, Ray switched allegiances to Sam's brother Judd who took him to Nashville and backed by the likes of Hank Garland he recorded a Jimmie Rogers song entitled "Rockin' Little Baby" changing the 'baby' to 'angel'. Not much happened at first but after some dive months it fairly flew up the national charts opening up new and exciting doors all over the place; American Bandstand, Dick Clark Caravan, headline tours nationwide, the fulfillment of Ray's wildest dreams. However, fame is a fickle mistress, and her favours are only bestowed on those who can continue producing the hits. In Ray's case the well ran dry fairly quickly with "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" giving him his second top 100 hit ( a modest number 91) and also the last.

For a while he was able to bask in the glory of being a national star. He toured in his own customised coach complete with 'running maids and hot water', rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jack Scott, Brenda Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Robin Luke and Bobby Day.

He returned to Sun in 1961, recording four sides in Nashville which were not enhanced by having a female chorus overdubbed on them, but they were much better than some of the material that was appearing on the label by this time. Thereafter Ray label-hopped extensively recording on infinity, Vee-Jay, Warner Bros, BC, Tollie, Celebrity Circle and Diamond. Sadly the hits failed to materialise, a crushing blow to a man who sought and lusted for fame as avidly as Ray Smith.

Around 1966 disillusioned by his failure to maintain star status and tired of all the extensive touring, he headed north to Detroit, turned left and settled in Burlington, Ontario. He continued performing in Canada until 1972 when he returned to Nashville to cut some country material for the Cinamon label and scored in the country charts with "A Tilted Cup Of Love". The resurgence of interest in the Sun label and rockabilly in general in the mid to late 1970s resulted in Ray Smiths coming over to perform in England and Europe, and in some small way reliving the star status that once had been his. That this was only a microcosmic reflection of what once had been may possibly have contributed to his untimely demise, for on November 29, 1979, in circumstances that retain an element of mystery, Ray Smith shot himself at his home.

Compiled and annotated, liner notes by Colin Escott. Licensed from Charly Records International APS. This compilation ℗ © 1988 Charly Records Ltd. Manufactured through Movieplay Portuguesa S.A.R.L. Made in the EEC.

Side 1 Contains
So Young
Right Behind You Baby
Life Is The Flower
You Made A Hit
Forever Yours
Little Girl
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Shake Around
Why, Why, Why
Willing And Ready
I Want To Be Free
Sail Away
Two Pennies And A String
Rockin' Bandit
Original Sun Recordings

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1010 mono

This album contains every song Malcolm Yelvington recorded in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1950s. It is a stunning collection of supercharged hillbilly boogie music merging into rockabilly. It has roots in country-swing but it should certainly on filed under rock and roll.

Malcolm Yelvington, born September 14, 1918 to Frank Yelvington and Sarah Edwards, in Covington, Tennessee, and growing up with the hit sounds of Ernest Tubb and Hank Williams, started singing in the late 1930s, Malcolm was able to move his band through hillbilly to honky tonk to a kind of laid-back rockabilly.

Yelvinton's songwriting partner and chief collaborator was singer, guitarist and pianist, Reece Fleming, the only man who recorded for Sun Records who had a genuine Memphis-based recording pedigree.

As half of the duo Fleming and Townsend, Reece had first recorded with Raspers Townsend for Victor in May 1930 and went on to see releases on Victor, Bluebird, ARC and Decca. Mostly they made vocal and yodelling duets with Fleming on guitar and Townsend on harmonica.

Drawing on blues and hillbilly traditions, they often used a salacious approach - "I'll Tell You About Woman" and "Bad Reputations" - but were capable of good, original country music like "She's Just That Kind" and "Blue And Lonesome".

After the war he joined Reece Fleming's Tennesseans, playing schoolhouse dates around Covington. One of the key figures in the Memphis music scene in 1952 through 1955. Yelvington's Star Rhythm Boys employed a growling rockabilly sound and secured a daily gig on a local radio station. With a honky-tonk piano (Frank Tolley), electric guitars (Gordon Mashburn and Jake Ryles), steel guitar (Reece Fleming), and acoustic bass guitar (Miles Wimm), the Star Rhythm Boys were Memphis most innovative sound.

Yelvington's musical direction on "Gonna Have Myself A Ball", "Drinkin' Wine Spidee-O-Dee" (SUN 211), was an old rhythm and blues tune made famous by Sticks McGhee in 1949. At some point in the winter of 1953-54, the Star Rhythm Boys guitarist, Gordon Mashburn learned that there was a record company in Memphis that had just issued a disc by another local group, the Ripley Cotton Choppers. "We went down to see Sam", recalls Yelvington. "He asked us what type of music we played and we said, 'Country'. He said he wasn't interest, so I asked him what he wanted. He said, 'I don't know, but I'll know when I hear it'. Gordon said, 'Mr. Phillips, that means you'll have to listen to every single person who comes in off the street'. Sam said, 'I intent to'".

Yelvington and his group eventually persuaded Phillips to take a listen. "We couldn't come up with anything that Sam wanted", recalled Yelvington. "I wanted something like Hank Williams or Moon Mullican, but Sam kept saying no. Then I decided to try "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee". Sam poked his head around the door and said, 'Where did you get that from?'. I said, 'Man, we've been playing that every week for a long time".

In 1955 Yelvington sidestepped his Sun contract and recorded pseudonymously as Mac Sales and Jack for Meteor Records in Memphis "A Gal Named Joe", with equally poor response. The following year, Yelvington returned to Sun Records with a rockabilly novelty, "Rockin' With My Baby" (SUN 246). Sounding a little uncomfortable with the brisk tempo - and slurring the lyrics because he had removed his dentures - Yelvington nevertheless turned out a very creditable piece of the new music. Other cuts on Sun and Meteor are, "Trumpet", "Mr. Blues", "First And Last Love", "Goodby Marie", "It's Me Baby" and "Yakety Yak" provided some of the most interesting moments in Memphis rockabilly history.
Yelvington's sides on Sun and Meteor are some of the finest cuts in rockabilly history.

Talking about his Sun days, Malcolm's recollections in August 1971 to Martin Hawkins and Colin Escott were as follow: "I guess I can say I started in recording at the same time as Elvis. That's something isn't it! He got his first record out in the summer of 1954 and I got mine in the fall. The problem was that when I got mine out rock and roll was getting going pretty good and mine were mostly country and western, but we picked an rhythm and blues song to do, though we did it more warless country style. It sold a few - I can't remember exactly - around Memphis. If you got one of 'em you got more'n I got. That one was "Drinkin' Wine".

"Drinkin' Wine" was a song that we had done for dances years before I ever recorded it. I could sing it in my sleep. The way we got onto doing it, we were down in the studio one day and we were going through some material that we had, and we couldn't come up with anything that Sam would like. He was after rhythm and blues or something with a solid beat to it, and I said to the boys 'let's try "Drinkin' Wine" we don't even have to rehearse that', we were playing it at dances every week anyhow. So he was sitting back in the control room there and my lead man he took off on it. We had lead, piano and steel and I started singing, and Sam poked his head round the door and said, 'where'd you get that?', and I told him, 'Man, we been doing that thing for a long time'. It was first done by a feller the name of Sticks McGhee, and then I think I was the first white artist ever to record it. And then Sam said, 'let's cut that, it sounds good'. So we cut it and it took about six or seven hours to get it like he wanted. He was most particular. He went out and got some boys to sing in the background. And the group was Reece Fleming, he's dead now, he played piano on et and Myles Winn, we called him "Red", played steel, and Jack Ryles on bass, Gordon Mashburn on lead and me on rhythm. We didn't have drums on.

In 1961 Yelvington finally gave up his club dates to concentrate on his day job, his bowling, and family life. In 1988, Malcolm Yelvington toured to England and Holland, where several thousand fans gathered to hear him play the old songs. Yelvington was one of a very few musicians to encourage Elvis Presley to continue his guest for a musical career. Many times Yelvington urged the roughs and the less-talented musicians to leave Elvis Presley to his music. This was partially due to Malcolm Yelvington's respect for Elvis Presley, but the lanky rockabilly artist also performed a similar type of music.

Yelvington recorded his signature song after Elvis Presley finished cutting Sun Record number 210, "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine". The previous year, Elvis Presley listened to "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" many times in local clubs. "Elvis stood out in the crowd, but he never talked to me", Yelvington recalled. "He was a fine singer. The boy was always looking for a piano player. He liked our man and that's why he hung out around us". Yelvington also re-emphasized that he had never played with Elvis Presley. "I understand there's a book that says that, but it's not true".

During his last years, Malcolm Yelvington lead tours at the re-born Sun studio in Memphis, most Saturdays and greet the tourists. He'd tell his stories, and they were good ones because he really had been there. In 1997, aged 79, he released his first full-length album. Malcolm Yelvington died at Memphis Baptist Hospital on February 21, 2001, press reports variously blaming cancer, heart failure, or pneumonia but in truth it was all three. His funeral service in Bartlett, Tennessee, included recordings of Malcolm's Christian songs, and was attended by his five children, eleven grandchildren as well as friends and fellow musicians.

Compiled, annotated, liner notes with session information by Martin Hawkins. Licensed from Charly Records International APS. This compilation ℗ © 1988 Charly Records Ltd. Manufactured through Movieplay Portuguesa S.A.R.L.
Made in the EEC.

Side 1 Contains
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
Just Rollin' Along
Yakety Yak
Blues In The Bottom Of My Shoes
Yakety Yak *
A Gal Named Jo*
It's Me Baby (Demo)*
Original Sun Recordings except *

Side 2 Contains
Rockin' With My Baby*
It's Me Baby
Goodbye Marie
First And Last Love
Did I Ask You To Stay
Let The Moon Say Goodnight
Original Sun Recordings except *

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1014 mono

Rock and Roll, Rockabilly Pioneer. Although Carl Perkins is closely associated with his current hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, he was born in the far northwest corner of the state, close to the banks of the Mississippi. His birth certificate gives his parents address as Route 1, Ridgely County, Tiptonville, Tennessee, and their names as Fonie "Buck" Perkins and Louise Brantley. Their second child, born on April 9, 1932, was christened Carl Lee Perkins. The misspelling of the family name suggest that the literacy of government employees was barely a notch higher than that of the people they were cataloging.

It was the height of the Depression, and Buck Perkins was a sharecropper without a market. The family lived first in a three-room shack and then in a one-room storehouse. The kids in the neighbourhood brought castoff clothes for the Perkins brothers, and Carl has often told the story of how kid asked for his pants back after Carl had tackled him in a football game.

Music entered Carl Perkins life from two directions: the Grand Ole Opry from Nashville, and a black sharecropper from across the field. The black sharecropper was named John Weststrook (or Westbrooks), and Perkins called him Uncle John. "He used to sit out on the front porch at night", Perkins told Lenny Kaye, "with a gallon bucket full of coal oil rags that he'd burn to keep the mosquitoes off him, and I'd ask my daddy if I could go to Uncle John's and hear him pick some".

In the same way that Perkins rarely sings a song the way twice, he never seems to tell a story exactly the same way. In some versions, Uncle John gives Carl his guitar on a Saturday and dies the following Wednesday. Shortly after the end of World War II, Buck Perkins moved his family to Bemis, Tennessee, where his brothers worked in the cotton mills. Buck was refused a job in the mills because of his deteriorating lungs, and the Perkins family went back to sharecroppin, although by this time they had a house with electricity and a refrigerator. Perkins soon found a use for the electricity when he bought a cheap Harmony electric guitar and plugged it in.

Although he will generally claim to have no direct influences, Carl Perkins' style was obviously formed by listening to the guitarists who worked on the Opry. In particular, he remembers "Butterball" Page, who played single-strings leads with Ernest Tubb for a few years in the late 1940s. Another important influence was probably Arthur Smith, whose 1946 hit "Guitar Boogie" influenced a generation of pickers and set a new standard for sheer technique.

And then there was the blues. It's unlikely that Perkins was allowed to listen to the rhythm and blues stations, but he never forgot the lessons that Uncle John had taught him.

The choices of venues available to the brothers was limited, virtually confined to church socials and honky-tonks; the Perkins Brothers Band gravitated naturally toward the latter. Jay Perkins handled some of the vocals, singing in a rough-hewn voice modeled on Ernest Tubb. But it was Carl who was both principal vocalist and lead guitarist.

By 1954 their repertoire included a fair sampling of hillbilly standards, "Always Late (With Your Kisses", "Jealous Heart", "Honky-Tonk Blues", and the inevitable "Lovesick Blues"; there was also a little pop music, in the shape of "I'll Walk Alone".

The reason revolves around Carl Perkins and the nature of his music. By 1954 Perkins had evolved a unique style. It was not pure honky tonk music but a hybrid that borrowed much in terms of feeling, phrasing and rhythm from black music. "I just speeded up some of the slow blues licks", said Carl. "I put a little speed and rhythm to what Uncle John had slowed down. That's all. That's what rockabilly music or rock and roll was to begin with; a country man's song with a black man's rhythm. Someone once said that everything's been done before, and it has. It's just a question of figuring out a good mixture of it to sound original".

One of his first moves was to bring in a drummer. Drums, of course, were forbidden on the Grand Ole Opry but Perkins decided that he needed them to reinforce the rhythm and keep it danceable. His first drummer was Tony Austin, who would later record at Sun but lasted no more than a few gigs in 1953. He was replaced by W.S. "Fluke" Holland who was originally from Saltillo, Mississippi but had gone to school in Jackson with Clayton Perkins. He bought a set of Brecht drums and habituated many of the black bars in town because, as a drummer working in country music, he had few role models.

Between 1953 and 1955 music provided nothing more than a small addition to Perkins' income from the Colonial Bakery in Jackson. The honky tonks paid $2.00-3.00 a night but enabled the Perkins brothers to hone their music and cultivate their drinking habits at minimal cost.

On January 24, 1953 Carl Perkins married Valda Crider from Corinth, Mississippi. They moved to a government housing project in Jackson as the children started appearing. However, Valda encouraged Carl to work on his music and try for a career in entertainment. As Perkins observed, there were many country boys who were playing with a blues feel and working on the hybrid that later became known as rockabilly music. One of those who had independently worked up a similar style of course, was Elvis Presley. "The first time I heard Elvis was when my wife was in the kitchen", recalled Perkins to Dave Booth, "and she said, 'Carl, that sounds just like y'all. Hearing him do "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" set a flame afire in me and oddly enough I'd been doing that song too".

A few weeks later, the Perkins Brothers Band headed for Memphis. The office manager, Marion Keisker, apparently told them to go away but they met Sam Phillips on the street outside the studio. Carl Perkins first recorded for Flip Records, a nonunion subsidiary label of Sun Records. His first release was "Movie Magg" (FLIP 501), recorded on January 22, 1955. Carl Perkins first met Elvis Presley in Bethel Springs, Tennessee, in 1954, where Perkins was playing a club. Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley appeared together in Memphis on November 13, 1955. Perkins recorded his composition "Blue Suede Shoes"/"Honey Don't" (SUN 234) on December 19, 1955. On March 27, 1956, Perkins was injured in an automobile accident that took the life of his brother and manager Jay. Disc jockey David Steward fell asleep at the wheel while the band was en route to New York City to appear on TV's "Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Perry Como Show", which would have given them national exposure. At the time of the accident, Perkins' version of "Blue Suede Shoes" are released on January 1, 1956, reached on February 18, 1956 for 24 weeks on the Country charts peaked at number 1; on March 3, 1956, "Blue Suede Shoes" reached for 21 weeks on the Billboard Most Played In Juke Boxes chart peaked at number 2 for 4 weeks; on March 10, 1956 the number reached two on the Billboard Hot 100 charts; and peaked for 16 weeks on the Rhythm and Blues charts for 4 weeks at number 2.

After the accident he was taken to the General Hospital in Dover, Delaware, where he received a Western Union telegram from Elvis Presley on March 28, 1956, that read: "We were all shocked and very sorry to hear of the accident. I know what it is for I had a few bad ones myself. If I can help you in any way please call me. I will be at the Warwick Hotel in New York City. Our wishes are for a speedy recovery for you and the other boys. Sincerely Elvis Presley, Bill Black, Scotty Moore, and D.J. Fontana".

From 1954 to 1957, Carl Perkins and his band, recorded several brilliant recordings for Sun Records as follow, "Movie Magg"/"Turn Around" (Flip 501) 1954, "Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing"/"Gone, Gone, Gone" (SUN 224) 1955, "Blue Suede Shoes"/"Honey Don't" (SUN 234) 1955, "Sure To Fall"/"Tennessee" (SUN 235) 1955, "Boppin' The Blues"/"All Mama's Children" (SUN 243) 1956, "Dixie Fried"/"I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry" (SUN 249) 1956, "Youre True Love"/"Matchbox" (SUN 261) 1956, "That's Right"/"Forever Yours" (SUN 274), and "Lend Me Your Comb"/"Glad All Over" (SUN 287) 1957.

