CONTAINS
 
RPM 304-311-318-322-323-324-327-330-336-338 Audio Series
 
For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies <
RPM recordings can be heard on the playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
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B.B. King
''MISTREATED WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2"49
Composer: - Riley B. King-Joe Josea
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1404 - Take 2
Recorded: - July 1950 Unknown Date
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1950
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 304-A mono
MISTREATED WOMAN / B.B. BOOGIE
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-2 mono digital
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

When the first ventured into Sam Phillips' fledgling studio at 706 Union Avenue, B.B. King was a raw young talent with a local radio program and a load potential. By the time he left behind Memphis as his primary recording base, King was a fast-rising star boasting a busy touring itinerary.

King's first RPM session ensued around July of 1950 at Memphis Recording Service under Phillips' supervision. Sun Records was still some 18 months from commencing operations, and Phillips was independently producing groundbreaking masters for Modern and Chess. "He recorded many of the people, like Howling Wolf and many other guys for different labels, because he was the only person that had a studio," noted King. "In fact, his studio was one of the first that I ever saw that was an actual studio."

"Mistreated Woman" is a languid outing anchored by Ford Nelson's 88s (inspired by Sonny Thompson's "Long Gone" and sporting a crisp high-neck guitar solo from the youthful-sounding King. (MH)
B.B. King
''B.B. BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 3:09
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1405 - Take 1
Recorded: - Unknown Dates 1950
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1950
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 304-B mono
B.B. BOOGIE / MISTREATED WOMAN
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-3 mono digital
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

The opposite side "B.B. Boogie" that's the dazzler, distinguished by several choruses of high flying fretwork (the second take, is taken at a hotter tempo, B.B.'s waxe sailing fast and free over Nelson's furiously pounding ivories. (MH)
B.B. King
"WALKIN' AND CRYIN'" - B.M.I. - 3:26
Composer: - Riley B. King-Sam Ling
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1439 Take 1
Recorded: - July 1950 Unknown Date
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1950
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 311-A mono
WALKIN' AND CRYIN' / THE OTHER NIGHT BLUES
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-8 mono digital
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians

"Walkin' And Cryin' and "The Other Night Blues" are both after-hours odes, King's vocals clearly growing more confident.
B.B. King
''THE OTHER NIGHT BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 3:39
Composer: - Riley B. King-Joe Josea
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1438 - Take 2
Recorded: - September 1950
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - September 1950
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 311-B mono
THE OTHER NIGHT BLUES / WALKIN' AND CRYIN'
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-6 mono digital
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians
B.B. King
''DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME'' - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1470 - Take 2 or Take 3
Recorded: - January 8, 1951 - Missing In Action
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 318-A mono
DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME / MY BABY'S GONE
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and guitar
Solomon Hardy - Sax
Ford Nelson - Piano
James "Shinny" Walker - Bass
E.A. Kemp – Drums

King takes ''Don't You Want A Man Like Me'' at a more deliberate pace than the sprightly south-of-the-border tempo of his 1954 L.A. treatment, concentrating on his vocal to the total abandonment of Lucille. (MH)
B.B. King
''MY BABY'S GONE'' - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1469
Recorded: - January 8, 1951 - Missing In Action
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 318-B mono
MY BABY'S GONE / DON'T YOU WANT A MAN LIKE ME
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1-11 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and guitar
Solomon Hardy - Sax
Ford Nelson - Piano
James "Shinny" Walker - Bass
E.A. Kemp – Drums

Both sides of RPM 318 served as intriguing tuneups for subsequent King gems. ''My Baby's Gone'', cut on 8 January 1951, is his first crack at what would morph into his horn-leavened early 1953 smash ''Woke Up This Morning''. The bubbly Latin rhythmic pulse is already in evidence and the lyrics are nearly identical, but the  innovative tempo switch into full-blown jump mode that made ''Woke Up This Morning'' so distinctive isn't.  (MH)
Rosco Gordon
''CITY WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 3:18
Compower: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1503
Recorded: - February 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 322-A mono
CITY WOMEN / ROSCOE'S BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-3 mono digital
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon – Vocal & Piano
Musicians Unknown

Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on all RPM labels.

''I had a Memphis band and a road band'', recalled Rosco Gordon. ''The Memphis band was used mostly on recordings. Willie Wilkes, he played tenor saxophone. He was an old guy at the time, good player. I mean he was tight, he was like my father and me being so young. Richard Sanders was the great baritone, he had the guts and that, I tell you. There was Raymond Thomas, alto saxophone and Manson on drums. For sessions I also used Adolph Duncan on tenor saxophone, Billy ''Red'' Love on piano, Pat Hare on guitar, and Tuff Green on bass''.

''On the road, I had E. Jefferson and Harvey Simmons on tenor saxophones, Billy ''Red'' Love on piano, Murry Daley on drums with pick-up bass players. I toured with Tuff Green's band as well'', said Gordon.

