CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1960-1969 Sun Schedule <
 
1961 SESSIONS (7-12) 
July 1, 1961 to December 31, 1961
 
Studio Session for Brad Suggs, August 6, 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tony Rossini, August 6, 1961 / Sun Records
 
Studio Session for Memphis Willie B., August 12, 1961 (1) / Prestige Records
Studio Session for Memphis Willie B., August 12, 1961 (2) / Prestige Records
- The Story Told By Samuel B. Charters -
 
Studio Session for Mikki Wilcox, August 1961 / Sun Records
 
Studio Session for Don Hosea, August 29, 1961 / Sun Records
- Don Hosea - Untold Sun Stories -
 
Studio Session for Freddie North, Probably 1961 / Sun Records
- Untold Sun Stories - Freddie North -
 
Studio Session for Bobby Wood, September 15, 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Harold Dorman, September 21, 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, September 21, 1961 / Sun Records (34)
Studio Session for Ray Smith, October 24, 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jeb Stuart, Late 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Rayburn Anthony, Fall 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tony Austin, Unknown Date(s) 1961 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, Fall 1961 / Zone Records
 
Studio Session for The Prisonaires, Various Dates Probably 1961 / Excello Records
- The Siskin Tapes -
- Don't Say Tomorrow -
- World Of Make Belief -
 
Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, 1961/1962 / Holiday Inn Records
 
For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies <
Sun recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 1961

The singles, PI 3569 ''If I Could Change You'' b/w ''I Ain't Got No Home'' by Carl Mann and PI 3570 ''My Greatest Hurt'' b/w ''Nothing Down (99 Years To Pay)'' by Jean Dee issued.

Jerry Lee Lewis plays in Florida and Tennessee.

JULY 1, 1961 SATURDAY

''Buffalo Gun'' debuts in movie theaters. The picture stars Marty Robbins, Webb Pierce and Carl Smith.

Michelle Wright is born in Chatham, Ontario. She nets a Top 10 single in 1992 with ''Take It Like A Man''.

Elvis Presley's friend Red West marries Pat Boyd in Memphis, Tennessee. Presley is to late to the wedding, and Joe Esposito has to fill in as best man.

JULY 2, 1961 SUNDAY

Ernest Hemingway commits suicide.

Acclaimed author Ernest Hemingway dies of a self-inflicted gun shot at his home in Ketchum, Idaho. He's namechecked 44 years later in the Brad Paisley hit ''Alcohol'' and again in Keith Urban's 2015 single, ''John Gougar, John Deere, John 3:16''.

JULY 4, 1961 TUESDAY

''Don't Fence Me In'' songwriter Cole Porter ends an eight-month stay at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

A semi-private feud becomes public when Carter Stanley tells a crowd in Luray, Virginia, that Flatt and Scruggs refused to play the All Day Bluegrass Festival because The Stanley Brothers and Bill Monroe were there.

Seven-year-old Larry Franklin plays his first fiddle concert. He goes on to become a Nashville studio musician appearing on hits by Shania Twain, Deana Carter, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride and Gretchen Wilson, among others.

JULY 7, 1961 FRIDAY

Kitty Wells recorded ''Day Into Night'' and ''Unloved Unwanted''.

JULY 8, 1961 SATURDAY

Toby Keith is born in Clinton, Oklahoma. The former semi=pro football player emerges in 1993 with ''Should've Been A Cowboy'', becoming a brash hitmaker, label owner and entrepreneur. He also joins the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.

Ray Charles is arrested in Chicago during a heroin bust. The following year, he connects country and rhythm and blues through the landmark album ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western''.

JULY 9, 1961 SUNDAY

Bluegrass vocalist and bass player Ronnie Bowman is born in North Carolina. After a stint in The Lonesome River Band, he co-writes Brooks and Dunn's country hit ''It's Getting Better All The Time'' and Kenny Chesney's ''Never Wanted Nothing More''.

JULY 10, 1961 MONDAY

Spade Cooley's murder trial, in which he's accused of killing his wife, begins in Kern County, California. He's sentenced to prison the following month.

JULY 11, 1961 TUESDAY

While watching baseball's annual All-Star Game on television, Bill Anderson gets a phone call asking him to join the Grand Ole Opry. Anderson, of course, whispers yes. The National League, meanwhile, beats the American League, 5-4.

Elvis Presley begins filming ''Follow That Dream'' in Crystal River, Florida. During the next month of shooting, he meets an 11-year-old named Tom Petty.

Chet Atkins plays a concert in the rain in Nashville's Centennial Park without telling the audience of 10,000 that very time he touches the guitar, he gets shocked. The closest he comes to letting on is telling the audience ''I'm real brave tonight''.

JULY 12, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Ferlin Husky recorded pop star Wayne King's ''The Waltz You Saved For Me''.

JULY 13, 1961 THURSDAY

Ray Price recorded ''Soft Rain''.

JULY 15, 1961 SATURDAY

Bill Anderson joins the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

JULY 17, 1961 MONDAY

More than a month after she was injured in a car accident, Patsy Cline is released from the hospital.

Capitol released Buck Owens' ''Under The Influence Of Love''.

JULY 18, 1961 TUESDAY

Bill Anderson recorded the Fred Rose song ''Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain'' some 14 years before Willie Nelson turns it into a hit.

JULY 19, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Johnny Cash recorded ''Tennessee Flat-Top Box'' in Hollywood at the Columbia Studios.

Faron Young recorded ''Backtrack'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

JULY 22, 1961 SATURDAY

Patsy Cline comes on stage at the Grand Ole Opry in a wheelchair to assure fans she'll return to performing soon, following her June car accident.

Webb Pierce recorded ''How Do You Talk To A Baby'' and ''Walking The Streets''.

JULY 24, 1961 MONDAY

Capitol released Rose Maddox' ''Conscience, I'm Guilty''.

JULY 27, 1961 THURSDAY

Spade Cooley suffers a heart attack in his holding cell at the Kern County Jail in Bakersfield, California, after his 14-year-old daughter, Melody, testified against him in a trial for the murder of his wife. He is transferred to Kern County General.

JULY 28, 1961 FRIDAY

Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''It's Your World''.

Patsy Cline returns to the concert trail at the Cimarron Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, six weeks after a serious car accident. Cline uses crutches to make it on stage and sits on a stool for the entire show.

JULY 30, 1961 SUNDAY

Brenda Lee sings the national anthem at the opening of the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Jack Smith wins the Volunteer 500.

JULY 31, 1961 MONDAY

Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''Hangover Tavern''.

AUGUST 3, 1961 THURSDAY

Mary Carlisle, the mother of Bill and Cliff Carlisle, dies.

AUGUST 4, 1961 FRIDAY

Merle Travis gives away the bride as his daughter, Pat Travis, marries Gene Eatherly.

Spade Cooley, who has already suffered two heart attacks since April, is taken to Bakersfield's Kern County General Hospital, suffering from chest pains. It causes a delay in his trial for the murder of Wife Ella Mae Cooley.

Barack Obama is born in Honolulu, Hawaii. During his presidency, he gets White House visits from Clarley Pride, Dierks Bently and Brad Paisley, whose ''Welcome To The Future'' is inspired by Obama's election.

AUGUST 5, 1961 SATURDAY

Fiddler Mark O'Connor is born in Seattle, Washington. He wins the Country Music Association's Musician of the Year award six times, appearing on more than 450 country recordings, and wins a Grammy for ''Restless''.

Jackie Phelps debuts as a guitarist with Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys during a show in Altamont, Illinois, remaining with the band for nine years.

Comedian Tim Wilson is born in Columbus, Georgia. In addition to doing stand-up, he co-writes Toby Keith's 2007 hit ''High Maintenance Woman''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BRAD SUGGS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY AUGUST 6, 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE OR UNKNOWN

This is Brad Suggs' final opus on Phillips International, released in November 1961. The truth is, it's a pretty damn good record! ''Elephant Walk'' stood a real chance of success in the pop marketplace nearly 40 years ago. There was a 1950s movie by this tittle starring Elizabeth Taylor, and releases bearing this title appeared  on RCA in 1959 by the Kings, and in 1963 on Cortland by Donald Jenkins and the Delighters. It will require some deeper archeology to determine whether they are the same elephants.

01 – ''ELEPHANT WALK'' - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Brad Suggs-Scotty Moore-Vinnie Trauth
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 406  - Master
Recorded: - August 6, 1961
Released: - November 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3571-A < mono
ELEPHANT WALK / LIKE, CATCHIN' UP
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-3-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

''Scotty Moore and I put that thing together'', Brad Suggs recalls. Suggs' minimal five note guitar figure is very catchy and that lord-of-the-jungle french horn provides some real atmosphere. Larry Muhoberac contributes the organ sound and Ace Cannon comes up with a wonderful growling solo he would use again exactly a month later on Harold Dorman's ''Uncle Jonah's Place'' (Sun 370). Nothing like recycling your own best work. If you peel away a few layers here, you can hear the rudiments of the sound the Mar-Keys and Booker T. and the MGs would shortly take to the bank. Not surprisingly, Al Jackson, the stalwart drummer of that group, was the session man here on Suggs' date. He should get an award for his performance on this track and whoever miked his drums should share the award with him. In fact, this whole track sounds more like a Stax record than just about anything issued on Sun or Phillips International.
''Like, Catching Up'' is a perfect flipside. The comma that originally appeared after the word ''Like'' is quite important, because it conveys the hipster phrase associated with jazz. And make no mistake, this was a jazz tune. Sort of a one-take jazz tune at that. The unidentified shrieking chick is good at what she does, which is to scat her way thru some familiar jazz changes. ''I wish I could remember the name of that woman'', Suggs admitted recently (1998). ''I'm pretty sure her first name was Millie. What I do recall is she was very pregnant. Looks like she was due any second. I kept thinking she'd never make it through the take before we'd have to rush her off to the hospital''. If these sides had been recorded in Nashville one would have no hesitation in saying that it was Millie Kirkham (who contributed the wordless echo to on ''My Wish Came True'' and Millie was pregnant on ''Blue Christmas''. These sounds were a long way from the jungle of the flipside, but they did their job – which was to focus everyone's attention on the Elephant.

As noted, this was Brad Suggs's final single. Ten instrumental sides. Can you identify his style? After five or so singles, you knew almost everything you ever needed to know about Perkins, Cash, Presley, Jerry Lee. But, musically speaking, who was Brad Suggs?

02 – ''LIKE, CATCHIN' UP'' - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Brad Suggs
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 407  - Master
Recorded: - August 6, 1961
Released: - November 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3571-B < mono
LIKE, CATCHIN' UP / ELEPHANT WALK
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-3-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brad Suggs – Guitar
Scotty Moore – Guitar
Larry Muhoberac – Organ & Piano
John Ace Cannon – Tenor Saxophone
Vinnie Trauth - Saxophone
Al Jackson - Drums
Unknown - High Voices
 
For Biography of Brad Suggs see: > The Sun Biographies <
Brad Suggs' Sun/PI recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR TONY ROSSINI
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY SUNDAY AUGUST 6, 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE

01 – ''WELL I ASK YA'' - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Vandyke
Publisher: - Hollis Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 451 - Master
Recorded: - Probably August 6, 1961
Released: - August 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 366-A < mono
WELL I ASK YA / DARLENA
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-3-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
On August 3, 1961 Eden Kane hit number 1 in England with ''Well I Ask You'', three days later, Tony Rossini arrived at Sun to cut it. ''Sam liked that song'', said Tony. ''He really liked that song. He thought it was going to break''. Eden Kane never made much of an impression in the United States (although Americans unaccountably embraced his brother, Peter Sarstedt, singing ''Where Do You Go To, My Lovely'') Tony's record didn't make many waves, either, but it could have been a big hit in 1961.
It had the right sound for the time; it wasn't the Sun Sound, but it was very much in keeping with what was selling. Tony remembers Jud Phillips arguing with Sam over the skipsy promotional budget, and this might have been one to sink a little money into. The flip side, ''Darlena'', was by onetime Memphis rockabilly, Fuller Todd, who had recorded at Hi Records and elsewhere.
 
02 - ''DARLENA'' - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Todd
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 452  - Master
Recorded: - Probably August 6, 1961
Released: - August 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 366-B < ono
DARLENA / WELL I ASK YA
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-3-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

03 - ''JUST AROUND THE CORNER'' - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Padgett
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 476
Recorded: - Probably August 6, 1961
Released: - April 4, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 378-B < mono
JUST AROUND THE CORNER / (MEET ME) AFTER SCHOOL
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
''Just Around The Corner'' is not typical Tony Rossini fare. Whereas ''(Meet Me) After School'' fairly bristles with teenage angst (note the references to the soda shop and angry teachers), ''Just Around The Corner'' is a totally adult song, with a Forties sensibility to the lyrics. It hints at the career as a lounge singer that Tony enjoyed.  ''Sam was there for the mixing on those sessions'', Tony remembers. ''Sam and Scotty would bring me in late at night sometimes to re-do parts. Even as a kid, I knew there was something special about going to Sun.

Sam had the most beguiling personality. It was like you were going to see the King of the Mountain. Seeing Jerry Lee Lewis, even Elvis was no big deal. Elvis used to pull my sister's ponytails, but there was something about Sam''.
 
04 - ''(MEET ME) AFTER SCHOOL'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Davidson
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: - U 475 - Master
Recorded: - Probably August 6, 1961
Released: - April 4, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 378-A < mono
JUST AROUND THE CORNER / (MEET ME) AFTER SCHOOL
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

05 - ''LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY HEART''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 6, 1961

06 - ''VACATION TIME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 6, 1961

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Rossini – Vocal
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Al Jackson - Bass
Robert McGhee - Bass
Robert Alexius - Drums
John Ace Cannon - Saxophone
Terry James - Saxophone
Larry Mohoburac - Piano
 
For Biography of Tony Rossini see: > The Sun Biographies <
Tony Rossini's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
AUGUST 1961

American music historian, writer, record producer, musician, and poet, Samuel Charters recorded in  Memphis, Willie Borum through the help of Will Shade. 

"Usually I stop by Will's whenever I'm in Memphis,  and over the years he's led me to other singers like Gus Cannon, Charlie Burse and Furry Lewis... I stopped  by in April 1961 …he mentioned that one of the blues singers he's known in the 1930s has stopped by his  place a few weeks before'', Chaters said.
 
Charters recorded Borum at a session at the Sun studios at Madison Avenue for Prestige's Bluesville label,  with one more session to follow. The albums were issued as ''Introducing Memphis Willie B'', and ''Hard  Working Man Blues''. Borum, was a mainstay of the Memphis blues and jug band circuit.
 
He took to the  guitar early in his childhood, being principally taught by his father and Memphis medicine show star Jim  Jackson. By his late teens, he was working with Jack Kelly's Jug Busters. This didn't last long, as Borum  joined up with the Memphis Jug Band. Sometime in the 1930s he learned to play harmonica, being taught by  Noah Lewis, the best harp blower in Memphis and mainstay of Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers. Willie B. began  working on and off with various traveling Delta bluesmen, performing at various functions with Rice Miller,  Willie Brown, Garfield Akers, and Robert Johnson. He finally got to make some records in 1934 for  Vocalion backing Hattie Hart and Allen Shaw, but quickly moved back into playing juke joints and gambling  houses with Son Joe, Joe Hill Louis and Will Shade until around 1943, when he became a member of the U .S. Army.

AUGUST 1961

The single, Sun 364 'It Won't Happen With Me'' b/w Cold, Cold, Heart'' by Jerry Lee Lewis issued. Billboard's review says that ''Jerry Lee Lewis handles the top side, peppy teen-slanted rocker, with his usual verve, supported by his pumping piano. He sings the fine Hank Williams tune on the flip with style. Two strong sides''.
 
Sun 365 ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' b/w ''Other Side'' by Shirley Sisk; Sun 366 ''Well I Ask Ya'' b/w ''Darlena'' by Tony Rossini issued.

Jerry Lee Lewis plays at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California, with The Shirelles, emceed by Alan Freed, he also performs that month at the Brooklyn Paramount in New York City, with disc jockey Murray ''The K'' Kaufman, and Jackie Wilson topping the bill.

AUGUST 7, 1961 MONDAY

Patsy Cline's ''I Fall To Pieces'' reaches number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

AUGUST 8, 1961 TUESDAY

ROCA Victor released Elvis Presley's double-sided rock hit ''Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame'' backed with ''Little Sister''  ( RCA Victor 37-7908).

AUGUST 11, 1961 FRIDAY

One month to the day after it began, location filming for Elvis Presley's movie ''Follow That Dream'' comes to an end in Crystal River, Florida.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
FOR PRESTIGE BLUESVILLY RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
PRESTIGE SESSION: AUGUST 12, 1961 (1)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
RECORDING ENGINEER – SCOTTY MOORE
PRODUCER - KENNETH S. GOLDSTEIN
AND/OR SAMUEL B. CHARTERS

01 - ''BROWNSVILLE BLUES - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-A1 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-1 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

02 - COUNTRY GIRL BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Arc Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-A2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

03 - ''HIGHWAY 61'' - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-A3 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-3 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

04 - ''BAD GIRL BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:12
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-A4 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-4 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

05 - ''THE STUFF IS HERE'' - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-A5 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-5 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

06 - ''OVERSEAS BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:08
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-A6 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-6 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
07 - ''STOP CRYIN' BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-B1 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-7 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

08 - ''WORRIED MAN BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:22
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-B2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-8 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

09 - ''MAILMAN BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-B3 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-9 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

10 - ''EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Peter Chatman
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-B4 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-10 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

11 - ''MATTIE MAE'' - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-B5 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-11 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

12 - ''GRIEF WILL KILL YOU'' - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Fort Knox Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1961
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1034-B6 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
Reissued: - 1994 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-573-2-12 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - INTRODUCING MEMPHIS WILLIE B.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Memphis Willie Borum - Vocals, Guitar, Mouth Harp
 
For Biography of Memphis Willie B. see: > The Sun Biographies <
Memphis Willie B. Bluesville recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
THE STORY TOLD BY SAMUEL B. CHARTERS - Will Shade, of the old Memphis Jug Band, still lives in  a ramshackle house behind Beale Street, and most of the older musicians in town drop around to see Will and  talk for a moment when they're down on Beale Street shopping. Usually I stop by Will's whenever I'm in  Memphis, and over the years he'd led me to other singers like Gus Cannon, Charlie Burse, and Furry Lewis.