In 1957 his last single hit the market, Carl Perkins had quit Sun Records. He and Johnny Cash had been approached by Don Law from Columbia Records in August 1957 who proposed that both artists move to Columbia. An agreement in principle was signed with Columbia in November 1957 and the contract was dated January 25, 1958. With his career as a rock singer fading fast, Carl Perkins turned back to the honky tonks. He also turned to the bottle. His alcoholism was precipitated by the death of his older brother Jay from a malignant brain tumour on October 22, 1958. 1959 was the last year in which Carl Perkins entertained serious hopes of recapturing his place in the sun. Later in 1959 W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland quit the line-up. He tried managing Carl Mann for a while and then opted for the security of playing drums behind Johnny Cash. By this point, Perkins had stated working long stints in Las Vegas which would hardly seem to be his natural habitat. In August 1963, Carl Perkins signed a two-year contract with Decca Records and recorded four titles in Nashville where MOR, country had co-opted rockabilly beyond recognition. The session got off to a sluggish start with two of the least exciting songs in the Perkins canon. On June 1, 1964 is historically resonant, Perkins attended a Beatles session at Abbey Road in Liverpool where his Scouse admirers completed five takes of "Matchbox" between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Back in the USA, Carl Perkins worked clubs with George Morgan, Webb Pierce and Faron Young. In mid-July, he caught his left hand in the blades of an electric fan at a club in Dyersberg, Tennessee. He was taken 60 miles to hospital in Jackson while blood dripped through the floorboards of his Buick. The surgeon was persuaded not to amputate two of his fingers. In mid-October, Carl Perkins flew to London for a second tour of England. It was tabled The Rhythm and Blues Show 1964 and Carl topped the first half of a bill which included The Animals, Tommy Tucker, Elkie Brooks, Ray Cameron, The Quotations, The Nashville Teens, The Plebs and, at selected venues, Barry St. John. In 1980s, Carl Perkins still live in Jackson, Tennessee, and the part of Carl Perkins that he will leave behind consists of a handful of recordings, only a few of which were released during his tenure with Sun, but recordings that still form the bulk of his stage repertoire today. They also remain, all told, one of the landmarks of pure, carefree rock and roll. From 1965 through 1975, Carl Perkins constantly drinking alcohol and toured with Johnny Cash in the United States.

Elvis Presley, who recorded a faster version of Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" in 1956, was present at Perkins' recording session on December 4, 1956, when he recorded "Matchbox" (SUN 261) and other songs. That impromptu get-together was later dubbed the Million Dollar Quartet. Elvis Presley last played with Carl Perkins on July 4, 1976, for a Bicentennial concert in Memphis. After Elvis Presley's death, Carl Perkins recorded the tribute record "The Whole World Misses You" (JET 117). In 1974, Carl Perkins wrote and recorded the novelty record "The E.P. Express" (Mercury 73609) in his own rockabilly style. In 1986, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison recorded as the group "Class Of 55" at Sun Recording Studio, 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, "We Remember The King" (American Smash 88142-7). RCA's Chet Atkins once remarked to Sam Phillips when Carl Perkins had the number two record in the country with "Blue Suede Shoes", "We thought for a while we bought the wrong Sun artist".

In 1987, Carl Perkins was elected in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, included with Eddie Cochran, Bill Haley, Roy Orbison, and Ricky Nelson. The Beatles recorded the following Carl Perkins compositions: "Honey Don't", flip-side of "Blue Suede Shoes", "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", and "Matchbox". On February 4, 1969, Jackson, Mississippi celebrated Carl Perkins Day. Carl Perkins once said of Elvis Presley, "This boy had everything. He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed, like a lot of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he eyed, he really was different". On January 19, 1998, about 10:30 p.m., Carl Perkins died in Madison County General Hospital in Jackson, Tennessee, following a series of strokes and an extended stay in Intensive Care at the age of 65.

Recorded in 1955 and 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. Compilation, annotations, cover concept, artistic, direction by Ding Dong. Licensed from Charly Records International APS. This compilation ℗ © 1988 Charly Records Ltd. Manufactured through Movieplay Portuguesa S.A.R.L. Made in the EEC. SPA.

Side 1 Contains
Blue Suede Shoes
Honey Don't
Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby
Boppin' The Blues
Wrong Yo-Yo
Cat Clothes
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Let The Juke Box Keep On Playing
Dixie Bop (Perkins Wiggle)
Gone Gone Gone
You Can't Make Love To Somebody
Sure To Fall
Original Sun Recordings

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1015 mono

JOHNNY CASH - Country singer, guitarist, and songwriter, was born in the remote rural settlement of Kingsland, Arkansas, on February 26, 1932. His birthplace was almost directly across the Mississippi from Lake County, Tennessee, where Carl Perkins was born six weeks later. Cash is the father of singer Rosanne Cash (1955), as well as the father-in-law of singer Rodney Crowell. Cash was born John Ray Cash, and it was only when he joined the U.S. Air Force that he was given the name Johnny.

In the mid-1940s Cash started work in the fields, habitually listening to Smilin' Eddie Hill on WMPS, Memphis, during the midday break. Hill's "High Noon Roundup" show featured the cream of the local hillbilly talent. Unlike almost all of his later Sun colleagues, Johnny Cash grew up without the influence of black music: his parents had settled on a government colony in Dyess when he was three years old, from which blacks were specifically excluded. His parents kept the radio tuned to the hillbilly stations, and when Cash went into Dyess with a few nickels to put in the jukebox, it was Roy Acuff and Ernest Tubb that he wanted to hear.

When Cash's voice broke, he realized that he owned something that might get him out of Dyess. He practised at every opportunity, singing in school and at home. Yet when he left tow, it was not to become a hillbilly singer but to work in the auto plants in Pontiac, Michigan. Like many others who took that route, Cash returned home, although he made his return somewhat sooner than most - after three weeks. Still determined to get out of Dyess, he joined the Air Force on July 7, 1950.

By his own account, Cash's 'four long, miserable years' in the Air Force were relieved only by playing music with fellow southerners. While stationed in Germany, they formed a group called the Landsberg Barbarians, and Johnny Cash started writing material for them - including the quintessential lament of the homesick southerner, "Hey! Porter", which was published as a poem in the servicemen's magazine Stars & Stripes.

Before leaving for overseas duty, Johnny Cash had gone roller-skating in San Antonio, Texas. On the rink, he crashed into Vivian Liberto, then seventeen years old and in her last year of high school. They dated during his last weeks in the States and wrote to each other constantly while he was overseas. John and Vivian decided to get married after he returned. Cash probably harboured the dream of being able to make money playing music, but up to that point his largest audience had been a gathering of a few dozen Italians who had listened to the Landsberg Barbarians on a drunken furlough in Venice.

On July 3, 1954, Johnny Cash left the U.S. Air Force. On August 7 he married Vivian Dorraine Liberto, and they set up home on Tutwiler Avenue in Memphis. Cash's older brother Roy had found him a job selling appliances for the Home Equipment Company, but Cash was, by his own admission. Cash's trips into the black neighborhoods of Memphis gave him his first exposure to black music. Trying to break into music any way he could, Cash auditioned for a job as a radio announcer at a station in Corinth, Mississippi, but was turned down because of lack of experience.

Taking advantage of the G.I. Bill, Cash enroled at the Keegan School of Broadcast in Memphis. Attending on a part-time basis, he had completed half of the course by the time his first Sun record was released in 1954 with the Tennessee Two (Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant).

A few days after getting out of the service, Johnny Cash visited his brother in Memphis. Roy Cash had forsaken a musical career and was working at the Hoehn Chevrolet dealership on Union Avenue. He introduced his younger brother to three mechanics who played together at home, at small benefit concerts, and on Sunday morning radio. Marshall Grant was twenty-six years old, sang tenor, and played guitar. Luther Monroe Perkins, also twenty-six, played guitar as well. A.W. "Red" Kernodle, ten years older than Perkins and Grant, played steel guitar.

For all his musical shortcomings, it was Luther Perkins who developed the guitar sound that complemented Cash's stark baritone. Perkins was born in Memphis on January 8, 1928. His father drove a taxi at the time, but soon returned to farming in Mississippi. The Perkins family, including Thomas Wayne (Perkins), who later scored a hit with "Tragedy", grew up in Sardis and Como. "Finally, one day, we decided that we were ready for a shot at the record business", recalled Cash.

"I had met Elvis Presley's guitarist, Scotty Moore, and I called him and asked him about the possibility of getting an audition with Sun". Moore probably told Cash that the best approach was simply go to the studio. It was an approach that had worked for Presley.

In an interview with Peter Guralnick, Cash described how he came to audition. "Sun Records was between my house and the radio announcing school. I just started going by there and every day "'d ask: Could I see Mr. Phillips. And they'd say, 'He's not in yet', or 'He's at a meeting'. So really it became a challenge to me just to get inside that studio. Finally, one day I was sitting on the stoop just as he came to work and I stood up and said, 'I'm John Cash and I want you to hear me play'. He said, 'Well, come on in'. I sang two or three hours for him. Everything I knew - Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Flatt and Scruggs... I even sang "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen".

"I had to fight and call and keep at it and push, push, push to even get into Sun Records. I don't feel like anyone discovered me because I had to fight so hard to get heard".

Phillips liked what he heard and invited Cash to return with his group. "When they came in", recalled Sam Phillips, "Cash apologized to me for not having a professional band but I said that he should let me hear what they could do and I would be able to tell whether they had a style I would be able to work with. At that first audition I was immediately impressed with John's unusual voice. I was also interested in Luther's guitar playing. He wasn't a wizard on the guitar. He played one string at a time and he wasn't super good - but he was different,
and that was important".

"Their material was all religious at that time. Songs which Cash had composed. I liked them, but I told him that I would not at that time be able to merchandize him as a religious artist and that it would be well if he could secure some other material or write some other songs. I told him that I was real pleased with the sound we were getting from just the three instruments. If I'm mot mistaken, I think it was the third occasion in the studio that I actually commenced seriously to get Johnny Cash down on tape. He continued to be very apologetic about his band. However, I told him that I did not want to use any other instrumentation because of the unique style they had. They would practice a lot, but I told them not to be overly prepared because I was interested in spontaneity too".

"Sam Phillips had a vision", confirmed Cash in an interview with Bill Flanagan. "Nashville in 1955 was grinding out all these country records. If you took the voice off, all the tracks sounded the same to me... All the arrangements were calculated and predictable. It's kinda that way with my music - but (at least) it's my music. It's not done to try and sound like someone else in Nashville".

According to Marshall Grant, Red Kernodle came to the first session, froze and went back to his day job. According to Kernodle, he played the first session and then quit. "There was no money in it", he recalled with little apparent regret, "and there was getting to be too much staying up late at night and running around". It is probably that his halting attempts at playing the steel guitar can be heard on an early version of "Wide Open Road". If so, his disappearance was no great loss. Luther Perkins' oldest daughter, Linda, recalled that Kernodle's wife had threatened to leave if he concentrated upon music. He also held a better paying job than the other members of the group which he was unwilling to jeopardize. His disappearance was viewed with some relief by the others.

Needing some secular material in a hurry, Cash resuscitated "Hey! Porter" and previewed "Folsom Prison Blues" - a song based closely on a Gordon Jenkins tune, "Cresent City Blues", which formed a segment of a 1953 concept album called "Seven Dreams". Both the melody and finally dawned upon Jenkins after Cash re-recorded the song for his hugely successful prison album in 1968. Cash's earliest version of "Folsom Prison Blues" were delivered in a curiously high pitched voice, although those early takes show that Luther Perkins had already worked out his guitar solo that would later become a model of minimalist country picking. However, Sam Phillips did not want to couple "Folsom Prison Blues" with "Hey! Porter" for the first record.

The essential elements of Cash's music were in place from the start. The stark, lonesome vocals were front and centre, with Luther doing little more than keeping time - even during his solo. Where most guitarists relish the opportunity to solo, Luther seemed to dread it. The fear of failure - messing up an otherwise good take - seemed to haunt him every time he entered the studio during the early days.

For his part, Sam Phillips challenged the established precepts of recording balance, placing Cash's vocals more assertively in the mix than had ever been the case in country music. Phillips fattened the sounds of the vocals and the rhythm track with carefully timed slapback echo that gave a compelling syncopation to some of the faster numbers.

Cash recorded a number of hit records for Sun, including "I Walk The Line" (SUN 241), "Folsom Prison Blues" (SUN 232), and "Ballad Of A Teenage Queen" (SUN 283). His first major public appearance after singing with Sun Records was at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis on August 5, 1955. Elvis Presley was also on the bill. Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley toured together on the Jamboree tour from Abilene, Texas, to St. Louis, for two weeks in October 1955.

Johnny Cash became one of the participants in the famed Million-Dollar Quartet session. Years later he filed a lawsuit to try to prohibit the session's release on record. Cash left Sun Records in 1958 to record for Columbia Records. Berely two weeks after his last Sun session, Johnny Cash was in Nashville cutting his first Columbia session. Without Sam Phillips second-guessing the repertoire, cash was able to record a selection of religious or quasi-religious material. The first Columbia album, The Fabulous Johnny Cash, was released in time for the Disc Jockey Convention in the middle of November 1958.

On December 12, 1958 Johnny and Vivian Cash hosted a housewarming party in Encino, California. Cash's life - both inside and outside music - would acquire some new dimension as the '50s gave way to the '60s. At times he seemed to be the most focussed artist in country music, recording concept albums, and bringing a variety to his bare-bones sound that Sam Phillips never envisaged. At other times Cash seemed - like Hank Williams - to be heading ninety miles down a dead-end street.

At a live concert at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, in August 1969, Elvis Presley jokingly introduced himself by saying, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", before singing "Folsom Prison Blues" and "I Walk The Line".

The Sun recordings maximized the effective contrast between the hustling rhythm of the bass/acoustic guitar and the enigmatically ponderous vocals and sparse lead guitar. Phillips' achievement was to keep Cash's sound at its bare essentials and then fatten it up with the use of tape delay echo. Subsequent producers and engineers could never quite recapture Phillips' formula. At Columbia, Cash's little trio was placed in the cavernous Bradley's studio where the sound leaped around, giving a cavernous echo where Phillips had imparted a tightly focussed slapback. The difference was especially evident on Cash's vocals. The repertoire was as strong, the backings were still commendably simple - but the booming assertive presence was partially lost in the swampy echo.

The ultimate judgement on Cash - at Sun and Columbia - though, is that the whole represented much more than the sum of the parts. Cash's limited vocals, Luther Perkins' bare-bones picking and Marshall Grant's bass playing jelled magically to produce a unique and compelling blend, one of the most original, innovative and immediately recognisable sounds in country music.

The late career regeneration was ongoing. The last album released during Cash's lifetime, ''American IV: The Man Comes Around'', was a fitting epitaph, and the video accompanying his version of Trent Rezner's ''Hurt'' might well be the most moving music video ever made. It was life laid bare.

Johnny Cash lived to be seventy-one, although he looked and sounded considerably older toward the end. Parkinson's disease, diabetes, glaucoma, and respiratory problems took a terrible toll. After his second wife, June Carter Cash, died on May 15, 2003, many believed that John would not last long, and he did not. The end came on September 12, 2003 and Johnny Cash dies at the Shy- Drager Syndrome of the age of 71 in the Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He'd been to the brink so often, but lacked the strength for more fight. It had been nearly fifty years since Sam Phillips captured the surprisingly confident opening notes of ''Wide Open Road''.

All tracks recorded at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. Compilation, cover concept annotations, artistic direction by Ding Dong. Licensed from Charly Records International APS. This compilation ℗ © 1988 Charly Records Ltd. Manufactured through Movieplay Portuguesa S.A.R.L. Made in the EEC. SPA.

Side 1 Contains
Cry! Cry! Cry!
Luther Played The Boogie
Folsom Prison Blues
So Doggone Lonesome
Mean Eyed Cat
Wide Open Road
Two Timin' Woman
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
There You Go
I Walk The Line
Country Boy
Train Of Love
Get Rhythm
Hey Porter
Wide Open Road
Original Sun Recordings

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1016 mono

All tracks recorded at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. Compilation, cover concept annotations, artistic direction, and liner notes by Ding Dong (February 1988). Licensed from Charly Records International APS. This compilation ℗ © 1988 Charly Records Ltd. Manufactured through Movieplay Portuguesa S.A.R.L. Made in the EEC. SPA.

