Sun Records Compact Disc Reissues

The Best Of Sun Rockabilly - Volume 1 (Charly 16) Various Artists
The Best Of Sun Rockabilly - Volume 2 (Charly 36) Various Artists
The Blues Came Down From Memphis (Charly 67) Various Artists
We Wanna Boogie (Charly 29) Sonny Burgess
Rock With Me Baby (Charly 53) Billy Riley
The Sound Of Sun (CDSAM 103) Various Artists
Rockin' With Ray (Sun 32) Ray Smith
The Sun Blues Archives - Volume 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Sun 36) Various Artists
Shake Around (CD 8117) Ray Smith
Hey Slim, Let's Bop (CPCD 8197) Jack Earls
Unissued Sun Masters (CPCD 8137) Various Artists
Rockabilly Legend (SNAP 182) Warren Smith
Sun Hillbilly (CPCD 8181) Various Artists
Hillbilly Fillies & Rockin' Chicks (CPCD 8182) Various Artists
Rockin' Mann (CPCD 8234) Carl Mann
Sun Rock 'N' Roll - Volume 1 (CPCD 8277) Various Artists
Sun Rock 'N' Roll - Volume 2 (CPCD 8318) Various Artists
Sun Rock 'N' Roll - Volume 3 (CPCD 8353) Various Artists
706 Union Instrumentals ( CPCD 8302) Various Artists
Getting Better All The Time (SROLLCD816X) Barbara Pittman
The Sun Records Story (SNAJ 713) Various Artists
Selected Hits (Internet MP3) The Four Upsetters
Rock 'N' Roll Legend (CRR 010) Sonny Burgess
Sun Rockabilly Meltdown (SNAJ 743) Various Artists

Some Charly releases feature material that was re-engineered and edited in the 1980s.
For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies < 
Sun recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on < YouTube <

1986 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 16 mono digital

Compact disc. An Charly Record Special Product. Silver label with Sun logo pressed in black at top of the label. Catalog number right from center. On the back cover Sun logo at right at bottom. Contains the original Sun Masters.

Rockabilly is a musical genre revered by the enthusiasts, yet the word started out more as a derogatory term than a compliment, a reference to hillbillies who put a beat to their music. In its purest form rockabilly only existed for about two years before it was obliterated by the commercial considerations of the music business moguls. And yet, because it was a music that came from the soul it lived on in the hearts of those who were captivated by its magic. This small band of worshippers kept it alive until new generations discovered the basic appeal of rockabilly, and youngsters started listening to and playing the music a quarter of a century after its original mayfly existence. Since the mid seventies more rockabilly music has been issued in Europe than was ever released in the mid fifties.

It may not be strictly true to say that rockabilly was born in the Sun studios at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee (more like the cotton fields of Tennessee, Mississippi and the hills of Arkansas) but it was certainly first recorded there. The Sun studio was instituted by Sam Phillips to record the blues artists that Memphis and its Beale Street is so justly famous for, but it was Sam's vision of a white boy who could capture the beat of the blues that led to the emergence of rockabilly. The vehicle that converted Sam's dreams to reality was a local boy, born in Tupelo, Mississippi, one Elvis Presley. It was he who combined the white man's country music with the black man's blues and came up with the hybrid, rockabilly.

Whether Elvis was the first to sing rockabilly is really immaterial: Carl Perkins will tell you that he was singing the kind of stuff Presley was doing before he ever cut his first record. What is indisputable is that Elvis was the first one to have that sound captured on wax, and bring it to the attention of the record buying public. And it was as a result of Elvis's success that artists from all over the South started making a beeline for the Sun studios and Sam Phillips. Those who failed to attract Phillips' attention, and in many respects he had his hands full with Elvis, merely sought to emulate the Mississippi Flash at other studios. But many did make it onto Sun, and because it was the first in the field it drew to its doors the cream of the crop.

What other independent record company could boast of a roster that included Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, let alone those who never fully achieved their potential like Sonny Burgess, Billy Lee Riley, Carl Mann and Hayden Thompson?

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <


1 - Love My Baby (2:36) Little Junior's Blue Flames > Sun 192-B <
(Herman Parker) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

Small wonder then that the Sun label has been shrouded in a mystique that bestows upon its artists a legendary status. For rockabilly enthusiasts that is their Mecca, and all bow reverentially towards Union Avenue. To begin at 'the roots' this CD kicks off with Herman 'Little Junior' Parker and a side he cut in 1953 (the same year that he recorded the original ''Mystery Train''). ''Love My Baby'' shows precisely where rockabilly came from. A native of West Memphis, Parker found his entree to the blues via his harmonica playing behind Howlin' Wolf before going on to form his own band in 1950, Little Junior's Blue Flames.

2 - Red Hot (2:32) Billy Riley > Sun 277-A <
(Billy Emerson) (Knox Music Limited) 

Strangely enough most of the white artists drawn to Sam Phillips' studio came from outside of Memphis. The most famous Memphians (Presley apart) in the rockabilly field, the Burnette brothers and Eddie Bond, found fame on other labels. The Sun label drew most of its talent from the three states surrounding Memphis. Billy Lee Riley came from Pochontas, Arkansas and in two spells at Sun not only recorded classics like ''Red Hot'' and ''Flying Saucer Rock And Roll'' but also worked extensively as a session musician. Riley, with his Little Green Men, provided Sun with one of its regular touring acts and they built up a reputation for their wild stage antics.

3 - We Wanna Boogie (2:01) Sonny Burgess > Sun 247-B < 
(Sonny Burgess) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

Another of the regular bands on the road was Sonny Burgess. He also hailed from Arkansas; Newport to be precise. His band the Pacers included trumpeter Jack Nance (who went on to find fame with Conway Twitty), an unusual instrument to be found in a rockabilly band. One of the predominant features of rockabilly was the sparseness of the instrumentation; lead guitar, rhythm guitar and upright bass were all that was needed, although this was often supplemented by a drummer. Burgess with his Pacers produced some of the wildest sounds recorded by a white act at Sun. ''We Wanna Boogie'' just about sums it all up.

4- Come On Little Mama (2:18) Ray Harris > Sun 254-B <
(Ray Harris) (Knox Music Limited) 

5 - Right Behind You Baby (2:25) Ray Smith > Sun 298-B <
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Limited) 

6 - Ubangi Stomp (1:59) Warren Smith > Sun 250-B < 
(Charles Underwood) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

7 - Let's Bop (1:56) Jack Earls
(Jack Earls) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

8 - Rabbit Action (1:40) Junior Thompson
(Junior Thompson) (Knox Music Limited) 

Other figures who fleetingly glide through this annal of rockabilly, to be once again swallowed up by anonymity, include Junior Thompson who not only recorded for Sun but also Meteor. He is represented here by a recently discovered recording of Rabbit Action that stands a favourable comparison with his previous claim to fame on Meteor, Raw Deal. 

9 - Put Your Cat Clothes On (2:49) Carl Perkins
(Carl Perkins) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

Carl Perkins was drawn to Sun by the sound of Presley's recordings with which he quickly identified, but it was only after Presley's contract was sold to RCA that Carl really came into his own, and he certainly holds the distinction of having recorded the best selling rockabilly hit in ''Blue Suede Shoes''. Interestingly enough the Presley version of the song is far more main stream rock and roll than Perkins' authentic rockabilly rendition. The other aspect of rockabilly was the teenage orientation of its lyrics, and as Carl has been quoted as saying "who but an ole country boy would worry about someone stepping on his ole blue suede shoes!" The sartorial theme is. carried on in ''Put Your Cat Clothes On'' (this is a different version to that released on CD Charly 2). Amazingly this number was never issued in the fifties but is now acknowledged as a Perkins classic.

10 - Rockin' With My Baby (2:22) Malcolm Yelvington > Sun 246-A < 
(Malcolm Yelvington) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

11 - Ten Cats Down (2:22) The Miller Sisters > Sun 255-A < 
(Bill Cantrell-Quinton Claunch) (Knox Music Limited 

The sole female representation is in the hands of the Miller Sisters whose Ten Cats Down is one of the few examples of the fairer sex coming to terms with rockabilly. Now well into middle age and religion, these former boppin' lassies decline to discuss their musical past. 

12 - Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox (2:22) Onie Wheeler > Sun 315-A < 
(Onie Wheeler) (Knox Music Limited) 

The rockabilly explosion gave many established country singers a tough time, for suddenly their hillbilly music was out of fashion. Some, like Marty Robbins, addressed themselves to the task of assimilating this new phenomenon, others like Hank Snow viewed it with abhorrence. Some even made it to the Sun Studios. Onie Wheeler performed on radio in Missouri and Arkansas during the forties, formed the Ozark Cowboys in 1950, recorded rockabilly on Columbia before cutting his solitary single on Sun in 1959. ''Jump Right Out Of This Jukebox'' is a fine example of the country side of rockabilly. Wheeler returned to country music playing for many years with Roy Acuff.

13 - Gonna Romp And Stomp (2:21) Slim Rhodes > Sun 238-A <
(Slim Rhodes) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

Slim Rhodes was a local country act (he also hailed from Pochontas) who adapted to the sounds of rockabilly and at one time featured Hayden Thompson as a vocalist with his band. The song ''Gonna Romp And Stomp'' of Slim Rhodes can you hear on the soundtrack of the American neo-crime drama TV series ''Breaking Bad'' (January 20, 2008, to September 29, 2013), season 5, episode 11 with the title ''Confession'', when Todd, Uncle Jack, and Kenny exit the cafe and head down the road.

14 - Domino (2:16) Roy Orbison
(Sam Phillips) (Knox Music Limited) 

15 - Rakin' And Scrapin' (2:18) Dean Beard
(Dean Beard-Slim Willet) (Slim Willet Songs) 

16 - Slow Down (2:17) Jack Earls
(Jack Earls) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

Jack Earls from Woodbury, Tennessee came to Memphis as a teenager and just happened to be singing at the right time in the right place to stake his claim for rockabilly immortality with ''Slow Down'' and ''Let's Bop'' before moving north to Detroit in the sixties. 

17 - Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache (2:40) Warren Smith
(Hayden Thompson) (United Partnership Limited) 

Malcolm Yelvington and the Star Rhythm Boys were another local country band whose mixture of western swing and Tennessee honky tonk was cast aside in favour of rockabilly. ''Rockin' With My Baby'' shows just how successful that transition was. Warren Smith was a would be country singer who was plucked from the Clyde Leoppard band to become one of Sun's finest rockabilly singers before moving on to Liberty, country music and obscurity. Few of the Sun artists managed to recapture the same magic when they moved onto other labels. Roy Orbison found greater fame on Monument, but by then he had changed his style from the rockabilly music of Domino. Having previously recorded for the Jewel label at Norman Petty's Clovis studio in Texas, Orbison was drawn by the Sun charisma all the way from Texas. Treading a similar path was Dean Beard who later went on to become a pianist with the charting instrumental group the Champs.

18 - Break Up (1:52) Ray Smith
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Limited) 

Ray Smith, the other Steinway wrecker (although he never actually played the instrument on any of his Sun recordings) was a native of Paducach, Kentucky. He arrived at Sun via a stint in USAF and came close to national stardom with the company, something he eventually achieved on the Judd label run by Sam Phillips' brother Judd Phillips. ''Rockin' Little Angel'' was a national hit and Ray continued recording through the sixties and seventies. Just when he was on the threshold of making a successful comeback from his adopted Canadian base in the late seventies, he blew his brains out, whether on purpose or by accident has never been fully established. His Sun recordings came at the tail-end of the rockabilly era which effectively spelt sunset for the Sun label. Just as the greatest rockabilly came from Sun, so with the demise of rockabilly the company lost its way in the changing world of rock and roll, and despite spluttering on for a few years its day was done.

19 - Greenback Dollar (2:39) Ray Harris > Sun 272-A < 
(Ray Harris) (Copyright Control 

Whilst good looks and a reasonable voice were definitely an asset, Ray Harris proved it was possible to record a rockabilly classic without an abundance of either. ''Come On Little Mama'' and ''Greenback Dollar'' stand as a testament to this fact. Maybe Harris realised that his future did not lie in front of the microphone, for he subsequently became a record producer.

20 - Red Headed Woman (2:07) Sonny Burgess > Sun 247-A <
(Sonny Burgess) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

21 - Flying Saucer Rock And Roll (2:03) Billy Riley > Sun 260-A < 
(Ray Scott) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

22 - Crawdad Hole (1:48) Jerry Lee Lewis
(Traditional Arranged by Jerry Lee Lewis) (Carlin Music Corporation) 

Perhaps two of the most extrovert characters to find their way onto Sun records had one other characteristic in common: both played the piano. Jerry Lee Lewis clawed his way from Ferriday, Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee and the fame that he knew was his just desert. He continues to defy logic by living and performing to this very day. His hold on life has sometimes been tenuous, not helped by a voracious appetite for drink, drugs and women (not necessarily in that order). Lewis cannot simply be categorised as a rock and roller, rockabilly or country singer, let's face it he is just, well, Jerry Lee Lewis. But ''Crawdad Hole'' comes as close to pure rockabilly as the man ever recorded.

Sun Rockabilly, Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz: these are words that just naturally come together. When you listen to this CD you are listening to the ultimate rockabilly sound.

- Adam Komorowski (Editor New Kommotion)

Original Sun Records Recordings
Licensed from Charly Records International APS
This compilation © 1989 Charly Records Limited
Compilation by Cliff White
Design and Artwork: The Raven Design Group 


1986 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 36 mono digital

Compact disc. An Charly Record Special Product. Silver label. Sun logo pressed in black at top of the label. Catalog number right from center. On the back cover Sun logo at left at bottom. Contains original Sun Masters. Also included in the box, 8-page booklet with session notes by Tom Ingram

Rockabilly's rough image can be traced to both Sam Phillips' production ethic at Sun Records and the dangerous look of the many Elvis wannabes on the label's roster; it continued as a symbol of defiance thanks to the nouveau rockabilly look British teddy-boys sported in the 1960s (greased hair, rolled-up pant leg) and the makeshift music the reconfigured teddies of punk rock made in the late 1970s. Charly Records 25-song sampler ''The Best of Sun Rockabilly, Volume 2'' is a fine document of rockabilly's charged, mid-1950s beginnings, and includes tracks from original punks Jerry Lee Lewis "Wild One" and Carl Perkins "That Don't Move Me", as well as contributions by less-popular, but equally idiosyncratic figures like Warren Smith and Sonny Burgess. Burgess shows the frenetic and, at times, goofy side of rockabilly on his Little Walter-inspired blues stomper "Itchy" and with lyrics like "I got a cracker/ain't got no cheese" from "Ain't Got a Thing"; some of the music's more pop-flavored moments are heard on Andy Anderson's teen Romeo number "Johnny Valentine" (sung in the classic hiccup and baritone style) and Barbara Pittman's Wanda Jackson-style tune "Sentimental Fool." The package is made complete with schizo-rockers like Mack Self's "Vibrate" and Jimmy Wages' "Mad Man," along with swamp-bred cuts like Smith's "Miss Froggie" (apparently his girl is shaped like a frog). Like other fine rockabilly compilations (Columbia's hits-oriented rockabilly stars for one), Charly's Best Of Sun Rockabilly, Volume Two is no longer in print, but definitely worth looking through the used bins for.

Those of you who are regulars at my clubs will know how much I love the Sun sound, so it was a great honour to be asked to compile this articular CD ''The Best Of Sun Rockabilly Volume 2'' Sun on CD is rockabilly at its best, sounding at its best and here's a generous 25 tracks to prove it.

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <


1 - I've Got Love If You Want It (Warren Smith) 2:12 > Sun 286-A <
(James Moore) (Cambell Connelly)

2 - That Don't Move Me (Carl Perkins) 1:57
(Carl Perkins) (Carlin Music Corporation)

There are two songs from Warren Smith: ''Miss Froggie'' and the one that, over the years, has been one of my most requested Sun tracks, ''Got Love If You Want It''. Carl Perkins appears here with a pair of very popular tracks, the wild ''That Don't Move Me'' and the slower ''Perkins Wiggle'', both solid listening at maximum volume.

3 - Itchy (Sonny Burgess) 2:21 > Sun 304-A <
(Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess) (Knox Music Limited)

4 - Drinkin' Wine (Gene Simmons) 2:43 > Sun 299-A <
(Gene Simmons) (Ridgetop Music)

Another Sun classic, ''Itchy'', features an impressive ''band'' consisting of Sonny Burgess, Billy Riley, Charlie Rich, Jack Clement and Jimmy Van Eaton. I've also featured two more Sonny Burgess cuts, both extremely popular in clubland, ''Ain't Got A Thing'' and ''Find My Baby For Me''. On these he's backed by his own band, the Pacers.

From the personnel playing on ''Itchy'' I've also included one Billy Riley recording, ''Baby Please Don't Go'' and one by Charlie Rich, ''Rebound'', both of which never fail to pack a dance floor at any rockin' club.

As you listen through this CD you should notice how much improvement there is in the sound quality compared to the records. Every instrument can be heard clearly, free of hiss or distortion. The performances are digitally transferred from first-generation copy master tapes, therefore the CD sounds as if it is that master tape. Just shut your eyes and listen: the feeling and the fun comes right through, it's easy to imagine the recording sessions were like a wild party, with everyone fuelled on ''Thunderbird'' wine! This surely must have been the case with Gene Simmonds' ''Drinkin' Wine'', a great track and Sun classic for many years now.

Interestingly, ''How Come You Do Me'', previously credited to Junior Thompson, has recently been discovered to be performed by Jimmy Haggett, so with this CD the record is set straight. I wonder if there are any more Sun surprises?

5 - How Come You Do Me (Version 1) (Jimmy Haggett) 2:09
(Jimmy Haggett) (Copyright Control)

6 - Give Me Some Love (Alternate) (Harold Jenkins) 2:03
(Harold Jenkins) (Copyright Control)

7 - Johnny Valentine (Version 1) (Andy Anderson) 2:12
(Andy Anderson) (Ridgetop Music)

8 - Baby Please Don't Go (Billy Riley) 2:09 > Sun 289-A <
(Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limited)

W hat can be said about Harold Jenkins and ''Give Me Some Love''? One of my all-time personal favourites that I listen to over and over again. I've also included another vintage Harold Jenkins (perhaps better known as Conway Twitty) track, ''I Need Your Lovin' Kiss'', which didn't become available on record until 1985, when Charly released a lot of previously unissued Sun goodies. Another of which is ''Johnny Valentine'' by Andy Anderson. Again a club favourite, proving that there were still brilliant recordings worthy of issue. Any more, please?

9 - Sentimental Fool (Barbara Pittman) 2:33
(Barbara Pittman) (Ridgetop Music)

Of the fairer sex, here's Barbara Pittman and ''Sentimental FooI'', amply proving that females could handle rockabilly, Barbara's performance being a prime example.