He was in poor health when I stopped by in April 1961, recovering from a serious operation, but after we'd  talked for a moments he mentioned that one of the blues singers he'd known in the 1930s had stopped by his  place a few weeks before.

''His name's Willie B., I don't know what all his name is, but that's what we call him, Willie B.'He's one of  those real hard blues singers like you're always asking about''. He sat on his rumpled bed fumbling with the  papers jammed into hos wallet. ''I put his number down somewhere''. Finally Will's wife, Jennie Mae  Clayton, who sang with him on the old recordings, found the piece of paper with Willie B.'s number on it  folded into one of the wallet flaps. Will held it out. ''He's sing the real old hard blues for you''.

I called Willie B. over the weekend and asked him if he could come around to Shade's on the following  Monday night. Some people were coming over to sing and I wanted to hear some of Willie B.'s blues. It was  already noisy when O got there, the room crowded and heavy with smoke. Charlie Burse was sitting on one  of the beds trying to tune his tenor guitar with Will's harmonica, and three or four people standing around the  grimy iron stove were shouting an incoherent blues to the accompaniment of a broken ukelele that one of the  women was playing. Willie B. arrived a half hour later, a short, well built man in a light sport shirt and ripper  jacket. He tuned his guitar to the harmonica, then to the noise of shouted arguments, heavy dancing, and  shrill singing. Charlie, Will, and Willie B. began playing a fast blues. At first I just sat in an unsteady chair  listening. Willie seemed to be filling out the music with sudden runs or emphasizing the rhythm with sharp,  percussive notes on the lower strings of the guitar. There was an unmistakeable presence in his playing. After  three or four numbers Burse broke a string and Will began arguing with a man from the room next to his  about a note he was making on the harmonica. I leaned over and asked Willie B. to sing a blues. He picked  up his guitar again and began singing in a low voice. Even with the noise around him I could hear the  intensity and emotional richness of his singing. It was as Will Shade had said, the ''…. real, old hard blues''.

Although Willie B. was born in Memphis on November 4, 1911, and raised in the city, his roots are in the  blues tradition of the rural South. His father, from Pocahontas, Tennessee, still plays the old bottle neck style,  and Willie B. (the family name is Borum) learned some of his father's tunings, some of his songs, and much  of his feeling for the blues. He began playing the harmonica in the early 1930s, and his first teacher was the  great Memphis harmonica player Noah Lewis. Lewis was recording regularly with Sleepy John Estes, and  Willie B. still remembers some of his old numbers. After Lewis, Willie met Sonny Boy Williamson and the  two of them toured Arkansas with small blues groups working out of Memphis. From Sonny Boy he learned  some of his singing style, and there is still some of Williamson's shouted exuberance in Willie's singing. He  worked with other blues singers in Memphis, and even played with the Memphis Jug Band for some of its  engagements. Frank Stokes, who was recording regularly for Paramount and Victor, took Willie out with him  on trips down into Mississippi when Frank want to visit his family.

About 1937 Willie decided he'd have more chance as a musician if he learned the guitar and he has been  playing both guitar and harmonica ever since. He recorded for the first time a year or so later. He and another  guitar player named Alan Shaw traveled to New York with a Memphis singer named Hattie Hart, and  accompanied her on some recordings for the American Recording Corporation. Neither of them sang on the  session. The second World War interrupted Willie's musical career, and in January, 1942, he went into the  service. In December, 1942, he took part in the first North Africa invasion; then went into the later landings  in Sicily and Italy. As the war's end he was with a Quartermaster unit in the Italy mountains, and in 1946 he  returned to Memphis and took a job with the Buckeye Soys Bean Oil Company. Except for a three year  interval from 1950 to 1952, when he studied radio and television repair on the G.I. Bill, he has been at the  same job. He married two years ago and lives in a new home he and his brother have built on the outskirts of  Memphis, working his day job during the week, and doing repair work on the weekends.

Although Willie made the decision to take another job when he left the Army, he has never stopped playing  and singing the blues. Even in the Army, he spent his last year as a Colonel's driver, spending most of his  time singing for parties. Since then he has been working picnics, dances, and occasional club jobs, usually  with three or four piece blues bands, but sometimes just by himself. He hasn't been playing as much since his  marriage, but he still works on new blues, and whenever there's a family party he usually sings. Sometimes  his father will join in, playing one of his old bottleneck blues. During the afternoons that we worked together  selecting numbers for his recording session neighbors would often stop to listen to Willie's playing and  singing. They'd sit for a minute or two; then they'd turn to me and say, ''He really can sing them old blues''.

During a long session one afternoon Willie stopped singing for a moment and began talking about the blues.  He said, ''A blues is about something that's real it's about what a man feels when his wife leaves him that he  can't do anything about. That's why none of these young boys can really sing the blues. They don't know  about the things that go into a blues''. His blues like ''Mailman Blues, ''Country Girl Blues'' and ''Stop Cryin'  Blues'' have an emotional sincerity that reflects this attitude. One of his best numbers in his own ''Overseas  Blues'', written in the early summer of 1945. There was a rumor that troops from Italy would be sent to the  far East to finish the war against Japan. ''Overseas Blues'' is his unhappy comments on the situation. Two of  his most exciting performance were ''Brownsville Blues'' and ''Worried Man Blues''. For these blues, he  returned the guitar to his father's old tuning and used an improvised astinato rhythm on the bass strings with  much of the feeling of the older blues styles. These two blues, with their fusion of musical elements from  different periods of blues development, express the rich variety of his musical background. ''The Stuff Is  Here'', with its harmonica introduction, has some of the style of the old Memphis Jug band.

One of the most surprising aspects of Willie B's style is his technical virtuosity. He is a brilliant  instrumentalist on either guitar and harmonica and plays the two of them together with the same excitement.  He is able to play the harmonica with the same ''choking'' and slurring that other players need both hands for  and his guitar is a driving. Insistent counter voice to both his harmonica and his strong singing. He is an  intense, moving singer in the greatest blues tradition.

Even Willie B. was surprised at the sound of his performances when he listened to the first playbacks. He  shook his head, ''I was kind of nervous, you know, but that's really the blues. That's the blues just like we  were talking about''.
 
During the summer months the soya bean oil plant where Memphis Willie B. has a day job goes on to double  shift haring back the men that have been laid off over the spring, putting on some extra crews, and giving  everybody a chance to get in a little extra work. When I stopped by his house on a close, oppressive morning  in August he was sitting back in the work shop behind his house, his guitar on the couch beside him, sitting  back in a tired slump. He shook his head, ''I've been working a little extra time, you know, going in the  afternoon and working until we get everything in at night. We didn't get done until two thirty this morning.  After a while, working like that for a week or so, you begin to get a little tired''. There were some sheets of  paper scattered on the couch underneath the guitar, and a notebook left open on the work table in the center  of the room,It was a hot sticky morning, the air slack and unmoving. Willie got up to turn on a noisy fan at  one end of the room and there was a flurry of loose papers from the couch. The pages of the notebook  fluttered across the table. As we picket them up, putting them under the weight of the guitar I noticed that  they were blues. I asked Willie about them, ''They're just some blues I been working on'' he answered.

''How do you have time to write anything when you're working?'', I asked him.

He smiled. ''It's working that gives me my ideas. I walk around the plant at night, when if's quiet you know,  and I can hear men talking. Some of them is crying that their wife has left them or that she isn't doing them  right, and somebody else is saying that his girl's took up with somebody else. I hear all that and that's what I  put into my blues. I come back here and write down the things, rhymed up, of course. I make the verse and  things right when I'm still there walking around at the job''.

One of the qualities that immediately sets apart the singing of a major blues artist, like Memphis Willie B., is  the intensity of the emotional experience which is communicated and sustained by the verbal poetry of his  performance. Although the blues has been developed and exploded into an often than and repetitive popular  music idiom the original function of the blues, which was the expression of personal emotion, or the  description of personal experience and attitude, is still live and vital. In developing a blues there is this a  quality of ''hearing man talk'' and there is mechanical process of making the verse and developing the verse  around the central idea. The subject matter the blues is limited, usually the theme is of some aspect of love,  just as is the theme of most American popular music, and over the years there have been built up a number of  verses which fit almost any situation. For many singers the creation of a blues is limited to a hurried  selection of the standard verses to suit the mood without consideration of a personal expression, or attitude.  Since the form of the blues is rather rigid usually the standard three line rhyme with similar rhythmic stress  and length for each verse, the repertoire of conventional verses can be used almost without alteration or  development. As a result most blues are disappointed in their lack of originality or individuality Often the  singers are not entirely at fault certainly. An ambitious singer must produce an unceasing flow of new  material, and usually he is forced to begin using whatever he can find lying around to put a blues together.  Although Willie B. uses many of the conventional blues verses, as do all blues singers, he is unlike most  singers in that he uses the conventions to develop ideas which have an immediacy of emotional expression.

In ''Lonesome Home Blues'' he begins,

''It's lonesome in my home, just me, and myself alone,
Lonesome in my home, just me and myself alone
I ain't got nobody to love me, Lord, and my baby gone''.

It is a statement of a popular blues theme is the second verse he develops the idea with a particular example,  touchingly personal.

''Oh in my sleep, I could hear her call my name
In my sleep, I could hear me call my name
Lord, when I feel over beside me, I couldn't see
a doggone thing''.

In the third verse he turns from his own unhappiness to a general statement of his situation.

''A room without a woman is like a car
without a steering wheel
A room without a woman is like a car
without a steering wheel
And if you ever been mistreated, Lord,
you know just how I feel''.

From this general reflection, part of the store of conventional blues verses, he turns again to his own feelings,  almost as though he had stood up and walked across his empty room to stare unhappily out of the window.

''I wake up early every morning and my pillow
be soaking wet.
I wake up early every morning and my pillow
be soaking wet.
And I be looking for my baby and she ain't
even come home yet''.

With his last verse he returns to the general mood with which he began the blues, ending with a final  defeated shrug.

''Lonesome, Lord, I'm lonesome as I can be.
Lonesome, Lord, I'm lonesome as I can be.
Lord, I wonder why my baby, why she don't
come back to me''.

Using the attitudes of a blues convention with a personal emotionalism, and developing the attitudes with a  careful pattern of general statement and particular as example, Willie B. has created a blues of considerable  strength and vividness.

Often Willie B is able to catch with a line or phrase an almost unforgettable picture. In a few words in  ''Funny Caper Blues'' he describes the scene a man finds when he visit his unfaithful woman.

''Everytime I see you I catch you in your gown
Your hair all mussed up your window shade
pulled down''.

On the can picture an unsatisfactory relationship in a wry verse in ''Hard Working Man Blues'' he sings,

''Every morning before payday, you treat me
like a queen trest a king.
Every morning before payday, you treat me
like a queen treat a king.
And when I get my money in your hand you treat
me like somebody you never seen''.

These are the classic qualities of the blues, and in blues like these Willie B. shows his complete mastery of  idiom. There is, however, a development of the blues style into a personal almost narrative statement of some  particular event. In his first album ''Introducing Memphis Willie B.'' (Bluesville 1034) Willie sang one of  these blues, an account of his experiences in the army in Italy called ''Overseas Blues''. In his second album  ''Hardworking Man Blues'' (Bluesville 1048) he has included a blues about his induction into the army, ''Uncle Sam Blues''. It is in blues of this distinctive type that Willie B.'s singing becomes most personal,  while still remaining part of the blues idiom, and they are perhaps among his most interesting performances.  As he sings in ''Uncle Sam Blues'',

''Lord I got bad news, I'm gong to tell you
what it's all about.
I got bad news for you baby, I'm going to tell you
what's it's all about.
You know Uncle Sam's having trouble overseas
and he want's me to help me out''.

''You know the doctor Ok'd me, and I'm glad
there was nothing wrong.
You know the doctor Ok'd me, and I'm glad
there was nothing wrong.
But only thing I hate, I've got to leave you
here all alone''.

''I get up early in the morning
I've got to check with my local board.
I get up early in the morning
I've got to check with my local board.
It's going to be so lonesome without you
going down that lonesome road''.

'' Hold on Baby, I'll be back someday.
Hold on baby, I'll be back someday.
Lord don't let nobody drive my little girl astray''.

''You hear that train blowing,
calling little Willie I know.
''You hear that train blowing,
calling little Willie I know.
Baby you know the condition,
I'm booked out and bound to go.
So bye, bye, little girl, don't forget to write
So bye, bye, little girl, don't forget to write
Lord, I'll be thinking of you both day and night''.

I would be difficult to express emotion with a more tersely honest simplicity and directness, and in each of  Willie B.'s blues there is much of this same quality.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MEMPHIS WILLIE B.
FOR PRESTIGE BLUESVILLY RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
PRESTIGE SESSION: AUGUST 12, 1961 (2)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
RECORDING ENGINEER – SCOTTY MOORE
PRODUCER - KENNETH S. GOLDSTEIN
AND/OR SAMUEL B. CHARTERS

01 - ''LONESOME HOME BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:21
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

02 - ''L&N BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:31
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

03 - ''HARD WORKING MAN BLUES'' - 3:24
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

04 - ''DYING MOTHER BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:38
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

05 - ''HONEY MAKER BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

06 - ''P38 BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:27
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
07 - ''FUNNY CAPER BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:15
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

08 - ''GOOD POTATOES'' - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

09 - ''I HAVE FOUND SOMEBODY NEW'' - B.M.I. - 3:12
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

10 - ''UNCLE SAM BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

11 - ''WINE DRINKING WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 3:34
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

12 - ''CAR MACHINE BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:18
Composer: - Willie Borum
Publisher: - Prestige Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 12, 1961
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Prestige Bluesville (LP) 33rpm BVLP 1048 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN
Reissued: - May 3, 1995 Prestige Bluesville (CD) 500/200rpm OBCCD-578-2 mono
MEMPHIS WILLIE B. - HARD WORKING MAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Memphis Willie Borum - Vocals, Guitar, Mouth Harp
 
For Biography of Memphis Willie B. see: > The Sun Biographies <
Memphis Willie B. Bluesville recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
AUGUST 13, 1961 SUNDAY

The border between East and West Germany is closed and construction on the Berlin Wall begins. The German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) closes the border with West Germany and install barbed wire entanglements and fences. On August 17, 1961 first concrete elements and large blocks being put in place to create the Berlin Wall. 1961–1975 Concrete wall 87 miles long built separating East and West Germany. Nine border crossing points between East and West Berlin including Checkpoint Charlie at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße, which was restricted to Allied personnel and foreigners. 1989 The separation of East and West Germany ends as the Berlin Wall is taken down leading to eventual German reunification on October 3, 1990. The Berlin Wall was a good example how society was effected by the Cold War which existed between the East and West following the end of World War II up to the nineties. 

Van Morrison forms the group, Them.

Dr. No, the first James Bond movie starring Sean Connery opens.

AUGUST 15, 1961 TUESDAY

Singer and songwriter Paul Jefferson is born in Woodside, California. After a brief solo career in the mid-1990s, he scores a hit as the writer of Aaron Tippin's ''That's As Close As I'll Get To Loving You''.

The military comedy ''Marines, Let's Go'' premieres in New York City, with Rex Allen singing the theme song.

AUGUST 18, 1961 FRIDAY

Jimmy Dean recorded the recitation ''Big Bad John'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

Columbia released Lester Flatt and Earl Scrugg's ''Go Home''.

AUGUST 20, 1961 SUNDAY

Sheb Wooley recorded ''That's My Pa'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

AUGUST 21, 1961 MONDAY

Patsy Cline recorded ''Crazy'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

Columbia released Ray Price's ''Soft Rain''.

AUGUST 22, 1961 TUESDAY

Spade Cooley is sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife in April. He's sent to Vacaville Medical Center.

Willie Nelson holds his first recording session for Libertry Records, yielding his first solo hit, ''Touch Me''.

Conway Twitty and three band member escape injury when they run their car on an Iowa highway just before the vehicle exploded. They lose $15,000 in clothing and equipment, plus a briefcase full of money from their Midwest tour.

AUGUST 24, 1961 THURSDAY

Johnny and Vivian Cash have their fourth daughter, Tara Cash, in Encino, California.

Patsy Cline recorded ''have You Ever Been Lonely (Have You Ever Been Blue)''. Twenty years later, her vocal part is technologically combined with the voice of the late Jim Reeves, who also recorded the song, for a posthumous duet.

AUGUST 25, 1961 FRIDAY

Billy Ray Cyrus is born in Flatwoods, Kentucky. The novelty hit ''Achy Breaky Heart'' brings him instant fame in 1992. He maintains an avid core audience even when the hits slow down and turns to acting on the TV series ''Doc'' and ''Hannah Montana''.

Patsy Cline recorded ''Strange'', written by Mel Tillis, and ''You're Stronger Than Me'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Michelle Branch covers the former song and Rebecca Lynn Howard remakes the latter one 40 years later on the tribute album ''Remembering Patsy Cline''.

AUGUST 26, 1961 SATURDAY

Guitarist Jimmy Olander is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He becomes a member of Diamond Rio, whose crisp harmonies and instrumental prowess net such melodic hits as ''Meet In The Middle'', ''One More Day'' and ''How Your Love Makes Me Feel''.