Side 1 Contains
Feelin' Low (Ernie Chaffin)
Laughin' And Jokin' (Ernie Chaffin)
Destiny (Cast King)
Baby Doll (Cast King)
Round And Round (Cast King)
Please Believe Me (Cast King)
When You Stop Lovin' Me (Cast King)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Easy To Love (Mack Self)
Down On The Border In Mexico (Gene Simmons)
Goin' Crazy (Mack Self)
Poor Boy (O.C. Holt)
This Train (O.C. Holt)
Pink Wedding Gown (O.C. Holt)
Satisfied With Me (Cast King)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1018 mono

This origins album takes us to the beginning of the most rollicking time of the Sun Record Company. In the early months of 1956, after Elvis Presley's success lead to his contract being sold to RCA, Carl Perkins become the stimulus for all rockabilly stylists. His December 1955 ''Blue Suede Shoes'' b-sided with ''Honey Don't was the first rockabilly record to hit the national charts. Stimulated by his success and wanting to continue to hit, Carl Perkins and band recorded in March their boppiest sessions. ''Perkins Wiggle'', ''All Mama's Children'', ''Boppin' The Blues'' and ''Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby'' were final cuts used since for standard releases. However those sessions produced also with a more underground feel and sound, the earliest cuts of ''Dixie Fried'', ''Cats Clothes'' and Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby'' B-sided here and previously unissued as is the explosive recut of ''Cat Clothes'' (2) possibly unissued take of the undated cut ''You Can't Make Love To Somebody'', the undated rough demo ''That Don;t Move Me'' and the rushing boogie take of ''Honey Don't''. All that stuff will enlighting you about that spirited musical era of Carl Perkins the King of the Bop Cats.

The great Junior Thompson from Alabama, is one of the most mysterious name in the rockabilly field. After he recorded in 1955 ''Raw Deal''/''Mama's Little Baby'' (Meteor 5029), he auditioned at Sun in the wake of Carl Perkins' success probably in March 1956. His first session saw the performances of the four rhythm tunes included here: ''Rabbitt Action'', ''Rhythm Called Rock And Roll, ''Rock Me Baby'' and ''How Come You Do Me''. That's real ''bopcat'' action and all what you like about rockabilly as in his Meteor material. Several sub-standard out takes of ''How Come You Do Me'' predate the take already issued at Sun albums. Junior Thompson was unsuccessful at Sun, He recut ''How Come You Do Me'' on Tune Records coupled with ''Who's Knocking'' as his second single release in 1957.

All this boppin' stuff wouldn't be available today without the biggest rockabilly hit of all time: ''Blue Suede Shoes''. The master tape has not been out of its ''shoe-box'' in the Sun vaults since the late 1960s. There were three kinds of shoes in the same box included the solid ones you wanna put on to bop this ''rabbit action'' in ''real cat clothes'' and ''real blue suede''.

NOTE: The unissued Sun tracks "How Come You Do Me" ''Rhythm Rock And Roll'', ''Rock Me Baby'' and "Rabbit Action", while often attributed to Junior Thompson on reissues, were actually recorded by Jimmy Haggett in 1956.

* - Previously Unissued. Sun vaults research, compilation and mastering, liner notes and cover design by Ding Dong.

Side 1 Contains
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
Rhythm Called Rock And Roll (Junior Thompson)*
Honey Don't (Carl Perkins)
Rabbit Action (Junior Thompson)*
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (Carl Perkins)
How Come You Do Me (Junior Thompson)*
Rock Me Baby (Junior Thompson)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Dixie Fried (Carl Perkins)*
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby (2) (Carl Perkins)*
Cat Clothes (Carl Perkins)*
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Carl Perkins)*
Cat Clothes (2) (Carl Perkins)*
That Don't Move Me (Carl Perkins)
Honey Don't (Carl Perkins)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records 33rpm Sun LP 1019 mono

In the year 1956, rockabilly music was of its best! This musical style, which delves into hillbilly and blues origins, was born in the early 1950s before Hank Williams died, but it was only in late 1956 that the word rockabilly came into use. Jack earls was born in 1932 in Woodbury, Tennessee, and moved to Memphis in 1950. In 1954, he started a hillbilly-band: Warren Gregory (guitar), Johnny Black (bass), Donny Walker (drums), and Jack Earls himself as the vocalist and rhythm guitarist. Late in 1955, they made a private recording of Jack's compositions ''A Fool For Lovin' You'' at the Memphis Recording Service. Sam Phillips auditioned the group early in January 1956. Several sessions included two slow performances, ''When I Dream'', ''They Can't Keep Me From You'', and these two country blues and rockabilly renditions of ''|Hey Slim'' and ''Crawdad Hole''. Sam was impressed by ''Hey Slim''. Jack and the boys worked on it and after a few lyrical changes, the tune became ''Hey Jim'' on the last takes not up to standard for release. From this, Sam got the idea to call the group, ''The Jimbos''. Around March, Jack and the Jimbos recut ''A Fool For Lovin' You'' and some new songs: ''Slow Down'', ''If You Don't Mind'' an up-beat tune, and ''Sign On The Dotted Line''. During this period, Earls was signed by Stars Inc., the personal management and booking agency of Bob Neal. In April 1956, Jack appeared on W.S.M.'s Grand Ole Opry Show in Nashville, performing ''Crawdad Hole'' and both sides of Sun 240, ''Slow Down''/''A Fool For Lovin' You''. Since he was then touring with the Grand Ole Opry Show, Jack didn't record before June. That session, using different musicians such as Luther Perkins (guitar), Stan Kesler (steel guitar), Billy Weir (drums)and possible Bill Black on bass produced the fabulous recut of ;;Crawdad Hole'' (2) (Sun LP CFM 507). Jack Earls than did some more sessions developed his initial country-blues style with the real dancin' beat heard in ''A Fool For Lovin' You''. He recuron October 15, 1956, ''Hey Slim'', identifiability as being ''Hey Jim'', and possibly in September this different version of ''They Can't Keep Me From You''.

Luke McDaniel born in 1927 in Laurel, Mississippi recorded in 1952 on Trumpet and in 1954on King. Luke says about all this... ''in fact the first song that I ever cut was nothing but rock, called ''Whoa Boy'' (Trumpet 184) but we didn't call it rock, it was more of a blues... and this song ''Money Big Woman'' (King 1380) was what they called rockabilly...”. In September 1956, Luke McDaniel went into Sun to recorded ''Uh! Baby'' and ''Go Ahead Baby''. He recorded slow and fast cuts of each tune with slight changes in the sound. Both were equally as good!

Gene Simmons, one of Sun's best rockabilly artist, was born in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1933. He moved to Memphis in 1956 and worked shows with Clyde Leoppard in the Tri-State area. He recorded at Sun around March-April 1956, ''Blues At Midnight'', ''Drinkin' Scotch'', (original of ''Drinkin' Wine''), and ''Pop And Mama''. This material is a fabulous mixture of divisiveness hillbilly and blues sound!

Carl Perkins' late 1955 original ''You Can't Make Love To Somebody'' is top rockabilly recording, hillbilly, bop, boogie and blues too! In 1955, Charlie Feathers recorded some of the finest hillbilly-side's. Flip (503) and Sun (231). He left Sun and moved to Meteor where around May. 1956 he recut with Jody Chastain (bass) and Jerry Huffman (guitar), ''Tongue Tied Jill''/''Get With It'' (Meteor 5032), then in August 1956 he recorded '' Bottle To The Baby''/''One Hand Loose'' (King 4997). Before movin' over to Meteor, Feathers tried to recut ''Tongue Tied Jill'' at Sun and come to see Sam Phillips with it. Actually it's not the ''Tongue Tied Jill'' demo but that of ''Bottle To The Baby'' which sounds more like a Meteor demo. I've checked that Meteor sound with 78's and 45's of Charlie Feather sand Jess Hooper (Meteor 5025) where Charlie possibly plays the rhythm guitar. Checkin' all that out, the demo here includes Jerry and Jody in the background and sounds goin' back earlier to ''Tongued Tied Jill'' but more recent than the Jess Hooper from February 1956. If so, we have here the first rockabilly cut of the great Charlie Feathers. I'm not 100% sure it was recorded on Meteor. It could also have been recorded at Sun or elsewhere. Anyway, ''I pick the tune'' so we can ''get with it''!

*- Previously Unissued. **- Dub from mint 78 record. Sun vaults research, compilation and mastering, liner notes and cover design by Ding Dong.

Side 1 Contains
Blues At Midnight (Gene Simmons)*
Hey Slim (Jack Earls)*
Crawdad Hole (Jack Earls)*
Bottle To The Baby (Charlie Feathers)
Drinkin' Scotch (Gene Simmons)*
Pop And Mama (Gene Simmons)*
You Can't Make Love To Somebody (Carl Perkins)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
They Can't Keep Me From You (Jack Earls)*
A Fool For Lovin' You (Jack Earls)**
Hey Slim (Jack Earls)*
Uh! Baby (2) (Luke McDaniel)
Go Ahead Baby (2) (Luke McDaniel)*
Slow Down (Jack Earls) **
Sign On The Dotted Line (Jack Earls)*
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1021 mono

''Look out cats!'' here we go from hillbilly into rock and roll of this album's performers have previously recorded hillbilly sides before getting' bop to the brand new sound.

From Helena, Arkansas, Smokey Joe Baugh, performer and piano player here heads drummer Clyde Leoppard's band featuring Stan Kesler (steel guitar), and Buddy Holobaugh (guitar) They recorded in 1954 on Sun's subsidiary Flip label, the great hillbilly-jumper ''Split Personality''. By middle 1955, the band developed a more oriented rock and roll style, performing country blues rockers and up tempo tunes with rockin' guitar and boogie woogie piano solos.

Although Barbara Pittman didn't record hillbilly stuff, she used the Joe Baugh-Clyde Leoppard band with Marcus Van Story added on bass to perform here her earliest rockin' side ''Sentimental Fool''. In this song her energetic voice easily dominated the strong country boogie background. That cut recorded around march 1956 predates the session of ''I Need A Man''. Barbara at that time was just 13 and a half years old.

From Tupelo, Mississippi, Elsie Jo Miller and Wildred Wages as The Miller Sisters recorded great hillbilly songs on Flip as well as on Sun in middle 1955. Their unique rock and roll tune ''Ten Cats Down'' was recorded around August 1956 with musicians Quinton Claunch (guitar), Marcus Van Story (bass), Roy Miller (sax), and Clyde Leoppard (drums).

Malcolm Yelvington (vocal and rhythm guitar) after his 1954 country blues release ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee''/''Just Rollin' Along'' (Sun 211), had on unissued session on January 1955 including ''I've Got The Blues'' and ''Yakety Yak'' (CFM 507). Under the name of Mac Sales and the Esquire Trio, he recut this last track on the Memphis Meteor label which released it in the middle of 1955 coupled with ''A Gal Named Joe'' (Meteor 5022). In May 1956, ''It's Me Baby''/''Rockin' With My Baby'' (Sun 246) and the cut of ''Have Myself A Ball'' (CFM 502) marked his rock and roll comeback on Sun, backed by the Star Rhythm Boys composed of Gordon Mashburn (guitar), Frank Tolly (piano), Billy Weir (drums), Jack Ryles (bass) and Miles Winn (steel guitar). (As actually the master of ''Rockin' With My Baby'' seems not to be in the Sun vaults, the alternate cut titled ''Rock And Roll With My Baby'' makes a excellent substitute).

Also in this period, Carl Perkins recorded the country rocker ''I'm Sorry, I'm Not Sorry'' with the first use of a pianist (possible Smokey Joe Baugh). Since the song was sided with ''Dixie Fried'' (Sun 249) in the summer of 1956, it's original master tape was rarely used for an album. The single release had an immediate success in many cities including Richmond, Virginia where Carl met the RCA ''Female Elvis'' Janis Martin.

During his stint in the army in 1955, Harold Jenkins also from Helena, Arkansas entertained GI's all over the Far-East as a vocalist in a group called ''The Cimmarons''. After leaving' the service in 1956, he formed his own band ''The Rock Housers'' and played shows throughout Arkansas and Tennessee. He made his first Sun session probably in the last month of the same year backed by Bill Harris (bass), Jerry Luke (guitar), Willie Willis (sax) and Billy Weir (drums). Only three songs from the Sun vaults, ''Born To Sing The Blues'', ''Give Me Some Love'' and ''Crazy Dreams'' have already been published. You got here his last unreleased track exiting in the vaults ''I Need Your Lovin' Kiss''. After Sun, Harold Jenkins was signing on Mercury under the name of Conway Twitty.

Backed by unknown musicians, Dean Beard from Coleman, Texas, recorded at the Sun studio a rockabilly session on March 29, 1956: ''Don't You Lie To Me'' and ''Rock Around The Town'' (CFM 505). A following session using sax produced ''Long Time Gone'' (CFM 512) and ''When You're Gone'', another fine country blues rocker, with the original cut of ''Rakin' And Scrapin''' compiled here. Dean Beard left Sun to record on the Slim Willet's Edmoral label in Abilene, Texas. He re-cut ''Rakin' And Scrapin''' with probably the same band as being ''The Crew-Cats'', and recorded ''On My Mind Again'' backed by ''The Four Pals''. The two songs were issued on his first single release (Edmoral 1011) before leased to Atlantic Records. Later Dean beard joined the Champs as a pianist and recorded under his own name for Challenge before returning to play piano, write and sing on Winston the subsidiary label of Slim Willet.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering and liner notes by Ding Dong.

*- Previously Unissued.

Side 1 Contains
Hula Bop (Smokey Joe Baugh)*
Sentimental Fool (Barbara Pittman)*
Ten Cats Down (Miller Sisters)
Rakin' And Scrapin' (2) (Dean Beard)*
I Need Your Lovin' Kiss (Harold Jenkins)*
When You're Gone (Dean Beard*
She's A Woman (Smokey Joe Baugh)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Paul Revere (Smokey Joe Baugh)*
I'm Sorry, I'm Not Sorry (Carl Perkins)
It's Me Baby (Malcolm Yelvington)
Rock And Roll With My Baby (Malcolm Yelvington)*
The Signifyin' Monkey (Smokey Joe Baugh)
Listen To Me Baby (Smokey Joe Baugh)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1022 mono

This is the hottest Sun album release ever and of course it contains the earliest recorded tracks of the fabulous Sonny Burgess and the Pacers! A native of Newport, Arkansas, Albert Sonny Burgess, born in 1931, was farming until his two year army hitch began at age 22. He left the farm to become a professional musician inspired by his great love of country music. He also developed a great interest in rhythm and blues music, having on rhythm and blues record collection datin' back to the late forties. It was in 1955 when Sonny on vocal and guitar, started a trio with pianist Kern Kennedy and drummer Russ Smith to play clubs in their hometown. Joined by Johnny Ray Hubbard (bas) they opened shows for Elvis at the famous ''Silver Moon Club'' in Arkansas under the name of The Moonlighters. Later the group completed by Joe Lewis (vocal and rhythm guitar) and Jack Nance (trumpet) appeared as a complete night club type band of the name ''The Pacers''. They decided when ''Presley came out'' that they also wanted to record on Sun. Driving the 85 miles from Newport to Memphis, The Pacers went to talk to Sam Phillips who wanted to hear them play their music first. Using some of the material from their club acts, The Pacers were ''kinda wild'' when performing five of their craziest tunes! Sam of course cut them with a lot of encouragement. It was their first recording session: May 2, 1956. Sonny's performances here of ''Wings Of An Angel'', ''We Wanna Boogie'' and ''Red Headed Woman'' were part of this unbelievable session that also produced the two Joe Lewis renditions ''Life's Too Short'' and ''Al Nite Long''. In October, ''Red Headed Woman''/''We Wanna Boogie'' (Sun 247) came on the market as their first single release. It is the wildest double sided single ever issued on Sun. Its master tape are presently missing from the Sun vaults. However, this album uses similar takes which are just a little bit wilder.

From separate sessions with little change in the sound, ''Daddy Blues'', ''You'', ''Fannie Brown'' and ''Goin'' Home'' seem to have been cut shortly after the first recording date. Meanwhile Sonny and The Pacers were workin' colleges and high school dances all over the Mid-South and didn't come back to Sun before January 1957.

The use of new equipment in the 1957 sessions without the trumpet changed their recorded sound as did the more country orientated material in their repertoire. From this last period which reflects this evolution, come Sonny's original ''Gone'' still strongly rhythm and blues influenced, the recut ''Goin' Home'' from January 13, and ''Ain't Got A Thing'' which was coupled with the nice country ballad ''Restless'' for their second single (Sun 263) issued on January 23.

With the exception of this last tune, all the tracks included here are savage rockers and proof positive: Those Arkansas Cats were the first and wildest to Boogie, Bop, Rock and Jive Sun until they turned it red hot!

Liner notes by Ding Dong

Marketed and Manufactured by Charly Records.