''My main gig was in Mason, Tennessee, Doyle's Nitespot. I played Arkansas, Brinkley, The Club Eldorado in Little Rock, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, all over Mississippi... West Memphis and Club Handy on Beale Street, Memphis. The audiences were very enthusiastic 'cause I had a new sound''.

''Look, we were young, he confides. ''We were enjoying what we were doing. Man, I was so hot! Every time I looked around I had a new record out. At 18 or 19 I had the best of everything, big Cadillac, the sharpest clothes, $200 shoes, girls... had so much fun, I tell you, But I didn't know anything about the business side. I get as big a thrill out of playing now as I did then. The same thrill, the same enthusiasm, the same energy, everything. It's still there. It doesn't just disappear''. (MH)
Rosco Gordon
''ROSCOE'S BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 2:45
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1502
Recorded: - February 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - April 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 322-B mono
ROSCOE'S BOOGIE / CITY WOMEN
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-2 mono digital
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon – Vocal & Piano
Musicians Unknown
 
Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on all RPM labels

''The Phillips studio in its early days was like a hole'', said Rosco Gordon. ''It was just something Sam had slammed together. It wasn't a recording studio, just a hole in the wall with the backs out of the recording equipment - and Sam using his soldering iron, his pliers and whatever. But he put it together. You didn't get out of the studio until you got it right. He's the best, I tell you he's the best. He generated enthusiasm and energy. He gives it you. It was Sam who arranged the first recording deals with RPM and Chess''.
B.B. King
''B.B. BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Riley B. King-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Wabash Music Corporation
Matrix number: - MM 1489 - Take 3
Recorded: - January 8, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 323-A mono
B.B. BLUES / SHE'S DYNAMITE
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-1 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and guitar
Solomon Hardy - Sax
Ford Nelson - Piano
James "Shinny" Walker - Bass
E.A. Kemp – Drums

B.B. King had recorded for Bullet Records at the WDIA radio station in 1949 before recording three singles for RPM at Sam Phillips' studio. This was the fourth. Phillips' willingness to court the unusual betrayed itself on ''B.B. Blues'', recorded at a session on January 8, 1951 and pulled for release six months later. Solomon Hardy's wailing sax punctuated B.B.'s vocals to striking effect. While B.B. seemed quietly resigned to his misery, Hardy screamed in anguish. Pianist Ford Nelson was one of B.B.'s fellow disc jockeys on WDIA and performed with him as an on-air duo. (CE)
B.B. King
''SHE'S DYNAMITE'' - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Hudson Whittaker
Publisher: - Wabash Music Corporation
Matrix number: - MM 1563 - Unknown Take - Missing In Action
Recorded: - May 27, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - June 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 323-B mono
SHE'S DYNAMITE / B.B. BLUES
Reissued: – 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-6 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Richard Sanders - Tenor Sax
Phineas Newborn Jr. - Piano
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Unknown - Baritone Sax
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Adolph "Billy" Duncan - Tenor Sax
Johnny Ace - Piano
Earl Forrest – Drums

If there was a potential hit among B.B.'s earliest singles it was this explosive cover of Tampa Red's ''She's Dynamite'', cut on May 27, 1951. Talking to John Broven and Colin Escott, Joe Bihari said, ''I was in Atlanta and our distributor Jake Friedman said, 'RCA is getting a lot of jukebox plays on ''She's Dynamite'', but people can't buy the record'. So I went up to Memphis to Sam Phillips' studio''. What emerged was a record that almost said more about Sam Phillips than B.B. King. Unlike the restraint of Red's original, this was modeled on the giddy, hormonal rush of ''Rocket 88''. The thunderrous rhythm track and the sax teetering on the edge of atonality were Phillips' trademarks, not B.B.'s. It was rock and roll in all but name. The guitarist was certainly not B.B. because he plays under the vocals... something B.B. never  did. We're probably hearing Calvin Newborn on guitar and his brother, Phineas, on piano. Phineas's trademark was finesse, not the jackhammer left hand called for here. Upon release, the Biharis left the composer credit ominously blank, as they usually did when they didn't own the publishing. Phillips noted that he sent out seven dubs of ''She's Dynamite'' to disc jockeys, emphasizing the rapidity with which the record was released (ordinarily, the Biharis would have taken care of this). It showed up on some local charts (Richmond and New Orleans), but surely deserved to do better. (CE)

Rosco Gordon
''OUCH PRETTY BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:51
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - 1555
Recorded: - April 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 324-A mono
OUCH! PRETTY BABY / SADDLED THE COW
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-4 mono digital
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Probably Ray Jones - Alt Saxophone
Probably Man Son or Murry Daley - Drums
More Details Unknown

Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on all RPM labels.