Ray Pillow makes his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Merle Haggard and his first wife, the former Leona Hobbs, have a daughter, Keli Haggard. She receives credit as a co-writer on ''It's All In The Movies'', though it's merely a gift from her dad.

AUGUST 26, 1961 SATURDAY

The Mar-Keys' "Last Night" becomes the first Stax production to reach number one. Stax--and   later in the decade, the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, studio headed by Rick Hall--both offered a   rawer, more spontaneous, gospel-influenced alternative to the Motown Sound. The Mar-Keys   (whose rhythm section also recorded as Booker T. & the MGs) backed most of the label's   artists, including Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, and  Johnnie Taylor.

AUGUST 27, 1961 SUNDAY

Jeffrey Steele is born in Burbank, California. He helps found the band Boy Hawdy piling up hits as a songwriter, including Keith Urban and Eric Church's ''Raise 'Em Up'', Rascal Flatts'''What Hurts The Most'', Montgomery Gentry's ''My Town'' and Tim McGraw's ''Meanwhile Back At Mama's'' featuring Faith Hill.

AUGUST 28, 1961 MONDAY

Filming for Elvis Presley's movie ''Follow That Dream'' is completed in Los Angeles.

Decca released Roy Drusky's ''I Went Out Of My Wat (To Make You Happy)''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MIKKI WILCOX
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE AUGUST 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CECIL SCAIFE
AND/OR STAN KESLER
 
It's time to correct a mistake that has hounded Sun discographers over the years (1998) Contrary to earlier impressions it now appears certain that Mickey Milan (Phillips International 3533) and Mikki Wilcox, who performs these session, are not the same person. Our most obvious error was to include the photo of Wilcox (that appears here) next to the listing for Milan in Sun Single Collection Volume 5. This error, which is also reflected in the Escott/Hawkins Sun Records Discography, was prompted in part by the fact that tapes from the two singers are stored together in the Sun vaults.

At some point, someone must have stuck everything together after asking, ''What are the odds of having two female singers named Mikki/Mickey record for Phillips International in a short period of time? The answer, unfortunately, was ''Quite High''.

There are two telling pieces of evidence for the ''Two Mikki/Mickey Theory''. The first is, if you look closely at the inscription on the Wilcox photo, you will see a thank you note to arranger Vinnie Trauth for his arrangement on her first record.
 
The message is dated August, 1961. Indeed, Trauth provided the arrangement for this track by Mikki Wilcox which was released on September 1, 1961. If we assume that Ms. Wilcox had her wits about her, she would have remembered whether she already had a September, 1958 release on the Phillips International label. If she were the same Mickey/Mikki, she might have thanked Vinnie by saying something like ''Tanks for your arrangement on my record. It's s damn sight better than the first''.

Forgetting the intrigue surrounding the artist, both sides of this record are actually quite good. The simplest way to describe the sound might be ''LaVerne Baker meets Floyd Cramer''. An odd pairing, to be sure, but stranger things have happened at Sun.

01(1) - ''I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS'' - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-4-8 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS
 
01(2) - ''I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS'' - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: P 410  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: - September 1, 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3573-A < mono
I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS / WILLING AND WAITING
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-3-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
For the first time we are also able to hear several of the previously unissued demos left by Wilcox. These reveal het to be a jazz singer who was familar with standards (she ranges from Duke Ellington to Mose Allison) and worked them in a style that would have played well in the clubs and lounges haunted by label-mate Charlie Rich. The contrast between her demo and single release styles is perhaps nowhere more dramatic than on her treatment of ''I Know What It Means''.
 
02 - ''AIN'T NOTHING BUT THE BLUES'' - B.M.I. 2:53
Composer: - Don George-Duke Ellington
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music-Spirit Music Group
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-2 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

03 - "ALL RIGHT, OKAY YOU WIN'' - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Sid Wyche-Mayme Watts
Publisher: - Peer Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-16 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

04 - ''DON'T WORRY 'BOUT ME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Dome - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961

05 - ''HE WAS GOOD TO ME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961

06 - ''I CAN'T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961

07 - ''IT MEANS SO LITTLE TO YOU''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961

08 - ''IT'S A SIN TO TELL A LIE'' - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: -Billy Mayhew
Publisher: - Warner Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-12 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

09 - ''MY BLUE HEAVEN'' - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - George Whiting; Walter Donaldson
Publisher: - Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-5 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

10 - ''SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY'' - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Bud Green-Benjamin Homer-Les Brown
Publisher: -Warner Chappell Music
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-9 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

11 - ''SO MANY BEAUTIFUL MEN'' - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - E.G. White-Kitty White
Publisher: - Cherio Music
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-18 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

12 - "THIS LOVE OF MINE"
Composer: -Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961

13 - "WHERE ARE YOU" - 2:34
Composer: - Harold Adamson-Jimmy McHugh
Publisher: - Clear Box Advange
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 8-10, 1961
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-22 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mikki Wilcox - Vocal and Guitar

''Willing And Waiting'', the side for which arranger Trauth had to be thanked, is a fine bluesy, melodic song which is actually enhanced by strings. The side, ''I Know What It Means'' cuts closer to the bone. Would you have been at all surprised to learn that this vocalist was black? Either side of this record might have broken through with just a little sustained promotion. Unfortunately, Sam's well documented philosophy at this point was to release them and, if lightning struck, reap the profits. Unfortunately for Ms. Wilcox, it didn't.

14 – ''WILLING AND WAITING'' – 2:34
Composer: - Hager-Glasgow
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 411  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: - September 1, 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3573-B < mono
WILLING AND WAITING / I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-3-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

Which gets us to the second bit of evidence. Quite simply, all you need to do is listen to the two records. It would be close to miraculous if these sides were recorded by the same person. One is, as previously noted, a rather shrill country pop singer and the others is, well, what we have here. Mikki Wilcox knew her way around the blues and is a lot closer to the contrallo of Mavis Staples than the higher range of, say, Kay Starr.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mikki Wilcox – Vocal
Strings & Arrangements by Vinnie Trauth
More Details Unknown
 
For Biography of Mikki Wilcox see: > The Sun Biographies <
Mikki Wilcox's Sun/PI recordings can be heard on her playlistsfrom 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DON HOSEA
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

PROBABLY ECHO RECORDING STUDIO
14 NORTH MANASSAS AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY AUGUST 29, 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER –  STAN KESLER

01 – ''SINCE I MET YOU'' - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Stacy Davidson
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: - U 455   - Master
Recorded: - August 29, 1961
Released: - October 9, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 368-A < mono
SINCE I MET YOU / U HUH HUH
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Don Hosea had recorded some unissued material for Sun Records back in 1958, but it was his regional hit of ''John Henry'' on Roland Janes's Rita Records had re-captured Sun's attention. Hosea is obviously quite comfortable in the white soul bag, as shown by his treatment of ''Since I Met You'', complete with its gospelly 1-6 minor shuttle. It is ''Uh Huh Huh'' that usually draws all the attention, though. The original version of the tune was recorded by Willie Cobbs for Billy Riley's Mojo label. When Cobb's single started drawing attention, the masters were sold to Home Of The Blues Records, also of Memphis. As the momentum continued, Cobbs' masters found their way even further up the food chain and finally saw release on the Vee Jay label.
There is an undeniable power to Cobb's composition. It is catchy, memorable and melodic, three features not normally associated with the blues. Hosea does a fine job here on one of those tunes that can't decide if it's in a major or a minor key. For one, it's unusual to feature a sax break after just one verse. In any case, this would be Hosea's first and only outing on the Sun label and it was certainly among Sun's more interesting contributions to the Memphis music scene in 1961. As codas to this saga, Riley recorded ''Uh Huh Huh'' (properly titled ''You Don't Love Me'') for his ''Whiskeya-Go-Go'' LP on Mercury barely three years later, and Stan Kesler produced yet another version by Hi artist, Tommy Tucker (recorded as Tommy Raye) for his X-L Records.

02 – ''UH HUH HUH'' - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Willie Cobbs
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: - U 456   - Master
Recorded: - August 29, 1961
Released: - October 9, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 368-B < mono
UH HUH HUH / SINCE I MET YOU
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Don Hosea - Vocal
Elbert Adair - Guitar
Billy Wood - Bass
Eugene Ben Keller - Drums
Bobby Wood - Piano
Charles Chalmers - Saxophone
 
For Biography of Don Hosea see: > The Sun Biographies <
Don Hosea's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlistsfrom 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
DON HOSEA - UNTOLD SUN STORIES – Don Hosea left his hometown, Cape Girardeau, Missouri,  in late 1956, bound for Memphis. He started at the Cotton Club in West Memphis, and  became friends with Stan Kesler. 

''I still had my clothes in my car when I went to the Cotton  Club'', Hosea recalls, ''and Stan was playing there with the Snearly Ranch Boys. They offered  me a job. Then Clyde went over to the Gables and I formed a band with Bobbie Wood, Chips  Moman, and Reggie Young.

When Elvis was off the road, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana  would come over. I'd hang out at Sun when Elvis would come by. Warren Smith was there  then, he wanted to be Elvis so bad.

If Elvis wore a certain outfit, next day Warren would be  wearin' it. One time Elvis parked his Cadillac on the sidewalk outside Sun, and the next day  Warren parked on the sidewalk outside Sun. A cop gave him a ticket. Warren says, You didn't  ticket Elvis'. Cop doesn't even look up. Just says, 'You ain't Elvis'''.
 
Don Hosea started recording for Crystal Records, a label owned by bottling king Drew Canale  and run by Stan Kesler, and then went with Rita Records. After Rita folded, Hosea sang with  the Bill Black Combo on the road for a while, then turned up again at Sun. ''Stan and I was in  the studio when Willie Cobbs come in and demo'd ''You Don't Love Me'', remembered Don. ''I  had a rhythm and blues sound, and I covered it. Stan produced me at Echo studios. I think  Sam had a problem with the Union, so he said to Stan that he should set up Echo as a nonunion  studio. They'd cut over there, and if it panned out they'd run a dummy session with  the Union and release it on Sun. Sam had a stake in Echo, but no one knew it at the time.  We got a lot of airplay on that ''Uh Huh Huh'', but I never was too much into the recording  side of things – I was more into performing. Right around that time I went on the road with  Roy Orbison. I was the one who'd jump off the stage and do all the crazy stuff''.

In 1967, Don Hosea moved to Nashville. He wrote songs, some of which were recorded as  album tracks by George Jones, Faron Young and Charlie Pride, and then ran Young's  recording studio for a while. ''The Memphis days were the best of all'', he concludes. ''We  weren't out for money, we were out to entertain. Now it's all business. It was fun then. We'd  get in an old limo, have the best time in the world. I remember one time I woke up seven  o’clock in the morning. Someone was talking outside my hotel window. It was Smokey Joe  talking to his whiskey bottle, 'Sometime I hate you, sometimes I love you'. Stan was always  after me to record more, but I never did like the sound of my recorded voice. I was a  perfectionist a long ways from being perfect. I'd rather get on the road and entertain''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR FREDDIE NORTH
UNKNOWN DATE AND STUDIO LOCATION
 
PROBABLY SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE / PROBABLY AUGUST 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – UNKNOWN

01 - ''SOMEDAY SHE'LL COME ALONG'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Rick Hall
Publisher: - Fame Music – Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: P 413   - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: - October 16, 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3574-B < mono
SOMEDAY SHE'LL COME ALONG / DON'T MAKE ME CRY
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-4-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

This October 16, 1961 release is quite a stylistic departure from much of the Phillips International release schedule. ''Someday She'll Come Along'' is performed in a dramatic, quasi-bolero style popularized by Roy Orbison's records of the day (''Running Scared'', ''Crying''). There is a tremendous intimacy to North's performance, reflected in both his warm style and the manner in which it is recorded. It's likely that he did a lot of listening to Brook Benton and, going back a few years, it wouldn't be surprising to learn that Roy Hamilton was a hero. North's voice and indeed, this material recall inspirational classics like ''You'll Never Walk Alone''. Indeed it wouldn't have been surprising if the opening lines of this record had been ''Oh, my love...'' as North launched into his own version of ''Unchained Melody''.
The next side reveals that there is more to North than overwrought intensity. ''Don't Make Me Cry'' reveals a tough of Jackie Wilson and when that falsetto kicks in, it's hard not to think about Jimmy Jones. In fact, the opening notes of the falsetto section are a nearly direct quote from Maurice Williams' ''Stay'' (''Oh won't tou Sta – yay''). Perhaps it is fair to say that Freddie North was simply a composite of the most effective black music style of the late 1950s and early 1960s. He could do them all and managed to roll most of them into this record.

02 – ''DON'T MAKE ME CRY'' – B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Ray Stevens
Publisher: - Bill Lowery Music
Matrix number: - P 412   - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: - October 16, 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3574-A < mono
DON'T MAKE ME CRY / SOMEDAY SHE'LL COME ALONG
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-4-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6

03 – ''BLUE SKIES'' - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Irving Berlin
Publisher: - Sony ATC Music Publishers
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: May 29, 2012
First appearance: - Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample mono
SUN RECORDS - DOO WOP
 
 Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Freddie North - Vocal
More Details Unknown
 
For Biography of Freddie North see: > The Sun Biographies <
Freddie North's Sun/PI recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
UNTOLD SUN STORIES – FREDDIE NORTH – was a Nashville rhythm and blues singer, born as  Freddie Carpenter on May 28, 1939 in Nashville, Tennessee. His father was a gospel singer,  and by the time North entered Cameron High School in the mid-1950s, he had a good idea  that he wanted to be a singer.

He was in a group called the Rookies, and told the 'Nashville  Tennessean' in 1972 that they made a record for Federal, although the King/Federal files tell  a different story.

''I got out of high school in 1957'', North reported, ''and a little while after that I made a  record on my way for University Records on a deal Buddy Killen set up for me I on American  Bandstand in January of 1960 but wound up not selling, so the University deal fell through''.

It was after parting company from University that North did his solitary session for Phillips  (a session that could well have been purchased or leased as this was the time when Phillips  was dabbling in leased Nashville productions). After Phillips, North signed with Capitol  Records, all the while working as a singing waiter at Executive Club at 17th Avenue and  Broadway in Nashville, and recording country and rhythm and blues demos. ''Half the  recording companies in Nashville could release albums on me from the demos they've got'',  North said in 1972. After Capitol deal fell through, North continued to work at local clubs,  and was holding down a regular gig at the Modern Era Club in west Nashville when he joined  Nashboro/Excello, first as a stockroom clerk, then as a promo man, and then as a recording  artist.

''After I came to Nashboro'', North told 'The Tennessean', ''I did some more recordings. I  guess I had a release out about once a year. We just never could seem to get the right  combination of songs or arrangement. In 1970 I did a thing called ''Thank That Woman''  which sold a few copies''.

After the experience as a disc jockey at WLAC-Nashville and in promotion for Nashboro  Records, who released gospel music. Then in 1971, he recorded ''She's All Got'', a song that  had been written by Jerry Williams (''Swamp Dogg'') and Gary U.S. Bond. It reached number  10 on the Rhythm And Blues charts, and was promptly covered for the country market by  Johnny Paycheck, who took it to number 2. Freddie North released an album, Friend, on  Mankind Records (U.S. Number 179, U.S. Black Albums number 41). The disc yielded two hit  singles, "She's All I Got" (U.S. Number 39, U.S. Black Singles number 10) and "You and Me  Together Forever". Freddie North remains a one-hit wonder.

By this point, North had decided to quit the performing end of the business to concentrate  on his desk job at Nashboro, but the success of ''All I Got'' persuaded him to hang in a little  longer. Some of his recordings for Excello's affiliated labels have been made available on  Ace, although North's current whereabouts are something of a mystery.
AUGUST 30, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Brenda Lee recorded the pop hits ''Break It To Me Gently'' and ''Fool Number 1'' at Nashville's Bradley Recording Studio.

AUGUST 31, 1961 THURSDAY

Songwriter and producer Wayne Kirkpatrick is born in Greenville, Mississippi. Raised in Louisiana, he authors Eric Clapton's ''Change The World'', Little Big Town's ''Boondocks'', The Wreckers' ''My, Oh My'' and Garth Brooks' ''Wrapped Up In You''.
SEPTEMBER 1961

The singles, PI 3572 ''Just A Little bit'' b/w ''It's Too Late'' by Charlie Rich and PI 3573 ''I Know What It Means'' b/w ''Willing And Waiting'' by Mikki Wilcox issued.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) was officially founded and opened its first office during September of 1961. The World Wildlife Fund was created by the world’s top conservationists as a means to organize and collaborate on conservation fundraising throughout the globe. The WWF used its influence and resources to bring public awareness to conservation issues with the goal of lessening humanity’s impact on natural wildlife habitats and preserving endangered species. Since its founding, the WWF has become the world’s largest conservation organization.

SEPTEMBER 1, 1961 FRIDAY

Sun 367 ''Save The Last Dance For Me'' b/w ''As Long As I Live'' by Jerry Lee Lewis released.

Claude King recorded the final version of ''The Comancheros'' in an overnight session at Nashville's Bradley Recording Studio.

SEPTEMBER 3, 1961 SUNDAY

Loretta Lynn signs with Decca Records.

SEPTEMBER 4, 1961 MONDAY

Decca released Webb Pierce's two-sided hit, ''Walking The Streets'' backed with ''How To You Talk To A Baby''.

SEPTEMBER 5, 1961 TUESDAY

Jim Reeves recorded ''(How Can I Write On Paper) What I Feel In My Heart'' and ''Losing Your Love'' during a midday session at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

SEPTEMBER 6, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Stonewall Jackson recorded ''A Wound Time Can't Erase'' and ''Leona''.