Side 1 Contains
Daddy Blues
Wings Of An Angel
Life's Too Short
All Nite Long
Red Headed Woman
We Wanna Boogie
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Fannie Brown
Goin' Home
Ain't Got A Thing
Goin' Home (2)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1023 mono

A mixed sex album of rocking sides from 1956 with the five guys mixing it with five chicks! A diehard lover of authentic rock and roll music, Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier) was France's leading rock and roll disc jockey in the early 1980s when he produced an acclaimed series of 10" albums for Charly Records compiled from recordings made for Sam Phillips's legendary Sun label. Ding Dong then launched into another series of 12" albums for Charly, following the same formula that had been so successful in the 10" series. This LP ''Rock And Roll Pills'' features Wade and Dick, Macy "Skip" Skipper, Jimmy Williams, Barbary Pittman, Carl McVoy, Jean Chapel, The Kirby Sister, and Maggie Sue Wimberly.

Phonographic Copyright (p) Charly Holdings Inc. Copyright Charly Records. Marketed and Manufactured Charly Records Ltd. Licensed from Charly Records International APS.

Side 1 Contains
Wild Woman (Wade & Dick)
Bop Pills (Macy Skipper)
Fire Engine Red (Jimmy Williams)
Sonny Boy (Jimmy Williams)
Watch That Stuff (Macy Skipper)
Sentimental Fool (Barbara Pittman)
Tootsie (Carl McVoy)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Slow Rock And Roll (Macy Skipper)
I Won’t Be Rockin Tonight (Jean Chapel)
Red Velvet (The Kirby Sisters)
Welcome To The Club (Jean Chapel)
Rock And Roll Cinnamon Tree (Maggie Sue Wimberly)
Call Me Anything But Call Me (Maggie Sue Wimberly)
Voice Of A Fool (Barbara Pittman)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1024 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Marketed and manufactured, phonographic copyright and licensed by Charly Records Ltd.

Side 1 Contains
Chains Of Love (2) (Gene Simmons)
Bop Bop Baby (Wade & Dick)
Take Me To That Place (Jack Earls)
My Gal Mary-Ann (Jack Earls)
She's My Baby (Billy Riley)
Come On Little Mama (3) (Ray Harris)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Tryin' To Get To You (Roy Orbison)
Take And Give (Slim Rhodes)
She's Gone Away (Ernie Barton)
Do What I Do (Slim Rhodes)
Red Cadillac And A Black Mustache (3) (Warren Smith)
Eight Wheel (Edwin Bruce)
Rock Boppin' Baby (Edwin Bruce)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1025 mono

To audition of the Sun Record Company was reputed difficult and only top cat performers made it. Sam Phillips with his unerring ear and eye for talents quickly put the chosen newcomers to work in sessions destined for single releases. However, changes public taste, the rapid evolution in popular music styles and the all too often suggestive lyrics, stopped most of these projects. Material of inestimable value was never issued and the new arrivals took their chances elsewhere on other labels; even current songs by established Sun artists stayed unreleased. Sam Phillips was demanding of his artists although he cut 'en ''live''. Just listen here to the Ray Harris's wild performance ''Greenback Dollar'' out from an alternative session in early 1957, including Wayne Cogswell (guitar), Marvin Pepper (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums), and Jerry Lee Lewis (piano). Sam really knew what we like and made the Cats do it right. He is the first Sun star of them all!

Luke McDaniel, Grand Ole Opry performer is one of those vital country cats who fully participated in the transformation of hillbilly music into rockabilly. After his great hillbilly and hillbilly boogie single release on the labels Trumpet and King, Luke and his band played their in September 1956 when recording the two rockabilly masterpieces, Go Ahead Baby'' and ''Uh! Baby''.

On January 6, 1957, Luke McDaniel made new sessions with some of the best Sun musicians such as Roland Janes (guitar), Clayton Perkins (bass), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano), W.S. Holland (drums), and Martin Willis or possibly John Ace Cannon (sax). He cut the two great rockin' tunes ''High High High'' and ''My Baby Don't Rock'' with the fine rockin' country side ''What I Tell My Heart'' (included in album ''Rockin' Rollin' Country Style'' (Sun LP 1030). ''High High High'' coupled with a recut of ''Uh! Baby'' appeared on his first Sun release (Charly Sun 620). Under the name of Jeff Daniels, Luke McDaniels also recorded for the Miladee label before movin'' on to Venus, Astro, and Big Howdy.

Kenny Parchman, from Madison County, Tennessee, made his first Sun recording session on January 5, 1957. Using the same personel as Luke McDaniel the following day, he performed ''Crazy Love'' and ''Treat Me Right''. A subsequent session produced also ''You Call Everybody Darlin'''. However, different musicians, probably including some of his own band, are heard on his unique cut ''Get It Off Your Mind'' recorded on April 10 on were ''What's The Reason'' and the recut of ''Treat Me Right'' included in next album releases. Kenny than possibly split momentarily from Sun to record for the Jim Stewart's Jaxon label ''Treat Me Right''/''Don't You Know'' (Jaxon 504) as his first single release. His second single ''Get It Off Your Mind''/''Sattellite Hop'' released on the Lonnie Blackwell's LU label based in Jackson, Tennessee, was probably recorded some months later in late 1957. Anyway, after August, no more sessions were done at Sun until Kenny came back in 1959 with new songs and recuts.

Most of the early 1957 tracks used piano, amplified guitar, vocal echo, making an incredible evolution in the sound. A good example comin' from on out-take box, is ''Look At That Moon'' by Carl Perkins. Its ''right'' recording date seems to be March 1957, when that certain Jackson Tennessee feel blow in the Sun recording studio.

Backed by Al Hopson and Sid Manker (guitar), Jimmy Lott (drums), Will Hopson or possibly Billy Riley (bass), Warren Smith is also singin' here a rock and roller ''Stop The World I'll Jump Off'' cut in his earliest session of ''Red Cadillac And Black Mustache'' during April 1957.

Some of the Gene Simmons material recorded late 1956 and early 1957, was released much later by Sam Phillips as the only one Gene Simmons' single ''Drinkin' Wine''/''I Done Told You'' (Sun 299). ''Money Money Money'' was recorded on January 3, 1957 followed by a session including ''Juice Fruit'' more musically evolved with a more pumpin' rock and roll beat. The personel of Gene Simmons is unknown, although Jimmy Van Eaton (drums), Roland Janes (guitar), and Marvin Pepper (bass) could be heard on these tracks, as they are on this album's closing early cut of ''All Night Rock'' by Glenn Honeycutt recorded late 1954 with some very strong drum work.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering and liner notes by Ding Dong.
*- Previously Unissued.

Side 1 Contains
Go Ahead Baby (Luke McDaniel)*
Uh! Babe (Luke McDaniel)*
High High High (Luke McDaniel)
Treat Me Right (Kenny Parchman)*
Love Crazy (Kenny Parchman)*
My Baby Don't Rock (Luke McDaniel)*
Greenback Dollar Watch And Chain (2) (Ray Harris)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
You Call Everybody Darlin' (Kenny Parchman)*
Loot At That Moon (Carl Perkins)
Get It Off Your Mind (Kenny Parchman)*
Stop The World I'll Jump Off (Warren Smith)*
Juice Fruit (Gene Simmons)*
Money Money Money (Gene Simmons)
All Night Rock (Gene Simmons)*
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1026 mono

The bulk of the recordings on this compilation were not originally released by Sun Records during its existence and several first appeared on ''Rockabilly Tunes''. Ken Cook's duet with Roy Orbison was originally issued on Phillips International in 1958 credited to Ken Cook. "Thinkin' Tonight Of My Blue Eyes" saw its first release on this album, as did Ray Harris's "Love Dumb Baby". The only song recorded on Sun containing the word "Rockabilly" was Hayden Thompson and Slim Rhodes's "Rockabilly Gal". Andy Anderson's "Johnny Valentine" and "Tough, Tough, Tough" saw their first release on this album and have since become iconic Sun recordings. Jimmy Wages did not have any of his Sun recordings issued until 1975. "Heartbreakin' Love" and "Take Me" were previously unissued, but their popularity was sufficient to bring Wages over to Britain to appear live. Tommy Ruick was another who never saw a release on Sun Records and his three sides on this album represent 75% of his Sun recordings. Narvel Felts, in common with a number of Sun artists, made the big time after leaving Sun, in his case in 1973. His recordings for the Memphis label remained unissued for some 20 odd years. Vintage photos of the artists and Ding Dong's detailed sleeve notes adorn the album.

Phonographic Copyright (P) Charly Holdings Inc. Copyright (c) Charly Records Ltd. marketed and Manufactured by Charly International APS.

Side 1 Contains
I Was A Fool (Roy Orbison)
Rockabilly Gal (Hayden Thompson)
Johnny Valentine (2) (Andy Anderson)
Tough Tough Tough (2) (Andy Anderson)
Love Dumb Baby (3) Ray Harris)
Heartbreakin' Love (Jimmy Wages)
Take Me (Jimmy Wages)
Original Sun Recordings

de 2 Contains
Take Me Thinkin' Tonite Of My Blue Eyes (2) (Ken Cook)
Don't Come Crying (Tommy Ruick)
Prisoner Of The Blues (Tommy Ruick)
Let 'Em Now (Tommy Ruick)
Lonely River (Narvel Felts)
Foolish Toughts (Narvel Felts)
Lonesome Feeling (Narvel Felts)
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1027 mono

Appearing as Sun's fleshiest and wildest performer, Sonny Burgess developed with the Pacers a unique musical style. Once again proof is audible on these great new album tracks recorded in 1957. After the 1956 sessions that produced exclusieve boogie, jive and rhythm and blues influenced material (Sun LP 1022). Sonny recording band, the pacers, still featured Kern Kennedy (piano), J.R. Hubbard (bass), Joe Lewis (rhythm guitar), and Russ Smith (piano). Although he didn't play the trumpet in sessions anymore, Jack Nance continued to tour with the group, which for Sonny ''was more a touring band than a recording one''. In cuttin' more country oriented material minus the trumpet, and using new equipment (fender and amplifier) Sonny and the Pacers radically changed their musical colour in their 1957 recordings.

The fast country rock cover of Hank William's ''My Bucket's Got A Hole In It'' on side 2 of this album features Jack Clement on acoustic guitar. It was recorded in August 1957 and came out coupled with the fine melancholic country balled ''Sweet Misery'' on Sonny's third release in December 1957 (Sun 285).

As evident by the many changes in their sound, the other tunes compiled here have emerged from several undated sessions. However, it is quite certain they were all recorded with drummer Russ Smith who left the Pacers to tour with Jerry Lee Lewis in late 1957.

Rhythm and blues songs such as Smiley Lewis's ''One Night'', Parker's ''Feel So Good'' and Crudup's ''So Glad Your Mine'', which is included here in it's original cut, possibly were recorded in the same session. Perhaps from a different session ''Mr. Blues'' is also an rhythm and blues with unusual drumming. It is nearer in sound to the two country flavoured rockers ''Tomorrow Night'' and ''Find My Baby For Me'', which have country piano, hard guitar solos and strong beat. Roy Orbison is heard in the background vocals of this last track.

From another undated period comes more of this fine Burgess ''mixture of country and rock and roll. This new blend features a more dominant boogie woogie piano, heavy back beat and sizzling guitar solos. It is included on the A side of this album with some of the rockinest, dancinest versions of country standards'' Hand Me Down My Walking Cane (All My Sins Are Taken Away)'' and ''My Bucket's Got A Hole In It'' (2) or rhythm and blues tunes like ''My Babe'', as well as Sonny's great original country jumpers and rockers: ''Truckin' Down The Avenue'', ''Don't Be That Way'' and the up-tempo tune ''Higher'', with a Jimmy Reed beat and a hollering vocal. ''Sweet Misery'' seems also to be recorded in this period.

Traveling in a Cadillac limousine the band continually worked shows, mostly with Johnny Cash and The Tennessee two. They also toured with Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Riley and the Little Green Men''. On one of those tours Roy Orbison without his musicians joined Sonny Burgess and the Pacers. At this time, Sonny wanted to dye his hair white. Strangely, the peroxide his wife used, turned it red instead. Sonny then want red whole hag, sportin' a fine red guitar, high felting' red suit and red ''blue suede shoes''!

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Marketed and manufactured, phonographic copyright and licensed by Charly Records Ltd.

*- Previously Unissued

Side 1 Contains
Don't Be That Way*
Oh! Mama
Truckin' Down The Avenue
All My Sins Are Taken Away
My Babe
My Bucket's Got A Hole In It*
Sweet Misery
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
So Glad You're Mine*
Mr. Blues
Tomorrow Night
Feel So Good
Find My Baby For Me
My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
One Night
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1029 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

*- Previously Unissued.

Side 1 Contains
Rockin' Bandit (Ray Smith)*
Judy (2) (Rudy Grayzell)*
Shake Around (Tommy Blake)
You Better Believe It (Tommy Blake)
That's The Way I Feel (Jimmy Pritchett)*
Don't You Worry (Sid Watson)*
With Your Love With Your Kiss (Johnny Powers)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Dear John (Warren Smith)
Sweet Sweet Girl (Warren Smith)
Sweet Woman (Edwin Bruce)
I Dig You Baby (Tommy Blake)
Sweetie Pie (Tommy Blake)
Be Mine All Mine (Johnny Powers)
Doll Baby (Edwin Bruce)
I'm Evil (Johnny Powers)*
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1030 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

*- Previously Unissued

Side 1 Contains
Drivin' (Mack Vickery)*
Fool Proof (Mack Vickery)
Have You Ever Been Lonely (Mack Vickery)*
My One Desire (4) (Jimmy Williams)
All I Want Is You (4) Jimmy Williams)
Walkin' Shoes (Onie Wheeler)
That's All (Onie Wheeler)
Trumpet (2) (Malcolm Yelvington)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
What I Tell My Heart (Luke McDaniel)*
Don't Come Crying (2) (Tommy Ruick)*
First And Last Love (Malcolm Yelvington)*
Mr. Blues (Malcolm Yelvington)*
Tell'em Off (Onie Wheeler)
Jump Right Out Of This Juke Box (Onie Wheeler)
Bonapart's Retreat (Onie Wheeler)*
Original Sun Recordings

1985 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1031 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

*- Previously Unissued

Side 1 Contains
Your Lovin' Man (Vernon Taylor)
This Kind Of Love (Vernon Taylor)
Please Be Mine (Tracy Pendarvis)*
Tonight Will Be The Last Night (3) (Vernon Taylor)
So Young (Ray Smith)
Mad At You (Mack Self)
Forever Yours (Ray Smith)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Me And My Rhythm Guitar (Johnny Powers)
Waiting For You (Johnny Powers)
Huh Huh Oh Yeah (Tracy Pendarvis)*
Love Love Memory (Mack Self)*
Dear John (3) (Warren Smith)*
I'm Moving On Golden Rocket (3) (Warren Smith)*
Mystery Train (Vernon Taylor)
Eight Wheel (Edwin Bruce)
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1035 mono

A diehard lover of authentic rock and roll music, Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier) was France's leading rock and roll disc jockey in the early 1980s when he produced an acclaimed series of 10" albums for Charly Records compiled from recordings made for Sam Phillips' legendary Sun label.

Ding Dong then launched into another series of 12" albums for Charly, following the same formula that had been so successful in the 10" series. Mini biographies of most of the artists are included on the sleeve back, written by Ding Dong, are vintage photos of the featured artists appear on both sides of the sleeve. Several classic original Sun singles were included on this set: Dick Penner's ''Your Honey Love'', Rudy Grayzell's ''Judy'', Ray Smith's ''Right Behind You Baby'' and ''You Made A Hit''.

Previously unissued sides: Ray Smith's ''Why Why Why'' (alternate take) and ''Break Up'', Eddie Bond's ''Show Me'', ''Broke My Guitar'' and ''This Ole Heart Of Mine'', Roy Hall's ''Christine'', ''I Lost My Baby'' and ''Sweet Love On My Mind''.

Phonographic Copyright (P) Charly Holdings Inc. Copyright (c) Charly Records Ltd. marketed and Manufactured by Charly International APS.

Side 1 Contains
Your Honey Love (Dick Penner)
Willing And Ready (Ray Smith)
Judy (Rudy Grayzell)
Shake Around (Ray Smith)
You Made A Hit (Ray Snith)
Right Behind You Baby (Ray Smith)
Why, Why Why (Ray Snith)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Show Me (Eddie Bond)
Broke My Guitar (Eddie Bond)
Break Up (Ray Smith)
This Old Heart Of Mine (Eddie Bond)
Christine (Roy Hall)
Sweet Love On My Mind (Roy Hall)
I Lost My Baby (Roy Hall)
Original Sun Recordings

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1036 mono

Compilation of 14 tracks by Kenny Parchman, Alton & Jimmy, Glenn Honeycutt, Ken Cook, Wanda Ballman, James Wood, and Roger Fakes.