10 - Rebound (Charlie Rich) 1:54 > PI 3542-A < 
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Limited)

11 - Miss Froggie (Warren Smith) 2:25 > Sun 268-B <
(Warren Smith) (Knox Music Limited)

12 - Rock Around The Town (Dean Beard) 2:21
(Dean Beard) (Copyright Control)

The Best Of Sun Rockabilly Volume 1 (CD Charly 16) only had one Dean Beard track, ''Rakin' And Scrapin''', so I've included on this set his other popular Sun waxing, ''Rock Around The Town''.

13 - Wild One (Jerry Lee Lewis) 1:53
(O'Keefe-Greeman-Owens) (Southern Music)

As there's already a dedicated Jerry Lee Lewis CD on Charly (CD Charly 1), I've only included one Jerry Lee slice here, ''Wild One'', which wasn't on the aforementioned. Typical Sun sound, with superb backing provided by Billy Riley on bass, Jimmy Van Eaton on drums, Roland James on guitar and of course, the ''Wild One'' himself on piano.

14 - My Baby Don't Rock (Luke McDaniel) 2:00
(Luke McDaniel) (Ridgetop Music)

15 - Find My Baby For Me (Version 1) (Sonny Burgess) 2:12
(Albert Burgess) (Ridgetop Music)

16 - My Gal Mary-An (Jack Earls) 2:24
(Jack Earls) (Copyright Control)

Two more of the recently issued unissued Sun tracks are ''My Baby Don't Rock'' by Luke McDanieIs and ''My Gal Mary Ann'' by Jack Earls. Great for the first time on record, even better now they're on CD!

17 - Me And My Rhythm Guitar (Johnny Powers) 2:38
(John Pavlik) (Copyright Control)

18 - All Night Rock (Version 1) (Glenn Honeycutt) 2:03
(Glenn Honeycutt) (Copyright Control)

19 - Your Lovin' Man (Version 1) Vernon Taylor) 2:00
(Vernon Taylor) (Knox Music Limited)

20 - Mad Man (Jimmy Wages) 2:11
(Jimmy Wages) (Ridgetop Music)

Johnny Powers recorded a few titles for Sun, one of them being ''Me And My Rhythm Guitar''. The sound on this is so good, you can hear fingers sliding up and down the guitar strings. Glenn Honeycutt's ''All Night Rock'' is another of the Sun classics which will be played forever and Vernon Taylor's ''Your Lovin' Man'' prompts energetic dancing. But one of the wildest Sun acts must surely have been Jimmy Wages if his superb ''Mad Man'' is anything to go by.

21 - Vibrate (Version 1) (Mack Self) 2:01
(Mack Self) (Ridgetop Music)

22 - Fairlane Rock (Hayden Thompson) 2:33
(Hayden Thompson) (Ridgetop Music)

23 - I Need Your Lovin' Kiss (Harold Jenkins) 2:02
(Harold;d Jenkins) (Copyright Control)

24 - Perkins Wiggle (Carl Perkins) 2:38
(Carl Perkins) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)

25 - Ain't Got A Thing (Sonny Burgess) 2:04 > Sun 263-A <
(Albert Burgess-Jack Clement) (Ridgetop Music-Carlin Music Corporation)

Finally, Hayden Thompson's ''Fairlane Rock'', a great track and then Mack Self with ''Vibrate''. What is he singing about? Little imagination is needed here, listen to ''Got Love 1f You Want It'' or ''Perkins Wiggle''. There's nothing new about risqué lyrics in modern pop, these guys were spelling it out in the mid 1950s!

This CD will give you endless hours of the finest and wildest in rockabilly listening, because it comes from the right place - Sun Records, of Memphis, Tennessee. Why not let the neighbours in on the fun... go on, wind the volume up, yeah, a little bit more..

- Tom Ingram

Original Sun recordings licensed from Charly Records International APS
Compilation by Tom Ingram
Co-ordination by Cliff White
Design and artwork by The Raven Design Group
This CD © 1986 Charly Records Limited


1987 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 67 mono digital
Compact disc. An Charly Record Special Product. Silver label. Sun logo pressed in black at top of the label. Catalog number right from center. On the back cover Sun logo at left at bottom. Contains original Sun recordings.

The popular view of Sun Records is of a one man record label which launched the careers of rock legends Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and country star Johnny Cash. Sam Phillips, the label owner, certainly did find many stars but before this fame he worked tirelessly to build his Memphis Recording Service studio from custom recording weddings and conventions into a fully fledged record label.

Phillips was born in Florence, Alabama but had lived most of his life in Memphis and loved the local music whether it was blues, country or gospel. There were very few opportunities for local musicians to record but Phillips felt sure that there was a wide audience if only this music could be recorded and issued. So in January, 1950 he started the Memphis Recording Service while still keeping on his day job as an announcer at Radio WREC. It proved to be a punishing schedule and for the first eighteen months Phillips estimated that he worked an 18 to 20 hour day! Included in this daily marathon were also big band sessions at Memphis' legendary Peabody Hotel so recording was slotted in between 3.30pm when he finished at Radio WREC and 10.30pm when he started work at the Skyway, the Peabody's jazz club.

Phillips started recording both black and white musicians at his studio (very few others did so at the time) and before long signed a deal with 4-Star Records of Los Angeles to issue some of his masters. None of the leased material made much impact - one side ''Cool Down Mama'' even being deemed too risqué for radio broadcast - so Phillips started his own label with a local dee-jay, Dewey Phillips. Not surprisingly they called the label Phillips with the company slogan of "It s The Hottest Thing In The Country'' . The slogan echoed the title of Dewey's programme "The Red Hot And Blues Show" but even with this exposure their first 78 by Joe Hill Louis flopped and the planned second issue was cancelled.

Up until this time Phillips had used an old acetate cutting recording machine but he improved his studio equipment after concluding a deal with the Bihari brothers, owners of Modern Records, to release. his masters. They were considerably more successful than the two Phillips, taking Joe Hill Louis tapes for their Modern label and sending B.B. King to be recorded by Phillips for their RPM subsidiary. Spurred on by this success Phillips discovered and recorded the brilliant harmonica player Walter Horton, Howling Wolf (see CD Charly 66) and Rosco Gordon. He heard them on the local black radios or they came to his studio as his fame spread throughout the Tri-State area. But Phillips' future was secured for posterity when the young Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm arrived at the studio. The result ''Rocket 88'', was issued by Chess and climbed rapidly to number 1 on both the Cashbox and Billboard Rhythm & Blues charts. High on this hit (and low on energy from his 20 hour days) Phillips resigned his other two jobs and made his studio a full time occupation.

To his chagrin this monster hit made the Bihari and Chess brothers even greedier for the best masters - if they didn't get them they just recorded a cover version in somebody's garage or at the local YMCA! Possibly worst of all was when both Chess and RPM issued Rosco Gordon's ''Booted''. Such outright piracy couldn't continue for long because both labels were loathe to pay even for the good stuff Phillips supplied. As Phillips said, "I grew up on a handshake deal" but Chess and Modern preferred the shake-down variety. Phillips
response was to start his own label, Sun, and the first records were issued on March 27, 1952. As a debut it was a shambles - the first disc (Sun 174) was never commercially issued, the second is now very rare and the third, by dee-jay Walter Bradford, has never been seen or heard of since. Not surprisingly Phillips had to continue pitching material to Chess (although he'd given up the Modern connection) and also got masters released by Trumpet Records of Jackson and J.B of Nashville. However most of the recordings made at this time went unreleased until Charly's "Sun Blues Box" (Sun Box 105) set appeared in 1985.

With less and less material being accepted by Chess, Phillips had no alternative but to relaunch Sun in January 1953. It was a clear case of third time lucky. One of his first releases, Rufus Thomas' ''Bear Cat'' became a smash hit by June. It was an answer to ''Hound Dog'' recorded by Big Mama Thornton and although Phillips had to re-print the labels to acknowledge the original source he had learned the hard lessons of the music business well. This hit guaranteed his financial future at a label now nationally known.

Our compilation covers the blues that Phillips recorded and issued mainly on the "second" Sun label, the great classics such as Junior Parker's ''Feelin' Good'' and ''Mystery Train'', James Cotton's ''Cotton Crop Blues'' and Sammy Lewis's ''Feel so Worried''. They provided good sales then and still sound marvellous now, some thirty years later. White audiences heard real black music and bought the discs in quantity, vindicating Phillips' views on its worth and largely untapped commercial potential. With the profits these sales produced Sam Phillips started to record his other greater love, country music, and his discovery of Elvis Presley ensured that every hillbilly band and aspiring Presley clone wanted to record for Sun. After great blues came great rockabilly but after a decade of hectic recording Phillips started to lose interest and eventually sold out, investing his money in the Holiday Inn chain. But that's another story.

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <


1 - We All Gotta Go Sometime (2:27) (Joe Hill Louis) 1953 > Sun 178-A <
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control)
2 - She May Be Yours (But She Comes To See Me Sometimes) (2:54) (Joe Hill Louis) 1953 > Sun 178-B < 
(Unknown) (Copyright Control
3 - Keep Your Arms Around Me (2:54) (Joe Hill Louis) 1987
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control

Joe Hill Louis. Born Lester Hill in Whitehaven, Tennessee, he ran away from home at 14, becoming a servant for Memphis' wealthy Canale family. Nicknamed after the Brown Bomber, the name stuck as Joe developed his one man band style on the streets. Phillips often used him to back other musicians as a guitarist. He had many releases but died of tetanus in August 1957.

4 - Tiger Man (King Of The Jungle) (2:49) (Rufus Thomas) 1953 > Sun 188-A < 
Joe Hill Louis) (Tristan Music Limited)

5 - Come Back Baby (2:49) (Doctor Ross) 1953 > Sun 193-A < 
(Charles Isaiah Ross) (Delta Music Incorporated)
6 - That Ain't Right (2:57) (Doctor Ross) 1987
(Joe Hill Louis-Charles Isaiah Ross) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)

Doctor Ross, born in Tunica, Mississippi, in October 1925, gained his nickname in the US Army. He played for his service buddies and in 1950 became fully professional, broadcasting over Radios KFFA, WROX and finally WDIA in Memphis. Phillips heard a broadcast and invited him to the studio. He was heavily influenced by Joe Hill Louis and, like him, recorded a great deal for Phillips. His two Sun singles sold quite well but he soon left music for the car plants of Detroit. Since re-discovery he has made many tours of Europe, playing as a one man band.

7 – Take A Little Chance (2:19) (Jimmy DeBerry) 1953 > Sun 185-A <
(Jimmy DeBerry) (Delta Music Incorporated)

Jimmy DeBerry, long time associate of Horton, recorded in 1939 for Vocalion. Although an important member of the Memphis blues scene little is known of him bar the fact that he only had one leg!

8 – Wolf Call Boogie (2:38) (Hot Shot Love) 1954 > Sun 196-A < 
(Coy Love) Hi-Lo Music Incorporated

Hot Shot Love, born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in September 1914, was a sign painter by trade, who travelled round Memphis on his bicycle looking for work. Apart from two sides for Phillips his only other recording was an EP made in the seventies. He died in a road accident on Interstate 55 on June 4, 1980.

9 - Easy (2:59) (Jimmy & Walter) 1953 > Sun 180-A < 
(Walter Horton) (Warner Brothers)
10 - West Winds Are Blowing (3:06) (Walter Horton) 1987
(Walter Horton) (Copyright Control)
11 - Walter's Instrumental (2:56) (Walter Horton) 1987
(Walter Horton) (Copyright Control)

Walter Horton also backed many sessions at Phillips and he too had played on the streets. He was born in Horn Lake, Mississippi, in April 1918 but moved up to Memphis at an early age. He worked for Phillips for three years after his debut session in 1951 (''Walter 's Instrumental'') but then moved to Chicago and a long career scuffling in tiny ghetto clubs. Recording opportunities were few and a hard life ended on December 8, 1981.

12 - Seems Like A Million Years (2:42) (Willie Nix) 1953 > Sun 179-B <
(Willie Nix-Sam Phillips) (Delta Music Incorporated)
13 - Baker Shop Boogie (2:40) (Willie Nix) 1953 > Sun 179-A < 
(Willie Nix-Sam Phillips) (Delta Music Incorporated)
14 - Take A Little Walk With Me (2:30) (Willie Nix) 1987
(Willie Nix) (Delta Music Incorporated)

Willie Nix, born in Memphis on August 6, 1922, left home to become a tap dancer with a travelling tent show. After a spell in the US Army he became a drummer, eventually forming the Three Aces and broadcasting over Radio KWEM. The discs he cut for Phillips gained him a national reputation and he was called to Chicago to deputise for Muddy Waters. This fame was short lived however and he returned south to be a crop picker.

15 - Bear Cat (2:49) (Rufus Thomas) 1953 > Sun 181-A <
(Sam Phillips) (Copyright Control)

Rufus Thomas, easily the best known singer here, has made a career from novelty songs and here we have his first two successes. Born in Casey, Mississippi, on March 26, 1917, he has worked in medicine shows, drumming up custom, as a radio announcer and dee-jay and in between has sung his odd little ditties. He's walked the dog, done the funky chicken and lots more, a charming humorous man with a talented family.

16 - Cotton Crop Blues (3:01) (James Cotton) 1954 > Sun 206-A <
(James Cotton) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)

James Cotton, born in Tunica, Mississippi, on July 1, 1935 is the youngest musician on this set. He ran away from home at 14 to live with Sonny Boy Williamson II, who taught him to play harmonica. Cotton is still active in Chicago and currently records for Alligator.

17 - Feelin' Good (2:55) (Little Junior Blue's Flames) 1953 > Sun 187-A < 
(Herman Parker) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
18 - Mystery Train (2:23) (Little Junior Blue's Flames) 1953 > Sun 192-A <
(Herman Parker-Sam Phillips) (Knox Music Limited)
19 - Love My Baby (2:35) (Little Junior Blue's Flames) 1953 > Sun 192-B <
(Herman Parker) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)

Junior Parker, born March 3, 1927 in West Memphis, was an Ike Turner discovery who first recorded for Modern. Typically, Phillips recordings were far better and both were hits! Just as typically he was then poached by Duke with whom he enjoyed a long and fruitful career, ended by his death on November 18, 1971.

20 - Carry My Business On (2:33) (Houston Stokes) 1987
(Houston Boines) (Delta Music Incorporated)

Houston Boines is an unknown, despite recording his fine side with Little Milton's band and broadcasting with him on Radio KFFA.

21 - I Feel So Worried (2:34) (Sammy Lewis) 1955 > Sun 218-A < 
(Willie Johnson) (Copyright Control)

Sammy Lewis, born September 8, 1932 in Memphis, started playing harp at the age of 15. He quickly became proficient and join Willie Johnson to record. The band lasted a short time and Sammy left music, occasionally recording for little local labels and playing in Blues Alley - a tourists' blues club.

22 - So Long Baby Goodbye (2:08) (Willie Johnson) 1955 > Sun 218-B <
((Willie Johnson) (Copyright Control)

Willie Johnson, born Senatobia, Mississippi, on March 24, 1923, learned guitar from legendary Delta figures such as Willie Brown and Son House. But his own style was thoroughly modern - over-amplified and distorted, with many ideas from jazz. The track here is the only one ever issued under his name and, shortly after its release he travelled up to Chicago for a six year stint with Howling Wolf.

- Bez Turner, Co-Editor, Juke Blues

Original Sun recordings licensed from Charly Records International APS
This CD © 1987 Charly Records Limited
Compilation: Bez Turner
Co-ordination by Cliff White
Design by The Raven Design Group


1987 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 92 mono digital

This collection from one of rockabilly's toughest, edgiest singers. This release compiles a variety of the great rock and roll and rockabilly recordings Sonny Burgess made for Sun Records between 1956 and 1959, including Burgess' biggest hits as well as a host of tunes that missed the charts but match his signature songs for infectious energy. Every effort has been made to replicate the incredible vibrancy of the original Sun records.

"Sonny Burgess" said Sun Records' boss Sam Phillips, ''was a rocker, man, I mean a real rocker. He came in one day from Arkansas and he had a band that just wouldn't quit. They were not a polished band, but they had some sound I can tell you''.

"The band, I think they were called the Pacers, had Sonny on vocals and another boy, Joe Lewis, who sang too. They had a rhythm section and a strange-sounding trumpet that was real unusual. They came in with this song ''Red Headed Woman'' that they had cut at a radio station somewhere. When they played that thing for me, I just knew that I had to record the band, faults included. The feel of a song is so important, and Sonny Burgess had that rock and roll feeling''.

This disc contains the best 24 examples of Sonny Burgess's almost unique rock and roll feeling. Born in
Newport, Arkansas in 1931, Burgess had grown up with country music and the Pacers had started out as a country band. However Burgess, in particular, was starting to appreciate rhythm and blues and this showed in his vocal and guitar style. The growing reputation of Sun for the new rockabilly music had been a factor in bringing the band to Sun. Sam Phillips soon found it an easy task to attach the rockabilly tag to Sonny 's recordings. He already had a fairly coarse vocal tone and clear guitar style. Phillips encouraged him to move even further in these directions. This is demonstrated both on the rockabilly sides that were issued and the many demos of Chicago and New Orleans rhythm and blues tunes that remained in the vaults for over 20 years. Burgess confirmed, "Yes, I really liked rhythm and blues, Fats Domino, Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters''.

Burgess's first record came out in the middle of 1956 to instant amazement and some acclaim. The wild beat of ''We Wanna Boogie'' and ''Red Headed Woman'' overshadowed any more flashy characters around in the mid 19'50s. He made a particular impression on Roy Orbison with whom he undertook several tours. "Sonny was travelling with Johnny Cash one time when his car had broken down and we'd had to leave a lot of our gear behind. The show was a complete disaster because the band didn't know what they were playing. But Sonny created a diversion because he had tried to dye his hair and it had turned out red. He had on a red suit and a red Fender guitar. After the show he told me, we'll always be remembered here as the wink wildcat and the red clown. Burgess had bought his red suit at Lansky's, the shop on Beale Street where Elvis Presley could often be found in those days. He recalls, "I ran into Elvis one day and he was kinda hot at the time and could've walked right past me but he seemed glad to see a familiar face and stopped to talk''.

From that point on, the respective careers of Presley and Burgess took a markedly different path. Burgess continued to make records occasionally for tiny localised labels and he has made the occasional foray into the rock and roll revival circuits. Looking back on the Sun recordings that were undoubtedly the high point of Burgess's career, Sam Phillips told me of his disappointment that those recordings were not major hits. "Sonny had an awful lot of confidence in what he was doing, and we had some astoundingly good cuts on him. Why he didn't come off, we'll probably never know. He could have been one of the greats of rock and roll. I mean he had this band out in Arkansas, and they were a working band. They knew what they were doing and they had a sound like I've never heard. They were pure rock and roll. There was no way Sonny was going to be a ballad singer. Rock was his thing, he just never got the right break. Maybe Sonny's sound was too raw, I don't know. But I tell you this, he had a big-sounding voice and he was a very contagious performer. He had a rhythm that never stopped. Contrary to what the record charts say, in my mind Sonny Burgess was one of the great rockers of all time. He was committed to it. You'll hear that so clearly with the sound of a compact disc''.


The recordings on this disc represent the very best of Sonny Burgess, opening with both sides of his first record and closing with the last of the five singles he saw issued on Sun and Phillips International.