Webb Pierce recorded ''Sands Of Gold'' and the Tex Ritter-written ''Cow Town''.

SEPTEMBER 7, 1961 THURSDAY

Jimmy Elledge recorded the Willie Nelson-penned country hit ''Funny How Time Slips Away'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

SEPTEMBER 8, 1961 FRIDAY

Loretta Lynn recorded ''Success'' in the afternoon at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee.

''A-team'' guitarist Hank Garland goes into a coma after a car accident near Springfield, Tennessee. Noted for his work with such acts as Elvis Presley, Faron Young and The Everly Brothers, Garland never plays on another recording session.

Webb Pierce recorded the Mel Tillis-written ''Take Time''.

SEPTEMBER 10, 1961 SUNDAY

Lester Wilburn becomes the first of the four Wilburn Brothers to get married, taking beautiful Linda Todd as his bride.

SEPTEMBER 11, 1961 MONDAY

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''Through That Door''.

Banjo player Richard Bailey is born in Memphis, Tennessee. He becomes a member of the bluegrass band The Steel Drivers, nominees for a country Grammy in 2009.

SEPTEMBER 13, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Bobbie Cryner is born in Woodland, California. The smokey-voiced singer has a recording deal in the 1990s, but has her biggest success as the songwriter of Trisha Yearwood's single ''Real Live Woman''.

Cissy Houston is a vocalist on a New York session for Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks, later to become The Band, for producer Henry Glover. It's a major stepping stone on her way to working with Elvis Presley in The Sweet Inspirations backing group.

SEPTEMBER 14, 1961 THURSDAY

''The Porter Wagoner Show'', a syndicated TV program, debuts on 18 stations. It runs until 1981, airing on Nearly 100 stations at its peak.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BOBBY WOOD
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – STAN KESLER

01 – ''HUMAN EMOTIONS'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Stacy Davidson
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: - U 458   - Master   - Commercially Unissued
Recorded: - September 15, 1961
Released: - October 9, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 369-A < mono
SINCE I MET YOU / U HUH HUH
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
Session pianist Bobby Wood recorded these sides in September 1961. ''Everybody's Searching'' is from the tradition of white gospel songs that have been crafted for the pop marketplace. The release on this particular outing borrows heavily from Stephen Foster's ''Old Folks At Home''. Sun had its share of entries in this field, ranging from Ray Smith's ''Hay Boss Man'' to Charlie Rich's ''Gonna be Waitin'''.
 
Like both of those tunes, this opus features plenty of 1-4-1 chord changes and a happy pointedly shrill chorus echoing the lyrics. True to form there is no mention of a deity here. It's one thing to bring the church to the juke box; it's quite another to ask God to sit in a Wurlitzer.
 
Music like this is usually pretty watered down for pop sensibilities, but Bobby Wood brings even less of an edge to his approach than most of the vocalists who tackle such material. He fares even worse on the flipside. There is a theory that one can guess simply from the title of a song how likeable the music will be. It isn't a perfect system but titles like ''Honky Tonk Blues'' or ''Down The Line'' bode well. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that a Sun record called ''Human Emotions'' would come to much. The theory has never looked better.

For reasons probably unconnected with music, this single was never commercially released. It was a Stan Kesler production, and Wood believes that Stan had him under contract to another label at the time. In 1964, Wood finally scored a hit on Joy Records, and one of the follow-ups was yet another version of ''Human Emotions''. In October 1964, Wood was on tour with Gene Simmons, Murray Kellum, Travis Wammack and J. Frank Wilson when he was involved in a car wreck that cost him an eye. Wilson was badly injured and his road manager was killed. By the late 1960s, Wood had drifted into session work and can be heard on Elvis Presley's ''From Elvis In Memphis'' and ''Raised On Rock'' sessions among many others. He than made the familiar pilgrimage to Nashville and has worked on literally thousands of sessions since.
02 – ''EVERYBODY'S SEARCHING'' - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Stacy Davidson
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: - U 457  - Master  - Commercially Unissued
Recorded: - September 15, 1961
Released: - October 9, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 369-B < mono
UH HUH HUH / SINCE I MET YOU
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-6 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bobby Wood – Vocal and Piano
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Elbert Aldair - Guitar
Billy Wood - Bass
Eugene Keller - Drums
Johnny Ace Cannon – Saxophone

Unknown Chorus
 
A regular Sun release of this record has yet to surface. Apparently it was withdrawn from marketing due to a contractual dispute. The side, ''Everybody's Searchin'', was released on at least two different labels. The Pen label is the most interesting, because it has been produced at the same pressing plant as Sun was using at the time, and has indeed Phillips' stamped in the vinyl trailoff. The GA Challenge promo and commercial issues are from different stampers and has slightly different playing time.
 
For Biography of Bobby Wood see: > The Sun Biographies <
Bobby Wood's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
SEPTEMBER 16, 1961 SATURDAY

Hank Locklin recorded ''happy Journey'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

SEPTEMBER 17, 1961 SUNDAY

Charlie Walker organizes a benefit concert in San Antonio for Jimmie Rosgers' ailing widow. Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Hawkshaw Hawkins, The Wilburn Brothers, Johnny Cash, Jimmy C. Newman and Bill Anderson help raise $6,000.

SEPTEMBER 20, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Karl Farr, of the Sons Of The Pioneers, dies of a heart attack on stage at the Eastern Exposition Coliseum in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Known for ''Tumbling Tumbleweeds'', the western harmony group later joins the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Tex Ritter stars in his first theatrical production in almost three decades. ''The Stovepipe Hat'', as it opens at the Music Box Theater in Los Angeles, California. The show closes three nights later.

SEPTEMBER 21, 1961 THURSDAY

Porter Wagoner recorded ''Misery Loves Company'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville during an afternoon session.

The landing gear fails on an airplane carrying Rose Maddox to Boston's Logan Airport. The plane spins into Boston Harbor, only one passenger dies.

Charlie Phillips recorded his only hit, ''I Guess I'll Never Learn''.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR HAROLD DORMAN
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR CECIL SCAIFE

Harold Dorman's calling card was ''Mountain Of Love'', a beat ballad that went on to see a great many revamps, most notably by Johnny Rivers, David Houston, and Charley Pride (who, like the songs's composer, hailed from the tiny town of Sledge, Mississippi). Dorman's twelve months as a Sun artist brought forth some quality sides, the strongest of which is this derivitive of Gary U.S. Bond's double-track style. Not too long after, the bright lights had faded and he was earning a living repairing typewriters.
 
Harold Dorman's second Sun release of 1961 was pretty potent and might well have reclaimed the national audience he earned with ''Mountain Of Love''. To his credit, ''Uncle Jonah's Place'' owes no musical debt whatsoever to ''Mountain''. Dorman is swimming in entirely different waters here and acquits himself in fine style. The truth is, the only debt apparent on ''Jonah's'' is to Gary 'U.S.' Bonds, whose barely intelligible multitracked hits were sweeping the charts in 1961.

Dorman has taken the essence of this style but applied it to a much funkier, more southern target. As on the best of Dorman's work, racial identity is blurred. There's just no way to know whether the artist, or even ''Uncle Jonah'' is black or white. The only thing clear is that he's ''southern''.

One of the sweetest elements of this record is the heavy pulsing bass drum, alternating single and double strokes in a style best known from Charlie Rich's ''Lonely Weekends''. Like most work in this gospel-sounding genre, there are so many flatted thirds that it is hard to be sure whether the song is in a major or minor key. So powerful is this material that it might have worked as an instrumental. But fortunately we have Dorman's vocal and its wonderful tag line ''i lost my faith in the human race / Till I finally found Jonah's place''. Now ''that's'' poetry!

At one minute and 45 seconds, the AM radio programmers must have loved ''Just One Step''. It left them lots of time for the Clearasil commercials before and after. On this side, Dorman does his version of Fats Domino meets Ivory Joe Hunter. It's a smooth insubstantial effort that provided little competition for airplay and sales attention.
01 - ''UNCLE JONAH'S PLACE'' - B.M.I. - 1:45
Composer: Harold Dorman
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Gando Music
Matrix number: - U 459  - Master
Recorded: - September 21, 1961
Released: - November 7, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 370-A < mono
UNCLE JONAH'S PLACE / JUST ONE STEP
Reissued: -  1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

02 - ''JUST ONE STEP'' - B.M.I. - 1:45
Composer: Harold Dorman
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated - Gando Music
Matrix number: - U 460 - Master
Recorded: - September 21, 1961
Released: - November 7, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 370-B < mono
UNCLE JONAH'S PLACE / JUST ONE STEP
Reissued: -  1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-8 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harold Dorman – Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Scotty Moore - Guitar
O.T. Shaw - Bass
Al Jackson - Drums
Bobby Wood - Piano
Martin Willis - Tenor Saxophone
Vinnie Trauth - Tenor Saxophone
 
For Biography of Harold Dorman see: > The Sun Biographies <
Harold Dorman's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
319 SEVENTH AVENUE NORTH, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21, 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - SAM PHILLIPS  AND/OR BILLY SHERRILL
RECORDING ENGINEER - JIM LOCKHART AND/OR TOM SPARKMAN
 
''Ramblin' Rose'' has been identified in some earlier discographies as having been recorded three times, once more than the evidence to hand indicates, a misconception now shown to be the result of the post-production manipulation of tape speeds. The good news is that this makes available an extension to take 1 serving up more than twenty extra seconds of the cut to add to what has hitherto been made widely available. These recordings date from this session in September 1961 when Sam Phillips pushed out the boat in trying to find a new sound. An eight piece horn section was in attendance to help generate the big brass sound, as Sam described it in the liner notes of the second LP (Sun LP 1265), on Jerry Lee's version of ''Money''. As we can hear in the concluding moments of the complete performance, greatly extended beyond the original fade out point at 2:22, in the end it all fell apart. But the suitably truncated ''Money'' was nonetheless good enough for a single release, (Sun 371), coupled with the best of the six takes of ''Bonnie B'' held over from January 1960. (*)
 
1(1) – ''RAMBLIN' ROSE'' - B.M.I. - 2:54
Composer: - Fred B. Burch-Marijohn Wilkin
Publisher: - Cedar Wood Music
Matrix number: - U 468 - Master Take 1
Recorded: - September 21, 1961
Released: - January 19, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 374-B < mono
RAMBLIN' ROSE / I'VE BEEN TWISTIN'
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

''Ramblin' Rose'', while not typical Jerry Lee fare, is a powerful, bluesy effort that holds a surprising amount of tension throughout its nearly three minutes running time. You know you're listening to something special within that first four bars of instrumental work. The performance is very sexy, without any of the overt gurgles Jerry used to insert gratuitously into his material. The track, not to be confused with the insipid Nat Cole of the same name, features powerful drumming and piano work. Not even the chorus can diminish this one. Sam Phillips' Nashville connection probably acquired the song; it was by Fred Burch (who had co-written ''Tragedy'') and Marijohn Wilkin, together they would go on to write Jimmy Dean's hits, ''PT 109'' and ''Big Bad John''. This, a finer song in every way, stiffed.

1(1) – ''RAMBLIN' ROSE'' (1) - B.M.I. - 3:20
Composer: - Fred B. Burch-Marijohn Wilkin
Publisher: - Cedar Wood Music
Matrix number: - None - Extended Stereo Master Take 1
Recorded: - September 21, 1961   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-7-20 stereo
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-16-20 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

1(2) – ''RAMBLIN' ROSE'' (1) - B.M.I. - 3:01
Composer: - Fred B. Burch-Marijohn Wilkin
Publisher: - Cedar Wood Music
Matrix number: - None – Take 2
Recorded: - September 21, 1961   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - December 1969
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm Sun 108-A3 stereo
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE GOLDEN CREAM OF COUNTRY
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-7-23 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963
October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-16-21 stereo
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Jerry's credentials as an rhythm and blues artist were deepening with every release. Here, he takes on the Motown catalogue with his version of ''Money'', written by Barrett Strong the previous year. In truth, the song was not yet considered a 'classic' when the decision was made for Jerry to record it.

Even the Beatles may not yet have discovered it. This Nashville session from September, 1961 is notable in one important way. Never before had Jerry worked with more horn players. The Union logs list six of them which, along with the usual rhythm session, meant that Sun was paying some serious front money for this date.
 
Sam C. Phillips was not to be cheated. What he paid for, he heard! Even the liner notes to Jerry's second album, which featured this track, touted Jerry working with ''a big brass sound'', adding ''See if you don't feel he's perfectly at home and in facts shows off the brass to great advantage''. Jerry reads the now famous lyric   against Indian wardrums and his piano manages to hold its own against the blazing horns. The trumpets really cut loose during the final twelve bars and there are times when it's difficult to know where the shrill horns stop and the shrieking chorus starts.

In stripped-down form this was a  1960’s live favourite (check out the powerful version from Hamburg 1964 as well as the weaker version from Fort Worth 1966). The 2010 cut is Jerry’s most recently-released recording, being a bonus track on an exclusive edition of ‘Mean Old Man’ sold at the Million Dollar Quartet stage show in New York during mid September of this year. It’s possibly the most recently recorded too, as it certainly wasn’t amongst the bulk of “raw” ‘Mean Old Man’ recordings from late 2008 and early 2009, nor is there any record of it being recorded during any of the ‘Last Man Standing’ sessions during 2002-2005. Whenever it was recorded, the playing, the inspiration and the production is better than pretty much anything on the main album (and even the vocals aren’t too bad), though the one down-side is the over-dubbed duet vocal by Levi Kreis, the guy who plays Jerry in the stage show.
2 – ''MONEY'' - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Janie Bradford-Berry Gordy Jr.
Publisher: - Jobett Music
Matrix number: - U 461 - Master
Recorded: - September 21, 1961
Released: - November 21, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 371-B < mono
MONEY / BONNIE B
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

02 – ''MONEY'' - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Janie Bradford-Berry Gordy Jr.
Publisher: - Jobett Music
Matrix number: - None - Extended Stereo Master
Recorded: - September 21, 1961   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - September 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-7-21 stereo
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963
Reissued: - October 2015   Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-16-22 stereo
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS
 

"Money (That's What I Want)" is a song written by Tamla founder Berry Gordy Jr. and Janie Bradford that became the first hit record for Gordy's Motown enterprise. The song was recorded in 1959 by Barrett Strong for the Tamla label, distributed nationally on Anna Records. It went on to be covered by many artists, including the Beatles in 1963 and the Flying Lizards in 1979.

The song was originally recorded by Barrett Strong and released on Tamla in August 1959. Anna Records was operated by Gwen Gordy, Anna Gordy and Roquel "Billy" Davis. Gwen and Anna's brother Berry Gordy had just established his Tamla label (soon Motown would follow) and licensed the song to the Anna label in 1960, which was distributed nationwide by Chicago-based Chess Records in order to meet demand; the Tamla record was a resounding success in the Midwest. The song has Strong curtly insisting that money is what he needs, more than anything else.

In the US, the single became Motown's first hit in June 1960, making it to number 2 on the Hot Rhythm and Blues Sides chart and number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was listed as number 288 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time''. Greil Marcus has pointed out that "Money" was the only song that brought Strong's name near the top of the national music charts, "but that one time has kept him on the radio all his life''. Piano and lead vocals were supplied by Barrett. Guitar on the track was played by Eugene Grew. Virtually all of the records issued were 45's, the 10" 78 format, issued by Anna, is described as "extremely rare''.

Singer Barrett Strong claims that he co-wrote the song with Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford. His name was removed from the copyright registration three years after the song was written, restored in 1987 when the copyright was renewed, and then excised again the following year. Gordy has stated that Strong's name was only included because of a clerical error.

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded in September 1961 ''Money'' for his Sun single (Sun 371), backed with ''Bonnie B'' and released on November 21, 1961, but didn't the charts. Even the Beatles recorded "Money" in seven takes on July 18, 1963, with their usual lineup. A series of piano overdubs was later added by producer George Martin. The song was released in November 1963 as the final track on their second UK album, ''With The Beatles''. According to George Harrison, the group discovered Strong's version in Brian Epstein's NEMS record store (though not a hit in the UK, it had been issued on London Records in 1960). They had previously performed it during their audition at Decca Records on January 1, 1962, with Pete Best still on drums at the time. They also recorded it six times for BBC radio. A live version, taped at a concert date in Stockholm, Sweden in October 1963, was included on ''Anthology 1''.

In July 1979 British band the Flying Lizards released a new wave version of the song. An unexpected hit, this version peaked at number 5 in the UK chart and at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at number 22 on the US dance charts.

The song has been covered by many artists, with several of the versions appearing in a variety of charts. For example, the Kingsmen reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 in the US Rhythm and Blues charts in 1964. Jennell Hawkins hit number 17 in the Rhythm and Blues charts with her recording in 1962. Junior Walker and The All Stars reached number 52 on the Hot 100 and number 35 on the Rhythm and Blues charts in 1966 and Bern Elliott and the Fenmen reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart in November 1963.

The song was a staple for British beat bands, including the Searchers, the Undertakers, Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes and the Rolling Stones. It was also covered by Freddie and the Dreamers and John Lee Hooker. The song was covered during live performances by the Doors and appears twice on their 2009 released album ''Live In New York'', which covers four sets from January 1970. It also appears on their live album Live in Vancouver 1970 and the bootleg album ''Boot Yer Butt: The Doors Bootlegs''. 