The 14 tracks are recorded during the second part of the 1950's, this album is a little pop rock flavoured. However, none of the performances feature exaggerated pop singing with overdubbed backing vocals. The album is nicely main all along its two sides and will satisfy every rock and roll lover or other Sun fans.

The protege of Roy Orbison, Ken Cook is featured in his 1958 cut of ''I Was A Fool'' (PI 3534) which despite aural evidence is constantly confused with the one of Roy Orbison (Sun LP 1026) recorded one year earlier with unknown musicians including a double bass player. On the two different cuts, Roy and Ken sing in duet. Roy is the composer of "I Was A Fool'' as mentioned on the Phillips International label of Ken Cook's 45 release, although ''Problem Child", which he also recorded, is signed Phillips on his Sun LP 1960's release. Ken Cook's version of ''Problem Child'' comes from the earliest session which they had recorded together in March 29, April 2, 1957.

Bill Justis arranged the session of this unique cut of Roger Fakes. Fakes was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and had moved to Memphis in the late 1940's. In the middle 1950's, he started a band called ''The Spinners" which soon later toured with the Bill Justis band playing on some local dances. Roger Fakes' ''Somehow We'll Find A Way'' is heard here in its previously unissued best take. That session took place on August 28, 1958 and featured Sid Manker and Billy Riley on guitars; Stan Kesler on bass; Jimmy Van Eaton on drums; and Charlie Rich on piano.

Born on a farm in Arkansas, the female singer and songwriter Wanda Ballman recorded this fine coupling of ballad country rockers that shows she had great vocal potential. It may be possible that Sam planned a release. Wanda's mother was singing and playing the guitar and was a good music teacher for the little Wanda who made her first radio appearance in Jonesboro, Arkansas, when aged only 13. Later, she married Charles Ballman, and Wanda moved to the West, and started to write songs and sing "mostly to entertain herself'. At first she sent her composition ''I'm Sorry, I'm Not Sorry'' to Sam Phillips before meeting Roy Acuff and sending him more of her songs to Acuff Rose Publication in Nashville. As a follow up to her success with Carl Perkins' release of ''I'm Sorry, I'm Not Sorry'' she had several of her compositions recorded by Kitty Wells, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride and other country and gospel artists. She didn't work much as an entertainer but mode some TV and radio appearances. She continues to play and sing for church groups sometimes.

James Woods, probably backed by his own band, may have recorded these three unique tracks on an audition tape during 1958/1959. Nothing is actually known about him except for mentions made of his name on the tape box and of his Mississippian origins on the outtake listing. The listeners will find on this album that Alton and Jimmy's earliest recordings featured piano and saxophone playing in the back up. This material is as good as their unique release of Sun 323 recorded two months later in a more pop style.

Glenn Honeycutt's undubbed version of ''I'll Wait Forever'' is a great rock-a-ballad quite better without the backing vocals. ''Be Wise Don't Cry' which he recorded on December 22, 1956 was also probably destined to be overdubbed. Its track was isolated in a tape box credited to Glenn Honeycutt. It is not perfect but still quite acceptable.

The two titles of the incredible Kenny Parchman are recorded in a similar approach to his Jaxon versions. This second Sun cut of ''Treat Me Bight'' is once again different to the two others previously issued on Sun LP's 1025 and 1038. It fully justifies its release. There's s duet in the vocals on ''Don't You Know'' that shows Kenny was also part of those Sam Philip's duet projects aiming at a more pop market with performers of Hayden Thompson, Ken Cook and Roy Orbison all recorded in that some month of April 1957. '''on, You Know'' is the copyrighted Jaxon title which stayed unreleased on Sun and is still entitled ''What's The Reason'' on the Sun listing. Anyway, the best take of the Sun cut is also here previously unissued and we have this time good guitar playing' on it! These Sun session files detailed on this back cover do not agree at all with the ones recently 'fully' revised and published. These are the results of my personal analysis which I completed during my searches in the Sun vaults back in February and March 1983. Also these discographies do not make references to any record of substandard pressing.

- Ding Dong January 1988

Marketed and Manufactured by Charly Records.

Side 1 Contains
I Was A Fool (Ken Cook)
Why Do I Love You (Alton & Jimmy
I Just Don't Know (Alton & Jimmy)
Don't You Know (Kenny Parchman)
Treat Me Right (2) (Kenny Parchman)
Problem Child (Ken Cook)
I'll Wait Forever (Glenn Honeycutt)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Heartbreak's Girl (Wanda Ballman)
Ain't Got A Worry On My Mind (Wanda Ballman)
Hey Mister Blues (James Wood)
Somehow We'll Find A Way (Roger Fakes)
Gonna Give A Party (James Wood)
Lock You In My Heart (James Wood)
Be Wise Don't Cry (Glenn Honeycutt)
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1037 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

*- Previously Unissued

Side 1 Contains
No Teardrops Tonight (Carl McVoy)*
Ootchie Kootchie (2) (Sonny Burgess)*
Sally's Got A Sister (Bill Pinky)*
You're Just My Kind (Will Mercer)
High School Rock (Bill Pinky)*
After The Hop (Bill Pinky)*
Catty Wampus (Tuff) (John Ace Cannon)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Bo Diddley (Jimmy Van Eaton)*
Willie Brown (Mack Self)
Crazy Baby (2) (Ken Cook)
Ooh Wee (Brad Suggs)
Hey Good Lookin' (Eddie Cash)*
College Man (Billy Riley with Bill Justis Band)*
Stagger Lee (Unknown)*
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1038 mono

This new Sun album package contains some of the most advanced rockin' sounds and singin' styles recorded during the late fifties. The tracks are of course high volume recordings mostly cut in obscure sessions.

Tommy Blake and His Rhythm Rebels are pictured here in Florida at Jimmy Rodgers' memorial day in 1957 whilst they were still under RCA contract. Having previously starred with four tracks on the album''Shake Around'' (Sun LP 1029), they appear here with ''Lordy Hoody'' b-side of their August 1957 Sun release, Oscar Willis rhythm and blues tune ''Flat Foot Sam'' (Sun CFM 513). Obviously ''Lordy Hoody'' follows the idea of RCA's release ''Mr. Hoody, and is one of the most spirited performances on this album.

Ken Cook's first session in mid-1957 featuring, ''I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes (Jenny)'' (Sun LP 1025) and ''Don't Be Running Wild Problem Child'' (Sun LP 1036) were followed probably, in late 1957 or early 1958by these two cuts of ''Crazy Baby'' and ''I Fell In Love''. Shortly after, Ken Cook recut ''Crazy Baby'' (Sun LP 1037) with a saxophone and different musicians that the unknowns used here.

Curtis Hoback had a good rockabilly release in 1957 on the Jackson, Tennessee label LU Records ''Tomdealey Rock And Roll''/''China Rock''. Here are his two first Sun cuts recorded probably with his own band, The Star Dusters during 1959. ''Walkin' With My Best Friend'' and Tied To Your Apron String'' (This last title was original recorded in January 1959 on Kepp Records (267) by Billy The Kid, who also had an instrumental release on Jan Records). Hoback recorded elsewhere some more material included titles such as ''Hey Everybody'', ''Have Mercy'' and ''The Whole Towns Talking''. These later titles, recently discovered sound late fifties, even though''Whole Town''could have been recorded earlier than this two Sun tracks. Hoback recorded more material through late 1959 and 1960 probably in the new Sun studio in Memphis at 639 Madison Avenue. ''My Bonnie'', For All I'm Worth'' and ''The King Is Back'' and some demos such as ''Trip Into Love'' and ''Love And Let Live (Tell Me)''. These later performances are in more of a pop vein.

Kenny Parchman probably made his recording debut at Sun with his original cuts of ''Treat Me Right'' and ''Love Crazy Baby'' on January 5, 1957. (These tracks were later over-dubbed with backing vocals and exist in this form in the Sun vaults. In April, Kenny cut ''Get It Off Your Mind'' and ''What's The Reason''. In August a new session produced a recut of ''Treat Me Right'' including slow and fast cuts (The fast cut and best take is packaged with ''What's The Reason'' on Sun LP 1036; the three other preceding that are compiled on Sun LP 1025.

With noting coming out from all this, Kenny, probably after August went on to Jaxson Records to cut ''Don't You Know (What The Reason''/''Treat Me Right'' (Jaxon 504). In fact, as he prospected the record companies he had also recorded possibly for the Jaxon label, demos of ''Love Crazy Baby'' and ''Feel Like Rockin'''. They are undated and sound like garage recording. I found them in the Sun vaults in the Pee Wee Maddox tape box originally Ernie Chaffin's track ''Feelin' Low'' recorded 12/10/56 and transferred to another tape box. They will to the light with a burch of other rockabilly obscurities on Sunlite album comin' up. Following this possibly Jaxon session, Kenny made this third comeback at Sun, cutting this second version of ''Love Crazy Baby'' and three unique takes of ''Feel Like Rockin'''and ''Tennessee Zip''. Although undated, these three cuts show some similarities in the instrumental parts with the undated original cut of ''You Cal Everybody Darling'' (Sun LP 1025). Maybe they we're all recorded in the same period, possibly during late 1957. In this case it should be later that Kenny Parchman, backed by his High Hats who featured a saxophonist, went on to record ''Get It Off Your Mind''/''Satelite Hop'' an instrumental on LU records. (Curiously, this last record also used the same reference as the Jaxon release: Jaxon 504). Even though Sam Phillips didn't release his material. Kenny made a fourth come back at Sun on October 5, 1959 to record with a dominant electric bass sound this second cut of ''You Call Everybody's Darlin'' and this third cut of ''Treat Me Nice''.

On to Sun from the famous Jaxon label come Carl Mann and one member of his Kool Kats guitarist Eddie Bush (Front cover photo features them with drummer Jimmy Martin who had headed Ramsey Kerney's recording band on ''Rock The Bop''/''Red Bobby Socks'' (Jaxon 501) Sunlite LP Carl Mann's release ''Gonna Rock And Roll Tonite''/''Rokin' Love'' (Jaxon 502) and Eddie Bush's ''Confused About You''/''Little Darlin''' (Jaxon 503) were probably recorded in the middle of 1957. Carl Mann was born in Huntington, Tennessee in 1942. Inspired by country music, he started his own band when he was about 14 as the rhythm guitarist and vocalist. Carl Mann, who also plays piano on his Sun tracks, made his first Sun sessions during early 1959, backed by W.S. Holland (drums), Robert Oatswell (electric bass), and Eddie Bush (guitar). ''Mona Lisa''/''Foolish One'' were released on Sun's subsidiary label Phillips International (PI 3539).

These first sessions saw the recording of ''Look At That Moon'', and these two previously unissued tracks ''Some Enchanted Evening'' and ''Take These Chains From My Heart'' and ''also ''Pretend'' that was couples with the (estimated August 1959) version of ''Rockin' Love'' (PI 3546). On October 12, 1959, Carl Mann cut again ''Some Enchanted Evening'' with a different approach and Eddie Bush recorded ''Baby I Don't Care''/''Vanished'' later released with overdubbed backin' vocals on PI 3558. It is a scarce release that is not as good as this previously unissued ''Hey Baby Doll'' recorded on January 8, 1960, possibly at the new Sun studio at 639 Madison Avenue in Memphis.

Little know is about Alton Lott and Jimmy Harrell, both guitarist and vocalist backed by Billy Riley on electric bass and Jimmy Van Eaton on drums. They close this ''Feel Like Rockin''' album with ''No More Crying The Blues'' (b-sided of the ballad ''Have Faith In My Love'' also entitled ''Longer walk'' their unique release on Sun 323, recorded in June 1959. From an earlier session featuring sax playing – their two other interesting numbers ''I Just Don't Know'' and ''Why Do I Love You'' are packaged in the Sun LP 1036.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. June 1986.

*- Previously Unissued

Side 1 Contains
Walking With My Best Friend (Curtis Hoback)*
Tied To Your Apron Strings (Curtis Hoback)*
Crazy Baby (2) (Ken Cook)*
Lordy Hoody (Tommy Blake)
I Fell In Love (2) (Ken Cook)*
Feel Like Rockin' (Kenny Parchman)*
Tennessee Zip (Kenny Parchman)*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Rockin' Love (Carl Mann)
Some Enchanted Evening (Carl Mann)*
Take These Chains From My Heart (Carl Mann)*
Hey, Baby Doll (Eddie Bush)*
Love Crazy Baby (2) (Kenny Parchman)*
You Call Everybody Darlin' (2) (Kenny Parchman)*
Treat Me Right (3) (Kenny Parchman)*
No More Crying The Blues (Alton & Jimmy)
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1039 mono

When Sun's crop of rockabilly singers forsook the shaking music they unusually reverted back to their first love, country music. Sonny Burgess was the exception. His passion was rhythm and blues. He had a true rhythm and blues voice like a tenor sax in full cry. It was short on subtlety and delicate shadings - but a magnificent rock and roll instrument. Soon after he quit the music business, Burgess took a salesman's job in a store, and still talks with enthusiasm of an old black guy who used to bring in his guitar, and play loping Jimmy Reed riffs. Sonny would sit and jam with him. Perhaps a blues album is the great Sonny Burgess album that has yet to be made.

Born near Newport, Arkansas on May 28, 1931, Albert "Sonny" Burgess grew up on a farm, and developed his musical tastes listening to the Grand Old Opry and the Memphis country stations, taking in rhythm and blues from WLAC in Nashville and WDIA in Memphis along the way. Sonny did his hitch the Army, and returned to Newport with the thought of a career in baseball, or failing that, farming. He worked for a spell in a box factory, and slowly put together a semi-pro band that went under several names and through several incarnations, eventually calling themselves the Moonlighters. He was back working on the farm when, as he put it, "farming started interfering with my music". In an early version of the group, Sonny was the guitarist, Paul Whaley handled the vocals in a Hank Thompson style, Kern Kennedy played piano, Russ Smith was on drums, Johnny Ray Hubbard played bass, and Bob Armstrong handled the accordion.

After Whaley went back to California, Sonny Burgess took over the vocals, and Armstrong eventually quit. There was no shortage of venues because Newport in Jackson County permitted liquor to be sold but was surrounded by dry counties; hence a number of nightclubs out of proportion with Newport's population.

They played local nightspots like the Silver Moon, Bob King's and Mike's club. They often played at King's on Friday night; Saturday night belonged to Punky Coldwell, a saxophonist who led a racially mixed jazz dance band.

On December 19, 1955, Sonny Burgess and the Moonlighters played in Swifton, Arkansas, with Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. After a few years at Sun Records, in 1959, Sonny Burgess joined in Conways Twitty's band, and Bobby Crafford took over the Pacers, his band at Sun. Burgess stayed with Twitty until the move to Oklahoma City, when Twitty decided to re-cast himself as a born again hillbilly. Sonny returned to Newport, Arkansas, took a day job for a while before resuming his career as a professional musician with the Kings IV (subsequently the Kings V). He played clubs in and around Newport, and on Sundays he and his group would drive to Memphis to check out the rhythm and blues bands at Sunbeam Mitchell's Paradise Club.

"There was us and maybe a table of college kids", remembered Sonny Burgess, "and the rest of the room would be blacks. Willie Mitchell, Bowlegs Miller and the musicians made us feel real welcome, but then toward the end the racial thing got real tense and we stopped going. We never saw rhythm and blues bands in the 1950s - and that was the only chance we got to see the real good rhythm and blues acts". It was not until 1970 that Sonny Burgess gave up music as his primary source of income.

The are a raft of reasons why Sonny Burgess never made it. Part of the problem may have been that he was never tempted to leave Newport. Nashville never crossed his mind; Memphis and Los Angeles did, but he stayed put with his 'little town baby'. Part of the problem may have been that he was too raw - his natural sound shaded too close to rhythm and blues. There was also a measure of sheer bad luck. If a disc jockey in a trend-setting market had picked up on one of his singles for Sun and spun it relentlessly, Sonny could have had a hit. As it was, he accepted the verdict of the marketplace with relatively good grace and became a salesman. Interviewed in 1971 he could see no place for himself in the then current music scene.

However, fifteen years later, Burgess became one of the founding members of the Sun Rhythm Section band with whom he has toured far and wide and enjoyed some lately come acclaim. The long hiatus from the business ensured that Sonny Burgess had not burned himself out. His music still sports the contagious quality that we find on his career.

Despite the fact that Sonny Burgess dislikes all but a few of his Sun recordings, it is upon them that his reputation rests. Sam Phillips' enthusiasm for him was well placed. Sonny did not owe an obvious stylistic debt to anyone and he captured the freewheeling spirit of early rock and roll. It is a truism (perhaps never truer): They simply do not make records like this any more.