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

1 - We Wanna Boogie (1956) (2:05) > Sun 247-B < 
(Albert Burgess)
2 - Red Headed Woman (1956) (2:08) > Sun 247-A < 
(Albert Burgess)

''We Wanna Boogie'' and ''Red Headed Woman'' were recorded in May 1956 at Burgess's first Sun session with Sonny on vocal and guitar, Joe Lewis on guitar, Jack Nance on trumpet, Johnny Hubbard on bass, Ray Kennedy on piano and Russell Smith on drums. Although the trumpet did not remain a feature of the band, these musicians are present on the majority of recordings contained on this disc. ''Boogie'' and ''Woman'' were issued as Sun 247 in 1956.

3 - Feelin' Good (1978) (2:20)
Herman Parker)
4 - Ain't Got A Thing (1957) (2:09) > Sun 263-A < 
(Jack Clement-Sonny Burgess)
5 – Restless ((1957) (2:42) > Sun 263-B <
(Mitt Addington)
6 - Truckin' Down the Avenue (1978) (1:54)
(Albert Burgess)

Later that year, ''Feelin' Good'', ''Ain't Got A Thing'', ''Restless'' and ''Truckin Down The Avenue'' were recorded. The first title was the Junior Parker rhythm and blues hit from 1953, and the last was another rocker-about-town saga following ''We Wanna Boogie''. The middle two titles were chosen for release as Sun 263, one a country tune and the other a pounding rocker. This appears to have been Burgess's best-selling record.

7 - Fannie Brown (1971) (2:23)
(Roy Brown)
8 - Goin' Home ((1971) (3:01)
9 - Sadie Brown (1960) (2:23)
(Roy Brown)
10 - My Bucket's Got A Hole In It (1957) (2:18) > Sun 285-A < 
(Clarence Williams)
11 - Sweet Misery (1957) (2:14) > Sun 285-B <
(Jack Clement)
12 - All My Sins Are Taken Away (1988) (1:54)
(Albert Burgess)
13 - My Babe (1988) (1:54)
(Willie Dixon)

Moving to May 1957, we include three romping titles that again have only seen the light of day in recent years. ''Fannie Brown'', ''Goin' Home'' and ''Sadie Brown'' were all titles that Burgess worked on over the years, adapting a shouting jump blues approach into Memphis rockabilly. In August 1957, a session that included Stan Kesler (possibly on guitar) led to Sun 285, ''My Bucket's Got A Hole In It'' and ''Sweet Misery''. This was a more country-influenced single, as was the reworking of the country-gospel ''All My Sins''. In some contrast, ''My Babe'' was another rocking version of a 'rhythm and blues favourite.

14 - Tomorrow Night (1978) (2:39)
(Albert Burgess)
15 - Daddy Blues (1978) (2:52)
(Sonny Burgess)
16 - So Glad You're Mine (1988) (2:28)
(Arthur Crudup)

''Tomorrow Night'', ''Daddy Blues'' and '''So Glad You're Mine'' again visit rhythm and blues territory, and again these were not chosen as single releases. Burgess obviously enjoyed this music but Sun was looking for something with a slightly wider commercial appeal.

17 - Hoochie Coochie (1980) (Mama Loochie) (2:54)
(Lee Diamond)
18 - Find My Baby For Me (1978) (2:12)
(Albert Burgess)
19 - One Night (1978) (3:12)
(Dave Bartholomew-Pearl King)

Moving into 1958, the Burgess sound was beginning to change. Drummer Bobby Crafford replaced Russell Smith, and Sun's session mafia including Jack Clement, Charlie Rich, Billy Riley, Roland Janes and Jimmy Van Eaton came into the picture along with remnants of the original Pacers. ''Hoochie Coochie'' may have been recorded at this time along with ''Find My Baby'' and ''One Night''. Again none of these titles was issued until recently. ''Find My Baby'' was written on a tour with Roy Orbison, who is heard singing on Burgess's recording.

20 – Itchy (1958) (2:20) > Sun 304-A <
(Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Albert Burgess)
21 – Thunderbird (1958) (2:21) > Sun 304-B < 
(Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Albert Burgess)

''Itchy'' and ''Thunderbird'' were issued as Sun 304 and feature Billy Riley on harmonica and Charlie Rich on piano. Please note that these instrumental titles were logged the wrong way round at the time of recording and that ''Itchy'' is the fast song and ''Thunderbird'' the more brooding item.

22 - Little Town Baby (1975) (2:04)
(Albert Burgess)
23 - A Kiss Goodnight (1960) (1:53) > PI 3551-A < 
(Albert Burgess)
24 - Sadie's Back In Town (1960) (2:26) > PI 3551-B <
(Albert Burgess-Harry Adams)

Coming to Burgess's last session for Sun, actually issued as Phillips International 3551, we have included a then unissued title, ''Little Town Baby'', along with the rockaballad ''A Kiss Goodnight'' and the thunderous ''Sadie's Back In Town''. The latter proved too fast even for the rock and roll dance market but it makes a storming completion to this collection of authentic Memphis rock and roll.

- Martin Hawkins 1987

Original Sun recordings licensed from Charly Records International APS
This CD © 1987 Charly Records Limited
Compilation: Martin Hawkins
Design by The Raven Design Group


1987 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 53 mono digital

Compact disc. An Charly Record Special Product.Silver label. Sun logo pressed in black at top of the label.Catalog number right from center. On the back cover Sun logo at left at bottom.

While many of the artists who passed through 706 Union Avenue found fame on the Sun label, others had to wait for a change of stable before scaling the heights of stardom. Billy Lee Riley falls into neither category: at Sun he recorded a number of rockabilly classics without achieving prominent hit status, and on a host of other labels he came close several times to breaking through to the big time (most notably with ''Thing About You Baby'' on Entrance in the early 1970s), but somehow fate always conspired to deny him his just dues.

However his lack of commercial success has not precluded him from gaining legendary status amongst the rockabilly cognoscenti. Along with several other Sun artists, and here the names of Sonny Burgess, Warren Smith and Charlie Feathers most readily spring to mind, Riley is recognised as one of the pioneers of the Sun sound, and artistically seen to be on a par with some of the more famous names spawned by Sam Phillips. Lend an ear to this CD for instant verification of that fact. Here then is the best of Billy Lee Riley, a man instrumental in more senses than one in putting the Sun label in the rockabilly hall of fame.Also included in the box, 8-page booklet with biography information and liner notes by Adam Komorowski, Editor New Kommotion.


A native of Pocahontas, Arkansas, Billy Lee comes from a mixture of Irish and Indian stock. In 1940, at the age of seven, he was taught how to play the harmonica by his father, and from there on his interest in music continued to blossom. After a spell in the army Riley formed his first professional band in 1953, playing country music in and around Jonesboro, Arkansas. In 1955 he moved to Memphis and tried his hand at several occupations befòre joining Slim Wallaces Dixie Ramblers who also included in their ranks Jack Clement. Eventually they decided to cut a record, which they did in Slim Wallace''s garage on Drive Avenue. Accompanied by guitarist Roland Janes. Bud Deckleman's brother Bob on steel, Slim Wallace on bass and Johnnv Bernero on drums they recorded two sides: ''Trouble Blound'' and ''Think Before You Go''. Jack Clement took the tracks over to Sam was unimpressed by the countrified ''Think Before You Go''. At his suggestion they recorded another track, this time at radio station WMPS. The same band of musicians accompanied Billy Lee with an additional upright bass being brought in for the one song recorded. ''Rock With Me Baby''. Johnny Bernero, who was brought in to play drums, had impressed Riley with his work on Elvis' ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' and was the first drummer to play on a Presley recording. Wallace, who ran his own Fernwood label, agreed to sell the two tracks to Sam Phillips, who also signed up Riley to his label.

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <

1- Rock With Me Baby (1956) 2:14 > Sun 245-B < 
(Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limite)
2 - Trouble Bound (1956) 2:46 > Sun 245-A < 
(Billy Riley) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
3 - Flying Saucer Rock And Roll (1956) 2:04 > Sun 260-A <
(Ray Scott) (Carlin Music Corporation)
4 - I Want You Baby (1956) 1:55 > Sun 260-B <
(Billy Riley) (Knox Musixc Limited)
5 - Red Hot (1957) 2:32 > Sun 277-A <
(Billy Emerson) (Knox Music Limited)
6 - Pearly Lee (1957) 2:37 > Sun 277-A <
(Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limited)
7 - Wouldn't You Know (1958) 2:50 > Sun 289-B <
(John Marascalco) (Robin Hood Music Corporation)
8 - Baby Please Don'tGo (1958) 2:07 > Sun 289-A <
(Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limited)

Having joined Sun, Billy Lee formed his own band called the Little Green Men. That this happened at the time of his first session directly for Sun, at which he recorded ''Flyin' Saucers Rock And Roll'', is no coincidence for during the session Sam Phillips said, "You sound like a bunch of' little green men, and the llame stuck. That they turned the wildest of touring acts spawned by 706 Union is an undoubted fact. With Billy Lee on rhythm, the lead guitar duties were handled by Roland Janes with drummer Jimmy Van Eaton laying down the beat. On the first session. the piano pyrotechnics were courtesv of Jerrv Lee Lewis who was subseqnently replaced Jimmy Wilson. After a couple of sessions Marvin Pepper was succeeded by Pat O'Neil on the upright bass with the tenor sax of Martin Willis completing the line-up.

Dressed in green suits to match their name. they gave an uninhibited performance on stage. ''Wow, it was quite a thing back then. You have seen the old Bill Haley antics, ours were mach wilder, we had more fun than that. One first night we played with the band in their groen suits. they all got ripped to hell recalls Riley. ''Red Hot'' cut on 30th Januarv 1975, reallv startecl taking off, and Riley and his band were booked on Alan Freed's show along with Chuck Berry and toured Canada. Indeed they were kept so busy that they didn't record again until November of that year when ''Would'n You Know'', ''Baby Please Don't Go'' and ''Rock With Me Baby'' were committed to tape.

Two other factors conspired against Riley. First, the emergence of his former pianist Jerry Lee Lewis as a solo power in the land saw Sam Phillips concentrating his limited resources behind the Lewis platters to the detriment of other artists (here Riley was not the only one to suffer). Secondly, Riley's own outstanding musicianship and that of his band saw all of them being utilised as session musicians. As session fees at that time varied between $2-$10 an hour this was no path to instant riches.

However the success of ''Red Hot'' prompted Sam Phillips to give the band a call in Canada, where they were at that time touring, suggesting that they should return to Memphis to cut an album. This they did in February 1958. 'Man, that was a long session. ''By the time we came to ''Rock With Me Baby'' I was so drunk I was laying back in a chair with my face tilted up to the mike''. The net result was that they all suffered from a hangover but no album was released. "I think Sam and Judd had airns to only promote Jerry Lee Lewis. You know Sam even cancelled orders on my record so he could fill orders for Lewis' record. I stood there in the office and heard him do it''! Tracks like ''Open The Door Richard'', ''Searchin''', and ''That's Right'' had to wait a couple of decades for more enlightened times to see the light of day.

9 - Dance With Me Honey (Rock With Me Baby) (2) (1963) 1:27
(Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limited)
10 - Open The Door Richard (1977) 2:22
(McVea-Fletcher-Mansion-Howell) (MCA Music Limited)
11 - That's Right (1977) 2:02
(W. Scott) (Chappell Music Limited)
12 - Searchin' (1976) 2:33
(Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller) (Carlin Music Corporation)
13 - College Man (1985) 2:25
(Bill justis) (Knox Music Limited)

According to Riley the song ''Rock With Me Baby'' (2), also cut as a potential album track, is incorrectly titled. In fact the title should be ''Dance With Me Honey''. ''College Man'', an instrumental workout, sees the usual Riley back-up augmented by Bill Justis on tenor sax.

14 - Down By The Riverside (1959) 2:17 > Sun 313-B < 
(Howard-Billy Riley) (Knox Music Limited
15 - No Name Girl (1959) 1:54 > Sun 313-A <
(Jack Clement-Billy Riley) (Jake Music)
16 - Swannee River Rock (1976) 2:29
(Traditional Arranged by Billy Riley) (Public Domain)
17 - Saturday Night Fish Fry (They Was Rockin') (1985) 1:38
(Louis Jordan-Walsh-Barrington-Isenberg) (Anglo-Pic Music Limited)

In May 1958 Riley and his band travelled to Nashville to cut a single for Brunswick, but he was back again recording for Sun shortly thereafter. ''Down By The Riterside''/''No Nane Girl'' (Sun 313) and ''One More Time''/''Got The Water Boiling'' (Sun 322) were to be the last two singles Riley had released on Sun apart from the single by the Rocking Stockings, which Riley recorded for his own Mojo label in 1960 and subsequently sold to Sam Phillips,

18 - Dark Muddy Bottom (1985) 2:26
(Billy Riley) (Cppyright Control)
19 - When Aan Gets The Blues (1985) 3:37
(Billy Riley) (Copyright Control)
20 - Betty And Dupree (1975) 2:13
(Chuck Willis) (Kassner Associated)
21 - (Come Back Baby) One More Time (1959) 2:16 > Sun 322-A < 
(Howard) (Carlin Music Corporation)
22 - Got The Water Boiling (1959)2:08 > Sun 322-B < 
(Russell-Cornelius) (Progressive Music Limited)

''Dark Muddy'' recorded at the Hi Studio in Memphis was released by Riley under the pseudonym of Lightnin' Leon on Rita. Here we hear an earlier demo of the song with Billy Lee accompanied by Roland Janes on guitar. ''When A Man Gets The Blues'', ''Betty And Dupree'', ''Come Back Baby'' all come from Riley's last Sun session held on June 4, 1959. These later recordings show the strong rhythm and blues infuence in Riley's music, none more so than Jordan's ''Saturday Night Fish Fry'' that Riley cut at the Echo Studio in Memphis in 1961 along with ''Teenage Letter''/''Flip Flop And Fly'' (Home Of The Blues 233).

Here then is the best of Billy Lee Riley, a man instrumental in more senses than one in putting the Sun label in the rockabilly hall of fame.

- Adam Komorowski, Editor New Kommotion, 1987

Original Sun recordings licensed from Charly Records International APS
This CD @ 1987 Charly Records Limited
Compilation and co-ordination by Cliff White
Design and artwork by The Raven Design Group


1988 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SAM 103 mono digital

The brief history of the legendary record label. Sam Phillips from Florence, Alabama, originally aimed to be a criminal defence lawyer. Fate dictated otherwise and he became a radio disc jockey at first in Alabama, later moving to Nashville and to Memphis, Tennessee, In 1950 he opened a small recording studio at 706 Union Avenue; the Memphis Recording Service. Sam had his dreams but little did he then realise that he'd just founded a legend.

Initially he recorded bluesmen such as B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf for other companies, before launching his own Sun record label in 1952. The following year he had his first notable successes with releases by Rufus Thomas and Little Junior Parker. Many other fine blues/rhythm and blues artists recorded at Sun in the early years; some country and gospel acts, too. Then in walked one Elvis Aaron Presley.

Elvis was with Sam and Sun less than 18 months but by the time he signed to RCA in 1955 the curse of music history had changed irrevocably. So, too, the musical sounds at Sun. In Elvis' wake the label recorded a remarkable roster of rockabilly/rock and rollers, some immediately entering the pantheon of ''all time greats'', Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, others who were more successful after leaving Sun (Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich) and many who have never fame except Sun worshippers.

For such a relatively small operation Sam Phillips' Sun Records a colossal legacy of exciting music to subsequent generations. Since the mid seventies Charly Records has been the most bountiful executor of this legacy, releasing more albums, cassettes, box sets and CDS of Sun recordings than Sam can fit into his backyard.

1f you are not already familiar with ''The Sound Of Sun'' but like what you hear on this sampler, be prepare, you on the brink of astounding discoveries.

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <


1 - Bear Cat (Rufus Thomas) 1953 (2:53) > Sun 181-A <
(Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller) (Delta Music Incorporated
Recorded March 8, 1953 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal and piano),
Joe Hill Louis contributes some stinging guitar work especially during his extended 36-bar solo
Houston Stokes (drums), Tuff Green (guitar and acoustic bass soon to be known as 'slap')

Billboard was not joking when it noted that ''Bear Cat'' was ''the fastest answer song to hit the market''. Big Mama Thornton's ''Hound Dog'' was recorded in August 1952 and shipped in January or February 1953. ''Bear Cat'' was recorded on March 8, 1953 and was in the stores by the end of the month, if not before. On April 4, Duke/Peacock Records boss, Don Robey, whose Lion Music published ''Hound Dog'', wrote to Sam Phillips informing him that the Harry Fox Agency, which issued mechanical song licenses, had not received a request for ''Bear Cat'' as an answer disc to ''Hound Dog''. Routinely, writers and publishers of answer songs had to surrender at least 50% of the composer and publisher share to the original composer and publisher. Phillips claimed 100% of both. By not securing permission ahead of time, Phillips left himself open to Robey claiming 100% the publisher and composer's share, and that was happened. Robey instructed Fox to issue a mechanical license for ''Bear cat'' giving him 100%, and Phillips refused the license. ''Bear Cat'' entered the carts on April 18 and reached its high point to number 3 on May 2. On May 18, Phillips paid Robey's Lion Music $1580 together with another 4500 to a law firm, Shepherd Tate, suggesting that he'd already bowed to the inevitable. His first hit on Sun left him with a sour taste, and very financial benefit.

Gimmickry aside, ''Bear Cat'' is a very primitive record. It is driven by Tuff Green's very percussive string bass and Joe Hill Louis's spare electric guitar. Louis has an extended 36 bar solo, after which Rufus elbows his way back in. To his credit, Louis does not run short of ideas, many of which were borrowed directly from Pete Lewis, who played on the original record. The real problem is that gimmickry can't be put aside and as such this record hasn't weathered as well as some of the commercially less successful recordings from the same period. Thirty years later, Sam Phillips' only comment was, ''I should have known better. The melody was exactly the same as theirs but we claimed credit for writing the damn thing''.

2 - Just Walkin' In The Rain (The Prisonaires) 1953 (2:50)  > Sun 186-B <
(Robert Riley-Johnny Bragg-Buddy Killen) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 1, 1953 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Bragg (lead tenor vocal), Ed Thurman (tenor vocal), John Drue (tenor vocal),
William Stewart (baritone vocal and guitar), Marcell Sanders (bass vocal),
Possible Joe Hill Louis (guitar), Willie Nix (drums)

Variations labels. The demand for this hit record, was so strong that out of town pressing plant capacity was needed. Therefore, there are genuine 1953 first pressings both with and without push marks. The last 45rpm depicted is the re-release on thin vinyl with push marks.