3 – ''ROCKIN' THE BOAT OF LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Carl Mann
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment
Matrix number: - None – Unknown Take
Recorded: - September 21, 1961   - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm NY-6-A4 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - COLLECTORS EDITON
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-7-22 stereo
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 – 1963

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal & Piano
Wayne Moss - Guitar
Jerry Kennedy - Guitar
Bob Moore - Bass
Murray Buddy Harmon - Drums
Jerry Tuttle - Organ
Jim Hall - Saxophone
Homer Boots Randolph - Saxophone
Karl Gavin - Saxophone
John Wilkin - Horn
Donald Sheffield - Horn
Cameron Mullis - Horn
William Bill McElhiney - Horn
Unknown - Vocal Chorus
 
For Biography of Jerry Lee Lewis see: > The Sun Biographies <
Jerry Lee Lewis' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
SEPTEMBER 22, 1961 FRIDAY

''Five Star Jubilee'' ends a six-month run on NBC. The country variety series, telecast from Springfield, Missoury, rotated five hosts, Rex Allen, Snooky Lanson, Tex Ritter, Carl Smith and Jimmy Wakely. 

Columbia released Jimmy Dean's ''Big Bad John''.

Hawkshaw Hawkins conducts his final recording session with Columbia Records. Shortly thereafter, he returns to the King label, with whom he'd previously amassed a half-dozen hits.

SEPTEMBER 23, 1961 SATERDAY

Mitch Miller, the host of NBC-TV's ''Sing Along With Mitch'', makes the cover of TV Guide. The former pop record executive produced several hits for Marty Robbins, including ''The Hanging Tree'' and ''A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)''.

SEPTEMBER 24, 1961 SUNDAY

Clark McEntire, Reba's father, wins the National Steer Roping Championship in Laramie, Wyoming.

SEPTEMBER 25, 1961 MONDAY

Decca released Brenda Lee's pop hit ''Fool Number 1''.

Jackie Gleason stars as pool legend Minnesota Fats in the movie debut of ''The Hustler''. Within six months, Gleason is also successful country songwriter, thanks to Jimmy Dean's recording of ''To A Sleeping Beauty''.

Ray Price recorded ''San Antonio Rose'', the first tribute album to honor Bob Wills. The band includes Willie Nelson.

Actress Heather Locklear is born in Westwood, California. She is married to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora at the time the band recorded its country hit, ''Who Says You Can't Go Home''.

Leroy Van Dyke's ''Walk On By'' spends the first of 19 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart.

SEPTEMBER 26, 1961 TUESDAY

Nat ''King'' Cole and his wife, Marie, have twin daughters. Timolin and Casey Cole. Dad appeared twice in 1944 on the Billboard folk charts, destined to become the magazine's country list.

Buck Owens recorded ''You've For Me'' at the Capitol Tower in Los Angeles, California.

SEPTEMBER 29, 1961 FRIDAY

Don Gibson recorded ''Lonesome Number One'' during a late-morning session at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
SEPTEMBER 29 SATURDAY /OCTOBER 1961

Jerry Lee Lewis plays a 30-day tour with Jackie Wilson for black promoter Henry Winn. Gene Chrisman plays drums and Jay W. Brown is on bass.

SEPTEMBER 30, 1961 SATURDAY

Bob Dylan signs with Columbia Records. The folk singer and songwriter writes a number of songs which find success in country music, including ''To Make You Feel My Love'', ''It Ain't Me, Babe'' and ''You Ain't Going Nowhere''.
OCTOBER 1961

PI 3574 ''Don't Make Me Cry'' b/w ''Someday She'll Come Along'' by Freddie North issued.

OCTOBER 1, 1961 SUNDAY

RCA Victor released the soundtrack to the Elvis Presley movie ''Blue Hawaii''( RCA Victor LPM-2426).

OCTOBER 2, 1961 MONDAY

Joy Lynn White is born in Turrell, Arkansas. A highly regarded vocalist with a powerful voice, she never quite attains mainstream success during her tenure with Columbia Records in the 1990s, though she contributes to the ''Maverick'' soundtrack.

OCTOBER 3, 1961 TUESDAY

CBS debuts ''The Dick Van Dyke Show''. The cast includes Morey Amsterdam, who wrote Dick Jurgens' 1947 country hit ''(Oh Why, Did I Ever Leave) Wyoming'', and Mary Tyler Moore, who founds the 1980s country label MTM Records.

OCTOBER 4, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Bob Dylan, destined to write a number of country hits, appears at New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall for the first time. His audience numbers just 50 people.

Syndicated journalist Dorothy Kilgallen reports Hank Snow has sued Colonel Tom Parker, insisting he was the person who discovered Elvis Presley. Both sides hope to settle the dispute out of court.

OCTOBER 6, 1961 FRIDAY

Columbia Records released Johnny Cash's ''Tennessee Flat-Top Box'', and Claude King's ''The Comancheros''.

OCTOBER 7, 1961 SATURDAY

Songwriter Tommy Barnes is born. He creates Tim McGraw's first hit, ''Indian Outlaw''.

Wanda Jackson marries Wendell Goodman.

OCTOBER 8, 1961 SUNDAY

Glen and Billie Jean Campbell have a daughter, Keli Glen Campbell.

OCTOBER 9, 1961 MONDAY

The singles, Sun 368 ''Since I Met You'' b/w ''U Huh Unh'' by Don Hosea and Sun 369 ''Human Emotions'' b/w ''Everybody's Searchin'' by Bobby Wood issued.

Decca released Kitty Well's ''Day Into Night''.

OCTOBER 10, 1961 TUESDAY

Tennessee Ernie Ford picks up his second gold album, for ''Spirituals''. It includes a version of ''(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)''.

OCTOBER 11, 1961 WEDNESDAY

As a member of the club band The Apollos, Lee Greenwood is invited for the first time to participate in a    United Service Organizations  trip, performing for serviceman in Alaska.

OCTOBER 15, 1961 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''Good Luck Charm'' at the RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

OCTOBER 16, 1961 MONDAY

Decca released Patsy Cline's ''Crazy''.

Guitarist Wanda Vick is born in Montevallo, Alabama. She joins the all-female band Wild Rose, which nets a minor hit in 1989 with ''Breaking New Ground''.

OCTOBER 17, 1961 TUESDAY

''Elvis' Golden Records'' is the fifth album by Elvis Presley issued by RCA Victor, LPM 1707, and his second gold album, in March recorded mostly at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, with one session at RCA Studios in New York on January 30, one at 20th Century-Fox Stage One in Hollywood on August 24, and three at RCA Studios in Nashville in January and April 1956. It is a compilation of hit singles released in 1956 and 1957, and is widely believed to be the first greatest hits album in rock and roll history. It is the first of five ''Elvis' Golden/Gold Records'' compilations, four of which would be released during Presley's lifetime. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified Gold on October 17, 1961, Platinum on May 20, 1988, 5x Platinum on March 27, 1992 and 6x Platinum on August 17, 1999 by the Recording Industry Association of America.

OCTOBER 20, 1961 FRIDAY

Bob Dylan recorded his self-titled debut album. It begins a lengthy career in which he writes such country hits as Johnny Cash's ''It Ain't Me, Babe'', Garth Brooks' ''To Make You Feel My Love'' and Judy Rodman's ''I'll Be Your Baby Tonight''.

OCTOBER 21, 1961 SATURDAY

Jimmy Dean recorded ''To A Sleeping Beauty'', written by comedian Jackie Gleason.
 
OCTOBER 21, 1961 SATURDAY

Sun SLP 1255 ''Now Here's...'' by Johnny Cash issued.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Ray Smith found a potentially big deal in March 1961 with Infinity Records, based in California and part of the Howard Hughes empire. Bill Justis produced two Nashville sessions for the label but the promises of a big promotional push for Ray never came to fruition and soon Charlie Terrell was again looking for a new deal.

He found one in the summer of 1961, Ray Smith was back at Sun Records for a second time. Probably he was not displeased to have a crack at being on Sun in its new Nashville phase. When asked once what he remembered most about being on Sun, he replied, simply, ''Happiness, parties, etc''. On October 24, 1961 at ten in the evening he went into Sam Phillips' Nashville studio and worked all night, recording four songs that appeared on his last two Sun singles. Charlie Terrell remembered it well: ''When Ray went back to Sun records after Judd, we used the new studio in Nashville. Sam owned and built the studio, and Sam was there at the session, though we still had Bill Justis producing and engineering. He had Bill Sherrill as his electrician and helper. It was a good session with a lot of fine musicians. Pig Robbins was the pianist, and Bob Moore was the bass player''.

STUDIO SESSION FOR RAY SMITH
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
319 SEVENTH AVENUE NORTH, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY OCTOBER 24, 1961
SESSION HOURS: 22:00-01:00
PRODUCER – BILL JUSTIS  AND/OR BILLY SHERRILL
RECORDING ENGINEER - JIM LOCKHART AND/OR TOM SPARKMAN

01 – ''TRAVLIN' SALESMAN'' - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Nelson-Crutchfield
Publisher: - Champion Music – Tree Music
Matrix number: - U 463   - Master
Recorded: - October 24, 1961
Released: - November 21, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 372-A < mono
TRAVLIN' SALESMAN – I WON'T MISS YOU
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-11 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
If anyone could cope with changing times in the record business, it was Ray Smith. The man was a veritable chameleon. As his personal appearances of the day confirmed, he could offer convincing efforts in styles ranging from Elvis Presley and Fran Sinatra. What was a little bluesy funk to a man like that?  The Ray Smith who recorded the next single and one more released in early 1962, was quite different from the rockabilly pretender Sun fans had come to adore during his 1958 stint with the label.
 
This gravelly voiced midtempo blues shouter was a perfect fit for the late 1961 marketplace. There's a mandatory funky tempo and backup white chicks singing like they're in black church.
 
The material here is anything but ordinary. Smith has taken all the old 'traveling salesman' jokes and turned them inside out. He's the 'husband' of the traveling salesman's girl, and he's sick of all the crap she's buying from her salesman boyfriend. You had to have a taste for the bizarre to connect with, much less understand this storyline!
 
Smith uses his emotive voice well, phrasing adventurously against the foursquare rhythm. He even tries some rather grating bass growls during the instrumental solo and again at the fade. One way or another this song was likely to garner some radio play, although it stopped very short of chart status.
''I Won't Miss You'' is a soul ballad from the practiced pen of Stan Kesler, who had placed similar material (''Playing For Keeps'', ''The Thrill Of Your Love'') with Elvis for the past five years.

02 - ''I WON'T MISS YOU'' - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Stan Kesler
Publisher: - Katrina Music
Matrix number: - U 464  - Master
Recorded: - October 24, 1961
Released: - November 21, 1961
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 372-B < mono
I WON'T MISS YOU / TRAVLIN' SALESMAN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-12 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

03 – ''CANDY DOLL'' - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Marijohn Wilkin-Fred Burch
Publisher: - Cedar Wood
Matrix number: - U 469 - Master
Recorded: - October 24, 1961
Released: - February 9, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 375-A < mono
I WON'T MISS YOU / TRAVLIN' SALESMAN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
''Candy Doll'', this was Ray Smith's second and final Sun release from his post-rockabilly period. As on ''Travlin' Salesman'', Smith is in his white soul bag here with both sides of this outing. ''Hey Boss Mann'' is the standard working man's complaint. For all intents and purposes, this is a Charlie Rich record. The material, instrumental sound and even vocal are not far from the material Rich would be recorded for RCA within a year or two.
Original pressings of this disc revealed how powerful the Twist had become in dictating the music marketplace. The label was printed as ''Hey Boss Man (Twist)''. How bizarre had things become when an essentially black song about an unfair bossman was written, performed and marketed by white men, and sold as the basis of a dance craze!. Chubby Checker had a lot to answer for.

''Candy Doll'' is a tougher record to figure out. Smith was drawing material from Nashville's top publishers and composers – these were hardly homegrown efforts in Memphis. Yet, it's hard to see the hook in this purposefully crafted pop record. Was it the repeated phrasing of the title? Or the growling horn solo? The wailing chorus? It didn't sell and, sadly, marked the end of Smith's recording career for the Sun label.

04 – ''HEY BOSS MAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:00
Composer: - Benny Joy
Publisher: - Champion Music
Matrix number: - U 470   - Master
Recorded: - October 24, 1961
Released: - February 9, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 375-B < mono
HEY BOSS MAN / CANDY DOLL
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ray Smith – Vocal
Hargus ''Pig'' Robbins – Piano
Stanley Walker – Guitar
Bob Moore – Bass
Unknown – Guitar
Unknown – Drums
Unknown – Brass Section
Unknown – Vocal Chorus

Neither of Ray's last two Sun discs fared very well in the marketplace and Charlie Terrell was soon back out there looking for another recording deal. He found a small one, with Roland Janes Rita Records in Memphis, and a potentially bigger one with Vee Jay in Chicago. Neither worked out well, and Ray next did the rounds, to Warner Bros., Smash, Tollie, Celebrity Circle, and Diamond. Around 1966 the options dried up and Smith made three singles for BC, a label owned by Charlie Terrell himself. By now, Smith had long since lost his guitarist, Stanley Walker, who went to work for singer Jean Shepard appearing on the Grand Ole Opry and the 'Hee Haw' TV show.
 
For Biography of Ray Smith see: > The Sun Biographies <
Ray Smith's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
Ray Smith decided to move his family to Burlington, Ontario to play the club circuit in  southeastern Canada. He was disillusioned with recording and found Ontario a better base  for touring in the northern part of the USA.

He said that it gave him better media exposure  too: ''I had TV shows all over Canada, on Channel 9, Toronto, Channel 11 Hamilton, and  Ottawa Channel 12''.

His music was now moving back towards country. He recorded into the 1970s on another  string of labels, from Caravan to Corona, and on to Zirkon and Celebrity Circle. In 1972 he  had a small hit on Nashville's hot label, Cinnamon, but it was then that his long association  with Charlie Terrell ended.

According to Terrell: ''Ray was making good money, playing good  clubs and venues, and he was driving Cadillacs - but his biggest fault was that he didn't want  to get out and do any promotional work''.
 
''I continued to manage him even after he moved home to Canada but I was unable to get  him to follow up on the good opportunities we had. I was busy with other things and couldn't  chase him all round the country, and we just had to drop out of that arrangement. Ray was  always a drinker - but it got more and more as time went on''. Ray's step brother, Don  Hindman, said: ''Ray had talent, but he just wouldn't leave the booze alone''.

Ray Smith ended his recording career several years later on small Canadian labels like Wix  and Boot. By then, he was recording for the rock and roll revival market and combining his  own songs with interpretations of songs by Presley, Lewis, and the other big leaguers.  Originally a rhythm guitarist on stage, Ray had always played piano too, though not on  records, and he now started to make the piano more of a feature in his act. Reviewing an  album on Wix, writer Bill Millar found: ''Smith pounds the piano with a ferociousness fit to  upset the Richter Scale, and his under-developed sense of accuracy – on a par with Esquerita  – simply adds to the fun''.

In 1978 and 1979, Smith toured the revival scene in England and other counties in Europe. It  was to mixed reviews. In London, too much beer consumed before a show found Bill Millar  among an audience suffering ''fluffed words, unexpected screams and general ineptness...  he tried to kick the piano stool and missed... a unique theatrical experience''. Yet other  shows from the period were a resounding success and, on his more sober days, it was still  easy in the late 1970s to see through the years and back to the real Ray Smith – the man  who had so impressed Charlie Terrell and Sam and Jud Phillips. The man with one of the best and most adept voices in popular music, the man with the ability to sell a song both on  record and on stage, the showman who was at home with the piano or the guitar, and with  the music of the million dollar quartet or the ratpack. The man with the a line in witty or  sarcastic quips, and with a desire to succeed.

Success in Ray Smith's personal life came and went the same way it did in his career. On  November 29, 1979, he went to visit his estranged wife, Lillie, apparently to talk about him  coming back home. The conversation didn't go well. According to Charlie Terrell: ''After he  was in Canada, Ray was eating pills as well as drinking. He committed suicide after he came  back from a tour. He'd been on prozac from a doctor, and he had these personal problems.  He'd been messing around with a secretary near Hamilton, Ontario and he came off tour to  see his wife to get her back. She took him back many times before, but this time she  wouldn't do it. He was depressed – he couldn't stand and any kind of rejection. He took a gun  from the drawer and shot himself. Their son was right there in the house''. Terrel was one of  the pallbearers at Ray Smith's funeral on December 2, 1979. The Phillips brothers, Sam and  Judd, survived Ray Smith by over one and two decades respectively. Jud Phillips died on  July 20, 1992 in Memphis, from throat cancer. He had continued in some aspects of artist  promotion for many years after giving up Judd Records as well as running a number of other  business including a bottling plant in his home town of Florence, Alabama. Sam Phillips died  in July 2003 in Memphis. Bill Lowery died in Atlanta in 2004.

The last link to Ray Smith and the Rock And Roll boys manager Charlie Terrell, and the last  active member was Stanley Walker, whose band still advertised in the Paducah Sun in 2006,  playing local fairs and old peoples tea dances. Not a fate that Ray Smith would have aspired  to, and not one the highly talented, highly strung, and intermittently focused singer was  ever likely to have achieved.
OCTOBER 27, 1961 FRIDAY

Former country Grammy winners The Kingston Trio make a guest appearance on ''The Bell Telephone Hour''. The NBC-TV show also features The Benny Goodman Trio and The McGuire Sisters.

OCTOBER 29, 1961 SUNDAY

Bing and Kathy Crosby have a son, Nathaniel Crosby, in Los Angeles. Bing hit the country charts in 1944 with The Andrews Sisters on ''Pistol Packin' Mama''.

The Everly Brothers appear on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', along with comedian George Gobel and Broadway star Robert Goulet.

OCTOBER 30, 1961 MONDAY

The John Wayne western ''The Comancheros'' opens in theaters. It inspires the Caude King hit with the same title.