In 1999, Sonny Burgess was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of Europe. In 1998, the Smithsonian Institute made a video called ''Rockin' On The River'' that brought Burgess and the Legendary Pacers together again. In addition to Kennedy, the group now included Bobby Crafford, Jim Aldridge, Fred Douglas, J. C. Caughron, and Charles Watson II. They made two album-length recordings in the late 1990s, ''They Came From The South And Still Rockin And Rollin''. In 2002, they were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, Tennessee. In 2005, they performed at numerous events in Arkansas, Texas, and Tennessee and toured Europe.

Between performances, Sonny Burgess and his wife live in Newport, where he has spent most of his life. He currently hosts a radio show, We Wanna Boogie, for KASU in Jonesboro (Craighead County). Burgess was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on May 7, 2011. He made an album with Dave Alvin of the Blasters in 1992 that featured an unrecorded Springsteen song. He's out there for the right reasons: he loves it. There's no escaping the fact that Sonny's entire career has been predicated by those few singles he made at Sun. His feelings about the label are understandably mixed. His original singles didn't sell, and Sun's licensees have issued material that he considers unworthy. It still comes down to just three or four singles. Forty years ago, they brought two pallid Englishmen to Newport, Arkansas, they still take Sonny Burgess wherever wants to go.

Burgess had two brothers and three sisters. He married Joann Adams in 1956 and they had two sons, Peyton and John. In July 2017, Burgess suffered a fall at his home. He died the following month on August 18, 2017 in a Little Rock, Arkansas hospital, at the age of 88.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. June 1986.

Side 1 Contains
Itchy (Instrumental)
Always Will
Little town Baby
Changed My Mind (So Glad You're Mind)
A Kiss Goodnite
Sadie's Back In Town
Thunderbird (Instrumental)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
So Soon
Smootchin' Jill
Sweet Jenny
Tomorrow Never Comes
Ooychie Kootchie
You're Not The One For Me
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1041 mono

Jerry Lee Lewis, one of the all time rock and rollers is brought to you here with his recording debuts. Jerry Lee was born on December 29, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana. The second of four children of Elmo and Mary Ether Lewis, he was brought up in a close lovin' family which emphasized the importance of living by strong religions belief. Beside farming cotton and corn the Lewis family was very musical and, naturally, Jerry Lee started his career very young. Singin' and practicing' his father's guitar at eight, he played piano at nine. This piano was a used stark upright that young Jerry Lee worked on for hours every day, building it up to a total obsession. Playing' and singing' in church with family and friends, he also listened to all kinds of music at the time through local juke-boxes and then radio: big band swing, white gospel, cowboy songs and crooners. He showed on amazing ability to remember melodies and developed his distinctive ''Lewis boogie woogie'' style as a very self-thought musician. Full of enthusiasm during their teens, Jerry Lee and his best friends and cousins Mickey Gillet and Jimmy Lee Swaggart, frequently, The Black Night Club, Honey's Big House, in Ferriday to hear the rhythm and blues performers. At thirteen, Jerry Lee played his first might club engagement at the Hill Top Club in Natchez, Mississippi. The next year, in 1949, he made his first real public appearance in a car lot in Ferriday, supplaying entertainment with a country and western band for a local Ford agency promoting new cars. Jerry Lee performed the rhythm and blues hit ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee''. Later he played the Blue cat club in Natchez then the Wagon Wheel where he worked with a trio in 1954. Giving credit to a third close friend of Jerry Lee, Cecil Harelson, it was in 1951 that they went to New Orleans and paid, with their own money to cut the first Jerry Lee demo in a small studio called B & J Records.

Upon leavin' high school, Jerry Lee enrolled in 1952 in the Bible Institute of Waxahatchie, Texas, to be a gospel preacher. During a night school assembly in the chapel, Jerry Lee performed a boogie-woogie version of ''My God Is Real''. The faculty didn't appreciate it and suspended him.

In December 1954, Jerry Lee went to Shreveport for a country package tour audition and although he didn't get the job, he recorded two demo songs in the KWKH Studios that were broadcasting the Hayride Show, ''I Don't Hurt No More'' and ''If I Ever Needed You''. Later, following a successful performance at the Louisiana State Fair, Jerry Lee went to Nashville to tour the record companies – without results as far as we know. However, Roy Hall hired him to play and sing in his own club ''The Music Box'' featuring the Grand Ole Opry Stars. Finally, by the end of 1956, Jerry Lee who had read about Sam Phillips decided to record at Sun.

After selling all the eggs in the farm for money, Jerry Lee traveled to Memphis and auditioned in September of 1956 at Sun, with Jack Clement as the recording engineer. From this audition one of the songs, Ray Price's country hit ''Crazy Arms'' was recut when J.W. Brown brought back Jerry Lee with his composition of ''End Of The Road'' in October. This session took place with drummer Jimmy Van Eaton and guitarist Roland Janes. The two songs came out on Sun (259) in December 1956. The final take of ''Crazy Arms'' without guitar playin' and released as the A-side of the single entered the low reaches of the national country charts before the end of the year.

Jerry Lee's Sun recording sessions are mostly undated. The A-side of this album consists of material that exists in the Sun vaults in unique takes, except for this earlier cut of Gene Autry song ''You're The Only Star'' surviving in two takes. Among these country standards is one traditional, ''Silver Threads, arranged by Jerry Lee himself. These two last songs with ''Born To Lose'' are said to be from the first session. Hank Williams' ''Long Gone Lonesome Blues'' and Jimmy7 Rodgers ''My Carolina Sunshine Girl'' which have a guitar similar sound to these recordings have been probably recorded in January 1957. The other side includes the ''pumpened cuts'' that Jerry Lee ever recorded with a sound evolving a bit probably during February and March 1957. These are: stormin' performances of another Gene Autry country song arrangements on blues and country favorites from the 1930s and 1940s, an rhythm and blues hit, Jack Clement's composition, ''It'll Be Me'' and above ol' two more Jerry Lee Lewis compositions, ''Lewis Boogie'' and ''Pumpin' Piano Rock''. Only two of these songs came out in mid-1958 on original Sun releases. The slower version of ''It'll Be Me'' packaged in the first Lewis album (Sun LP 1230), and the very frenzied cut of ''Lewis Boogie'', B-sided to the comedy narration ''The Return Of Jerry Lee'' (Sun 301).

Most of the rock and rollers in the 1950s, tried to create an original identity with which to enter into show business, but this pumpin' piano cat was a natural. That's why Sam Phillips the first single's label, to read ''Jerry Lee Lewis with his pumpin' piano.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. June 1986.

Side 1 Contains
Born To Lose
My Carolina Sunshine Girl
Long Gone Lonesome Blues
Crazy Arms
Silver Threads (Amongst The Gold)
You're The Only Star (In My Blue Heaven)
End Of The Road
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Ole Pal Of Yesterday
Little Green Valley
It'll Be Me
All Night Long
Pumpin' Piano Rock
Sixty Minute
Lewis Boogie
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1042 mono

A diehard lover of authentic rock and roll music, Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier) was France's leading rock and roll disc jockeyin the early 1980s when he produced an acclaimed series of 10" albums for Charly Records compiled from recordings made for Sam Phillips' legendary Sun label. Ding Dong then launched into another series of 12" albums for Charly, following the same formula that had been so successful in the 10" series. The sleeve notes by Ding Dong give a vivid snapshot of Jerry Lee's activities during the period of the recordings on this album.

Marketed and Manufactured by Charly Records.

Side 1 Contains
You Are My Sunshine
Shame On You
I Don't Love Nobody
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee
When The Saints Go Marchin' In
It'll Be Me
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Deep Elem Blues
Singin' The Blues
Honey Hush
Lewis Boogie
You Win Again
Hand Me Down My Walkin' Cane
Old Time Religion
The Crawdad Song
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1043 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. 1986. Front cover design: EPA-107 original release.

Recorded at 706 Union Avenue Memphis, Tennessee in 1957 and1958.
Backed by Roland Janes and Jimmy Van Eaton.
Bass players: Billy Riley and J. W. Brown.

Side 1 Contains
I'm Feeling Sorry
You're The Only Star (In My Blue Heaven)
I'll Keep On Loving You
Cool Cool Ways (Sexy Ways)
Milkshake Mademoiselle
Mean Woman Blues
Great Balls Of Fire
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Turn Around
Rock 'N' Roll Ruby
Ubangi Stomp
Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
Down The Line
Great Balls Of Fire (Movie Version)
Original Sun Recordings

1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1044 mono

By January 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis colossal success was still on the road with a new TV performance on Patty Page's Big Record Show. Later the month, Jerry Lee recorded hard rock and roll numbers backed by Billy Riley (guitar), J.W. Brown (bass), and Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums). Among these, tracks ''Breathless'' and ''Down The Line'' came out as his fourth release (Sun 288), although the raw cuts of ''Cool Cool Ways'' (Sexy Ways), a Hank Ballard tune, and ''Milkshake Mademoiselle'', another Jack Hammer composition remained unissued. (These four last tracks are included in the 12'' album ''The Great Ball Of Fire'' (Sun LP 1043). In late January, Jerry Lee, newly managed by Oscar Davis, Hank Williams' ex-manager, was touring in Australia with Buddy Holly & The Crickets. In February and March he made more TV appearances on Dick Clark's American bandstand and the Saturday Night Show, performing' ''Breathless''. During this period, Jerry Lee also appeared in Chicago for The Phillip Morris Country Show, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the War Memorial Auditorium with Bill Haley & The Comets, Buddy Holly & The Crickets and The Everly Brothers, and in Denver for a show featuring Bill Justis and Bobby helm. Next came Alan Freed's Big Beat tour starting late March at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater in New York and ending in Newark on May 10. (They were 45 shows co-starring Jerry Lee with Chuck Berry, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Larry Williams and Buddy Holly & The Crickets). On April 10th, Alan Freed had produced Jerry Lee on the Dave Corraway's Today Show on NBC, where he sang ''Down The Line''. Soon after ''Breathless'' topped the charts, given Jerry Lee his gold record.

Even though, Jerry Lee was continually under the spotlight he continued to record at Sun squeezing' it in between TV spots and tours. Most of this album's tracks come from sessions done in February, March and late of 1958. They've been recorded with Billy Riley (guitar and bass), J.W. Brown (bass), and Roland Janes (guitar), Jimmy M. Van Eaton and Otis Jeff (drums). They are mostly rock and roll standards, but there was also songs, composed specially for Jerry Lee such as Jack Hammer's ''Milkshake Mademoiselle'', which appears here in its final take and third cut. You'll also find Roland Janes' composition ''Put Me Down'' and Ron Hargrave's co-composition with Jerry Lee, called ''High School Confidential''. On February 14, Jerry lee recorded 14 takes of that song. One of these, by far the best (I discovered back in 1983), which closes the first side of this album, is previously unissued. In April, Jerry Lee recorded a second cut of ''High School Confidential'' which was the title song of the MGM movie where he appeared singin' and swingin' it from the back of a movin' Flatbed truck. ''High School Confidential'' final track coupled with the ballad ''Fool Like Me'' was released on Sun 296 in May, and reached the charts, rapidly makin' is another million seller.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. 1986. Track A8 is first issued.

Side 1 Contains
Don't Be Cruel
Good Rockin' Tonight
Pink Pedal Pushers
Ooby Dooby
Hound Dog
Jailhouse Rock
Wild One (Real Wild Child)
High School Confidential
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
I Forgot To Remember To Forget
Break Up
Put Me Down
Milkshake Mademoiselle
Carry On
Let The Good Times Roll
High School Confidential (Movie Version)
Original Sun Recordings

1987 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1045 mono

''Kickin' Up A Storm'', 15-track mono LP compilation of collectors sides from the Sun vaults, picture sleeve with extensive liner notes. The cover shows little of its years. LP compiled, mastered, design and liner notes by Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier). A7 track title printed on back cover: ''Hillbilly Fever''.

Manufactured by Charly Records Ltd. Marketed by Charly Records Ltd. Licensed from Charly Records International APS. Phonographic Copyright (P) Charly Holdings Inc. Copyright (c) Charly Records Ltd.

Side 1 Contains
Little Queenie
Friday Night
Frankie And Johnny
Big Blon Baby
Livin' Up A Storm
Hillbilly Fever
I Could Never Be Ashamed Of You
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
It All Depends
I'll Sail My Ship Alone
Bonnie B
As Long As I Live
Night Train To Memphis
Mexicali Rose
In The Mood (Instrumental)
Original Sun Recordings

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1046 mono

Carl Perkins was the first artist to score a Top 10 rockabilly hit in the States. The first artist to chart in the pop, rhythm and blues, and country charts with the same record ''Blue Suede Shoes'' in 1956. Major pioneer of rockabilly and rock n' roll whose guitar playing was an integral part of his success and who inspired George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Dave Edmunds, and countless other aspiring guitarists. A car crash on the way to New York to appear on the Perry Como Show, robbed Carl of national exposure and laid him up in hospital with multiple injuries when he should have been cashing in on the success of "Blue Suede Shoes". A successful song writer (he penned eight of the tracks on this release), he also wrote hits for the likes of Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and The Judds.

This release contains a previously unissued version of "Sweethearts Or Strangers". "Matchbox" is one of several of Carl's songs covered by the Beatles. "Put Your Cat Clothes On", a classic Perkins track that wasn't released until the 1970s, was covered by Brian Setzer of The Stray Cats. These sides, all recorded in 1957, highlight Carl at his finest, be it on country numbers like "Your True Love" or downhome rockers like "Dixie Fried" and "That's Right". Carl subsequently moved to Columbia Records but never quite recaptured the magic of his timeless Sun recordings. This Sun LP ''Put Your Cat Clothes On'' was compiled by France's leading disc jockey in the early 1980s, Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier).

Licensed from APS. Marketed and Distribution by Cargo Records Germany GmbH. Phonographic Copyright (p) Charly Acquisitions Ltd. Copyright (c) Charly Acquisitions Ltd. Remastered at Metropolis Mastering.

Side 1 Contains
Sweethearts Or Strangers
You Can Do No Wrong
Roll Over Beethoven
Put Your Cat Clothes On
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Your True Love
Her Love Rubbed Off
Pink Pedal Pushers
That's Right
Look At That Moon
Glad All Over
Lend Me Your Comb
Original Sun Recording

1988 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1047 mono

France's leading disc jockey in the early 1980s, Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier) puts together a selection of recordings from Johnny Cash. The sleeve artwork features a host of vintage photos of Johnny Cash in his prime. Remastered from the original tapes, pressed on 180 gram vinyl and housed in old style tip-on cover. The sleeve artwork features a host of vintage photos of Johnny Cash in his prime.

Second only to Elvis Presley as the greatest star to emerge from Sun Records, Johnny Cash has become an true icon of American music. One of the first country artists to regularly cross over into the mainstream pop charts, Johnny Cash established his own unique minimalistic sound that was instantly recognisable. Backed by Luther Perkins on lead guitar and Marshall Grant on bass, Cash's sound was initially determined by the bands technical limitations. Between 1955 and 1961 he gave the Sun label thirteen national hits that included ''Next In Line'', ''Home Of The Blues'', ''Oh! Lonesome Me'', ''Straight As In Love'', ''Come In Stranger'' and ''Katy Too'', all featured in this superb collection. Additionally he scored twenty-four country hits, making him the most consistently successful Sun artist of all time. Although going on to record prolifically for Columbia, Mercury and American, his body of work cut for Sun Records of Memphis, Tennessee are held by many of his fans to be his finest recordings. Tracks recorded in 1957 and 1958.

Licensed from Sun Record Company. Marketed and distrubution by Cargo Records. Phonographic Copyright (p) Charly Records Ltd.

Side 1 Contains
If The Good Lord's Willing
The Wreck Of The Old '97
You Tell Me
Oh! Lonesome Me
Big River
Doin' My Time
Rock Island Line
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Home Of The Blues
Straight A's In Love
Come In Stranger
Blue Train
Next In Line
Hey Good Lookin'
Life Goes On
Katy Too
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1049 mono

Billy Lee Riley only had six records issued under his own name on Sun Records. Sparse as his output may haven been, in rockabilly annals he remains a titan. His recordings of "Flyin' Saucer Rock And Roll" and "Red Hot" are by themselves sufficient to ensure his immortality. The other recordings, both issued and unissued, are evidence of a man with catholic taste and talents versatile enough to match them.

Riley a product of Irish and Cherokee ancestry, born on October 5, 1933 in Pocohontas, Arkansas although the family moved often throughout the rural Mid-South. "Back when I was a kid growing up, we lived on a plantation with mostly black people on it.

Every Saturday and every Sunday you could usually find a little group of dudes under the trees playing blues. A white guy, Tommy Hamblin, who came from a family of string musicians, taught me how to play three or four chords on the guitar. We started playing with the black musicians, being the blues with them. He and I man, we were black as the rest of' em".