Johnny Bragg and Robert Riley were walking to the prison laundry when Bragg remarked to Riley, ''Here we are walking in the rain. I wonder what the little girls are doing''. ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' was the song that stemmed from that observation, and it played to Bragg's strengths as a vocalist. He sang exquisitely and with deep feeling, both on the Nashville demo and on the master version. The bridge (''People come to window...'') perfectly captured the yearning and regret he must surely have felt on so many occasions during his long incarceration. Although no lover of close harmony groups, Phillips released ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' on July 8, 1953. On July 28, Sam Phillips' brother, Jud, went to Nashville to meet Bulleit and the Prisonaires. Jud had joined Sun a few months earlier to work on promotion and distribution. ''The boys are getting from 10 to 25 letters a day from all over the country'', wrote Jud. ''They plan to bring all of them to you they come over. They make me think of a bunch of baby birds. They are fine boys all of them. I get great joy out of helping people like that... I know you do too''. Phillips also got great joy from watching the orders roll in. Ebony magazine reported that the record sold over 200,000 copies, and the group started making personal appearances on day passes throughout the state, and - with considerable complication - outside the state. They were held up by warden James Edwards and Tennessee Governor Frank Clement as shining examples of rehabilitation. ''The hopes of tomorrow rather than the mistakes of yesterday'', gushed Clement. Although it didn't chart, ''Just Walkin' In The rain'' was a hit. One who took notice was Joe Johnson who worked for Columbia's country artist and repertoire man, Don Law. Johnson soon moved to California to work for one of Law's acts, Gene Autry, and told him about ''Just Walkin' In The Rain''. Autry acquired the music publishing from Wortham, who probably thought the song had run its course. Johnson pitched the song to Don Law in 1956, who recorded it with one of his act, Dick Richards. law gave Richard's disc to Columbia's New York artists and repertoire man, Mitch Miller, who produced Johnny Ray number 2 pop hit version. Bragg was invited to the annual BMI banquet in New York, but found himself otherwise engaged that night.

3 - Feelin' Good (Little Junior Blue Flames) 1953 (2:56) > Sun 187-A <
(Herman Parker) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 18, 1953 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman "Little Junior" Parker (vocal), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone), Floyd Murphy (guitar),
William "Struction" Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass), John Bowers (drums)

Sun Records' first charted hit. It always sounded as if two guitars were on the session, but Sam Phillips recalled that Floyd Murphy exhibited amazing dexterity on the guitar. ''He could make it sound like there were two man playing at one''. The whole performance owes a debt to the king of the one-chord boogies, John Lee Hooker. Junior saw himself as a slick uptown singer and disavowed Hooker's sound. Phillips did not like the material that Junior was offering, and so, when Phillips went out to answer the telephone, the boys in the studio agreed to give him a taste of down home music. To Hooker's template, Parker added some vocal finesse and an effective wall going up from flatted 7th to 8 similare to that he had already used on his very earliest recording (''You're My Angel'') for Modern. Phillips was thrilled and to Parker's surprise ''Feelin' Good'' became his first hit. On November 14, Phillips paid $50.23 in royalties to both Parker and the session's pianist, William ''Struction'' Johnson, suggesting that Johnson might have been the co-leader of the Blue Flames (certainly, when Parker began recording for Duke, his group was billed as Bill Johnson's Blue Flames).

In 2011, an Austin, Texas-based garage soul band, Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, revisited ''Feelin' Good'' almost not-for-note as ''Mustang Ranch''. So someone's still listening.

4 - Tiger Man (Rufus Thomas) 1953 (2:48) > Sun 188-A <
(Joe Hill Louis-Rebecca Sam Burns) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 30, 1953 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), James Wheeler (tenor Saxophone),
William "Strutcher" Bill Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes - Drums

Rufus' menagerie was starting to fill out, although the Dog and the Funky Chicken were still some years away. Joe Hill Louis and Sam Phillips (aka Sam Burns) were obviously wearing their hit maker's hats when they concocted ''Tiger Man''. Louis also played the insistent lick on the guitar. Rufus comes across as an engaging personality but a limited singer with ragged timing. Joe Hill takes a primitive solo that hints at some rather than stating them, but is no less effective for that. On some level, this panders to African stereotypes, but Houston Stokes' simulation of tribal drums, was pretty far out for its time. Red Saunders' 1952 hit ''Hambone'' had a proto-Diddley beat, but was tame compared with this. Surprisingly, the record failed to reach the charts and Rufus moved on to Phillips' local competitor, Les Bihari at Meteor. Phillips eventually got a payday from ''Tiger man''. In 1968 when Elvis Presley filmed his comeback TV special, ''Elvis'', he received ''Tiger Man'', replicating Louis's guitar lick as closely as he could. It was dropped from the show and the accompanying LP, but soon appeared on a budget LP. The likeliest scenario is that Phillips had given it to him back in 1954 or 1955, suggesting that he might like to cover it for Sun. Introducing the song on-stage in 1970, Elvis said, ''This was my second record, 'cept no one got to hear it''. Louis would have benefited if Elvis had revived it in 1954 (he might even have made enough for the tetanus shot that would have saved his life), but he wasn't around to collect his share of the 1970s bounty.

Houston Stokes was Sun's versatile all-purpose house drummer in the early days. He played behind hillbilly piano player Red Hadley and bluesmen Jimmy DeBerry and Walter Horton, as well as rhythm and blues icon Rufus Thomas. In this ''Tiger Man'', after an introductory scream, Rufus proudly announced himself to be the ''king of the jungle''. What sort of drumming does that cal for? Probably something that sounds like what got played in the era-s B-movie about jungles - steady beats on tom-toms. And that is just what Houston Stokes provides - an unrelenting series of eighth notes with accents on all four beats in every measure. Once it starts, it just doesn't stop. Occasionally, toward the end of the record, Stokes puts some accents in some other (by this time, more interesting) places and he even gets to have something of a drum solo at the record's end. Once the sound of the drum grabs you, it becomes almost hypnotic. Four years later, Jerry Allison would take the same approach to drumming when he accompanied Buddy Holly on ''Peggy Sue''

Houston Stokes was one of the few drummers who was also a vocalist, and he made several unissued blues recordings at Sun as a singer. When not recording, Stokes played in a Memphis jazz band led by Al Jackson and taught the leader's young son something about drumming. That worked out well for Al Jackson Jr. He grew up to become the drummer in Booker T's MGs - the house band at Stax Records who also had some hits under their own name. The first and biggest being ''Green Onions''.

5 - Mystery Train (Little Junior Blue Flames) 1953 (2:23) > Sun 192-A <
(Herman Parker-Sam C. Phillips) (Memphis Music)
Recorded August 5, 1953 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Probably Raymond Hill or James Wheeler (tenor saxophone)
William "Bill" Johnson (piano), John Bowers (drums),
James Wheeler - Tenor Sax

Only rarely can two versions of a song be hailed as classics, even less often are they on the same label. This beautiful poised blues tone poem is one of the finest of Phillips' early recordings, and Elvis Presley's striking re-imagination of it is, of course, is among rock and roll early defining moments. Everything meshes on Junior's record so that the end result is much greater than the sum of its parts. And the parts are really disarmingly simple' Junior's melodic composition and smooth, high pitched vocal; the gentle train rhythm established by the bass and drums; a breathy saxophone; and the instantly memorable guitar riff. In fact, it's the rhythm that provides the songs' hook. A piano is buried in the mix to no great effect. It's a deeply affecting, personal and atmospheric blues that stood little chance of repeating the success of its predecessor, ''Feelin' Good'', at least in part because the title appears nowhere within the song. When it originally appeared, ''Mystery Train'' was credited solely to Junior Parker and published by Memphis Music. By the time Elvis Presley recorded it in 1955 Sam Phillips had appended his name to the copyright (possibly in part settlement of Junior Parker's contract dispute) and the publishing had been transferred to Phillips' Hi Lo Music.

The guitar work on ''Mystery Train'' is by Floyd Murphy, a Memphis native. Sam Phillips said that Floyd had an amazing ability to make one guitar sounds like two, and that ability is in evidence on this track. While Junior is singing and Floyd is accompanying the vocal with a simple figure, the record quite full. But when Floyd plays the melodic single-note lines in his solo, the sound thins out as if some band members had stepped out for fresh air. Those simple melodic lines are a variation on the song's tune and they fit integrally into the record.

6 - Drinkin' Wine Spodee-O-Dee (Malcolm Yelvington) 1954 (2:42) > Sun 211-A < 
(Stick McGhee-J. Mayo Williams) (Leeds Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 10, 1954 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Malcolm Yelvington (vocal and guitar), Gordon Mashburn (guitar)
Jake Ryles (bass), Reece Fleming (piano),
Miles "Bubba" Winn (steel guitar)

Issued on Sun in November 1954, this was the first disc to appear on the label after the two-record debut of Elvis Presley that summer. This song and Yelvington's treatment of it was certainly consistent with Sam Phillips' approach to country music at the point. However, Yelvington was some ten years older than Elvis Presley and he had learned his music in a different are. The Star Rhythm Boys were essentially a western swing-honky tonk outfit, no matter how hard Sam tried to disguise the fact. As it turned out, the western swing treatment suited from an unprintable tune that McGhee had learned in the Navy, ''Drink' Wine Motherfucker''. He had first recorded it for Mayo Williams' Harlem label in 1947 and subsequently sold half of the copyright to Williams for $10. McGhee recorded the song for Atlantic in 1949 and it became one of the first hits on that label. Yelvington and the boys whoop it up in fine style with the help of a chorus that Phillips had literally brought in off the street. Yelvington sound a little uncomfortable at this tempo although his bullfrog baritone gets a chance to shine on the ''wine wine wine'' refrain. The group shows a little more affinity for the material. The guitarist was obviously proud of his solo because he used it twice, for the intro and the first break. However, he had listed some of the most memorable licks from Brownie McGhee's solo on his brother's original version. Reece Fleming's piano solo is rooted in the ''Your Red Wagon'' theme that became the base of ''Rock Around The Clock'' and countless other boogie tunes. Nevertheless, it is not hard to see why Phillips gravitated towards this song. It captured a proto-rockabilly feel and was a very natural blend of black and white styles.

7 - The Boogie Disease (Doctor Ross) 1954 (2:33) > Sun 212-A <
(Isaia Ross) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded Late October 1954 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Isaiah Ross (vocal, guitar and harmonica), Tom Troy (guitar), Bobby Parker (drums)

The good doctor is in fine form on his second Sun single. ''The Boogie Disease'' features a humorous and spirited vocal from Ross. Some of his lyrics are truly memorable. The man was not just spinning out cliches. (''Gonna boogie for the doctor/Gonna boogie for the nurse/Gonna keep on boogieing/Till they throw me in the hearse''). Ross claims that he can only get better; he can't get well. In truth, it is hard to imagine him getting better than this. This is post-war country blues at its finest. Ross's guitar work, especially during the main riff and solos has an undeniable rockabilly edge to it, a feature that has not gone unnoticed by collectors over the years. As usual, the ending cries out for a studio fade, and Sam Phillips refuses to oblige. He forces this tight little combo to end cold, which yields exactly the kind of chaos one might expect. No matter; this is a splendid entry in Sun's blues years.

8 - Red Hot (Billy Emerson) 1955 (2:33) > Sun 219-A <
(William Robert Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 31, 1955 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone), Calvin Newborn (guitar),
Kenneth Banks (bass), Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums),
Billy Love (piano), Band Chorus

Emerson derived this song from a cheerleader chant ''Our team is red hot...'' and recorded it with a band put together by Phineas Newborn, Sr. Rock and roll was clearly the coming thing when Emerson and Newborn settled down to record this in May 1955. A Little over eighteen months later, Sam Phillips pitched the song to one of his rockabilly singers, Billy Riley, who stripped down the lyrics and goosed up the tempo while retaining Emerson's classic retort ''Your girl ain't doodley squat''. Bob Luman covered Riley's record, but from that point the song remained untouched until Sam the Sham recorded it in 1966 in Phillips' new studio at Madison Avenue. Ten years later Robert Gordon turned in a sizzling rockabilly, rather than rhythm and blues classic.

9 - Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins) 1955 (2:16) > Sun 234-A < 
(Carl Perkins) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded December 19, 1955 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Lee Perkins (vocal and guitar), James Buck Perkins (rhythm guitar),
Lloyd Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. "Fluke" Holland (drums)

Without a doubt, this single record has done more than any other to spread the gospel of rockabilly and draw the wave of collectors to San and Sun. Subtract ''Blue Suede Shoes'' from the Sun catalogue, and there is no telling how fundamental the changes might be. When this record hit, shock waves were felt all over. Billboard reported ''Difficult as the country field is for a newcomer to crack these days, Perkins has come up with some wax here that has hit the national retail chart in almost record time... Interestingly enough, the disk has a large measure of appeal for pop and rhythm and blues customers as well''.

''Blue Suede Shoes'' deserves its notoriety. Its impact is as direct today, nearly 55 years and millions of plays later. Perkins' vocal and guitar work are as energetic and full of good natured menace as the day were conceived. To understand the importance of slap bass rockabilly, try to imagine this record mixed differently, driven by drums and not the clicking bass strings. It is entirely possibly the results and fortunes of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' would have been radically different.

10 - Rock And Roll Ruby (Warren Smith) 1956 (2:47) > Sun 239-A <
(John R. Cash) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded February 5, 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Warren Smith (vocal and guitar), Buddy Holobauch (guitar), Stan Kesler (steel guitar),
Jan Ledbetter (bass), Johnny Bernero (drums), Smokey Joe Bauch (piano)

''Johnny Cash and Sam Phillips came in one night when I was playing with Clyde Leoppard'', recalled Warren Smith. ''They invited me to come back to their table and sit down. To begin with, I thought it was some kind of fluke, then Sam Phillips asked me to come over to Sun the next day, and Johnny Cash said he might have a song for me''. Smith's performance of ''Rock 'N' Roll Ruby'' belies his lack of professional experience. It is a supremely confident debut. Sun 239 was released in March 1956 and entered the Memphis charts on May 1. It reached the number 1 slot on May 26. By that point it had climbed onto some other local charts and there was a surprising number of cover versions considering that the record never hit the Hot 100. Among the most notable were Johnny Caroll's Decca version, Lawrence Welk and Dave Burton's big band versions. Even a black vocal group, the Saints on Salem Records, covered the song. There was also a Canadian cover version.

It appears as though the song was not actually from the pen of Johnny Cash, but was bought by Cash from George Jones for $40. A solid investment, as it transpired. Despite all of the activity surrounding the song, Smith's national breakthrough was still over a year away. However, this did not impede him from acquiring the attitudes and demeanour of one whose place in the pantheon of rock and roll was already assured. The portents were extraordinarily good. Neither Carl Perkins nor Elvis Presley had done so well with their debut release.

11 - I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash) 1956 (2:42) > Sun 241-B <
(Johnny Cash) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded April 2, 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Cash (vocal and guitar), (paper woven between the strings to simulate the sound of
brushes on a snare drum, and possibly Washboard)
Luther Perkins (guitar), Marshall Grant (bass)

Johnny Cash's third Sun single established him as a major country artist, capable of breaking through into the pop marketplace. As well, ''I Walk The Line'' became Sun's second major crossover hit in its last seven releases. There must have been a moment in mid-1956 when, after all his years of scuffling, Sam Phillips must have thought, ''Hell, this is easy''!.

''I Walk The Line'' virtually defines minimalist production. There was no sparser arrangement on the pop or, for that matter, country charts in 1956. There is no telling how this song might have fared with the standard Nashville treatment. In an interview with Billboard Phillips mused, ''Can you hear 'I Walk The Line' with a steel guitar''? It's not a pretty picture.

12 - Ooby Dooby (Roy Orbison) 1956 (2:12) > Sun 241-B < 
(Wade Moore-Allen Richard Dick Penner) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 27, 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Roy Orbison (vocal and guitar), Johnny Wilson (guitar), James Morrow (Electric mandolin),
Jack Kennelly (bass), Billy Pat Ellis (drums)

This is Roy Orbison's first Sun record and, years later, one in which he took no particular pride. This is Orbison the rocker, the electric guitar player. There is no trace of the sensitive balladeer who would emerge barely four years later.

Despite Orbi's misgivings, ''Ooby Dooby'' is a fine record. True, it is not high poetry, but as a driving southern rocker, it is a standout. There is an almost unprecedented degree of crispness in the recording balance. The snare drum is tightly tuned, the guitar work stresses the high strings and treble pickup, and the clicking bass is prominently miked. Aspiring rockabilly guitarists memorized every note of Orbi's piercing solo as if it were the holy grail. In case they missed it the first time, Orbi obliged with a repeat performance a minute or so later. The ending of ''Ooby Dooby'' is a moment to be reckoned with. The bass walks down of five note sequence after all the other instruments have gone silent. Planned or unplanned, this is a sweet moment in Sun music history.

From a point of view, the song is simply there to bracket the guitar solos. The solos, which are essentially identical, are two full choruses long (solos were usually only one verse long back then) and the record is built around them. The solo's first three lines follow the song's melody and then Orbison breaks free. He bends notes creating tension that gets resolved quickly; he attacks staccato chords; he runs up and down; and he closes with a satisfying final chord that leads back into the vocal. It's a well-crafted journey. In later years, Orbison did all he could to disavow his Sun recordings. But the evidence is clear: He was one hell of a guitar player.

13 - Bobbin' The Blues (Carl Perkins) 1956 (2:50) > Sun 243-A < 
(Carl Perkins-Howard Griffin) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Perkins (vocal and guitar), James Buck Perkins (rhythm guitar),
Lloyd Clayton Perkins (bass), W.S. "Fluke" Holland (drums)

What we casually refer to today as ''rockabilly'' or the ''Sun sound'' was new music back in early 1956. In fact, nobody knew what to call it. Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins were still being described as performing ''hillbilly pop'' when this record came out. Billboard rightly described it as ''loaded with flavor and with potential for all three markets''. The Memphis regional chart in May 1956 showed that Sam Phillips' vision had literally dominated the city's taste. ''Boppin' The Blues'' sat at number 3, bettered only by ''I Walk The Line'' and ''Blue Suede Shoes'' (at number 1 and 2, respectively). The number 4-6 chart positions were filled by ''Heartbreak Hotel'', ''Ooby Dooby'' and ''Rock And Roll Ruby''. These were magic times to cruise down Union Avenue in your Chevy convertible with the radio blaring. (HD)

The notion that Carl's music was an irresistible and life-changing force (''I still love you baby, but I'll never be the same'') was a clever and powerful image. In fact, Carl took that idea one step further in ''Boppin' The Blues''. Like Doctor Ross (''The Boogie Disease'') before him and Huey Piano Smith (''Rockin' Pneumonia'' and ''The Boogie Woogie Flu'') after him, Carl likened his music to an infectious disease. One exposure and you've had it, whether you like it or not. Ironically, this was just the kind of perverse thinking that fueled anti-rock and roll boycots by the White Citizen's Council!

14 - Red Headed Woman (Sonny Burgess) 1956 (2:07) > Sun 247-A < 
(Albert Burgess) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 2, 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sonny Burgess (vocal and guitar), Joe Lewis (guitar), Johnny Ray Hubbard (bass)
Russell Smith (drums), Ray Kern Kennedy (piano), Jack Nance (trumpet)

It is doubtful that any record exudes more unfettered energy and joyous enthusiasm than Sonny Burgess' debut single on Sun Records. Burgess was a true wildman, a free spirit whose allegiance to rhythm and blues was in better evidence than his hillbilly roots.