OCTOBER 31, 1961 TUESDAY

Drummer Larry Mullen Jr. is born in Dublin, Ireland. He joins the rock band U2, entering the Rock And Roll Hall of fame in 2005. He also backs up Bono on ''Dreaming With Tears In My Eyes'' for the album, ''The Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers - A Tribute''.
NOVEMBER 1961

PI 3571 ''Elephant Walk'' b/w ''Catching Up'' by Brad Suggs issued.

NOVEMBER 1, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Skeeter Davis recorded ''Where I Ought To Be''.

NOVEMBER 2, 1961 THURSDAY

Singer k.d. lang is born in Consort, Alberta. Debuting as a Patsy Cline-influenced artist in the 1980s, she earns two Grammy awards in the country field, then expands into wider stylistic waters.

NOVEMBER 3, 1961 FRIDAY

Hank Williams, music publisher Fred Rose and Jimmie Rodgers are the first inductees in the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''Air Mail To Heaven''.

NOVEMBER 4, 1961 SATURDAY

Filming begins in Idyllwild, California, for the Elvis Presley boxing movie, ''Kid Galahad''.

NOVEMBER 5, 1961 SUNDAY

Jimmy Dean performs ''Big Bad John'' in New York for CBS's ''The Ed Sullivan Show''.
 
NOVEMBER 7, 1961 TUESDAY

Sun 370 ''Uncle Jonah's Place'' b/w ''Just One Step'' by Harold Dorman issued.

NOVEMBER 8, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Marty Robbins recorded ''Sometimes I'm Tempted''.

NOVEMBER 9, 1961 THURSDAY

Brian Epstein first sees The Beatles, whom he is destined to manage, at The Cavern in Liverpool, England. The Fab Four will write several songs that become country hits, including ''I Feel Tine'', ''Something'' and ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party''.

NOVEMBER 10, 1961 FRIDAY

Jim Reeves recorded ''When Two Worlds Collide'', ''I Won't Forget You'' and ''Blue Side Of Lonesome'' during the evening at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

Columbia released Stonewall Jackson's ''A Wound Time Can't Erase''.

Singer and songwriter Brian Henningsen is born in Jarman Hospital in Tuscola, Illinois. He forms The Henningsens with his children, Aaron and Clara Henningsen, and co-writes The Band Perry hits ''You Lie'' and ''All Your Life''.

NOVEMBER 11, 1961 SATURDAY

Doyle Wilburn marries Margie Bowes.

NOVEMBER 12, 1961 SUNDAY

Brenda Lee sings ''Fool Number 1'' on CBS's variety series ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Also on the broadcast from New York, The Ames Brothers and Pearl Bailey.

NOVEMBER 13, 1961 MONDAY

Decca Records released Burl Ives ''A Little Bitty Tear''.

NOVEMBER 14, 1961 TUESDAY

Ray Charles is arrested in Indianapolis on drug charges, after buying marijuana and heroin two days earlier. Within months, Charles will recorded the album ''Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music''.

The Everly Brothers recorded ''Crying In The Rain'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. Tammy Wynette has a minor country hit with the song in 1981.

Wynn Stewart and businessman Don Spafford open a Las Vegas club, Nashville Nevada. They call attention to the club's hours, it's open 24-hours-a-day, by dropping the key to the front door from an airplane into the desert.

Johnny Cash is jailed in Nashville for public intoxication after trying to kick in the door of a nightclub that was closed near Printers Alley.

NOVEMBER 15, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Patti Page recorded ''Go On Home''.

NOVEMBER 20, 1961 MONDAY

Little Jimmy Dickens recorded ''The Violet And A Rose'' during an afternoon session at Nashville's Bradley Recording Studio.

Billy Walker recorded ''Charlie's Shoes'' and ''Funny How Time Slips Away'' during an evening session at Nashville's Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

Jim Reeves recorded ''Welcome To My World'' during the evening at Nashville's RCA Studio B. He also recorded ''Have You Ever Been Lonely (Have You Ever Been Blue)'', which becomes a hit 20 years later when his vocals are paired with Patsy Cline.

Pop piano player Jim Brickman is born in Cleveland, Ohio. He archives a country hit when Martina McBride provides the vocals for his recording ''Valentine'' in 1996.

At the top of this list stands a big, big man, ''Big Bad John'' takes Jimmy Dean to number 1 on the Billboard country chart.
 
NOVEMBER 21, 1961 TUESDAY

The singles Sun 371 ''Bonnie B'' b/w ''Money'' by Jerry Lee Lewis; and Sun 372 ''Travelin' Salesman'' b/w ''Won't Miss You (Til You Go)'' by Ray Smith issued.

Jim Reeves recorded ''Adios Amigo'' and ''Am I That Easy To Forget'' in the evening at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''Can't Help Falling In Love'' and is a pop ballad and published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley's publishing company It was written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore and George David Weiss The melody is based on "Plaisir dámour'' (1784), a popular romance by Jean Paul Egide Martini (1741–1816). It was featured in Elvis Presley's 1961 film, ''Blue Hawaii''. During the following four decades, it was recorded by numerous other artists, including British reggae group UB40, whose 1993 version topped the U.S. and UK charts, and Swedish pop group A-Teens.

Elvis Presley's version of the song, which topped the British charts in 1962, has appeared in numerous other films, including the 2000 film Coyote Ugly and the 2002 Disney film Lilo & Stitch. The single is certified by the RIAA as a Platinum record, for US sales in excess of one million copies. In the United States, the Elvis Presley version of the song peaked at number two on the pop chart and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart for six weeks.

During Presley's late 1960s and 1970s live performances, the song was performed as the show's finale. Most notably, it was also sung in the live segment of his 1968 NBC television special, and as the closer for his 1973 Global telecast, Aloha From Hawaii. A version with a faster arrangement was used as the closing for Presley's final TV special, ''Elvis In Concert''.

NOVEMBER 22, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Paramount released Elvis Presley's movie ''Blue Hawaii''.

With 250,000 people watching from the sidewalk, Gene Autry serves as grand marshall of the Santa Claus Lane parade in Hollywood. Others taking part include Shelley Fabares, Robert Stack and Kris Kringle.

NOVEMBER 24, 1961 FRIDAY

The Everly Brothers are officially enlisted in the military for six months. They report to Camp Pendleton, California.

Columbia released Marty Robbins '''Sometimes I'm Tempted''.

Gene Autry pleads guilty in Los Angeles to driving drunk, receiving a 30-day suspended sentence, a $500 fine and three years probation.

NOVEMBER 25, 1961 SATURDAY

Disc jockey Eddie Stubbs is born in Bethesda, Maryland. A musician with the bluegrass group The Johnson Mountain Boys, he works with Nashville's WSM Radio, where he announces the Grand Ole Opry and becomes a voice for the genre's heritage artists.

After The New York Journal American's Dorothy Kilgallen referred to a Carnegie Hall lineup of country stars as ''Carnegie Hillbillies'', Patsy Cline shoots back on a stage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, referring to her as ''the wicked witch of the east''.

NOVEMBER 28, 1961 TUESDAY

Jimmie Rodgers' widow, Carrie, dies of cancer in San Antonio, Texas, 25 days after his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame''.

NOVEMBER 29, 1961 WEDNESDAY

The Grand Ole Opry comes to Carnegie Hall, with Patsy Cline, Grandpa Jones, Bill Monroe, Minnie Pearl, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves, Faron Young and The Jordanaires. The performance benefits the Musicians' Aid Society. In the crowd, Jimmy Dean and comic Jack Benny.

Guitarist Duke Levine is born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He works with Mary Chapin Carpenter, backing her on ''Somewhere Down Below The Mason Dixon Line'', her contribution to the 1997 album ''The Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers - A Tribute''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

STUDIO SESSION FOR JEB STUART
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE LATE 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS 
AND/OR KNOX PHILLIPS

01(1) - ''I BETCHA GONNA LIKE IT'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Buddy Killen-Robert Riley
Publisher: - Tree Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Late 1961
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30106 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 6 - SUNSET SOUL

01(2) - ''I BETCHA GONNA LIKE IT'' - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Buddy Killen-Robert Riley
Publisher: - Tree Music
Matrix number: P 414   - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date Late 1961
Released: - February 1962
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3575-A < mono
I BETCHA GONNA LIKE IT / LITTLE MISS LOVE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-4-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
Like Freddie North, Jeb Stuart was another artist who did his share of listening to the radio. This may be the best of Stuart's four Phillips International releases. Old Jeb knew how to be commercial, if nothing else. The A-side features a tribute to some obscure juke joint that lies out there beyond the city limits. Singing the praises of joints like this is a time-honored tradition. At the time Jeb's record appeared, Chris Kenner was doing it with ''I Liked It Like That'', but the tradition was far older. Amos Milburn's ''Chicken Shack Boogie'', and Freddie Slack's ''House Of Blue Lights'' take it back at least 15 years and, more recently on Sun, Harold Dorman tried his hand with ''Uncle Jonah's Place''.
 
Jeb's tune features the glorious and memorable line ''The drum and the bass, they kick like a mule''. There was a vaguely Sun-related postscript to ''I Betcha Gonna Like It''. In 1964, with his career deeply in the doldrums, Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song, although it was held back for the dreadful ''Soul My Way'' album.
 
The song itself was written by Tree Music boss Buddy Killen, and 9wait for yet another tenuous Sun connection), Robert Riley, the co-writer of ''Just Walkin' In The Rain''.
Never a unidimensional artist, Jeb gets into his Sam Cooke bag for the flipside ''Little Miss Love''. If Sun couldn't sell records like this in February 1962, there was something wrong with their promotion department.

02(1) – ''LITTLE MISS LOVE'' – B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Percy Mayfield
Publisher: - Curtom Publishers – Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 412  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Studio Location Unknown
Released: - October 16, 1961
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 45rpm standard single > PI 3574-B < mono
DON'T MAKE ME CRY / SOMEDAY SHE'LL COME ALONG
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15806-4-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 6
 
02(2) - ''LITTLE MISS LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Percy Mayfield
Publisher: - Curtom Publishers - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date August 1961
Released: -2015
First appearance: - Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 813-33 mono
GOING HOME - THE ROAD TO SOUL
 

03 - "JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN"* - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Robert Riley-Johnny Bragg
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Late 1961
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30106-B-5 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 6 - SUNSET SOUL
Reissued: - April 1989 Charly Records (L) 33rpm Sunbox 109-10/1 mono
SUN RECORDS INTO THE 60S - BETCHA GONNA LIKE IT

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jeb Stuart – Vocal
Scotty Moore – Guitar
Brad Suggs – Guitar
Al Jackson – Drums
Larry Muhoberac – Piano
Robert Oldham – Tenor Saxophone
William Maherry – Tenor Saxophone
 
For Biography of Jeb Stuart see: > The Sun Biographies <
Jeb Stuart's Sun/PI recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR RAYBURN ANTHONY
FOR SUN RECORDS 1961

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE FALL 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS
AND/OR SCOTTY MOORE OR UNKNOWN

01 - ''HOW WELL I KNOW''' - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Buddy Killen-Rayburn Anthony
Publisher: - Tree Publishing
Matrix number: - U 465   - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall 1962
Released: - January 19, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 373-A < mono
HOW WILL I KNOW / BIG DREAM
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-13 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4
 
This is a really unusual record. ''How Well I Know'' is a fairly conventional and highly competent Nashville ballad that gives us a deeper look at Anthony's crackling baritone voice. In his own rather limited way, the man was a stylist Groaner to be sure.

This was undeniably a country pop record, but, even so, it's worth mentioning that most country crossover records in 1962 did not feature mellow saxophones in place of steel guitars.
''Big Dream'' is where things start to get interesting. Anthony's connection to Carl Mann and the Jackson, Tennessee sound is quite apparent. There's almost no difference between the sound of ''Big Dream'' and the opening to Mann's ''Rockin' Love''.

Whereas Mann broke free and turned his song into a rocker, Anthony maintains this taut little rhythmic riff lead by sticks on a closed hi-hat. Those alternating choruses (''Big dreams sometimes fall apart...'') break some of the tension, but certainly not all of it. And just when you think you're clear, Wham! You're back into that talk-sing ''Yeh, once I Had a big dream'' part of the cycle. In truth, this record is a tape loop.
 
It could have ended after one run through, gone through a second or third, or faded after a fourth try. It doesn't matter. Nothing changes and nothing develops lyrically or musically. But for some reason, this works really well, and when we start the final fade midway into cycle number 3, it feels like, ''yeh, old Rayburn is 'really' stuck. He really 'did' have a big dream that went nowhere''. You've got to love Ray's voicing on the word broken. There's no telling what this guy might have done during Sun's golden era.

02 - ''BIG DREAM'' - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 466  - Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall 1961
Released: - January 19, 1962
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 373-B < mono
BIG DREAM / HOW WILL I KNOW
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15804-4-14 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 4

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rayburn Anthony – Vocal
Carl Mann - Piano
Probably Musicians
Eddie Bush – Guitar
R.W. ''T-Willie'' Stevenson – Bass
Tony Austin - Drums
Tony Austin probably recorded here on this day his own session.
 
Vinnie Trout – Strings Arranged
Unknown – Vocal Chorus
 
For Biography of Rayburn Anthony see: > The Sun Biographies <
Rayburn Anthny's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR TONY AUSTIN
FOR SUN RECORDS

SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S) PROBABLY FALL 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - CECIL SCAIFE

Tony Austin was a drummer and vocalist with Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, also from the Jackson,   Tennessee area, Austin recorded with the Carl Mann band in a surprising white-soul style. The band is   country rock and the song rockabilly, but the era was that of soul and the result is dominated by the new bass   line and vocal phrasing of the latter. Tony Austin will be inducted into the International Rockabilly Hall of   Fame. "Back in the day, rockabilly was the hottest thing going", Austin said. "People still like it, especially   here in the south''. Born in Jackson and still a resident, Austin says he appreciates all the work that has gone   into the museum. "I enjoy coming here and seeing all the artifacts and old recordings and instruments that   were used back then. Rockabilly kids love coming and seeing it for the first time''.

01 - ''BLUE SUEDE SHOES'' - B.M.I. 2:51
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30106 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 6 - SUNSET SOUL
Reissued: - April 1989 Charly Records (LP) Sunbox 109-3/7 mono
SUN RECORDS INTO THE 60S - THE JACKSON CONNECTION
 
After the last of Rayburn's three singles had appeared on Sun, Austin went back to audition some material for Phillips. He had a bassist, Wes Beavers, in tow. Phillips invited them to stay and work up some material. The result was a gloriously idiosyncratic version of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' that sounded good to Phillips that night and even sounded good when he arrived stone cold sober the next day. ''It was pretty funky'', recalled Austin, ''I was playing sock cymbal with my left foot and piano at the same time. I believe I whistled the break. We were two sheets to the wind and I'd taken a couple of pills as well. Sam would nip with you, of course. We got pretty shit faced that night''.
 
''Blue Suede Shoes'' was scheduled with a song that Austin wrote about his daughter, ''Susie'' as Sun 398. However, it was never issued and the number was assigned later that year to Randy and the Radiants.
 
 02 – ''SUSIE''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
 
03 - ''I WALK THE LINE'' – B.M.I. - 1:46
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
Released: August 20, 2013
First appearance: - Sun Records X5 Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample-3 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - CLASSIC COUNTRY BALLADS
 
 04 - ''I WANT TO BELONG TO YOU''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

05 – ''MISSOURI LOU''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

06 – ''NIGHT LIFE'' - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
Released: - September 4, 2012
First appearance: - Sun Records X5 Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample-16 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - SUN RECORDS - COUNTRY ARCHIVE

07 – ''SEA OF HEARTBREAK'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Hal David-Paul Hampton
Publisher: - Shapiro Bernstein Music
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
Released: - October 22, 2013
First appearance: Sun Records X5 Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample-14 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - COUNTRY HITS OF THE 60S
 
 08 - ''SHE'S GONE'' - B.M.I. - 4:22
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
Released: - September 17, 2013
First appearance: - Sun Records X5 Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample-3 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - BROKEN HEARTED
 
09 – ''TONY'S INSTRUMENTAL''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

10 – ''STUDIO TALK SAM PHILLIPS/WILD DUCK'' - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961
Released: - Sun Records X5 Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample-11 mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - SILLY COUNTRY
 
Deciding to make his career closer to home, Austin launched the Somewhere Else Club in Jackson that played host to the local talent and, after that folded, he began work in local lounges singing and playing keyboards. He remains there to this day (1989). The magic of his buddies from Jackson never quite rubbed off on Austin as a performer. The hit remained elusive although he has certainly had the joy of seeing his songs hit the charts in the hands of others.
 
Some of his Sun repertoire bears the hallmark of one whose indulgence in alcohol and chemicals has reached the point of excess. Many takes of an instrumental of duck noises (in the key of G) are witness to the numbing potential of Jack Daniels. However, the big pill behind the ''Big Dream'' and ''Jack D.'' combined to make ''Blue Suede Shoes'' one of the most idiosyncratic records cut at Sun in the 1960s.
 
 11 – ''BETTY SUE''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

12 – ''DON'T INVITE US TO THE SAME PARTY''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

13 – PARTY DOLL''
Composer: - James Bowen-Buddy Knox
Publisher: - Windswept Pacific Music
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

14 – ''SCHOOL FOR A FOOL''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably Fall 1961

15 – ''IT'S GOOD AND I LIKE IT''
Composer: - Tony Austin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Sun Unissued
Recorded: -Probably Fall 1961

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tony Edwin Austin - Vocal & Drums
Wes Beavers - Bass
Eddie Bush - Guitar
Probably Carl Mann - Piano
Unknown - Trumpet
Unknown - Kazoo (Mirliton)
 
For Biography of Tony Austin see: > The Sun Biographies <
Tony Austin's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
 
 
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Tony Edwin Austin was born in Jackson, Tennessee on October 29, 1938, the son of Elmer Austin and Ruby Gunter Austin. He was the cousin of Carl Perkins and played drums for the tours. Tony spent his entire life as a musician, singer and songwriter. Working on Jackson's 1950's musical legacy, Tony was well know worldwide for his work with Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee ''Smoochy'' Smith, Rex Hale, The Burnette Brothers, and recorded with the Carl Mann band in a surprising white-soul style.