Billy Riley had bought a Sears-Roebuck Silvertone guitar at the age of nine from his girlfriend. "She had lost interest in the instrument after it had been sprayed by the termite control people. So I bought it off her, refinished it and learned how to play it". By that time he had already mastered the harmonica, an instrument that his father had taught him.

The family grew up in what can only described as abject poverty. "We lived in a tent. A big ol' Army tent. My dad put a floor in it and built walls around it. Then he built two log cabin rooms adjoining, kitchen and dining room". Billy Riley dropped out of school at age of 10 and started working to help support the family. In common with every other family in the vicinity, the Riley's owned neither records nor a phonograph. Electricity was uncommon in rural areas at that time but battery radios were available and very popular. Riley fondly recalls listening to and being influenced by Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell via the radio in the late 1940s. However, he heard no blues on the radio as the advent of black radio programming was still a few years distant.

One of the seasonal highlights for the Rileys and neighboring families was the traveling tent shows. The cost was 25c. "We wouldn't see them if they were too far away", Riley recalled, "cause we had no car. About the only way we could get to any place was to walk or find a ride".

Halfway through his thirteenth year, Billy Riley's family left the plantation in Arkansas and headed southeast to Tupelo, Mississippi bringing their tent with them. Riley's father was working as a painter but after a year with work at a premium the family pulled up roots again and headed back to Arkansas - this time to Osceola. While in Tupelo though, Riley had made his first public appearance, performing live on radio station WELO.

In 1948 Billy Riley tried to enlist in the armed services. Only 15 years of age, he was rejected. By 1949 the family had moved back to Pocohontas although his sister stayed in Osceola. Riley tried again to enlist and with his sister signing the necessary papers attesting that he was 18 (Riley had no birth certificate), he became an employee of Uncle Sam.

For Riley, the Army was just a way out of grinding rural poverty although he eventualy saw some benefits: "While I was in the service I got more interested in music because I won some talent shows at the service club". Playing in these talent shows, singing hard country music along the lines defined by Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Thompson, Riley first performed in a full band context. He was even offered a position in Special Services but surprisingly turned it down due to stage fright. During his hitch in the service, he made his first private recordings including the Hank Williams weeper "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy".

It is unclear exactly how long Billy Riley spent in the service. He recalled to Bill Millar that he returned briefly to civilian life and then re-enlisted for three years. In any event, Riley probably found himself back in civilian duds around 1953 or 1954.

Music was now much more than a hobby and upon discharge he joined a couple of country bands that worked in and around Jonesboro, Arkansas, C.D. Tennyson and the Happy Valley Boys and the KBTM Ranch Boys. While supporting himself and his first wife with a day job in a shoe factory, Billy Riley could be heard regularly on three local radio stations, KBMT and KNEX in Jonesboro and KRLA in Paragould.

Both the bands with whom Riley worked taped their shows on Sunday for broadcast during the week. At the same time, Riley together with the bassist and the bassist's wife from the KBTM Ranch Boys rose early in the morning to perform live on a gospel show.

Not making a lot of money in the shoe factory or with his music, Riley was talked into moving to Memphis by his brother-in-law. Together they opened a restaurant and Riley briefly forsook music. After the restaurant failed, Billy Riley worked as a meat cutter and than as a truck driver for Industrial Coverall. "That's when my mind was on music. When I wrecked that truck I was singing 'Trouble Bound'. I worked there until I wrecked two trucks".

Riley joined Slim Wallace's Dixie Ramblers. Wallace was a local truck driver who played bass in a band which also featured Jack Clement, then attending Memphis State University. Wallace and Clement got the notion to start a record label, Fernwood Records, named after the street upon which Wallace lived. The studio was a primitive affair, literally situated in his garage.

The Dixie Ramblers consisted of Roland "Slim" Wallace, Jack Clement, Billy Riley, Wayne McGinnis and Ramon Maupin, they played straightahead hard country music, mostly on the weekends. Its interesting to note Riley's first playing experience - at least on guitar - was with black blues musicians on the plantation where he lived with his parents. yet, up to this point in his semi-pro career, he had only publicly played country music. As with many other future rockabillies he never reaslized that he had an option. He was white, therefore if he wanted to play music, he played country. That was simply what white Southern musicians did. Riley explained: "After hearing Elvis and seeing what was happening, a lot of us guys got away from the country stuff. We wanted to get with what was happening. When it was new it was something completely different from what anybody had ever done. It was something that fit me because it sounded black. It was still country but it had that black feel and that was what I wanted. It was something I was brought up on".

After Billy Riley had played a couple of months with the Dixie Ramblers, Jack Clement had the idea that the first release on Fernwood should be by Billy Riley. Surprisingly in view of Riley's growing infatuation with the new music, the Dizie Ramblers first attempted a country song, a Riley original entitled "Think Before You Go". At that point the group consisted of Riley, Wallace, Bob Deckelman on steel guitar and a fiddle player.

They recorded two songs, "Trouble Bound" and "Think Before You Go". in a primitive studio Clement had built in Wallace's garage. Clement took the masters to Sam Phillips, who responded to the eerie, bluesy intensity of "Trouble Bound" and offered a job to Clement and a contract to Riley. Sam Phillips counseled against releasing the countrified "Think Before You Go", so Riley concocted a rockabilly novelty, "Rock With Me Baby", that he recorded at the WMPS studio in Memphis. Purchasing the masters from Fernwood, Sam Phillips issued Riley's debut single in May 1956.

With a record on the market, Riley needed to put a band together, Clement was too busy at Sun to be playing clubs and Bernero had always been temporary. That left only guitarist Roland Janes. Riley and Janes had met a teenage drummer, J.M. Van Eaton, when Van Eaton had been down at Sun with another group. He was quickly drafted into the fold, as was upright bassist Marvin Pepper. By the end of 1956, Riley's group had been co-opted as the house band at Sun Records.

After a four year involvement with Sun, Riley decided to quit again, Jack Clement and Bill Justis had been dismissed in early 1959. Both started their own labels. Riley did some work for Justis, cutting an instrumental record pseudonymously for Jaro/Top Rank under the name "Spitfires". By this point he had reunited with Roland Janes and they held down a steady gig at the Starlight Club in Memphis. It was there that they came up with the idea for Rita Records settled in the old Sun studio.

One of the first moves was to bring Harold Dorman to the label. Dorman had been languished around town since 1856, trying to hustle a deal for himself and his writing partner Wiley Gann. Riley and Janes took Dorman and Gann to the Hi studio, paid Jack Clement to handle the board and emerged with "Mountain Of Love" which became a nationwide hit in 1960.

Rita Records was a short-lived venture and Riley's involvement in it was even shorter. Commercially, none of Riley's records had much impact. Sam Phillips has more than once lamented this fact, stating that he does not understanding why Riley never broke through. To Riley though, its simple: "Jerry Lee and Sam got too this, what happened to me".

Through the 1960s and 1970s, Riley persevered in the music business. He recorded under his own name and a host of pseudonyms including the Megatrons, the Rockin' Stockings and Sandy & the Sandstones. The list of labels for whom he recorded is even longer. He even achieved a small breakthrough on the Entrance label in 1972 with the Chips Moman produced "I Got A Thing About You Baby" that later Elvis covered. Immediately preceding his deal with Entrance, Riley had returned to the re-born Sun label owned by Shelby Singleton in Nashville, launching it in fine style with "Kay". Both "Kay" and "Red Hot" were, in their way, definitive performances but the gulf between them highlighted Riley's real problem: he lacked an identifiable style. With all the talent in the world, Riley would not stick in one groove long enough to reap the rewards. His versatility was his greatest asset and his greatest-drawback.

Since 1983 Billy Riley has refused to gig, recorded little and released nothing. If the right offer under the right conditions came along he would probably give it one last go-round. In the meantime, he supports himself as a contractor, rarely dwelling upon his impressive, if less than successful, past.

All of us involved with this project revere Billy Riley for his music. When Joyce met Billy on April 11, 1975, she knew nothing about Billy's music or Sun Records. She fell in love with a hard-working man who was raising two daughters, ages 3 and 6, by himself. Only later did Joyce discover the music featured here. Joyce and Billy were married just about two weeks after they met, on April 26, 1975. Joyce was still with Billy 34 years later when he died of colon cancer on August 2, 2009. The final years of Billy's life were a medical and, consequently, a financial nightmare.

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

Side 1 Contains
Trouble Bound
Rock With Me Baby
Pearly Lee
Red Hot
Flyin' Saucers Rock And Roll
I Want You Baby
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
One More Time
Baby Please Don't Go
Wouldn't You Know
Rock With Me Honey
No Name Girl
When A Man Gets The Blues
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1050 mono

After recording on the Je-Wel label in Texas, Roy Orbison and his band The Teen Kings came to Memphis in the spring of 1956. Orbison continued recording for Sun through to 1958, but he couldn't replicate the success of his first release "Ooby Dooby", which reached the lower half of the Hot 100 and selling over 350,000 copies. After leaving Sun, Roy signed with RCA but met with no commercial success until he moved to Fred Foster's Monument label, and struck gold with "Only The Lonely", backed by "Go Go Go". Between 1960-1965 he notched up 21 hits before switching to MGM and scoring seven more hits in the next two years. He topped the United Kingdom charts three times and charted 33 times. Roy came back to international prominence as a member of The Travelling Wilburys before resuming his solo recording career on Virgin. He returned to the charts after a gap of 20 years in 1989 and charted six times up until 1993, despite his premature death in 1988.

This album contains the original undubbed versions of "Tryin' To Get To You", "Problem Child", "You're Gonna Cry", "Mean Little Mama", and "This Kind Of Love". It also contains the first recording of "I Was A Fool" that features Roy and Hayden Thompson on vocals. The version of "Problem Child" included here is without sax overdub. Compiled by France's leading disc jockey in the early 1980s, Ding Dong (real name Alain Pourquier).

Side 1 Contains
Ooby Dooby
Rock House
You're My Baby
Tryin' To Get To You
The Cause of It All
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
I Was A Fool
Problem Child
You're Gonna Cry
Mean Little Mama
This Kind of Love
I Like Love
Chicken Hearted
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1051 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. Side 1 track 3 is first issued. Tracks recorded at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee December 1956/January 1957 and January 1960.

*- Previously unissued track in standard record pressing.
**- Previously unissued cut of ''Break Up'' and undubbed final take of ''Old Black Joe''.
***-Previously unissued titles and alternate cuts on Sun LP.

Side 1 Contains
My Blue Heaven*
Let's Talk About Us*
Break Up**
You Can't Help It***
Your Cheatin' Heart***
Hound Dog***
Birthday Cake (Hands Off It)
You Win Again*
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contain
Goodnight Irene*
Great Speckled Bird***
Don't Drop It***
Old Black Joe**
You Can't Help It***
Bonnie B***
The Ballad Of Billy Joe
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1053 mono

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Ding Dong. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International. Tracks recorded at 706 Union Avenue, and 369 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee.

*- Previously unissued in standard record pressing.

Side 1 Contains
John Henry
Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes
When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again*
Billy Boy*
My Girl Josephine
High Powered Woman*
Hello Hello Baby
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
See See Rider*
Good Rockin' Tonight*
Sweet Little Sixteen
Feelin' Good*
Big Legged Woman*
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1060 mono

Side One

Of all the blues artists who emerged during the 1950s, none had a flasher or more inventive guitar style that Earl Hooker. Not surprisingly, Hooker was primarily known as a picker, not a singer.

Born in 1929 in Mississippi, Earl Hooker was raised in Chicago, where he established his reputation as an unpolarized musician. Unlike his cousin John Lee Hooker, Earl never received national re-
own. Sadly, most blues fans discovered Earl Hooker's work only after his death in 1970.

Among blues musicians, however, Hooker's repertoire was a different story. In his 1970 Guitar Player interview, B.B. King identified Earl Hooker as his favorite guitarist. Likewise, the fledgling Living Blues magazine in 1970 described Hooker as ''the best blues guitarist in Chicago, maybe the best anywhere''.

Hooker's lifestyle, especially during his musically formative years, was irritant by any measure. His travels throughout Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Florida put him in contact with the cream of blues ,musicians, many of whom also made connection with Sun Records. These included B.B. King, Ike Turner, Pinetop Perkins, Johnny O'Neil, Jackie Brenston, Willie Kizart, Johnny Ace, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon, Junior Parker, Bobby Bland, Milton Campbell and Billy Emerson.

After recording for Floridian Henry Stone's Rockin' label early in 1953, Hooker headed north toward Memphis. Although Sam Phillips prides himself, rightly so, on his ability to detect and nature talent in untried musician, his belief that everything good ended up on his doorstep by sheer reputations alone may be a bit misguided. While it is true that Phillips made it known that ''here was a white man who wouldn't clear you'', his good fortunes were aided by the service of Ike Turner. Indeed, Turner served on a local talent scout (''musical pimp'', in the words of one critic) for Phillips, RPM Records, and just about anyone who was willing to pay the height. Ethics were nobody's strong suit in the cut-throat early days of rhythm and blues.

A recent biography of Earl Hooker by Sebastian Don chis (University of Georgie Press) chronicles the background to the Sun recordings we present here. According to Donchis, it was Ike Turner who persuaded Earl Hooker, guitarist Boyd Gilmore, pianist Ernest Lane and drummer Big Foot Frank to audition for Sun. Phillips must have been immediately impressed with Hooker's playing. Not only did he invite him back for a planned session but, according to Donchis, he paid Hooker a $25 fee for the audition (in contrast, Gilmore received $3 for gas and $4.74 for whiskey, both items duly noted in Phillips' logbook for tax purposes). This time, Hooker brought with him pianist Pinetop Perkins and drummer Edward Lee ''Short'' Irvin, although Sam Phillips files list Willie Nix as drummer. Hooker offered a rare glimpse of his vocal prowess on ''Move On Down The Line''. He also turned his instrumental attention to two songs associated white white country musicians ''Steel Guitar Rag'' and ''Guitar Boogie''. The latter was first recorded by Arthur Smith in 1946 while ''Steel Guitar Rag'' was made famous by Bob Wills' steel player Leon McAuffle in 1936. Ironally, the song begin life with a recording by black guitarist Sylvester Weaver in 1923, thus, Hooker's Sun session completes the cycle and returns the song to is black origins.

The recordings on this album were never released commercially during Hooker's lifetime. Indeed, they were passed over, almost as soon as they were made in July and August 1953, by Sam Phillips. As quoted by Donchis, Phillips admitted: ''I think that Earl Hooker probably had as much potential as any of the artists I recorded at that time. (My decision not to release him)... was not because of a lack of talent on his part... I could have taken Earl Hooker... and I knew he could have been a tremendous hit. I don't know of anybody that plays the guitar better than Earl Hooker''.

Phillips goes on to explain, as he has many times before, how his decision reflected the constrains and priorities of an under financed one man operations. All of this was no doubt true, especially in the pre-Presley Sun days. Unfortunately, for Earl Hooker these recording yielded $25 in cash and another, unfulfilled premise. Fortunately for us, over 35 years later, we have an in depth glimpse at Earl Hooker's style when his energy, enthusiasm and technical process were at their peak.

by Hank Davis

Side Two

Memphis and the Mississippi delta harbored many other fine blues guitarists in the early 1950s. For instance, Charlie Booker from Mississippi, who had been rewrited to Modern Records by Ike Turner in 1952. In the same year, he recorded one session for Sun, from which we have used a powerful alternative take of ''Walked All Night''. It carries tremendous tension and relentlessness drive, and is well worth having alongside the previously issued version.

''Baby Tell Me Your Name (I Feel So Worried)'' is a marvellous rare glimpse into the creative process that produced Sun 218, according to some, the finest blues issued by Sun. This version, good in its own right reveals how the record right have sounded if Sam Phillips had just let things be, rather than push for further refinements in the performance and the song itself. It completed the reissue of the all too short recorded meeting between guitarist Willie Johnson with harp player Sammy Lewis in 1954.

The alternative version of Coy Love's fabled ''Wolf Call Boogie'' has only recently been yielded up by a search of the Sun vaults. It is a clear and vibrant recording, every bit as full of good chear and humour on the original issued version. Proceeded by a workout between Coy Love's harp and Pat Hare's stinging guitar. Their instruments doesn't stake out any new territory as far as boogie joins go, but it sure does stomp the hell out of some familiar terrine.

L.B. Lawson is the vocalist on a session apparently made in 1951 under his name, but it appears that he was in truth the front man for the Scott Junior Blues Rockers working out of Mississippi. James Scott Junior plays the powerful guitar that helds the band together. Already in his 1940s, Scott was a celebrated local guitarist who had grown up with John Lee Hooker, but whose recorded work is scorce. He died in 1983 after a beloved professional blues career in Chicago. These sides are among the most exciting to have emerged from the reject pile in the Sun vaults. Not commercial enough for release, but a true pleasure to listen to nearly 40 years later when this kind of blues playing is at a premium.