"We Wanna Boogie" and "Red Headed Woman" stand among the rawest recordings released during the first flowering of rock and roll. The lyrics were almost unintelligible (although they repay close attention with some very funny couplets), and the instrumentation teetered on the edge of atonality. It was a record that sported an air of total abandon, sounding as if it had been created under the heavy burden of alcohol, although Sonny Burgess remembers that everyone was stone cold sober, and nervous to the point of apprehension. Despite being almost unmarketable according to established precept, "Red Headed Woman" reportedly sold over 90,000 copies. It did especially well in Boston, although Burgess was unaware of that fact until Jack Nance and Joe Lewis toured there a few years later with Conway Twitty.

15 - Come On Little Mama (Ray Harris) 1956 (2:15) > Sun 254-B <
(Ray Harris-Wayne Cogswell) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 20, 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Harris (vocal and guitar), Winston Wayne Cogswell (guitar),
Joey Reisenberg (drums), Unknown (bass)

There is a priceless anecdote about Ray Harris, practicing his vocal craft in a non-air conditioned Memphis apartment in July, standing in his overalls, dripping with sweat, bellowing his heart out to his undeserving neighbors. Folks living blocks away got to preview an a cappella version of these sides, which Billboard later called "dangerous".

All the practicing apparently paid off for Harris, whose voice Billboard described as "extreme" and "emotion packed". In his more staid later life, Ray Harris spent years as the resident engineer at the Hi Records studio across town.

In its original 45rpm form "Come On Little Mama" proved to be a serious challenge for the avid listener as the single was pressed on particularly low grade vinyl. Only in recent years, with the advent of the digital format, has it been possible to soak up the full impact of what Ray Harris first set out to archieve. As a point of interest, his right hand man was a fine guitarist by the name of Wayne Gogswell who saw success of his own when he penned "Teensville" for Chet Atkins.

"Come On Little Mama" was one of the original Holy Grail Sun singles... and with good reason. Its one of the most berserk records of the era. Ray Harris took his song to Sun. Sam Phillips, surely knowing that he couldn't sell Harris to the mass market, nevertheless responded to his maniacal energu. "I'll never forget it, he was so intense", says Phillips. "Ray was a very intense person. He really put himself into it. He looked like he was going to have a heart attack every time he played. 'Rack 'em up, boy, let's go!. That was Ray's saying".

"Come On Little Mama" was a definitive statement of supercharged rockabilly: a word apart from country, but not identifiably rhythm and blues or pop. The lyrics were virtually unintelligible, the musicianship limited, and the production sparse, but the performance was irresistible. "Come On Little Mama" apparently sold well locally, and Ray Harris was invited back to cut a follow-up.

16 - Flying Saucers Rock And Roll (Billy Riley) 1957 (2:03) > Sun 260-A < 
(Ray Scott) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded December 11, 1956 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Riley (Vocal and guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Marvin Pepper (bass),
James M. Van Eaton (drums), Jerry Lee Lewis (piano)

Note: "Flyin' Saucer Rock And Roll'' (misprinted as ''Saucers"" on the record label.

When Sam Phillips pressed the red button on his Ampex tape machine to record Billy Riley's single, he was taking the plot of a sci-fi drive-in movie and turning it into a mesmeric rock and roll classic. The elements that he'd gathered together were right on target. Riley's hoarse throat vocal, Jerry Lee's free styling at the studio upright and Roland Janes, with his eerily-echoed whammy bar, were enough to frighten anyone's horses. No wonder they were dubbed "The Little Green Men".

Billy Riley performs what has become a rockabilly anthem. His raspy vocal on "Flyin' Saucer Rock And Roll" soars over a frenetic musical sound anchored by newly recruited session pianist Jerry Lee Lewis. The guitar breaks by Riley and session man Roland Janes have become models for aspiring rockabilly guitarists, but it is James M. Van Eaton who steal the show with some of the tastiest drumming in rockabilly history. His work during the spacy four bar intro, with that brief foray on to the tom-tom are permanently ingrained in the consciousness of most Sun fans. Similarly, the last ten seconds of this record are an eye-opener. The snare roll during the last sustained chord might have been enough, but the unexpected bass drum stomp raises the record to brilliance.

17 - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Jerry Lee Lewis) 1957 (2:53) > Sun 267-B < 
(Dave ''Curley'' Williams-Sunny David) (Marlyn Music)
Recorded February 5, 1957 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Roland Janes (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

Rockabilly pianist Roy Hall, who, under the pseudonym of Sunny David, wrote ''Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On'' with black musician Dave Williams, also recorded his own version, before Lewis inspired a generation of teens by injecting the song with his inimitable brand of boogie-woogie, country, gospel and rhythm and blues-infused hellfire. Released in May 1957, the single rose to number eight in the United Kingdom, reached number three on what was then known as the Billboard Top 100, and became an rhythm and blues and country chart-topper. In the process, it launched the career of the piano-pounding, rocket-fuelled wildman whose manic, overtly sexual live performances provoked parental nightmares. As it happens, the self-described ''Killer'' only enjoyed four Top 20 hits before the scandal of his marriage to a 13-year-old cousin brought the successes to a screeching halt. Yet, courtesy of a wide-ranging career that has now spanned seven decades and comprised an impressive body of work, Lewis’s legend has remained intact, and the tale of how he first came to prominence is, like the man himself, quite unique.

After four recordings, disc jockey Johnny Littlefield received Roy Hall's latest Decca release in the mail in the fall of 1955. He immediately began playing the record in the air. He also began singing the song in his nightclub, the Wagon Wheel also called the Music Box in some sources). One of the members of his house band was piano player Jerry Lee Lewis. Reportedly, Lewis began begged Littlefield to allow him to sing the song in the club. Lewis has said that he first remembers hearing "Big Mama Thornton's recording of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" sometime in 1955. Obviously, Lewis meant Big Maybelle, not Willie Mae Thornton. In any case, Jerry Lee Lewis incorporated "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" into his act. On April 15, 1957, Jerry Lee Lewis appeared "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" on the Steve Allen show.

Jerry Lee didn't write many songs but he sure did breathe new life into virtually everything he performed. "Whole Lotta Shakin'" is a case in point. Listen to earlier versions of the song by Roy Hall or blues shouter Big Maybelle. What Jerry Lee has brought to this massive hit is truly worthy of composer credit.

On this track, Jerry Lee's piano establishes the incessant and captivating rhythm before Van Eaton in, And a first his drum serves only to add backbeat emphasis to Jerry Lee's left-hand piano figure. Jerry Lee keeps playing it, the guitar enters, and Van Eaton is freed to embellish the rhythm as he sees fit. And he does that, including a drum roll that leads into the instrumental solo and goes on too long, much as W.S. Holland had done on ''Matchbox''.

There is more of an ''arrangement'' on this than on most Sun records. When Jerry Lee says, ''easy now'' and goes into his instructions on how to ''shake baby shake'', the musicians play softer but, even so, that rhythm never stops. At the end of that section, it falls primarily to Van Eaton to emphatically announce that the high energy performance is coming back (joined by a glissando in Jerry Lee's right hand). And the coordination of the piano and drum in ending the record is just lovely.

Note: Later releases gave the title of the Jerry Lee Lewis hit as ''Whole Lotta Shakin''', but the label of the original release read ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On''.

18 - Raunchy (Bill Justis) 1957 (2:22) > PI 3519-A <
(William Everette Justis-Sid Manker) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Recorded June 5, 1957 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Bill Justis (alt saxophone), Vernon Drane (saxophone), Jimmy Wilson (piano),
Sidney Manker (guitar), Roland Janes (guitar), Sid Lapworth (bass),
James M. Van Eaton or Otis Jett (drums)

Here it is, the record that put the fledging Phillips International label on the map. So popular was this disc in 1957 that it inspired cover versions by a host of artists including Ernie Freeman and Billy Vaughn. At one point, Sam Phillips bought space in the trade papers beseeching the industry to listen to all versions and decide which was the original. Sam was on quite a roll in his defense of "Raunchy". He described counterclaims against Bill Justis' version as "uncouth" and went on to talk about the need for originality. He underlined the importance of never becoming "stereotyped and parasitic". Big words for a guy in the record business but he was right about one thing: PI 3519 was neither of those things.

In truth, the artist, Bill Justin, was far too hip (and technically skilled) for Sun. His hilarious between-takes exhortations to his fellow musicians are thankfully preserved on tape ("Come on, girls, let's get really bad now so we can sell some records:). In countless interviews, Justis maintained that his technically flawed sax work on this record (which only adds to its zany charm) stemmed from being out of practice. It may have been a mild musical embarrassment to him, but it kept Sam 'n Sun on center stage in the music business. It was surely one of the first instrumentals with a rock and roll sensibility, and as such it led inexorably to the Champs and Duane Eddy and a host of others who perfected the form.

Just what was "Raunchy"? Was it an uneasy truce between big band music and rockabilly? You know in the first four bars that you're in the presence of something. Sax man Vernon Drane recalled to Colin Escott, "I managed the Bill Justis band for nine years. We had a great band right after the war. We modelled ourselves on Count Basie and Shortly Rogers. After Bill went to Sun, I came with him. I actually named 'Raunchy''. ''I said, 'That's the raunchiest damn thing you've ever done. If you don't record it, you'll miss a million seller'. He gave me a hundred dollar bonus for naming it. The guitarist Sid Manker was really the guy that worked up that riff though. He was a crazy man, high on everything. Hell of nice guy, though". Whatever its title, the overall concoction didn't have much precedent in 1950s popular music. Another hybrid is born at 706 Union.

19 - Great Balls Of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis) 1957 (1:53) > Sun 281-A < 
(Jack Hammer-Otis Blackwell) (Unichappell Music)
Recorded October 8, 1957 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jerry Lee Lewis (vocal and piano), Probably Roland Janes (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Probably Jimmy M. Van Eaton (drums)

New York publisher, Paul Case, gave Jack Hammer's irresistible title to Otis Blackwell, who came up with an entirely new discourse. After agreeing to cut the song, Jerry Lee initially wrestled with his conscience over the tone of the lyrics. The deliberation was worth it because many highlights resulted, particularly his demarcating piano solo that shamelessly hocks the bass riff from Little Richard's "Lucille".

"Great Balls Of Fire" was no song Jerry had plucked from his reliquary, though; nor was it dashed off in one or two takes. It was a conscious attempt to produce a hit record for the lucrative teen market, which Jerry Lee had just shown he was capable of penetrating.

The song had been pitched first to Carl Perkins then Lewis as part of a deal in which they would appear in the movie "Jamboree". Then, in a move wholly untypical of Sam Phillips, he decided to forego the publishing on the flip side as well.

20 - Right Behind Your Baby (Ray Smith) 1958 (2:25) > Sun 298-B <
(Charlie Rich) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 19, 1958 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Ray Smith (vocal and guitar), Dean Perkins (guitar), Stanley Walker (guitar),
James Webb (bass), Gary Diamond (drums), Charlie Rich (piano)

Charlie Rich had a major hand in writing and producing Ray Smith's first Sun record. The results reflect the kind of rockabilly that was likely to emerge from Sun in 1958. There was plenty of energy here, but the sound was a little more intentional. This music has been thought through in advance, both lyrically and instrumentally. It is calculated for the teenage marketplace. The guitar solos are still hot and the vocals still sexy, but something had plainly been learned from all the wild excesses of 1956 - namely that radio didn't play them.

21 - Pretend (Carl Mann) 1959 (2:39) > PI 3546-B <
Recorded August 24, 1959 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Carl Mann (vocal and piano), Eddie Bush (guitar)
Robert Oatsvall (bass), W.S. Holland (drums)

Finding a follow-up to ''Mona Lisa'' was no small task. One of Sam Phillips' major frustration centered on his inability to sustain the momentum of those occasional hit records. In the case of Carl Mann, he played all the angles. The verdict was to keep the formula (rock up another standard) and dig into the Nat Cole songbook if possible. And so ''Pretend'', a 1953 hit for Cole, was chosen. Everything else stayed pretty much the same as last time, which was of course part of the problem. The element of surprise was totally missing here, even if this was a pretty terrific record. Guitarist Eddie Bush and drummer W.S. Holland generate a prodigious amount of energy together and the contrast between them and Mann is again striking: Bush and Holland are on fire, and Mann is on Valium.

22 - Lonely Weekend (Charlie Rich) 1960 (2:07) > PI 3552-A <
(Charlie Rich) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 14, 1959 at Memphis Recording Service, 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charlie Rich (vocal and piano), Martin Willis (baritone saxophone), Roland Janes (guitar),
Billy Riley (bass), James M. Van Eaton (drums)
Overdubbed The Gene Lowery consisting of
A. Davis, B. Gross, D. Horton, P. Jacobs, C. Walker and P. Walker (vocal chorus and handclaps)

"Lonely Weekend" is the record that first put Charlie Rich on the map. Interestingly, it was his third single that hit big time, just as had been the case with Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. This time they finally got it right. "Lonely Weekend" was just what Sam Phillips had asked for: "Big Man" without religion. The version that hit the market in January 1960 was quite different from the tight, tense, passionate small combo effort that Charlie left the can in June 1959. After the session, Sam assigned the tapes to Charles Underwood, who brought them to the new studio at Madison Avenue, for overdubbing. Underwood added the dreaded Gene Lowery Singers, a ton of echo, and some highly unusual rimshots during Martin Willis' baritone sax break. "I never liked that final version as much as the way we originally cut it", observed guitarist Roland Janes recently. "But then I doubt our original would have sold as well".

Original Sun recordings licensed from Charly Records International APS
This CD @ 1988 Charly Records Limited
Compilation and co-ordination by Cliff White
Design and artwork by The Raven Design Group


1991 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD Sun 32 mono digital

Compact disc. An Charly Record Special Product. Silver label. Sun logo pressed in black at top of the label. Catalog number right from center. On the back cover Sun logo at left at bottom, catalog number in upper right. Original Sun recordings.

Many artists failed to get on Sun Records, some were lucky enough to get a recordings session and a release, however not many had the opportunity of having two stabs at the cherry. One such was Ray Smith who came to Sun early in 1958 recorded a dozen sides or so went on the Judd label and had a national hit with ''Rockin' Little Angel'' and subsequently returned to Sun in 1961 to record a further couple of singles. Also included in the box, an 8-page booklet with biography and liner notes by Adam Komorowski.

For music (standard Sun singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <


1 - Right Behind You Baby (2:24) > Sun 298-B <
(Charlie Rich)
2 - Shake Around (2:50)
(Ray Smith)
3 - You Made A Hit (2:22) > Sun 308-B <
4 - Rockin' Bandit (2:18) > Sun 319-B < 
(Ivor J. Lichterman)
5 - Life Is A Flower (2:03)
(Charlie Rich)
6 - Two Pennies And A String (2:36)
(Charlie Rich)
7 - Sail Away (2:27) > Sun 319-A < 
(Charlie Rich)
8 - I Wanna Be Free (2:09)
(Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller)
9 - The Girl Was Meant For Me (1:00)
(Ray Smith)
10 - Little Girl (2:04)
(Ray Smith)
11 - Forever Yours (3:05)
(Carl Perkins)
12 - Why Why Why (2:21) > Sun 308-A <
(Charlie Rich)
13 - Break Up (1:54)
(Charlie Rich)
14 - Willing And Eager (2:10)
(Ray Smith)
15 - So Young (2:26) > Sun 298-A <
(Charlie Rich)
16 - I Won't Miss You (2:07) > Sun 372-B <
Stan Kesler)
17 - Travellin' Salesman (3:05) > Sun 372-A <
18 - Candy Doll (2:29) > Sun 375-A <
19 - Hey Boss Man (1:57) > Sun 375-B <
(Benny Joy)
20 - Rockin' Bandit (2:06)
(Ivor J. Lichterman)

Born the seventh child of a seventh son, Raymond Eugene was destined to be one of the wild men of rock and roll. He was born in Melber, a suburb of Paducah, Kentucky on the 30th October 1934, and by the age of 6 was standing up in front of his class to sing "You Are My Sunshine". After a series of jobs, Ray enlisted in the US Air Force in 1952 and was stationed for 19 months in Metz, France. He served a four year stint and from 1956-1960 did a further four years reserve duty. It was a period of his life that he looked back on fondly, for the Air Force was instrumental in developing his signing career. on the direct orders of a sergeant he performed at a base concert, and won the talent contest which encouraged him to pursue this singjng business further. Whilst stationed at the George Air Force Base in Victorville, California, Ray joined forces with Lee Standerford and Slim Whitman's brother Armand who played steel.

Upon his discharge from active service in June 1956, Ray returned home and formed the ''Rock And Roll Boys'', having been converted from country music to rock and roll through nearing Elvis Presley in France. Raymond Jones (lead guitar) and James Webb (bass) both nailed from Bardwell, Kentucky, whilst steel player Dean Perkins was from Mayfield, Kentucky. From slightly further afield came drummer Henry Stevens, namely Metropolis, Illinois. It was in that self same town that the boys made their radio debut on WMOK. Further radio engagements followed in Benton, Paducan, Mayfield, Louisville all in in Kentucky and eventuality Newport, Arkansas. The Ray Smith Show also took to television under the sponsorship of Beardsley Chevrolet on WPSD Channel 6 out of Paducah, and all told the weekly show ran for 21/2 years. Charlie Terrell who had previously managed Onie Wheeler saw Ray's show and offered his services as manager, an offer that was initially turned down by Ray, but eventually Terrell's persistence paid off and he took on the management role in Ray's career. Within three days of so doing he had a recording contract arranged for Ray with Sun Records.

The precise data on Ray's recording at Sun is far from clear. Five songs not released at the time, "Life Is A Flower" "Little Girl" "I Wanna Be Free", "Two Pennies And A String" and "The Girl Meant For Me" were ultimately found in a tape-box that bears the legend "Ray Rockin' Smith & The Rockin' Rockers". They may have been demos submitted by Terrell in order to obtain Ray's contract, or alternatively they may have been recordings made at a demo session which was logged as taking place on 10th January 1958. Recording sessions for March 19 and 26 are also logged but it is not clear precisely which titles were recorded when. However these early sessions produced Ray's first single "So Young" / "Right Behind You Baby" as well as "Why Why Why" and "'Break Up" both of which were left in the can. Whilst the boys were away touring Jerry Lee Lewis cut "Break Up" which accounted for Ray's version being ignored. Ray was not amused by this bit of blatant poaching and tackled Lewis on the matter who denied knowing that it was Ray's song. Later the faux pas would be forgotten as Ray and Jerry Lee became firm friends, possibly recognising in an other kindred spirits. At one session Charlie Rich was playing various compositions of his own for Ray to pick from. Ray wanted to do "Whirlwind", but Charlie wouldn't let him have it stating that he wanted to do it himself. Instead Ray cut Charlie's "Sail Away'. For a while it was thought that Charlie himself was harmonising with Ray on this number, but in fact it is guitarist Stanley Walker. Ray clearly recalled having to hunt around for some books for Stanley to stand on so that he could reach the microphone! Walker stayed with Ray Smith for 13 years before going on to back Jean Shepherd. The flipside of "Sail Away" was supplied by a thirteen year old youngster named Ivor Lichterman who worked in a leatner factory in Memphis and had sent in a demo of the song on which he accompanied himself by slapping his thighs. It was not a song that Ray was keen to do, but Bill Justis insisted and so they did it. After three singles without a hit, Ray switched alleglances to Sam's brother Jud, who took him to Nashville and backed by the likes of Hank Garland he recorded a Jimmie Rogers song entitled ''Rockin' Little Baby" changing the "baby" to "'angel". Not much happened at first but after some five months it fairly flew up the national charts opening up new and exciting doors all over the place; American Bandstand, Dick Clark caravan, headline tours nationwide, the fulfillment of Ray's wildest dreams. However fame is a fickle mistress, and her favours are only bestowed on those who can continue producing the hits. In Ray's case the well ran dry fairly quickIy with ''Put Your Arms Around Me Honey" giving him his second top 100 hit (a modest number 91) and also the last. For a while he was able to bask in the glory of being a national star. He toured in his own customised coach complete with "running maids and hot water", rubbing shoulders with the likes of Jack Scott, Brenda Lee, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Robin Luke and Bobby Day.