Austin did sessions on Sun Records and toured again with Carl Perkins in the 1960s, as well as with many stars of the Grand Ole Opry. Over the years he has been a nightclub owner and has had success as a songwriter. Tony Edwin Austin died on Saturday, November 8, 2014, at Jackson Madison County General Hospital at the age of 76.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Sometime around 1960-1961 Mack Self decided ''that Sam wasn't going to do anything for me''. He moved on to the Zone label and has recorded for a number of small, independent labels since, including a number of selfproduced projects.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
FOR ZONE RECORDS 1961

AMERICAN SOUND STUDIO
827 THOMAS AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
ZONE SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE FALL 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CHIPS MOMAN

01 – ''THAT MEXICAN LIMBO'' – B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - M. E. Ellis Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall 1961
Released: - November 1962
First appearance: - Zone Records (S) 45rpm standard single Zone 1062-A mono
THAT MEXICAN LIMBO / YOU PUT THESE TEARS IN MY EYES
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-27 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

''Mexican Limbo'', entering Mack's post-Sun era, this record was released on M.E. Elli's Zone label, Mack recalls, ''I was driving in my truck near a place called Elaine (pronounced E-lane) Arkansas. It's cotton country down there and full of very small towns. I saw these Mexican people out there in the field picking cotton and they inspired me to write the song. I cut it at American Sound in Memphis in 1961. I didn't have that the originally. When I started singing it I called it the ''Mexican Cha Cha''. Chips Moman said, 'Mack, change that to ''Mexican Limbo'''. He was right about the title''.

''You Put These Tears In My Eyes'', this is a very pretty ballad, taking us back to the country waltz genre where Mack thrives as a composer and performer. You underestimate or ignore tracks like this surprised if you have the song running through your head three days later when you least expect it. Towards the end of the recording, Mack opts for one of those wordless chant that helped make his early ''Easy To Love'' so special.

01 – ''YOU PUT THESE TEARS IN MY EYES'' – B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - M. E. Ellis Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date Fall 1961
Released: - November 1962
First appearance: - Zone Records (S) 45rpm standard single Zone 1062-B mono
YOU PUT THESE TEARS IN MY EYES / THAT MEXICAN LIMBO
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-29 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self – Vocal & Guitar
Red Baker – Lead Guitar
Jimmy Evans – Rhythm Guitar
Billy Self – Bass
Herb Phyron - Drums
 
For Biography of Mack Self see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
DECEMBER 1961
 
The film “Babes In Toyland” premieres during December of 1961. “Babes In Toyland” was created by Walt Disney and was the first live action musical to be produced by the company. The film, starred Ray Bolger, Tommy Sands, Ed Wynn, and Annette Funicello. The Mother Goose themed musical focused on the evil character of Barnaby’s plot to derail the upcoming marriage between characters Tom and Mary in an attempt to further his own romantic agenda. Despite heavy promotion the film was considered a flop for Disney but it did receive two Academy Award nominations for Best Costumes and Best Music.

DECEMBER 3, 1961 SUNDAY

Lew Childre dies at his home in Foley, Alabama. The multi-faceted entertainer used numerous vaudevillian skills in a career that spanned comedy, tent shows, radio, recording and a run on the Grand Ole Opry.
 
DECEMBER 4, 1961 MONDAY

Billboard reported that ''Money'' by Jerry Lee Lewis ''is a blues styling from Lewis here with punching best and big band sounds in the background. The boy also plays some mean piano. Good wax'', and ''Bonnie B'' side moves right along. Lewis sings about his gal Bonnie in the highest of terms. He also moves some great Boogie Woogie piano. Combo supplies the backin''.

DECEMBER 5, 1961 TUESDAY

Eddy Arnold recorded ''Tears Broke Out On Me'' at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

June Carter performs on Johnny Cash's live show for the first time at ''The Big D Jamboree'' in Dallas, Texas. Two months later, she becomes a regular member of the Man in Black's road show.

Jimmy Dean recorded ''P.T. 109'' and ''Dear Ivan''.

DECEMBER 6, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Buck Owens recorded ''Kickin' Our Hearts Around'' in the evening at the Hollywood studios of Capitol Records.

Gene Autry is arrested on drunk driving charges in Los Angeles after nearly hitting maintenance workers with his station wagon near the corner of Sunshine Terrace and Layrel canyon. Just two weeks prior, he pleaded guilty to a previous DUI.

DECEMBER 7, 1961 THURSDAY

Hawkshaw Hawkins and Jean Shepard have a son, Don Robin Hawkins, named for Don Gibson and Marty Robbins.

DECEMBER 8, 1961 FRIDAY

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are featured guests during the NBC-TV music series ''The Bell Telephone Hour''.

DECEMBER 11, 1961 MONDAY

Bill Anderson recorded ''Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands''.

DECEMBER 12, 1961 TUESDAY

Roy Acuff begins a one-month tour in Spain and Morocco, sponsored by the    United Service Organizations , to perform for American troops.

DECEMBER 14, 1961 THURSDAY

Henderson, Texas, declares Jim Reeves Day.

Jimmy Dean's ''Big bad John'' becomes the first country-based record awarded a gold single by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Rick Nelson performs ''Everlovin''' on ABC-TV's ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.

DECEMBER 15, 1961 FRIDAY

Columbia released Jimmy Dean's Cold War recitation ''Dear Ivan''.

Gospel singer James B. Coats dies. His 1942 title ''The Sweetest Gift'' is destined to become a 1977 country hit for Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

DECEMBER 17, 1961 SUNDAY

Patsy Cline recorded ''She's Got You'' during an evening session at Nashville's Bradley Film and Recording Studio.

DECEMBER 18, 1961 MONDAY

Patsy Cline is diagnosed with a nervous breakdown, forcing her to spend the next two weeks in bed at home.

DECEMBER 20, 1961 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley finished work on the movie ''Kid Galahad''.

DECEMBER 21, 1961 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley gets his third gold album with the soundtrack to ''Blue Hawaii''. In the United States, the album spent 20 weeks at the number one slot and 39 weeks in the Top 10 on Billboard's Top Pop LPs chart. It was certified Gold on December 21, 1961, Platinum and 2x Platinum on March 27, 1992 and 3x Platinum on July 30, 2002 by the Recording Industry Association of America. On the US Top Pop Albums chart ''Blue Hawaii'' is second only to the soundtrack of West Side Story as the most successful album of the 1960s.

DECEMBER 22, 1961 FRIDAY

Warner Bros. released The Everly Bothers' pop hit ''Crying In The Rain''. Tammy Wynette gains a minor country hit with the song in 1981.

DECEMBER 25, 1961 MONDAY

Harlan and Jan Howard give their boys a collie for Christmas. They name the puppy Bucko, for Buck Owens.

DECEMBER 27, 1961 WEDNESDAY

''The Steve Allen Show'' airs for the last time on NBC, more than five years after it began. The variety series' comedic host wrote the 1950 crossover hit ''Let's Go To Church (Next Sunday Morning)'', recorded by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely.

DECEMBER 29, 1961 FRIDAY

Columbia released Jimmy Dean's ''To A Sleeping Beauty'', written by Jackie Gleason.

DECEMBER 30, 1961 SATURDAY

Jack Greene is asked to be Ernest Tubb's drummer when Tubb's plays Atlanta's East Point. Six months later, he's in the band.

DECEMBER 31, 1961 SUNDAY

Janis Joplin performs her first concert at the Halfway House in Beaumont, Texas. Joplin's ''Me And Bobby McGee'' is ranked among the 500 greatest country singles of all-time in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Johnny Cash plays in Camden, New Jersey, with June carter, Flatt and Scruggs and Marty Robbins. While Robbins performs, bass player Marshall Grant tosses an M-80 into a urinal backstage, the resulting blast covering a dressing rook in sewage.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

- THE SISKIN TAPES -

This recordings contains 11 songs from the Prisonaires, a disc pressed for the personal use of a prison sponsor named Garrison Siskin, a successful businessman and renowned philanthropist from Chattanooga. It seems that a very limited number of copies of the disc were made and less than a handful survived. Thanks to the Siskin disc, and we are now able to hear this phase in the recorded life of the Prisonaires.

The precise date of the live recordings is unknown but there are some clues. One of the songs was not written until mid-1957 and Lynn Bomar who is heard introducing the disc died in 1964, so that gives a six and a half year period of possibility. It is most likely that the tapes from which the LP was pressed were made either during 1958 or during the years 1961 or 1962. Johnny Bragg sings lead on the recordings but he was out of prison on parole throughout 1959 and when he returned in 1960 he apparently did not start to sing.

It is almost certain that these recordings were made inside the Tennessee State Penitentiary because there are spoken references to being ''here at the Tennessee State Prison'' although it is possible that they were recorded as part of live radio broadcasts or a radio tape to be broadcast later, there is reference at one point to ''someone listening to this tape somewhere''. The first eight recordings are effectively a concert by the Prisonaires, though not a live one in front of an audience as there is no extraneous sound seeping though, but the last three songs are different; they were addressed personally to Garrison Siskin and added to the end of the tape along with a personal message from Warden Bomar to Siskin overlaid when the LP was made.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE PRISONAIRES

TENNESSEE STATE PENITENTIARY, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
EXCELLO SESSION: VARIOUS DATES PROBABLY 1961
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – UNKNOWN

The Prisonaires 'concert' starts with second tenor singer, Alfred Brooks, making an introduction to the first song, ''When The Saints Go Marching In''. His script makes clear the prisoners' support for the rehabilitation program and leaves the listener and any potential benefactor in no doubt about the role of the warden: ''We the Prisonaires is very grateful to be able to be a part of the rehabilitation program... which was set up by our warden Mr. Lynn Bomar and the Governor of the state of Tennessee, and we hope as you play this tape you will say a special prayer for us in the group and the other 1600 men here... we want you to know that we feel very happy to be able to put these songs on for you''.

So why is Alfred Brooks the spokesman? He only joined the group in 1955 and had a far less prominent profile than Johnny Bragg. It could be that he had better diction or that he was a more reliable reader of the opening script, but it is more likely that the recording dates from around 1961 when Bragg had just returned to prison after a year on parole and was no longer the sole guiding force of the group. Brooks was effectively its leader at that point.

''When The Saints Go Marching In'' is taken at an energetic pace following a piano introduction and all members of the group play their part impressively. The lead singer is probably Alfred Brooks but there is also a strong and unusual bass part from James Doyle, including the memorable line about ''when the moon drips away in blood''. At the end of the song Brooks introduces the group members. They are Bragg and himself, lead and second tenor respectively, along with baritone singer Howard Anderson, bass singer James Doyle, Henry Jones on piano, and guitarist L.B. McCollough. These Prisoniares contain only Bragg from the original membership and only Bragg, Jones and probably McCollough from the last Sun recording sessions. Brooks joined in 1955 but two of the new singers from the Marigolds era, Harold Hebb and Willy Wilson are no longer present, having been replaced by Doyle and Anderson.

There is nothing known of Anderson although on March 11, 1959 the Kinsport Times newspaper in Tennessee reported on 25 indictments by a circuit court jury and Howard Anderson was one of three people sentenced for breaking and entering. There was a Howard Anderson living near downtown Nashville according to the city directories for the late 1940s, and one of the Anderson Gospel Singers who recorded on Nashville's World label in 1948 may have been named Howard. Any of these people could have been the singer heard on these tapes.

01 – ''WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN'' - B.M.I. - 3:31
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-1 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

The second song the Prisonaires presented in their concert tape was ''In The Garden'', a gospel vehicle for Johnny Bragg's clear tenor and for impressive ensemble singing from the group. Written in 1912 by Charles Austin Miles, a pharmacist turned hymn writer and publisher from New Jersey, the song was about the meeting between the resurrected Jesus and Mary Magdalene in the garden of Joseph. It has been one of the most popular hymn since the time when it was featured by evangelist and singer Homer Rodeheaver who recorded it for a number of companies from 1910 into the 1930s. ''In The Garden'' was recorded by Jim Reeves on a popular 1959 RCA album ''God Be With You'' and this may have been the specific catalyst for the Prisonaires to include it in their concert although the song had been issued before and around this time by a number of black gospel singers, including Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Nashville's own Fireside Gospel Singers, and in 1959 by both Clara Ward and the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. On May 27, 1966, Elvis Presley recorded ''In The Garden'' for his Grammy Award winning album ''How Great Thou Art''.

02 – ''IN THE GARDEN'' - B.M.I. - 1:56
Composer: - Charles Austin Miles
Publisher: - Robbins Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-2 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

A very different but equally good vehicle for the group was ''Bony Moronie'', a throwaway rock and roll song written and recorded by Larry Williams on Specialty Records in 1957. It reached the popular sales charts in November and peaked at number 18 early in 1958. It is not introduced by Alfred Brooks as a new hit song and while it defines the earliest possible date for these tapes it does not really narrow the date down. It appears to be Alfred Brooks singing lead on ''Bony Moronie'' with Johnny Bragg contributing to the group's repetitive ''bony, bony, bony'' and ''who, hohs'' behind Brooks's lead. Interestingly, the group sings about their girl being a ''real good lover'', a line Larry Williams didn't write.

03 – ''BONY MORONIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:42
Composer: - Larry Williams
Publisher: - Venice Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-3 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

In considerable contract her ''Suppertime'', a song that paints a vivid picture about 'going home' at last, both in the real world and the next. It was written by gospel songwriter, singer and evangelist, Ira Stanphill, who had been written and performing his songs since he was a teenager in the 1930s in Missouri. His best known song was ''Mansion Over The Hilltop'', but ''Summertime'' came close in popularity down the years. It was moved into the popular domain in 1959 through LP cuts by Johnny Cash and Jim Reeves. Here, Johnny Bragg tells the story emotively while the group's harmonies become more and more intense. Bragg's narrative section is moving but it is difficult to forget the contrast between the song's idealized picture of the happy family called home to eat at the end of the day on the rural homestead and the harsh reality of Bragg's early life in a broken home in urban Nashville. Bragg told Jay Warner he had been a rambunctious child: ''My people would try to whup me when I did something wrong. The neighbours would whup you too if you got in trouble. That's when you got a whuppin, and when you went home you'd get another whuppin''.

04 – ''SUPPER TIME'' - B.M.I. - 3:58
Composer: - Ira Stanphil
Publisher: - Brentwood Benson Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-4 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

Next up the group takes a back seat while Henry ''Dishrag'' Jones takes on the old rhythm and blues favourite, ''Caldonia'', written in 1944 by rhythm and blues bandleader Louis Jordan and copyrighted in the name of his wife, Fleecie Moore. It was number 1 Rhythm & Blues hit for Jordan in July 1945 and no kind of a current hit when Jones launched into it but it had been listed by Bragg as among his favourite songs. Jones takes the vocal and plays piano on this song supported by handclaps and 'yeahs' and other encouragement from the group. There is also a drummer on this recording, although one was introduced at the start of the concert underlining that this concert was put together from tapes recorded at different times.

Henry Jones is an intriguing character who has not been properly identified. We don't even know where his nickname came from, perhaps a job in a kitchen, or the nature of his hair. It is not clear whether he could have been the same ''Dishrag'' mentioned by blues singers as a formative player on the Memphis blues scene in the 1930s and 1940s. Record producer and musician Jim Dickingson once recalled how as a white child in Memphis, around 1950, ''the family yard man, Alec, brought me a piano player to teach me. He brought me this guy who was legendary. I don’t know what his real name was. They called him ''Dishrag''. You hear people talking about Dishrag... Never took his overcoat of his hat off, sat down at my mother's piano, and started to play like nothing I'd ever heard''. From the few known photographs of ''Dishrag'' Jones, he appears to be roughly the right age for someone who might have been playing piano in Memphis in the 1930s.

05 – ''CALDONIA''*/** - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Fleecie Moore
Publisher: - Chero Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-5 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

The next track enter the realm of small politics as the Prisonaires pay homage to the ''Gentle Hands'' of their warden. Alfred Brooks does his best to sound sincere when saying the group would like to sing ''for out dear beloved warden... a man who we've become to love… and who think, love us... we've tried to live up the the expectations that he wish of us''. Johnny Bragg leads into the song with ''I am guided through the day by gentle hands... and my spirit now is freed by gentle hands'' while the group builds the tension behind him. The song was written by country singer Leon Payne and recorded on Capital Records in 1951. It was recorded by the Blackwood Brothers in 1958 and was firmly a country gospel item until adopted here by the Prisonaires.

06 – ''GENTLE HANDS'' - B.M.I. - 3:17
Composer: - Leon Payne
Publisher: - Christian Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-6 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

Next it is time for the group's headline song, ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'', and for Brooks to ''now introduce our lead singer, Johnny Bragg, the feller that at one time had the number one song of the nation''. Bragg responds to the applause with ''Hello... I don't think I deserve that'' and he goes on to give a spiel he must have used a thousand times before at rehabilitation program events: ''I thank God... and our dear beloved warden and the governor of the state... to help to get the song out in the free world''. He specifically does not name the Governor, lending power to the argument that this recording was made during the period Governor Frank Clement was out of office between the start of 1959 and the start of 1963. The new Governor was Bufort Ellington, a friend and former member of Clement's administration and a supporter of the Prisonaires, but he and Bragg were not as close as Bragg and Clement. When Bragg starts to sing the bashful man who took the applause of his fellow singers is gone, he is full of confidence and delivers the song emotionally as if it were hist first version rather than his thousandth. His voice soars and falls wonderfully while the group play their part and join in on the trademark high ending. Their part differs slightly from the Sun recording and the ''ooh wee oohs'' sound just that but more modern here.