Finally, Joe Willie Perkins had provided solid pianistic support to Earl Hooker's guitar on side one. Just once at Hooker's session Perkins had cut loose on a vocal and piano item. We have included an interesting slower take of the classic ''Pinetop's Boogie Woogie'' which had passed into boogie-woogie public domain since Clarence Pinetop Smith's 1928 recording.

by Martin Hawkins and Hank Davis

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Hank Davis and Martin Hawkins. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

Side 1 Contains
The Hucklebuck (Earl Hooker)
Mexicali Hip Shake (Earl Hooker)
The Drive (Earl Hooker)
Razorback (Earl Hooker)
Blue Guitar (Earl Hooker)
Red River Variations (Earl Hooker)
Move On Down The Line (Earl Hooker)
Guitar Rag (Earl Hooker)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Walked All Night (Charlie Booker)
Pinetop's Boogie Woogie (Pinetop Perkins)
Baby Tell Me Your Name (Feel So Worried) (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo)
Harpin On It (Coy Hot Shot Love & Pat Hare)
Wolf Call Boogie (Coy Hot Shot Love & Pat Hare)
Flypaper Boogie (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Missing In Action (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Scott's Boogie (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1061 mono

Side One

Considering the sheer amount of Rosco Gordon music that has been reissued from his Sun and pre-Sun (RPM, Modern) days, you could be forgiven for assuming that the end of the road had been reached, the barrel scraped clear. Nothing left but a few undisguised alternate takes. Eight?

Wrong. There is some very good news to report. The Sun archives have yielded up a treasure. Not only many new titles, but, by any reckoning, some of Rosco's finest performances one strongest compositions from the mid to late 1950s. This is prime Rosco Gordon and prime Memphis rhythm and blues.

Rosco's biography and musical connection have been chronicled of length on a variety of reissues by Charly, including Sunbox 105, and for these who like their bios in magazine form. Living Blues No. 49 lectures Rosco in as in-depth place that coincides with his ''rediscovery'' (although Rosco would be the first to tell you that he was never really out).

In the past decade Rosco Gordon has toured Scandinavia and England, played a variety of blues festivals including Chicago and Memphis, and continues to record in fact, I have not yet him when he hasn't described his latest project at the studio.

When his wife Barbara died several years ago, Rosco wrote a moving tribute to her called ''How Can I Get Over You''. But he found a way and continues to care for his family while writing, arranging, recording and performing. He has become a regular at New York's Lone Star Cafe, where his gigs are warmly received. And, oh yes, he is very happy that his appearance is the cult film ''Rock Baby, Rock It!'' has recently reached a mass audience.

The tracks we've unearthed for this album may be reason to reissues Rosco Gordon's career for Sun. Excerpt for enema-lies like ''Sally Jo'' and ''''Cheese And Crackers'', Rosco's Sun work has often been described in terms of its primitive enthusiasm rather than its sterling musicianship. As Cliff White observed in his album notes to Rosco's Vee Jay recordings (Charly CRB 1044), Most of Gordon's records up to this point were as primitively performed as they were primitively recorded: blues, shuffles and jump tunes with simple piano and rhythm interdependent by crude sax breaks''.

Most of the material on this album is obviously from Rosco's second appearance at Sun (poss 1955) and perhaps as late on the period immediately preceding his departure for Vee Jay in 1959. By and large, these are good records, well performed by all. They remained unreached primarily because Sun was phasing out rhythm and blues in this period. Ironically, if Sam Phillips had gone back into the business of leaning masters (which is how he began with Rosco Gordon), he might have found a willing market for this tracks.

''I Don't Like It'' is a lively polished performance, complete with rolling rhythm and blues scores. This was a hit record writing to be released. Unfortunately for everyone, it has waited for thirty years.

''Don't Take It Out On Me'' borrows the theme of Hank Williams' ''Cold Cold Heart'' and takes it far a slow shuffle ride. Rosco hurts in guise a violent vocal! The sax solo is a standout. Crude indeed!

''If You want Your Woman''. Another shuffle. In fact, a working definition of Rosco's Rhythm''. Rosco has written a clever lyric here and reads it with typical good natured menace. His stiletto like vocals cuts through on the words ''I've got''.

''You've Been Cheatin' On Me''. This track is cute a curiously. Unfortunately, no cleaner version exist on tape. Nevertheless, it had to be issued. Critics have called ''Sally Jo'' back rockabilly, but certainly a better case for rockabilly can be made with this track. Just strip away the sax break, replace it with a stinging Fender solo and what have you got?

''Hey Hey Girl'' is a mid-tempo shuffle with riffling saxes, a heavy back-beat and mean vocal (are these the most evil ''hey's'' you've ever heard?) Again, this is hardly the kind of crude sex break heard on some of Rosco's earlier sessions.

With ''Mean Woman'' Rosco had a brief flirtation with minor key blues. The similarity between this track and Chuck Willis's ''Southern Love'' is more than passing. All least six takes were mode of this song and through it all, someone in the chorus never quite got the message that the song was in a minor key. Some of the alternatives are quit discontent. The tape box credited this title, as well as the previously issued ''New Orleans, LA'' to Rosco and the Rubies'', Curiously, Rosco had no recollection of who ''The Rubies'' were, or of this song. Not even listening to the falsetto back line, ''cause she's sleeping like dead'' was able to jog his memory. Is this what Freudians call ''motivated forgetting''?

''Shoobie Oobie'' is take 1 of the classic Gordon song that was originally issued on Sun 257. The instrumental work is a bit chaotic (It is take 1 after all), but Rosco vocal is quit engaging. This version also features an unexpected guitar solo that was later phased out of the arrangement. Rosco still perform this song at his gigs.

''Sally Jo'' has been an enigma to Rosco fans for years. Black rockabilly? How did Rosco come to record such a departure in style (he never saw it that way!). Did he write it, yes, he sweans). What do the alternatives takes sound like? Well, we finally found one and, to begin with someone off mike asks who wrote the song. Rosco repeats the question, sounding surprised. Little did he know! Except for some timing problem, some phrasing liberties, and perhaps a bit more distortion on the guitar, thing are basically unchanged from the released version. Al the least, we know ''Sally Jo'' wasn't a one take wonder.

By Hank Davis

Side Two

Matching Rosco Gordon's piano boogie for power and feeling, we have three important guitar-led combos which show the full range of rhythm and blues sounds at Sun in the period when Rosco Gordon was a headline artist.

Floyd Murphy was guitarist with Little Junior's Blue Flames on Sun's first hit, ''Feelin' Good'' in 1953, although it is more likely Pat Hare on guitar on the three sides included here. The alternative version of ''Love My Baby'' is particularly interesting for the deliberate vocal reading, the marginally different guitar solo and the skittish piano.

Vincent ''Guitar Red'' Duling recorded only the one These unissued alternative takes of his only known Sun sides compare well with previously known version. The faster alternative take of ''Go Ahead On'' storms in with its guitar intro quickly followed by guitar and sax solos to back. Duling's guitar takes a back seat to New Orleans style piano and riffling sax on ''Baby Please Don't Go'', which is much closer to previously-known versions.

Singer and pianist, Eddie Snow recorded for Sun in 1952 as part of guitarist Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys, from Osceola, Arkansas, three years before the 1955 sessions that yielded his Sun 226. The Parr sessions contained a number of excellent boogies and blues from which we have chosen three particularly good titles. ''Skin And Bone'' is presented in both slow and up-tempo guise and works well in both styles.

By Martin Hawkins

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Hank Davis and Martin Hawkins. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

Side 1 Contains
I Don't Like It (Rosco Gordon)
Don't Take It Out On Me (Rosco Gordon)
If You Want Your Woman (Rosco Gordon)
You Been Cheatin' On Me (Rosco Gordon)
Mean Woman (Rosco Gordon)
Real Pretty Mama (Rosco Gordon)
Snoobie Oobie (Rosco Gordon)
Sally Jo (Rosco Gordon)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Go Ahead On (Guitar Red)
Baby Please Don't Go (Guitar Red)
Love My Baby (Junior Parker)
Feelin' Bad (Junior Parker)
Don't Dog Me Around (Eddie Snow & Elven Parr)
Mean Mean Woman (Eddie Snow & Elven Parr)
Skin And Bone (1) (Eddie Snow & Elven Parr)
Sakin And Bone (2) (Eddie Snow & Elven Parr)
Original Sun Recordings

1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun LP 1062 mono

Side One

The mist of confusion surrounding Hunki Dory is beginning to lift, although at the time this album went to press a number of questions still remained. At the least, the following seem clear. Chester McDowell was a popular disc jockey and performer who appeared under the name Hunki Dory. He was a ''personality'' bringing lots of excitement to the rhythm and blues music he programmed. His shows were broadcast over radio station WLOK in Memphis, thus guaranteeing him considerable popularity in the southeast. He appeared on a number of programnes including the widely touted WDIA Goodwill tour.

McDowell frequently appeared with a quartet. He may have managed them, he may have sung lead with them. It is likely that they were not a first line group, such as the Spirit of Memphis or Brewsteraires, whose Memphis-based work is widely known in the tri-state area. More like, they were one of many excellent local quartets. Memphis gospel scholar Kip Lornell suggests the group's identity may have been the Jubilee Hummingbirds or Heavenly Echoes. In any case, they were likely on onformal or weekend aggregation whose personal drifted and recombined almost as freely as a neighborhood softball team. Each singer, typically held a day job. They got together to sing for the sheer joy of the music or the corneraderie. Their repertoire was flexible and continued largely of gospel standards one could hear in church ant Wednesday night or Sunday morning, as well as the popular offerings of any of a dozen national quartets whose song were widely heard on radio and touring multi-group programs.

A likely scenario is the following: sometime around 1958 (maybe later, but not much earlier), Hunki Dory brought his quartet to Sun. They went through their repertoire while the tape recorder ran, and it is this preliminary session that represents the a cappelle selections heard here. The session couldn't have taken very long. Eight titles, never more than two takes on each. A slick group running through the staples of their repertoire, just as they might on a Tuesday night in one of their homes. If the sequence on the tape box is to be believed, we know that the group began with two original secular songs ''I Wonder Why'' and ''I Want My Baby Back'', the latter appears on Sunbox 105 and is not duplicated here). When pressed for more, the group reverted to their gospel repertoire and spun off a rapid successions of five titles. For the final selection, they performed the secular gen ''Baby Don't Leave Me''.

The decision not to release the material was not surprising. Sam Phillips had been gun shy about black gospel quartets all along. He enjoyed the music, but had also learned the pearls in trying to market it. Nevertheless, Phillips saw something in this group and he or Jack Clement suggested that, at the very least, they shed the a cappello stigma and attempt some more secular material with instrumental accompaniment. Hence the second session, represented by ''The Misery'' and ''Why Don't You Use Your Head''. It is notable that no fewer then five takes were attempted of ''This Misery'', indicating that this was more than a demo or audition session. We have selected the first of these five versions, although the tape box indicate that Take 5 was ''Sam's choice''. Although the vocal; performance is fairly constant across takes, it is the tenor sax that became more prominent as the session wore on. On ''Use Your Head'' we have selected the previously unissied Take 1 for this album.

The lack of personel detail in Phillips' file for either session probably indicates that Hunki Dory himself was the principal character in Phillips' musical and financial dealing with the group. Whether or not records would have been issued in his or the group's name in anybody's guess; certainly the name ''Hunki Dory'' held some recognition value in the tri-sate market and novelty value elsewhere.

Although their performances are not always flawless, the quartet was adventurous and worked with some unusual strong and bluesy material. Their originals were a cut above the ordinary and their cover versions reflected some good taste. Although they could sing rhythm and blues, Hunki Dory's roots were clearly in gospel music. The cues are hardly subtle: half of the ten titles recorded at Sun were religious. ''Working On A Building'' has became a gospel standard with versions ranging from the classic 197 King track by the Swan Silvertones through John Fogerty's ''Blue Ridge Rangers'' version recorded a quarter of a century later. The track listed on the tape box as ''I'd Like To Be There'' is in fact the Swan Silvertones' Vee Jay recording ''A Lady Called Mother''. ''Down Home'' is a surprising remake of ''Way back Home'' recorded by the Birmingham Jubilee Singers for Columbia in 1926.

During the Hunki Dory sessions is a bit troublesome. After recording the Five Tinos in May, 1955, Sun backed away from black quartets until sessions with the Four Dukes (March 1957) and the Vel-Tones (June 1958). The first Hunki Dory session likely dates from this era. However, it can not predate the Four Dukes session since it includes ''A Lady Called Mother'', which the Swans did not record for Vee jay until February, 1957. Than there is another enjoying detail. The group clearly chants ''da doo day'' on ''This Misery''. In the annals of doo wop, ''da doo day'' is not an overused phrase (unlike clanka clanka oop she-bop and doo wop, itself). In fact if Hunki Dory were learning its riffs from records, the most likely place to have picked up ''do doo day'' was Chuck Berry's ''Almost Grown'', which wasn't recorded until February, 1959!

by Hank Davis

Side Two

Unlike the other three quartets represented on this album, the Vel-Tones were essential a rock and roll group and seem not to have gospel harmony at their roots. These two recording present the clearest evidence yet that even when Sun was recorded black gospel groups, the results were likely to sound like rockabilly. These two tracks really are hybrid music. Had this group recorded these very songs somewhere in the northeast, the backing would have consisted of a little rhythm and blues band and a tenor sax solo. Not at 706 Union Avenue; it seems no matter who threw the party, rockabilly got invited.

The earliest recording here is the Southern Jubilees' ''Blessed Be The Name'', the only remain unissued title from their 1951 session for Sam Phillips. The Singing Southern Jubilees, to give them their full title, were a major quartet on the Memphis scene through the 1940s and 1950s and beyond, and have been considerably under-recorded. This is a welcome addition to their catalogue.

The story of the Prisonaires, singing in-mates of the Nashville State Penitentiary, and how they came to record for Sun has been told in Sunbox 105 and thew Charly album CR 31076.

The titles we have chosen here are as good as the Prisonaires ever made, and there is the added appeal of their rarity vale. As well as alternative takes of Sun 207, we also have three unissued titles, probably from early 1954, two of which were preserved on acetate only.

''Friend Call Me A Fool'' and ''I Wish'' feature the fine lead vocal of Johnny Bragg, who carried the starring role on most of the groups's work. However, it is tenor John Drue who leads on the pop ballad ''Dreaming Of You''.

The line between gospel and secular performers has often been blurred from obvious cases like Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls and Mavis Staple to more subtle ones like the quartets on this album. On the other hand, when an artist's repertoire includes both secular and gospel material, it is unusually clear which is which. Occasionally, an artist like Ray Charles will transform a gospel song (''This Little Light Of Mine'') into on rhythm and blues standard (''This Little Girl Of Mine''), but it is usually clear what he's singing about once he starts. The exceptions to this are few and very far between. In third there may not be any exceptions other that one side of the Prisonaires ulto-rare release on Sun 207: ''There Is Love In You''.

The record deserves special attention. It is a spiritual or is it a love song? Is Johnny Bragg's lead tenor voice waxing poetic about his girlfriend or about God? The truth is that he seems to be doing both. Something to please both camps. Some of the lines, for example the title itself are general enough to describe both god and girlfriend. Others (''when you're in my arms'') seems directly concerned with pleasure of the flash, but still others (''there is rest in you'' or ''there is hope in you'') describe qualities rarely associated with girlfriends.

This song is truly an enormous. It is more than just a ''pop spiritual'' like Al Hibbler's ''He'' or the alts-recorded ''Crying In The Chapel''. This is a love song in most boundless sense. Perhaps in the loneliness of the Nashville State Penitentiary, Johnny Bragg wrote a simple song about the two figures most on his mind: his girl and his god. And in his longing, he never stopped to separate the two.

by Hank Davis and Martin Hawkins

Sun vaults research, compilation, mastering, cover-design and liner notes by Hank Davis and Martin Hawkins. Phonographic copyright, marketed, manufactured and licensed from Charly Records International.

Side 1 Contains
Wonder Why (Hunki Dory)
I'd Like To Be There (Hunki Dory)
Why Don't You Use Your Head (Hunki Dory)
Baby Don't Leave Me (Hunki Dory)
This Misery (Hunki Dory)
Workin' On A Building (Hunki Dory)
Old Time Religion (Hunki Dory)
Down Home (Hunki Dory)
Original Sun Recordings

Side 2 Contains
Fire (Vel-Tones)
Did You (Vel-Tones)
Blessed Be The Name (Southern Jubilees)
What Do You Do Next (The Prisonaires)
There Is Love In You (The Prisonaires)
Dreaming Of You (The Prisonaires)
Friends Call Me A Fool (The Prisonaires)
I Wish (The Prisonaires)
Original Sun Recordings

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