He returned to Sun in 1961, recording four sides in Nashville which were not annanced by having a female chorus overdubbed on them, but they were much better than some of the material that was appearing on the label by this time. There after Ray label-hopped extensively recording on Infinity, VeeJay, Warner Bros, BC, Tollie, Celebrity Circle and Diamond. Sadly the hits failed to materialise, a crushing blow to a man who sought and lusted for fame as avidly as Ray Smith. Around 1966 disillusioned by his failure to maintain star status and tired of all the extensive touring, he headed north to Detroit, turned left and settled in Burlington, Ontario. He continued performing in Canada until 1972 when he returned to Nashville to cut some country material for the Cinamon label and scored in the country charts with "A Tilted Cup Of Love". The resurgence of interest in the Sun label and rockabilly in general in the mid to late 1970's resulted in Ray coming over to perform in England and Europe and in some small way reliving the star status that once had been his. That this was only a microcosmic reflection of what once had been, may possibly have contributed to his untimely demise, for on 29th November 1979, in circumstances that retain an element of mystery, he shot himself at his home.

- Adam Komorowski, Editor New Kommotion, 1991

Original Sun recordings licensed from Charly International APS
Compiled by Adam Komorowski
Design by The Raven Design Group
This compilation © by Charly Records Limited


1990-1992 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36 mono digital

5 compact disc boxset. An Charly Records Special Products. Silver label. Sun logo pressed at top of the  label. On the back cover Sun logo and catalog number left at bottom.

Contains recently discovered and  alternate versions of black music recorded in Memphis in the 1950s by Sam Phillips. Also included in the  boxsets, 8-page booklet with liner notes by Hank Davis. The Sun Blues Archive is a CD compilation set to  the boxed LP set ''Sun Records – The Blues Years (Sunbox 105) – due out on CD shortly. They also include  the best of some now-deleted Charly LPs.

1990 Volume 1 Contains ''Blue Guitar''
The Hucklebuck (Earl Hooker)
Mexicali Hip Shake (Earl Hooker)
The Drive (Earl Hooker)
Razorback (Earl Hooker)
Blue Guitar (Earl Hooker)
Bed River variations (Earl Hooker)
Move On Down The Line (Earl Hooker)
Guitar Rag (Earl Hooker)
Pinetop's Boogie Woogie (Pinetop Perkins)
Walked All Night (Charlie Booker)
Harping On It (Coy Hot Shot Love)
Wolf Call Boogie (Coy Hot Shot Love)
Flypaper Boogie (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Got My Call Card (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Scott's Boogie (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Missing In Action (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
Can't Love Me And My Money Too (L.B. Lawson & James Scott Blues Rockers)
If You Don't Want Me (Woodrow Adams)
The Last Time (Woodrow Adams)
Baby Tell Me Your Name (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo)
Gonna Leave You Baby (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo)
So Long Baby, Goodbye (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo)
Feel So Worried (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo)
Original Sun Recordings

1990 Volume 2 Contains ''Bootin' Boogie''
I Don't Like It (Rosco Gordon)
Don't Take It Out Of Me (Rosco Gordon)
If You Want Your Woman (Rosco Gordon)
You Been Cheatin' On Me (Rosco Gordon)
Hey Hey Girl (Rosco Gordon)
Mean Woman (Rosco Gordon)
Real Pretty Mama (Rosco Gordon)
Shoobie Oobie (Rosco Gordon)
Sally Jo (Rosco Gordon)
Go Ahead On (Guitar Red)
Baby Please Don't Go (Guitar Red)
Love My Baby (Junior Parker)
Sittin' In The Window (Junior Parker)
Feelin' Bad (Junior Parker)
Sittin' At The Bar (Junior Parker)
Love My Baby (Junior Parker)
Don't Dog Me Around ( Eddie Snow And Elven Parr's Band)
Mean Mean Woman ( Eddie Snow And Elven Parr's Band)
Skin And Bone-1 ( Eddie Snow And Elven Parr's Band)
Skin And Bone-2 ( Eddie Snow And Elven Parr's Band)
No Teasing Around (Billy Emerson)
When My Baby Quit Me (Billy Emerson)
I'm Not Going Home (Billy Emerson)
Hey, Little Girl (Billy Emerson)
Original Sun Recordings

1992 Volume 3 Contains ''Deep Harmony''
I Wonder Why (Hunki Dori)
I'd Like To Be There (Hunki Dori)
Why Don't You Use Your Head (Hunki Dori)
Baby Don't Leave Me (Hunki Dori)
This Misery (Hunki Dori)
Workin' On A Building (Hunki Dori)
I Hear The Saviour Calling (Hunki Dori)
Old Time Religion (Hunki Dori)
Down Home (Hunki Dori)
Why Don't You Use Your Head – 2 (Hunki Dory)
I Want My Baby Back (Hunki Dori)
Fire (The Veltones)
Did You (The Veltones)
Blessed Be The Name (Southern Jubilees)
What Do You Do Next (The Prisonaires)
There Is Love In You (The Prisonaires)
Dreaming Of You (The Prisonaires)
Friends Call Me A Fool (The Prisonaires)
I Wish (The Prisonaires)
Rocking Horse (The Prisonaires)
That Chick's Too Young (The Prisonaires)
Gonna Let You Go (The Five Tinos)
Trouble (Blue Nights) (Ed Kirby)
Mean Old Gin (Ed Kirby)
Original Sun Recordings

1992 Volume 4 Contains ''Way After Midnight''
Early In The Morning (Billy Love)
There's No Use (Billy Love)
If You Want To Make Me Happy (Billy Love)
You Could Have Loved Me (Billy Love)
Gee I Wish (Billy Love)
Hey Now (Billy Love)
Way After Midnight (Billy Love)
Blues Leave Me Alone (Billy Love)
Hart's Bread Boogie (Billy Love)
Somebody's Carryin' My Rollin' On (Raymond Hill)
My Baby Left Me (Raymond Hill)
Sittin' On Top Of The World (Raymond Hill)
I'm back Pretty Baby (Raymond Hill)
We're All Gonna Do Some Wrong (Houston Stokes)
4 O'Clock Blues (Houston Stokes)
Best Friend Blues (Houston Stokes)
Baby's Gone And Left Me (Houston Stokes)
Going Crazy (Houston Stokes)
The Hammer (Instrumental) (Houston Stokes)
Satisfied (Billy "The Kid" Emerson)
When My Baby Quit Me (Billy "The Kid" Emerson)
Shim Sham Shimmy (Billy "The Kid" Emerson)
No Greater Love (Billy "The Kid" Emerson)
Red Hot (Billy "The Kid" Emerson)
Original Sun Recordings

1992 Volume 5 Contains ''Back Country Boogie''
They Call Me Talking Boy – 1 (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Country Farm Blues (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Rattlesnake Mama (William Talking Boy Stewart)
I Love My Baby (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Hey Gal – 1 (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Hey Gal – 2 (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Black Snake (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Forty Four Blues (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Talking Boy – 2 (William Talking Boy Stewart)
Country Clown (Doctor Ross)
Cat Squirrel (Doctor Ross)
Shake-A-My Hand (Doctor Ross)
That Ain't Right (Doctor Ross)
Shake 'Em On Down (Doctor Ross)
My Be Bop Gal (Doctor Ross)
Terra Mae (Doctor Ross)
Turkey Leg Woman (Doctor Ross)
Feel So Sad (Doctor Ross)
Chicago Breakdown (Doctor Ross)
Jukebox Boogie (Doctor Ross)
Boogie Disease (Doctor Ross)
Dr. Ross Boogie (Doctor Ross)
Downtown Boogie (Doctor Ross)
Industrial Boogie (Doctor Ross)
Original Sun Recordings
1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8117 mono digital
Shake Around collects 21 of Smith's Sun recordings and two sides of a single on Veejay. His hit "Rockin' Little Angel" on Judd, a label run by Sam Phillips' brother, isn't included, but several revered rockabilly tracks are present, "Shake Around'', "Willing And Ready". Smith vacillated between teen-oriented pop and Elvis influenced rock and roll and was sometimes artistically successful with both. Many Charlie Rich compositions are featured, as are a handful of recordings by Ray Rockin' Smyth and the Rockin' Rockers, who may or may not be Ray Smith. Anyone hungry for vintage Sun recordings will enjoy at least some of this package, as will rockabilly collectors.

Break Up
Why, Why, Why
Willing And Ready
So Young
Right Behind You Baby
You Made A Hit
Shake Around
Rockin' Bandit (Undubbed)
Sail Away
Forever Yours
I Won'T Miss You ('Til You Go)
Travelin' Salesman
Candy Doll
Hey, Boss Man
Life Is A Flower
Little Girl
I Wanna Be Free
Two Pennies And A String
The Girl Was Meant For Me
Rockin' Bandit (Undubbed)
Why, Why, Why (Alternate)
Rockin' Robin
Robbin' The Cradle
Tracks 1-21 Original Sun Recordings
Tracks 22-23 Original VeeJay Recordings
Compiled by Adam Komorowski.
Remastered by Peter Rynston at Charly Studios, London.
1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-1 mono digital
Compact disc. An Charly Records Special Products. Black label. Photo of Jack Earls pressed left from center. Charly logo pressed in red on top of the label. On the front cover, Sun logo left on top says "Stars On". On the back cover Charly logo on top. Catalog logo in upper right.  This collection contains all the Jack Earls important Sun titles and gives some indication of his talent.  Also included in the box, 12-page booklet with biography and liner notes by Adam Komorowsky. The booklet also features rare and previously unpublished photos. Produced for release by Joop Visser. Digital remastering at Charly Studios, London, by Peter Rynston.

Hey Jim
They Can't Keep Me From You (2)
Hey Slim
Crawdad Hole (1)
When I Dream (1)
Crawdad Hole (2)
Slow Down
A Fool For Lovin' You
Crawdad Hole (3)
If You Don't Mind
Let's Bop
Sign On The Dotted Line (1)
My Gal Mary Ann
Take Me To That Place (1)
They Can't Keep Me From You (1)
When I Dream (2)
Take Me To That Place (2)
Sign On The Dotted Line (2)
Original Sun Recordings
March 5, 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137 mono digital
Wampus Cat (Howard Chandler)
This Chick (Ray Garden)
Little Red Hen (Unknown Artist)
Chain Gang Charlie (Curley Money)
Love Crazy Baby (Ken Parchman)
Treat Me Right (Ken Parchman)
Johnny Valentine (Andy Anderson)
Peroxide Blond And Hopped Up Model Ford (Gene Simmons)
Rabbit Action (Jimmy Hagget)
Put Me Down (Jesse Lee Turner)
Cry Baby Cry (Narvel Felts)
Did You Tell Me (Narvel Felts)
Teenage Way (Narvel Felts)
Campus Love (Glenn Honeycutt)
You’re The Only Star (Carl McVoy)
Little Girl (Carl Mcvoy)
Everybody’s Trying To Kiss My Baby (Gene Ross)
Nothing On My Mind (Jimmy Pritchett)
Right Behind You Baby (Ray Smith)
I’m Stepping Aside (Harold Dorman)
Dance Little Girl (Cliff Thomas)
The King Is Back (Curtis Hoback)
With My Best Friend (Curtis Hoback)
Stop (Teddy Reidel)
Tired Of Love (Teddy Reidel)
Someday Baby (Dick Penner)
Remember When (Rudy Grayzell)
Don’t Got Away (Johnny Powers)
But Now That It’s Over (Johnny Powers)
If I Can’t Have You (Lynn Pratt)
Original Sun Recordings
Manufactured By – Rajon Distribution Pty. Limited
Distributed By – Rajon Distribution Pty. Limited
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Charly Records (U.K.) Limited
Copyright (c) – Charly Records (U.K.) Limited
1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SNAP 182 mono digital
This CD includes some previously unreleased material plus a 32 page booklet. Best known as the rockabilly rebel responsible for house-rocking Sun Records singles like "Ubangi Stomp'', Warren Smith isn't one of the genre's biggest names, but his best work is right on par with Carl Perkins, Billy Lee Riley. Over the course of its 30 tracks, including not only the most familiar material but alternate tracks and other ephemera, the definitive Smith collection ''Rockabilly Legend'', makes his case in no uncertain terms. This anthology features not only Warren's rockabilly gems but some classy country moments as well, painting a full picture of his talents.

Rock And Roll Ruby
I'd Rather Be Safe Than Sorry
Black Jack David
Ubangi Stomp
Tell Me Who
Tonight Will Be The Last Night
The Darkest Cloud
So Long, I'm Gone
Who Took My Baby
Miss Froggie
Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache
Stop The World
Got Love If You Want It
I Fell In Love
Dear John (Studio Talk & Master)
Hank Snow Medley (Alternate Take 4)
Do I Love You
Uranium Rock
Goodbye Mr. Love
Sweet, Sweet Girl (False Start & Master)
I Couldn't Take The Chance
I Like Your Kind Of Love
Uranium Rock (Alternate Take)
Goodbye Mr. Love (Alternate Take)
Stop The World
Rock And Roll Ruby (Alternate Take)
So Long, I'm Gone (Alternate Take 2)
Old Lonesome Feeling (Incomplete Take)
My Hanging Day
Sweet, Sweet Girl (Alternate Take)
Original Sun Recordings
1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8181 mono digital
Sam Phillips started his Sun Records label in 1952 and recorded seemingly all comers in the Memphis area, tracking gospel, blues, country, boogie, and Western swing performers and as luck would have it, a fair amount of what were termed "hillbilly" artists, who recorded all sorts of variations on the above genres. Phillips and Sun hit it big in 1954, of course, with Elvis Presley, as well as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins, but this knack for cutting sides by obscure local eccentrics also produced little known records by the likes of Hardrock Gunter and Slim Rhodes, both of whom have interesting selections included on this collection. The biggest name here is probably Charlie Feathers, although only hardcore rockabilly fans are likely to know who he is, so this set is a fine history lesson in the roots of rockabilly and in the open-minded, fortunate expansiveness of Phillips' taste in recording projects. Rockabilly, and in turn that next logical step, rock and roll, didn't come out of nowhere, and the proof is here.

Take And Give (Slim Rhodes)
If I Had As Much Money As I Have Time (Red Hadley)
Just Rollin' Along (Malcolm Yelvington)
Boogie Blues (Earl Peterson)
My Kind Of Carryin' On (Doug Poindexter)
Daisy Bread Boogie (Gene Steele)
Peepin' Eyes (Charlie Feathers)
No More (Jimmy Haggett)
Finders Keepers (The Miller Sisters)
When You Stop Loving Me (Cast King)
My Heart Tells Me (Ernie Chaffin)
No Fool Like An Old Fool (Ernie Chaffin)
Try Doin' It Right (Mississippi Slim)
Gonna Dance All Night (Hardrock Gunter)
Fiddle Bop (The Rhythm Rockers)
Fallen Angel (Hardrock Gunter)
Golden Band (Howard Chandler)
I've Never Stopped Loving You (Ramsey Kearney)
You Can't Hurt Me Anymore (Bill Strength)
Feelin' Low (Ernie Chaffin)
Defrost Your Heart (Charlie Feathers)
Goin' Crazy (Mack Self)
Baby Doll (Cast King)
Runnin' Around (Charlie Feathers)
Wedding Bells (Ernie Barton)
Workin' Shoes (Onie Wheeler)
Satisfied With Me (Cast King)
Split Personality (Clyde Leopard Band)
This Train (O.C. Hunt)
My True Love Said Goodbye (Red Williams)
Train Of Memories (Wayne Perdle)
Original Sun Recordings
1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8182 mono digital

The CD "Hillbilly Fillies & Rockin' Chicks" (Charly CPCD 8182, from 1996) includes two Wanda Ballman  tracks. The liner notes by Adam Komorowski tell us: "Wanda Ballman hailed from rural North East  Arkansas, and was inducted into performing by her music teacher mother, to such good effect that by the age  of 13 she was appearing on radio in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Marriage to Charles Ballman caused her to relocate  to Denver, Colorado, where she had a country music show at the Bandbox Ballroom. In 1955 she cut her first  record on the Starday custom label in Houston, Texas, "Think It Over (Before You Cast A Stone)"/"I'm  Gonna Keep My Eye On You". She then sent in her composition "I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry" to Sam Phillips at  Sun, and Carl Perkins duly recorded it. A minor country hit in September, 1956, it prompted thoughts of  recording for Sun herself. Sam was obviously interested for in May of the following year he had her  recording five titles in Memphis. Two of them, "Heartbreak Girl" and the rocking "Ain't Got A Worry" are  included here. After failing to get a release on Sun, Wanda moved to Mesa, Arizona and concentrated on her  writing. After meeting Roy Acuff she channeled her material through Acuff-Rose and had hits recorded by  Loretta Lynn ("If You're Not Gone Too Long"), Charley Pride ("Anywhere Just Inside Your Arms") as well  as Kitty Wells. During the early 1970's, Wanda moved to Nashville with husband Charles and became  involved with the country gospel scene. Review by Dik de Heer.