Talking here about the song Bragg shared the limelight with others, as he always continued to do. He told Bill Millar: ''I'm the co-writer on the song along with Robert Riley...', and he told Millar about the part a young Elvis Presley had played in helping him with his phrasing of the song when it was first recorded: ''We had a lot of trouble with the word change and the people, the Prisonaires and Sam, seemed to think it was a waste of time, ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'', that the song was too weak... but I could see something there... and we worked many hours. Elvis Presley, he was just another guy at the time. Elvis came in the studio and Sam ran him out of the studio... and I asked Sam to let the guy come in and talk with me during the lunch break''.

07 – ''JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN'' - B.M.I. - 3:36
Composer: - Johnny Bragg-Robert Riley
Publisher: - Hal Leonard Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-7 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

The next track is a fascinating example of how the Governor and warden used the Prisonaires to write songs to flatter particular huests, allies, enemies and sponsors. Note the word ''The Boastin' Texas'' is introduced as ''a song that Governor Frank Clement of Tennessee asked us to write for the Governor of Texas, which was Governor Shivers, and this is what we came up with''. ''was'' because Allan Shivers had left the governor's office in 1957. This is a song that flatters its subject through friendely criticism; it's almost a polite society version of the 'dirty dozens' with the group making fun of the Texan accent and letting Texans know in no uncertain terms they've got nothing Tennessee can't match. Even when singing to the unseen audience for this tape, Bragg becomes very animated in performing the lyric in praise of his home state, despite his own bad experiences in that society.

08 – ''THE BOASTIN' TEXAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-8 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

In the introduction to ''A Prisoner's Prayer'', Alfred Brooks continues the theme of ''money please'' saying. ''Mr. Siskin, for you and your wonderful family we cannot find words to say... how much we thank you... for the generosity you have bestowed upon us''. He continues, saying the group is writing songs for Mr. Siskin that they have promised him and will send them ''in a few days... hoping that before long we will be able to sing for you again in prison''. Johnny Bragg delivers ''A Prisoner's Prayer'' in as heartfelt a manner as he did when the song became the Prisonaires second disc on Sun. It was written by James Procter, a white criminal identification police officer, who was inspired by the Prisonaires' tale to write a song about ''a prisoner who may never be free'' and who asks for forgiveness when the lights go out in cell block 23.

09 – ''A PRISONER'S PRAYER'' - B.M.I. - 3:22
Composer: - James Procter-Johnny Bragg
Publisher: - Memphis Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-10 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

''Only Believe'', is probably the first of the promised songs with Siskin's name on it. At basis, it is an old gospel song written by an evangelist from Colorado, Paul Rader, in 1921 when he was about to become a pioneer in Chicago gospel radio, ''all things are possible, if you'll only believe'', but here it doubles as the backdrop to a narrative about how Mr. Siskin is ''the kind of man God had in mind when he created the human race... (who has) known want but retains humbleness after he's attained material... given freely of his worldly goods, you are out kind of man''.

10 – ''ONLY BELIEVE'' - B.M.I. - 3:22
Composer: - Paul Rader
Publisher: - The Rodeheaver Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-11 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

In considerable contrast, the next homage to Siskin places him in the Caribbean. To a catchy calypso beat this man of Jewish origin from Chattanooga is transformed into a Spanish' senior and is told ''he's the man we like to greet/ he's very sweet/ he's a man that can't be beat''. It is likely that Howard Anderson takes the lead vocal here and the lyrics to ''Senor Siskin (He's A Man That Can't Be Beat)'' are as memorable as the Latin rhythm where a drummer is again present. What benefactor could resist forking out his cash after such a musical tribute? We are told that the group ''met Senor Siskin at a great big church'' and that was very likely so if Siskin had been successful in boosting the group's appearances and profile. Siskin was a considerably wealthy philanthropist whom was particularly concerned with causes that aided the handicapped. His father had arrived in Chattanooga in 1900 from Lithuania to escape the persecution of Jewish families there Garrison and his brother Mose sold newspapers on the streets of Chattanooga while their father built up a scrap metal business. In 1926 the brothers took over the business and developed the Chattanooga Steel Supply Co., taking over another business in Atlanta and opening plants in other cities including Nashville. In 1942 Garrison Siskin suffered a life-threatening injury when a heavy object fell on his leg at a railroad station and on his recovery he vowed to devote his life to helping others. In 1950 the brothers set up the Siskin Foundation dedicated to the highest religious, social welfare, educational and humanitarian ideals. Garrison was on the board of directors of Big Brothers of America and was Chairman of the Board of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway. Siskin later said: ''I took my case up with God. In the early hours of the morning, I would spend my life helping people who could not help themselves. Out parents had in any case taught us that a good name is rather to be chosen than riches. They asked us to make our investments in people, and we invested in people of all races, faiths and cultures. Need was the only prerequisite''. Garrison Siskin died in 1979 but the Siskin Memorial Foundation continues today through the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation in Chattanooga.

11 – ''SENOR SISKIN'''** - B.M.I. - 1:52
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-12 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Lead Tenor Vocal
Alfred Brooks - Tenor Vocal/Announcer
Howard Anderson - Baritone
James Doyle - Bass
L.B. McCollough - Guitar
Henry Jones - Piano & Vocal*
Possibly Hubbard Brown – Drums**

12 – MESSAGE FROM PRISON WARDEN LYNN BOMAR'' – 1:08
Matrix number – None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-19 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

An spoken message from prison warden Lynn Bomar to Garrison Siskin that was added to the start of the  tape for the LP pressings. It gives a wonderful glimpse of the rehabilitation program at work. Bomar delivers a most ingratiating message: ''for our good friend, the honourable Garrison Siskin of Chattanooga, Tennessee'', recording that he enjoyed their meeting recently and was delighted to learn of Siskin's interest in the Prisonaires. He extends a cordial invitation to visit the penitentiary and thanks Mr. Siskin ''for helping your follow man less fortunate than yourself''. The final three songs above are addressed directly to Siskin and are all about his helping the Prisonaires, presumably by obtaining bookings to perform outside the prison, by donating money to the prison, or perhaps by helping to pursue parole issues on their behalf.
 
For Biography of The Prisonaires see: > The Sun Biographies <
The Prisonaires' Sun recordings can be heard on their playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
DON'T SAY TOMORROW – The Prisonaires had their moment in the national spotlight in the  mid-1950s, but they continued to appear at events in and around Nashville north before and  after Johnny Bragg was released on parole in January 1959 and re-entered prison in 1960  for parole violations.

After the original members of the Prisonaires were one by one released from the  penitentiary between 1955 and 1957, the focus fell more and more on their most high  profile member, Johnny Bragg. The perceived success or not of the rehabilitation programme  became tied to an extent to the success of Bragg's life.
 
In his last year under increasing  criticism for endangering the well-being of the public by allowing prisoners to leave the  penitentiary. At the same time, Bragg's biographer has catalogued a number of events  involving jealous prisoners that endangered Bragg himself in the prison. For whatever  mixture of reasons Frank Clement resolved to pardon Bragg and on January 16, 1959  Clement signed his release documents just before leaving office. Shortly after, a UPI press  report recorded: ''Johnny Bragg, who wrote, 'Walkin' In The Rain' in prison, walked into the  sunshine of freedom Wednesday. The Negro convict spent 16 years in the Tennessee  Penitentiary here. Wednesday he was paroled. Former Gov. Frank Clement who had  befriended and helped Bragg, commuted his sentence to life just before he left office earlier  this month. The Pardons and Paroles Board said Bragg appeared to have been rehabilitated,  and that he has a job in his uncle's barber shop in Nashville. He must report regularly to a  parole officer for the rest of his life''.

Johnny Bragg moved into the home of his grandmother Parthenia in north Nashville and  considered how to take his life forward. He certainly did not plan to be a barber. He may  have thought about reforming the original Prisonaires but the others either had jobs or were  unreliable and so Bragg joined with a female singing group, the Solettes, who he met at  Ebeneezer Missionary Baptist church. They played local churches and other shows and  travelled to Memphis, Chattanooga, and Atlanta to sing. Bragg also played on package tours  in the north and played as an opening act in Las Vegas lounges. Frank Clement and Warden  Bomar had put in a word for him with Jack Stapp at Tree Music were Robert Riley was then  working and Stapp paid Bragg to put his song ideas on tape for others to transcribe. Then in  March 1959 Stapp introduced Bragg to record producer Owen Bradley who signed him to the  major label, Decca Records.

When he was arrested for violating parole and returned to the penitentiary after only a year  of freedom, Johnny Bragg initially withdrew from music and throughout 1960 he resumed to  sing with the Prisonaires. He rejoined in 1961 after being inspired by visits to the prison  from The Jordanaires and Elvis Presley. The Prisonaires of the 1960s continued to be  allowed to travel to play at Tennessee's churches, county fairs and other events as well as to  entertain the dignatories gathered at the mansion by the new governor, Buford Ellington.  When Frank Clement came back for a second term as governor in January 1963, Johnny  Bragg's singing life was little different that it had been a decade earlier.

He told Bill Millar: ''Back inside, I had a third Prisonaires who didn't record but they were  real great''. Thanks to the Siskin tapes we now know that these later Prisonaires were in fact  recorded. It seems that when Bragg first rejoined what he referred to as the ''third  Prisonaires'', the group comprised Alfred Brooks, James Doyle, and a number of other  singers backed by Henry Jones on piano and L.B. McCollough on guitar. This may be exactly  the group we hear on the ''Siskin tapes''.

Sometime around 1964, after these recordings were made, there was a new guitarist  replacing L.B. McCollough and new singers in Acie Horton and Sullivan Hayes. The guitarist  was Clarence McKeel, a white country music songwriter, of whom Bragg told Bill Miller,  ''These was a white man added to the Prisonaires – a feller by the name of Clarence McKeel,  we called him Two Flats... a lot of people thought it wouldn't work but Clarence turned out  to be one of the greatest guys, guitarists, we had, great songwriter, good musician''. In May  1965 they were rejoined by an original member of the Prisonaires, Marcel Sanders, who was  back inside for a two year stretch. At this point, James Doyle took the role of main guitarist.

There is a surviving audio tape from a Christmas TV Special that aired over a public  broadcast station in Nashville, WDCN-TV in 1966. The Prisonaires that Christmas comprised  Johnny Bragg, A.C. ''Fat Man'' Horton, James Doyle, and Pat Dunn. The eight songs they sang  included ''Joy To The World'', ''White Christmas'', and a Bragg original, ''I Wish Every Day Was  Like Christmas''. In the TV programme it is mentioned that the new Commissioner of the  Department of Corrections, Harry Avery, who took office in 1963 when Frank Clement was  -reelected as Governor, sent staff to make sure that the Prisonaires got back together and  that he has made sure they had ''personal supervision for the last four years''. There is no  evidence that the group had ever not been together, but here was yet another prison leader  finding that it was a good move to take some credit for the existence of the Prisoniares.

A report dated December 1968 in the prison records descibes an inventory for the  Prisonaires' and lists items bought for the group: a black amp for $250, a brown amp for  $75, a set of drums for $150, a Univox guitar at $100, a Gibson at $109, a $400 sound  system, microphones, totalling $110, and an organ and pedal piano at $350. More  interestingly, the note goes on to describe perhaps the last group of Prisonaires. They were  James Doyle, descrided as ''received on May 22, 1954 for crime of murder, sentenced to 99  years. Guitarist (sic) and songwriter, age 48, top entertainer with unusual solo voice'', Acie  Horton, ''received in 1960, aged 31 serving 75 years for rape, a tenor, songwriter, good  performer'', Sullivan Hayes, aged 36 and in for assault and burglary, Melvin Mosley serving  ten years for rape from 1966; Clarence McKeel aged 48, ''received in the prison November  1964, first degree murder, a guitarist, songwriter, with songs recorded'', and John Henry  Bragg who is described as ''currently on parole''. The unknown author of this prison fact  sheet wrote of Bragg: ''This man is one of the best showmen that I have ever known. He has  an unusual singing ability with exceptional voice control... You have never met an extrovert  until you have met Johnny Bragg'.
WORLD OF MAKE BELIEVE - As well as being the best-known member of the Prisonaires and  the Marigolds, Johnny Bragg also had a solo recording career that had several false starts and  took many turns. In 1959 his extrovert nature led him to drive around Nashville in a  distinctive salmon-coloured car and wearing a suit and bowler hat.  This courted attention  from police and public alike and between 1960 and 1967 he was back in prison, returning  again periodically on parole violations until 1977.

After Excello and Decca he recorded for a  label he part-owned, Elbejay Records, and for several other labels, the releases becoming  more obscure from year to year.
 
In December 1971 Johnny Bragg married Gail Green and their daughter, Misti, was born two  days later. They were living at 88 Fain Street in Nashville according to correspondence  between the prison, Bragg and researcher Colin Excott in January 1972.
 
Armed with this information researcher Bill Millar recalled: ''I looked for Johnny Bragg in  October 1972. We drove all around the very black Nashville ghetto, all red dirt roads and no  trees. We were driven around by singer Bobby King, a taxi driver, and we left messages at  the garage where singer Gene Allison worked and at Bragg's sister's house. Two days later  Johnny appeared at out hotel accompanied by his white wife, Gall, and 9 month old  daughter, Misti. He wore pink and white striped slacks and a jacket of pillar-box red. He also  sported an extravagant afro. It wasn't what you'd look like if you didn't want to be noticed!  Like many a sex offender Johnny minimised the seriousness of his offences, blaming his  repeated incarceration on the lack of constitutional rights for the black man''.

Johnny Bragg not only continued writing and recording songs for many years but he  continued performing too, mainly at church-sponsored events locally and further afield, but  sometimes at commercial venues. He undertook charitable worked, spending his songwriting  royalties on others as much as himself. His later years were lived with a much lower public  profile than previously.

Unlike many other black vocal teams, the original Prisonaires never regrouped for a  latterday career. William Stewart died in Florida in 1964, Marcell Sanders died in the late  1960s, Ed Thurman died in an accident in 1973 and John Drue died of cancer in 1977. Then,  over a quarter century later, the New York Times reported in 2004: ''Johnny Bragg, the  leader of the Prisonaires, a singing group of Tennessee State Penitentiary inmates whose  rhythm and blues music helped start Sam Phillips's Sun Records and influenced Elvis Presley,  died here on Wednesday (September 1). He was 79''. The newspaper noted that the  Prisoners had been pioneers in that they were among the first rhythm and blues vocal group  to record and have hit records released in the south.
© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©
 
Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
FOR HOLIDAY INN RECORDS 1961/1962

PROBABLY SAM PHILLIPS RECORDING STUDIO
639 MADISON AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: LATE 1961/EARLY 1962
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY STAN KESLER

With Charlie Feathers' career at a stand still, he worked local gigs only and supported his family with   numerous day jobs including driving an ambulance. In end 1962/early 1963 Charlie Feathers recorded ''Deep   Elm Blues'' b/w ''Nobody's Darlin''' for Holiday Inn. Holiday Inn was owned by Sun's owner Sam Phillips,   who bought shares in the hotel chain when it first began and most likely launched the label as a promotional   device. Again, it's a very sought-after record, but only because it has Feathers' name is on it.

01 - ''DEEP ELM BLUES'' - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:33
Composer: - Traditional-Arranged by Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - State Street Music
Matrix number: - HI-41063B
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961/1962
Released: - April 10, 1963
First appearance: - Holiday Inn Records (S) 45rpm Holiday Inn 114 mono
DEEP ELM BLUES / NOBODY'S DALING
Reissued: - July 1998 Revenant Records (CD) 500/200rpm Revenant 209-21 mono
GET WITH IT - ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS 1954-1969
 
The ''Deep Elm Blues'' is an American traditional song. The title of the tune refers to the "Colored Red Light   District" in downtown Dallas, Texas, known as "Deep Ellum''. Sometimes the song's title is also spelled   "Deep Elem" or "Deep Ellum''. The first known recording was made by the Cofer Brothers under the name   of The Georgia Black Bottom on OKeh Records. The Shelton Brothers recorded various versions of this   song, the first being cut in 1933 with Leon Chappelear under the pseudonym of Lone Star Rangers for   Bluebird Records. 

They recorded it again in 1935 for Decca Records followed by ''Deep Elm No.2'' and   ''Deep Elm No.3''. Les Paul (as Rhubarb Red) recorded ''Deep Elem Blues'' and ''Deep Elem Blues No.2'' on   Decca in 1936.

The Sheltons also recorded it in the 1940s as ''Deep Elm Boogie'' for King Records. Other   versions of the song were made between 1957 and 1958 by Jerry Lee Lewis for Sun Records, by Mary   McCoy & the Cyclones for Jin Records and, later, by Jerry Garcia, the Grateful Dead, Levon Helm, the   Infamous Stringdusters, Rory Gallagher and most recently by Redhorse Black.
02 - ''NOBODY'S DARLIN' BUT MINE'' - A.S.C.A.P. - 1:57
Composer: - Jimmy Davis
Publisher: - Leeds Music-Peter Maurice Music
Matrix number: - HI-41063A
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1961/1962
Released: - April 10, 1963
First appearance: - Holiday Inn Records (S) 45rpm Holiday Inn 114 mono
NOBODY'S DALING / DEEP ELM BLUES
Reissued: - July 1998 Revenant Records (CD) 500/200rpm Revenant 209-20 mono
GET WITH IT - ESSENTIAL RECORDINGS 1954-1969

Probably more songs recorded.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal and Guitar
More details unknown
 
For Biography of Charlie Feathers see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

> Page Up < 

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