Ten Cats Down (The Miller Sisters)
Welcome To The Club (Jean Chapel)
I Need A Man (Barbara Pittman)
I Wanna Rock (Patsy Holcomb)
I Won’t Be Rockin’ Tonight (Jean Chapel)
You Can’t Break The Chains Of Love (The Miller Sisters)
Sentimental Fool (Barbara Pittman)
Ain’t Got A Worry (Wanda Ballman)
Heartbreak Girl (Wanda Ballman)
Ooh That’s Good (Patsy Holcomb)
I’ll Wait Forever (Anita Wood)
I Can’t Show How I Fell (Anita Wood)
Red Velvet (The Kirby Sisters)
Craziest Feeling (The Kirby Sisters)
Two Young Fools In Love (Barbara Pitman)
Memories Of You (Magel Priesman)
Rock 'N' Roll Cinnamon Tree (Maggie Sue Wimberly)
Jumpin’ Jack (Cliff & Barbara Thomas)
Everlasting Love (Barbara Pittman)
Voice Of A Fool (Barbara Pittman)
Just One Day (Barbara Pittman)
No Matter Who’s To Blame (Barbara Pittman)
Call Me Anything But Call Me (Maggie Sue Wimberly)
Someday You Will Pay (The Miller Sisters)
There's No Right Way To Do Me Wrong (The Miller Sisters)
Love Is A Stranger (The Sunrays)
Got You On My Mind (The Miller Sisters)
I Know I Can't Forget You But I'll Try (The Miller Sisters)
You Can Tell Me (The Miller Sisters)
How Long Can It Be ( Maggie Sue Wimberly)
Original Sun Recordings
1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8234 mono digital
''Rockin'' Man'' is a 28-track release featuring early Sun Records rocker Carl Mann, including the tracks ''Mona Lisa'', ''Pretend'', "Kansas City'', "Ain't Got No Home'', and "Blueberry Hill''. A comprehensive 28 track compilation of the best material recorded for the Sun subsidiary label, Phillips International in 1959 and 1960, at the close of the original rockabilly era.
One of the last discoveries on Sam Phillips' legendary Sun label, piano player Carl Mann was best known for his rockabilly reworking of the Nat "King" Cole pop standard "Mona Lisa." That million-selling hit positioned him as something of a softer, smoother Jerry Lee Lewis, possessed of a crooner's instincts and a velvety vibrato. Unfortunately, Mann was never able to land another hit on the level of "Mona Lisa," despite waxing a fair amount of high-quality rock and roll. Like many early rock vets, he eventually moved into country music when the rockabilly market dried up, but never successfully established himself in that arena, and gradually drifted out of music.

Mona Lisa
Foolish One
Rockin' Love
Some Enchanted Evening
I Can't Forget You
Look At That Moon
Take These Chains From My Heart
Too Young
South Of The Border (AlternateTake)
Kansas City
The Wayward Wind
Ain't Got No Home
Blueberry Hill
I'll Always Love You, Darlin'
Baby, I Don't Care
I Don't Care
Ubangi Stomp
I'm Comin' Home
Born To Be Bad
Ain't You Got No Lovin' For Me
Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes
When I Grow Too Old to Dream
Mountain Dew
If I Could Change You
Even Tho'
Because Of You
Long Black Veil
Original Sun Recordings
January 1, 1997 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8277 mono digital
Sun Rock And Roll Volume 1 is a treasure chest of curiosities for fans of Sun Records and early rock and roll in general. The 30 selections are mostly non-hits and obscurities from the late 1950s and early 1960s, including a track by Cliff Gleaves, a long-time member of Elvis Presley's Memphis Mafia. Some names will be familiar to many listeners: Dickey Lee, Thomas Wayne (his hit version of "Tragedy" is here), Mickey Gilley, Carl McVoy, and Ace Cannon ("Tuff"). The quality is high throughout, and some of the unknowns (Ernie Barton's "Shut Your Mouth," for one) rival the recordings of those who would later become famous. A photo- and text-filled 12-page booklet provides biographical info for each of the performers.

You Better Dig It (Bill Johnson)
Walkin' And Talkin' (Mack Owen)
Diamond Ring (Jimmy Isle)
Ooh Wee (Brad Suggs)
There'll Be No Teardrops Tonight (Carl McVoy)
More Pretty Girls Than One (Edwin Howard)
Hey Baby Doll (Eddie Bush)
You're Cheatin' Heart (Cliff Gleaves)
Let 'Em Talk (Harold Dorman)
Tuff (Ace Cannon)
Shut Your Mouth (Ernie Barton)
Hula Bop (Smokey Joe Baugh)
Shake 'Em Up Baby (Frank Ballard)
Hambone (Rayburn Anthony)
Bobaloo (Bill Johnson)
Belle Of The Suwanee (Tracy Pendarvis)
Wait 'Til Saturday Night (Harold Dorman)
I Wanna Make Sweet Love ( Jerry McGill And The Topcoats)
Mean Ol World (Cliff Thomas)
Rockin' History (Jimmy Williams)
I'm Lossing You (Red Williams)
Tragedy (Thomas Wayne)
C'Mon Baby, Have A Little Party (Mickey Gilley)
No More Crying The Blues (Alton & Jimmy)
Good Gragious (The Vel-Tones)
I'm Getting Better All The Time (Barbara Pittman)
Baby Doll (The Four Dukes)
All I Want Is You (Jimmy Williams)
Memories Never Grown Old (Dicvkey Lee)
Original Sun Recordings
1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318 mono digital
The Best Of Sun Rock 'N' Roll, Volume 2 features a number of original historic cuts that made the label legendary but it also focuses on lesser-known obscurities that are, in many cases, just as enjoyable. Included alongside hits by Wade Cagle, Alton & Jimmy, Glenn Honeycutt, Charlie Rich, Curtis Hoback, and Ernie Barton.

Forty Days (Wade Cagle)
Owee, Owee (Wade Cagle)
Lovestruck (Jerry McGill & The Topcoats)
She's A Woman (Smokey Joe Baugh)
Trouble (Johnny Powers)
Gonna Give A Party (James Woods)
Lock You In My Heart (James Woods)
Hey Mr. Blues (James Woods)
Somehow We'll Find A Way (Roger Fakes)
Why Do I Love You (Alton & Jimmy)
I Just Don't Know (Alton & Jimmy)
What's The Use (Alton & Jimmy)
Don't Be Runnin' Wild (Ken Cook)
I Was A Fool (Roy Orbison)
Stairway To Nowhere (Ernie Barton)
Little Bitty Pretty Girl (Roland Janes)
Stop The World (And Let Me Off) (Carl Mann)
Without A Love (Jimmy Isle)
I'll Be Satisfied (Carl McVoy)
Born To Lose (Carl McVoy)
It Makes No Different Now (Carl McVoy)
Yes Ma' Am (Charlie Rich)
Trip Into Love (Curtis Hoback)
Bagpipe Rock (Glenn Honeycutt)
Hula Hula (Glenn Honeycutt)
Original Sun Recordings
1999 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8353 mono digital
The third volume in Charly's Sun Rock 'N' Roll series unearths additional Sun and Phillips International rarities the compilers classify as rock rather than rockabilly. Only a few of the recordings were actually issued by Sun or Phillips International, the rest are unreleased masters, unfinished underdubs, or demos, some of which have surfaced on earlier compilations. Despite the obscurity of most of the cuts, only three are previously unreleased. Collectors of Sun rockabilly will recognize many of the artists here, from semilegendary Elvis Presley sound-alike Johnny Powers to Jerry Lee Lewis' cousin Carl McVoy, but others will be unknown even to those who make a point of accumulating Sun compilations. Sam Phillips originally chose not to release the majority of this material for reasons that are often readily apparent. For instance, Tony Austin's strange lounge version of "Blue Suede Shoes" is simply artistically unsuccessful, while other songs are roughly recorded and played. Anyone who routinely buys this sort of anthology knows what to expect, so the important thing is that there be a lot of tracks, detailed liner notes, and good sound quality.

Lord Hoody (Tommy Blake)
With Your Love, With Your Kiss (Johnny Powers)
Apron Strings (Curtis Hoback)
My One Desire (Jimmy Williams)
Tootsie (Carl McVoy)
Leave It To Me (Cliff Thomas)
Silly Blues (Bobbie And The Boys)
You're Just My Kind (Will Mercer)
Crazy Baby (Ken Cook)
Hey, Good Lookin' (Eddie Cash)
Open The Door Richard (Ernie Barton)
High School Rock (Bill Pinkney & The  Jerks)
Move On Down (Frank Ballard)
I'll Change My Ways (Danny Stewart)
Blue Suede Shoes (Tony Astin)
Wild Woman (Wade & Dick)
My And My Blues (Teddy Reidel)
Congratulations To You Joe (Sid Watson)
Have Faith In My Love (Alton & Jimmy)
Is It Too Late (Tracy Pendarvis)
Alice Blue Gown (Rayburn Anthony)
What Will I Do (Wayne Cogswell)
The Last Goodnight (Cliff Thomas)
Be Wise, Don't Cry (Glenn Honeycutt)
I'll Be Around (Jack Frost) 
Original Sun Recordings
1997 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8302 mono digital
Compact disc. An Charly Records Special Products. Black disc. Charly logo on top. Catalog number in upper right. 4 photographs left the disc included Bill Justis, Sonny Burgess, Earl Hooker and Jerry Lee Lewis.

The Sun label of Memphis was renowned for its blues and rockabilly, but instrumentals have not featured prominently in its annals. There was of course Bill Justis who hit the big time with ''Raunchy'', Brad Suggs who had a few instrumental singles, and Ace Cannon was around, but his payday came on Hi. However, ever the years of dipping into the Sun vaults, the odd instrumentals has emerged here and there. Some from a bluesground, some from a rockabilly background, others plain pop. As many of these assorted non vocal tracks, as time allow, have been assembled in this package, which is in effect a digital successor to an earlier Charly LP, ''Tough Stuff'' (CD 30186) from 1980. Fifteen out of the sixteen sides on that album appear on this compilation, the sole exception being ''Eddie's Blues'' which credited to Carl Mann and Eddie Bush.

I suspect that it isn't what it purports to be: the sleeve notes refer to Carl's piano, but there is no trace of the 88 keys, nor does the guitar sound remotely like Eddie Bush to the ears. Finally, the track is not listed either under Carl Mann or Eddie Bush in the Sun Sessions Discography, apart from which it is a fairly dirgy offering, and has not therefore been included in this set.  Also included on the disc, 12-page booklet biography with liner notes by Adam Komorowki. Compiled produced for release by Joop Visser and the tracks are digital remastered at Charly Studios by Peter Rynston.

1 - Bo Diddley (2:22) Jimmy Van Eaton (1987)
(Bo Diddley)
The ubiquitous Sun drummer is given the credits on a driving version of ''Bo Diddley'' which was recorded towards the end of the fifties with most probably Roland Janes on lead guitar, Billy Riley on guitar, Pat O'Neil on bass, Jimmy Wilson on piano and Martin Willis on sax. In other words, the band that also went by the name of the Little Green Men, when accompanying Billy Riley. The version used here is the alternate take that appeared on Sunbox 106, ''The Rocking Years''.
2 - Itchy (2:17) Sonny Burgess (1958)
(Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess)
Sonny Burgess was of course one of the great rockabilly artists on Sun, but one August day in 1958, he and Billy Riley recorded a couple of instrumentals which were entitles ''Itchy'' and ''Thunderbird'' (after the wine that was often consumed in vast quantities in the cafe next door to the studio). There is some diversity of opinions as the two played on the session, depending on whom you ask. Billy Riley will have it that it was Jimmy Wilson on piano and Jack Clement on bass, Burgess will tell you that it was Charlie Rich on piano, Johnny Ray Hubbard on bass and additionally J.C. Caughron on guitar. The Sun session files gives the line-up as Rich, Clement and Van Eaton as well as of course Riley and Burgess. You pays your money and you takes your choice!
3 - Bop Train (2:01) Bill Justis (1958)
(Bill Justis)
4 - 706 Union (2:20) Brad Suggs (1959)
(Brad Suggs)
Next to Justis, guitarist Brad Suggs was probably the most prolific recorder of instrumentals on Sun. Brad had first come to Sun as a musician in Slim Rhodes' band, with whom he had played since 1950. He was also a session guitarist at Sun between 1955-1956, playing on amongst others, ''Ubangi Stomp''. In 1959, after the departure of Roland Janes, he resumed session work, as well as starting recording under his own name on Phillips International. The success of ''Cloudy'' resulted in his having five singles issued between 1959-1961. On ''Cloudy'' he is accompanied by such stalwarts as Charlie Rich (piano), Martin Willis (sax), R.W. Stevenson (bass) and Jimmy Van Eaton (drums). It would seem that Suggs enjoyed being at Sun, for he recorded such tributes as ''706 Union'' and ''Sam's Tune''. After leaving Sun he went to work for Sears in Florida.
5 - Raunchy (2:20) Bill Justis (1958)
(Bill Justis-Sid Manker)
The main instrumentel man on Sun was Bill Justis, and his ''Raunchy'' was one of five singles released by Sam Phillips to launch his Phillips International label on September 23, 1957. According to Johnny Carroll, who recounted the story to me personally, Sam had heard that the Dutch Philips company of Eindhoven were planning to move into the American market. He therefore decided to launch his record label, and get right behind whichever of the five releases showed signs of taking, with a view to having a national hit. Then when Philips moved in, they would be forced to pay compensation to Sam for him to remove the name. Johnny was offered the chance of having a release on Sun, or take a one in five chance of having a national hit. Of course he opted for Phillips International, little realising the significance that having a record out on the yellow label would assume in future years. From this all, you can gather that it was Justis whom Sam boosted into the charts, and indeed it made number 3 in November 1957. The version of ''Raunchy'' used on this collection is an alternate take that appeared on Sunbox 106.
''College Man'' provided him with a much smaller hit some four months later. As a result of his two hits, Justis had an album released, not an honour that befell many of Sam's artists. ''Bop Train'' was one of the tracks on the ''Nine Cloud'' album by Justis but again the version here is an alternate from Sunbox 106. Rounding off the Justin selection there is ''Flip Flop And Bop'' and ''The Snuggle''. The latter is yet another alternate take whilst the former is a track off the album and also appeared on the Charly album ''Tuff Stuff''. Justis was in effect the A&R man at Sun during his tenure, and many familiar names recur in his line-ups such as Roland Janes, Jimmy Van Eaton, Billy Riley, and Jimmy Wilson.
Just to whet the appetite there are two unissued tracks by Justis on this set, a good rocking instrumental, ''Scrougieville'', which comes from an unknown date, and ''Scuttlebuck'' from a February 13, 1958, session with Sid Manker on guitar, Roland Janes on guitar, Stan Kesler on bass and Jimmy Van Eaton on drums. In effect it was usually whatever studio musicians were around. After moving from Sun, Bill turned his expertise virtually full time to producing and handled many of the greats in pop music, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Tom Jones, and Julie Andrews to Kenny Rogers. He died in 1982.
6 - Groovy Train (2:24) Wade Caggle & Escorts (1960)
(Wade Cagle-Ralph Mooney)
7 - Highland Rock (2:11) Wade Cagle & Excorts (1960)
Some three years after Bill Justis' instrumental sound had run its course, Wade Cagle turned up with a Mark 2 version. Recorded in July 1960, Cagle who played guitar, was accompanied by the Escorts; Chas Strasburg on bass, William Momingold on piano, Ray McArthur on sax and Rocky Haye on drums. Of the four sides recorded only two have seen the light of day so far, ''Groovy Train'' and ''Highland Rock'' (sun 360). The two unissued sides ''Oowee Oowee'' and ''40 Days'' are both vocals. The band were based in Pensacola, Florida and briefly passed through Memphis in 1960, which doubtless partially for but the one session.
8 - Flip Flop & Bop (2:10) Bill Justis (1960)
(Floyd Cramer)
*9 - Scuttlebut (2:17) Bill Justis (1997)
(Bill Justis)
10 - Rockin' At The Woodchopper's Ball (3:19) Johnny Bernero Band (1987)
It was only discovered many years later that the drummer on Elvis' Sun records was Johnny Bernero and not D.J. Fontana. Because Bernero dropped out of Sun at an early stage, his contribution was long obscured. Johnny hailed from the Tupelo area, and as a teenager performed on WELO, and played the odd dance. After joining the Air Force, he got into a band in Guam which whetted his appetite. After returning to Tupelo, he teamed up with Hugh Jefferies. During the day he worked at the Memphis Light Gas & Water company, which just happened to be right across the street from the Sun studios, and one thing led to another, he got to know Sam, and was soon playing on sessions. In fact he played sessions for Harold Jenkins, Barbara Pittman, Billy Riley, Warren Smith, Smokey Joe and of course Elvis. He soon realised that a minuscule session fee did not equate to the earning potential of a hit record, and worked on Sam to allow him to record in his own name. This he did, but the tapes were consigned to a dusty corner of the vaults and never saw the light of day. There is more than a tinge of western swing about such numbers as ''Bernero 's Boogie'' and ''Rockin ' At The Woodchoppers Ball''. And so Bernero formed his own band to record on Sun that included Thurman Enlow on piano, Hugh Jeffries on steel, Hawk Hawkins on bass and Ace Cannon on sax. The personnel varied with the passage of time, but Ace Cannon was in the group when the band split.
11 - Bernero's Boogie (3:47) Johnny Bernero Band (1987)
(Johnny Bernero)
12 - Tuff (2:41) Ace Cannon (1987)
(Ace Cannon-Bill justis)
When the Bernero band split, Johnny ''Ace" Cannon concentrated on session work at Sun. He recorded a session in his own right that included a track entitled ''Tuff'' written by Bernero, also known as ''Cattywampus'' when recorded by Bill Justis. Bernero went on the payroll at Hi records and played on most of the early sessions. By this stage Ace Cannon was signed to Fernwood, but was making little or no progress. Cannon also played with the Bill Black Combo, as well as managing the group, and it was he who signed Gene Simmons to front the band vocally on dates. Bernero talked Joe Cuoghi into taking Cannon on at Hi, and they recorded Tuff, agreeing to split everything 50-50. The first royalty cheque that came in was made out for $20,000! Overwhelmed by a vision of unsurpassed riches, Cannon informed Bernero that he was not going to honour their 50-50 agreement, and also appropriated the writer credits on the flipside, "Sittin' Tight", a tune that Bernero had written. Eventually Bernero got 30% of what was due to him, and quit music to go into the insurance game. However, the lure of the music business tempted Bernero back and he worked clubs after leaving Memphis in 1962 right through to 1971, before getting a job in a record store in Indiana. In the early 1980's he returned to Memphis. Meantime Cannon scored five national hits in the early 1960's and became a prolific recorder of albums.
13 - Sugarfoot Rag (1:49) Martin Willis (1987)
(Vaugh-Hank Garland)
From one Sun saxman to another. Willis was of course one of Riley's Green Men, as well as appearing on a variety of sessions. His rendition of ''Sugar Foot Rag'' is backed by most of the other Little Green Men, although the precise personnel is not known, and nor is the date. Like Cannon, Willis also recorded on Hi, and played with the Bill Black Combo, replacing Cannon when he scored with ''Tuff''.
14 - Rolando (2:06) Roland Janes (1987)
(Roland Janes)
*15 - Uncle Sam Rock (2:54) Roland Janes (1997)
(Roland Janes)
Effectively one of the Sun house musicians, Roland Janes appeared on countless Sun sessions, but also cut a few sides in his own right. ''Rolando'' from February 11, 1959 with Billy Riley (guitar); Pat O'Neill (bass); Martin Willis (sax); and probably Jimmy Van Eaton (drums), appeared on Sunbox 106, "Uncle Sam Rock", from the same session has not been previously released.
16 - Thunderbird (2:17) Sonny Burgess (1958)
(Jack Clement-Billy Riley-Sonny Burgess) 
17 - The Hucklebuck (3:05) Earl Hooker (1989)
18 - The Razorback (2:32) Earl Hooker (1989)
(Earl Hooker) 
19 - Red River Variations (2:42) Earl Hooker (1989) 
(Earl Hooker)
*20 - Jivin' Boogie (2:32) Earl Hooker
(Earl Hooker)
Representing the blues men on instrumentals is guitarist Earl Hooker. His Sun recordings remained well concealed until eight tracks appeared on the "Blue Guitar" album in 1989, a short lived compilation. Whilst some of the tracks are of a bluesy nature, the ones selected here are real powerhouse rock and roll, from a guitarist who developed a hard hitting tough style, and ''Jivin' Boogie'' is previously unissued. Brought up in Chicago, although born in Mississippi, Hooker first recorded on the Rockin' label in 1952. Apart from a session on King the same year, nothing was issued until 1959, although Hooker called in to Sam's in Memphis in July and August, 1953, and recorded a number of sides. Hooker brought with him pianist Willie "Pinetop" Perkins, guitarist Boyd Gilmore and drummer Edward Lee "Shorty" Irvin. For some reason Sam marked the session up as "unproductive"! In 1959 Hooker recorded with Bobby Saxton on ''Bea & Baby'', which was leased to Checker, and had further releases on CJ, Chief, Age, Chess, Cuca, Arhoolie, and not long before his death in 1970, albums on Blue Thumb and Bluesway.
21 - Jack's Jump (2:11) Frank Frost (1962)
(Frank Frost)
Nearly ten years later, Frank Frost was recording rhythm and blues at Sun, interspersing his vocals with several instrumentals. ''Crawlback'' was recorded in April 1962, and sees Frost accompanied by Roland Janes on bass, Jack Johnson on guitar and Sam Carr on drums. It was on Frost's only single release that appeared on Phillips International. Despite the paucity of single releases, he had an album out on the same label, entitled ''Hey Boss Man'', credited to Frank Frost With The Night Hawks. ''Jack's Jump'' comes from a mammoth April 10, 1962 session that saw Frank record 27 titles, and which provided all the tracks for the album.
22 - Crawlback (1:57) Frank Frost (1962)
(Frank Frost)
23 - Cloudy (2:15) Brad Suggs (1960)
(Brad Suggs-Charles Underwood) 
*24 - Scroungieville (2:09) Bill Justis (1960)
(Bill Justis) 
25 - College Man (2:22) Bill Justis (1958)
(Bill Justis) 
26 - Times Sho' Getting Ruff (2:12) Quintones (1963)
(Jimmy Otto Rogers) 
Just who the Quintones were remains something of a mystery. There are no personnel details, no recording date, and the only clue is the release number which was Phillips International 3586, the last single to be issued on the label in 1963. In addition the tapes have disappeared, so that ''Times Sho' Gettin' Ruff'' and ''Softie'' have both been dubbed from a record that I found in my collection. The two tracks are far from being softies!
27 - Softie (2:11) Quintones (1963)
(Jimmy Otto Rogers)
28 - In The Mood (2:18) The Hawk (1960)
The Hawk is of course Jerry Lee Lewis whose instrumental version of Glen Miller's ''In The Mood'' and ''I Get The Blues When It Rains'' were issued on a Phillips International single (PI 3559) in 1963. It was Sun's General Manager, Bill Fitzgerald who came up with the name at a time when Jerry Lee was having difficulty getting records played following the disaster of his trip to Britain, and the revelations about Myra. There is also  an untitled instrumental workout that for the purposes of the ''Tuff Stuff'' album was given the title ''Lewis Workout'', recorded late in 1959.
29 - Lewis Workout (3:11) Jerry Lee Lewis (1980)
(Jerry Lee Lewis) 
30 - I Get The Blues When It Rains (2:11) Jerry Lee Lewis (1960)
- Adam Komorowski, London, March 1997
Original Sun Recordings
* Previously Unissued Tracks
1997 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8319 mono digital
Getting Better All the Time compiles most of Barbara Pittman's recordings for Sun and Phillips International, including her classic rockabilly cuts "I Need A Man'', "Sentimental Fool'', "Everlasting Love'', and the title cut. Other tracks veer toward country ("Cold Cold Heart") or teen-oriented pop ("Two Young Fools In Love"), and the collection is rounded out with both sides of a single she recorded with a vocal group as The Sunrays and many alternate takes and demos. Pittman is revered by rockabilly cultists as a pioneering woman of rock and roll, but her legacy mostly boils down to the few aforementioned rockabilly cuts; the remaining material is largely disposable, particularly the inferior alternate takes. This 27-song CD offers good value for its low import price, but there is too much mediocre music here to make it worthwhile for any but the most avid rockabilly and Sun Records collectors.

I Need A Man
No Matter Who's To Blame
Sentimental Fool (First Version)
Voice Of A Fool
Two Young Fools In Love
I'm Getting Better All The Time
Take My Sympathy (First Version)
Cold Cold, Heart
Everlasting Love
Eleventh Commandment
 Handsome Man
Just One Day
Love Is A Stranger (The Sunrays)
Lonely Hours (The Sunrays)
Sentimental Fool (Second Version)
 Cold, Cold, Heart (First Version Alternate)
Everlasting Love (First Version Alternate)
No Matther Who's To Blame (First Version Alternate)
I'm Getting Better All The Time (First Version)
 Take My Sympathy (Demo)
Two  Young Fools In Love (Demo)
I'm Getting Better All The Time (Demo)
No Matther Who's To Blame (Second Version)
I'm Getting Better All The Time (Second Version)
Sentimental Fool (Demo)
I Forgot To Remember To Forget
I'm Getting Better AllThe Time (Third Version Alternate)
Original Sun Recordings
2002 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SNJ 713 mono digital
This three-disc, 84-track collection does a mostly good job of detailing the fabulous history of Sam Phillips' legendary Sun Records imprint, which was launched in 1952, but only mostly, because while it has a wonderful selection of artists and styles, from gospel, blues, and hillbilly to country, Western swing, and nascent rock and roll, from Harmonica Frank Floyd and Howlin' Wolf to Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, it lacks tracks (save for a duet with Lewis on "Walk That Lonesome Valley") by the artist who really put Sun Records on the musical map, the one and only Elvis Presley. That's a bit like ignoring the huge, restless elephant in the living room, but other than that, this is a delightful and revealing set.

Disc 1 Contains
Cool Down Mama (Lost John Hunter)
Boogie In The Park (Joe Hill Louis)
Howling Tom Cat (Harmonica Frank Floyd)
Highway Man (Howlin' Wolf)
Juiced (Billy Love)
Juiced (Billy Love)
T. Model Boogie (Rosco Gordon)
iger Man (Rufus Thomas)
Love My Baby (Little Junior Parker)
Come Back Baby (Doctor Ross)
Cotton Crop (James Cotton)
I'm Gonna Murder My Baby (Pat Hare)
Time Has Made A Change (Jimmy DeBerry)
Red Hot (Billy 'The Kid' Emerson)
Look To Jesus (The Jones Brothers)
Dark Muddy Bottom (Billy Lee Riley)
Hello, Hello Baby (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Listen To Me, Baby (Smokey Joe Baugh)
Boogie Blues (Earl Peterson)
Troublesome Waters (Howard Serratt)
Gonna Dance All Night (Hardrock Gunter)
Don't Believe (Slim Rhodes)
Defrost Your Heart (Charlie Feathers)
Sure To Fall (Carl Perkins)
Fool Proof (Mack Vickery)
Now She Cares No More For Me (Doug Poindexter)
Jump Right Out Of This (Onie Wheeler)
You're The Only Star In My Blue Heaven (Jerry Lee Lewis)
A Fool For Lovin' You (Jack Earls)
I'd Rather Be Safe Than Sorry (Warren Smith)
Come In Stranger (Johnny Cash)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 2 Contains
Rockin' Daddy (Eddie Bond)
Crazy Arms (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Mean Little Mama (Roy Orbison)
Got Love If You Want It (Warren Smith)
Crawdad Song (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Carl Perkins)
Mad Man (Jimmy Wages)
Love My Baby (Hayden Thompson)
Miss Froggie ( Warren Smith)
Pearly Lee (Billy Lee Riley)
Deep Elem Blues (Jerry Lee Lewis)
That Don't Move Me (Carl Perkins)
All Night Rock (Glenn Honeycutt)
Come On Little Mama (Ray Harris)
Rock With Me Baby (Billy Lee Riley)
Fine Little Baby (Dick Penner)
Rockin' With My Baby (Malcolm Yelvington)
Baby That's Good (Edwin Bruce)
My Baby Don't Rock (Luke McDaniel)
Miss Pearl (Jimmy Wages)
That's Right (Carl Perkins)
So Glad You're Mine (Sonny Burgess)
Willing And Ready (Ray Smith)
Shake Around (Tommy Blake)
Crazy Woman (Gene Simmons)
Judy (Rudy Grayzell)
Good Rockin' Tonight (Jerry Lee Lewis)
A Woman's Love (Thrill Of Your Love) (Carl McVoy)
Tough, Tough, Tough (Andy Anderson)
(Take Me From This) Garden Of Evil (Jimmy Wages)
Have Faith In My Love (Alton & Jimmy)
Walk That Lonesome Valley (Elvis Presley)
Search For Me (Glenn Honeycutt)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 3 Contains
Rocket 88 (Jackie Brentson)
Just Walkin' In The Rain (The Prisonaires)
Bear Cat (Rufus Thomas)
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
When It Rains It Pours (Billy 'The Kid' Emerson)
Mystery Train (Little Junior Parker)
Boppin' The Blues (Carl Perkins)
Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Flying Saucer Rock Anmd Roll (Billy Lee Riley)
I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash)
Ooby Dooby (Roy Orbison)
We Wanna Boogie (Sonny Burgess)
Dixie Fried (Carl Perkins)
Great Balls Of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Red Hot (Billy Lee Riley)
Big River (Johnny Cash)
Rock And Roll Ruby (Warren Smith)
Breathless (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Honey Don't (Carl Perkins)
Red Headed Woman (Sonny Burgess)
Ballad Of A Teenage Queen (Johnny  Cash)
High School Confidential (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Matchbox (Carl Perkins)
Lonely Weekends (Charlie Rich)
I'm Coming Home (Carl Mann)
Who Will The Next Fool Be (Charlie Rich)
What'd I Say (Jerry Lee  Lewis)
Guess Things Happen That Way (Johnny Cash)
Raunchy (Bill Justis)
Mona Lisa (Carl Mann )
Whirlwind (Charlie Rich)
Original Sun Recordings
June 12, 2006 Charly Records (iTunes) Internet mp3 (mono)

The Four Upsetters did a lot of recordings at 639 Madison Avenue in Memphis during the first six months of  1963. Off the 19 tracks caught on tape, a total of four were originally released on the Sun label. Here included some  unreleased tracks recorded on the Sam Phillips Recording Studio at Madison Avenue, Memphis, sessions  respectively January 14, June 30, July 12, 1963.

The Four Upsetters was formed by leader and drummer John Guthrie and guitarplayer Luke Writht in  Middlesboro, Kentucky in 1959. They were signed by Sun Records in 1961 and recorded and toured with  Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich until l964 when John was drafted in the army along with label mate Carl  Mann. John Guthrie is currently playing piano in lounges and private parties.

Midnight Soiree (Sun 381)
Crazy Arms (Sun 381)
You Can't Sit Down
Wabash Cannonball (Sun 386)
Surfin' Calliope (Sun 386)
Put Your Arms Around Me
Over The Waves
My Blue Heaven
Makin' Believe
Crazy Arms
Blue Moon Of Kentucky
Blueberry Hill
Big B
Lonely Weekends
I Got A Woman
I'm Coming Home
Honky Tonk
Draggin' The Ridge
Original Sun Recordings
October 14, 2008 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CRR 010 mono digital

Sonny Burgess is one of the wildest rockers to record for the legendary Sun label in Memphis. He and his  band the Pacers came out of Newport, Arkansas, with a hard-rocking style that, unlike that of most  rockabillies, owed little to nothing in the way of a stylistic debt to country music. With his red-dyed hair,  matching stage suit and guitar, and wild stage performances, Burgess made mincemeat of the competition on  many of the early-1950s rock and roll package tours. Though his Sun releases never brought him much in the  way of commercial success, his recordings nonetheless remain landmarks of the early rockabilly style.  Burgess later toured and recorded with other Memphis alumni in the Sun Rhythm Section, and during the  new millennium hit the road and the studio under the moniker of Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers  (celebrating the Pacers' 50th anniversary in 2005). Burgess and the Legendary Pacers issued the Gijon  Stomp! album, a collection of new recordings, on the El Toro label in 2009. Clearly, the rockin' flame that is  Sonny Burgess refuses to be snuffed out. Liner notes by Cub Koda.

We Wanna Boogie
Red Headed Woman
Feelin Good
Aint Got A Thing
Truckin Down The Avenue
Fannie Brown
Goin Home
Please Listen To Me
My Buckets Got A Hole In It
Tomorrow Never Comes
All My Sins Are Taken Away
My Babe
Tomorrow Night
Daddy Blues
So Glad Youre Mine
Sweet Misery
Find My Baby For Me
One Night
Little Town Baby
A Kiss Goodnight
Sadies Back In Town
Don't Be That Way
Youre Not The One For Me
Mama Loochie
Always Will One Broken Heart
Original Sun Recordings
February 9, 2009 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rom SNAJ 743 mono digital

3 compact disc set, 107 rockabilly classics from the vaults of Sun Records. Featuring Elvis Presley, Carl  Perkins, Roy Orbison and many more. Elvis Presley introduced the rockabilly sound to the world with the  seminal recordings he made in 1954 at Sun Records. These were to epitomise the famous Sun sound and set  the scene for the rock and roll explosion that was just around the corner. This raw and exciting sound, a  remarkable fusion of white country music and black rhythm and blues, quickly found an eager audience with  the youth of the day.

Rockabilly has endured the test of time and remains as popular as ever with listeners of all age groups. The  set is strikingly-packaged in a compact hard box and includes a 28-page lavishly illustrated colour booklet,  with each of its three discs housed in its own slipcase.

Disc 1 Contains
Mystery Train (Elvis Presley)
Milkshake Mademoiselle (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Dear John (Warren Smith)
We Wanna Boogie (Sonny Burgess)
Pink Pedal Pushers (Carl Perkins)
Walkin' Shoes (Onie Wheeler)
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (Malcolm Yelvington)
Blues, Blues, Blues (Hayden Thompson)
Move, Baby, Move (Dick Penner)
Southbound Line (Tracy Pendarvis)
Baby, I Don't Care (Carl Mann)
Yes, Ma'am (Charlie Rich)
Everybody's Tryin' To Be My Baby (Carl Perkins)
Domino (Roy Orbison)
Break Up (Ray Smith)
Pearly Lee (Billy Lee Riley)
Rockin' With Red (She Knows How To Rock Me) (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Slow Down (Jack Earls)
Gonna Romp And Stomp (Slim Rhodes)
I Lost My Baby (Roy Hall)
One Broken Heart (Hayden Thompson)
Drive-In (Mack Vickery)
Please Be Mine (Come To Me) (Tracy Pendarvis)
Love Dumb Baby (Ray Harris)
Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Wild One (Jerry Lee Lewis)
I'm Sorry, I'm Not Sorry (Carl Perkins)
Sonny Boy (Jimmy Williams)
Good Lovin' (Dickey Lee)
I Just Don't Know (Alton & Jimmy)
Hula Bop (Smokey Joe Baugh)
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
If It Wasn't For Love (Glenn Honeycutt)
Try Doin' Right (Mississippi Slim)
I Don't Love Nobody (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Welcome To The Club (Jean Chapel)
Her Love Rubbed Off (Carl Perkins)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 2 Contains
Crawdad Hole (Jack Earls)
Mean Woman Blues (Jerry Lee Lewis)
I Want You Baby (Billy Lee Riley)
You Better Believe It (Tommy Blake)
To Be With You (Harold Dorman)
That's The Way I Feel (Jimmy Pritchett)
Is It Me (Tracy Pendarvis)
Whirlpool (Ernie Barton)
Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Thinkin' Of Me (Mickey Gilley)
Little Town Baby (Sonny Burgess)
Who Took My Baby (Warren Smith)
Little Girl (Carl McVoy)
Why, Why, Why (Ray Smith)
Fairlane Rock (Hayden Thompson)
Don't Need Your Lovin' Baby (Dick Penner)
Have Myself A Ball (Malcolm Yelvington)
Go Ahead, Baby (Luke McDaniel)
Put Your Cat Clothes On (Carl Perkins)
Little Boy Blue (Jerry Arnold)
Bop A Cha-Cha Baby (Tracy Pendarvis)
Pretend (Carl Mann)
Friday Night (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Treat Me Right (Kenneth Parchman)
Two Timin' Woman (Johnny Cash)
Crazy Baby (Ken Cook & Roy Orbison)
Trying To Get To You (Elvis Presley)
Voice Of A Fool (Barbara Pittman)
On Mobile Bay (Glenn Honeycutt)
Wampus Cat (Howard Chandler)
Glad All Over (Carl Perkins)
Lewis Boogie (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Shake, Rattle And Roll (Gene Simmons)
Flying Saucer Rock And Roll (Billy Lee Riley)
Blue Suede Shoes (Charlie Rich)
Original Sun Recordings

Disc 3 Contains
Milkcow Blues Boogie (Elvis Presley)
Cool, Cool Ways (Sexy Ways) (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Fire Engine Red (Jimmy Williams)
Lonely Weekends (Charlie Rich)
I Dig You, Baby (Tommy Blake)
Rock Boppin' Baby (Edwin Bruce)
Your Cheatin' Heart (Cliff Gleaves)
Waitin' For You (Johnny Powers)
Hypnotized (Tracy Pendarvis)
Don't You Worry (Sid Watson)
Apron Strings (Curtis Hoback)
Dixie Fried (Carl Perkins)
Willing And Ready (Ray Smith)
Put Me Down (Jesse Lee Turner)
She's Gone Away (Ernie Barton)
This Old Heart Of Mine (Eddie Bond)
Rockin' With My Baby (Malcolm Yelvington)
Mama, Mama, Mama (Hayden Thompson)
Whole Lotta Twistin' Goin' On (Jerry Lee Lewis)
Miss Pearl (Jimmy Wages)
Problem Child (Ken Cook)
I Love You, I Adore You (Carl Mann)
I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine (Elvis Presley)
Come On Little Mama (Ray Harris)
Truckin' Down The Avenue (Sonny Burgess)
Caldonia (Carl Perkins)
I Want To Be Free (Ray Smith)
Come Back Baby) One More Time (Billy Lee Riley)
Corrine, Corrina (Charlie Feathers)
That's All (Onie Wheeler)
Cindy Lou (Dick Penner)
I Done Told You (Gene Simmons)
A Woman's Love (The Thrill Of You Love) (Carl McVoy)
Ooby Dooby (Jerry Lee Lewis)
It's Too Late (Roy Orbison)
Original Sun Recordings

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

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