Rosco Gordon
''SADDLED THE COW'' - B.M.I. - 3:11
Composer: - Rosco Gordon-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - 1556
Recorded: - April 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 324-B mono
SADDLED THE COW / OUCH! PRETTY BABY
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-5 mono digital
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Probably Ray Jones - Alt Saxophone
Probably Man Son or Murry Daley - Drums
More Details Unknown

Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on all RPM labels.

Willie Nix
''LONESOME BEDROOM BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Willie Nix-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - 1608
Recorded: - July 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 327-A mono
LONESOME BEDROOM BLUES / TRY ME ONE MORE TIME

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Willie Nix - Vocal & Drums
More Details Unknown

Willie Nix
''TRY ME ONE MORE TIME'' - B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Willie Nix-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - 1609
Recorded: - July 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 327-B mono
TRY ME ONE MORE TIME / LONESOME BEDROOM BLUES

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Willie Nix - Vocal & Drums
More Details Unknown

B.B. King
''SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Riley B. King-Julus Taub
Publisher: - Modern Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1604 - Take 2
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 330-A mono
SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN / HARD WORKIN' WOMAN
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-8 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Riley B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Richard Sanders - Tenor sax
Johnny Ace - Piano
Earl Forrest - Drums
More details unknown

Two takes of "She's A Mean Woman", convincingly spotlight B.B. the blues singer, with a noticeable nod to the melismatic innovations of Roy Brown - whose openthroated delivery also echoes through two renditions of B.B's rocking ''Hard Workin' Woman".

B.B. King
''HARD WORKIN' WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:32
Composer: - Riley B. King-Julus Taub
Publisher: - Modern Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1605 - Take 1
Recorded: - June 18, 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 330-B mono
HARD WORKIN' WOMAN / SHE'S A MEAN WOMAN
Reissued: - 2002 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHM2 835-2-9 mono
B.B. KING - THE MODERN RECORDINGS 1950 - 1951

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Riley B. King - Vocal and Guitar
Richard Sanders - Tenor sax
Johnny Ace - Piano
Earl Forrest - Drums
More details unknown

Rosco Gordon
''DIME A DOZEN'' - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - 1639
Recorded: - July 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 336-A mono
DIME A DOZEN / A NEW REMEDY FOR LOVE
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-6 mono digital
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Probably Ray Jones - Alt Saxophone
Probably Man Son or Murry Daley - Drums
More Details Unknown

Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on all RPM labels.

Rosco Gordon
''A NEW REMEDY FOR LOVE"" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - 1640
Recorded: - July 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 336-B mono
A NEW REMEDAY FOR LOVE / DIME A DOZEN
Reissued: - 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 694-7 mono digital
ROSCO GORDON - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Probably Ray Jones - Alt Saxophone
Probably Man Son or Murry Daley - Drums
More Details Unknown

Rosco Gordon's name is misspelled on all RPM labels.

Mumbles (Walter Horton)
''BLACK GAL'' - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - MM Publishers
Matrix number: - 1619
Recorded: - July 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 338-A mono
BLACK GAL / JUMPIN' BLUES
Reissued: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH 252 mono
WALTER HORTON - MOUTH HARP MAESTRO

Name (Or. No of Instruments)
Walter Horton – Vocal and Harmonica
Calvin Newborn – Guitar
Phineas Newborn – Piano
Possibly Willie Nix - Drums

Sam Phillips got Walter Horton back to the studio in June 1951. This time he had assembled a new set of musicians with a meatier, electric sound, and the four sides cut on this date were underpinned by Calvin Newborn's amplified guitar, which almost dominated by Phineas Newborn Jr. and Willie Nix may be the drummer. From this session the Biharis issued ''Back Gal'' and Jumpin' Blues'' on their subsidiary label RPM (338).

The remaining unreleased Horton sides didn't see the light of day until 1969 and the early 1970s when they were issued on collections on Kent and Polydor, although bad remastering didn't do the sides justice. (MH)

Mumbles (Walter Horton)
''JUMPIN' BLUES'' - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - MM Publishers
Matrix number: - 1621
Recorded: - July 1951
Memphis Recording Service
706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Released: - November 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single RPM 338-B mono
JUMPIN' BLUES / BLACK GAL
Reissued: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH 252 mono
WALTER HORTON - MOUTH HARP MAESTRO

Name (Or. No of Instruments)
Walter Horton – Vocal and Harmonica
Calvin Newborn – Guitar
Phineas Newborn – Piano
Possibly Willie Nix - Drums

After a disagreement with Modern, Sam Phillips continued recording Walter Horton for his own Sun label with Jack Kelly and Jimmy DeBerry. In 1953 he released the magnificent ''Easy'' (Sun 180). However by this time Horton had left Memphis for good and relocated in Chicago where he started a new career working and recording in the bands of Johnny Shines, Jimmy Rogers, and Muddy Waters.

Horton subsequently recorded solo sides for United and Cobra, and by the 1960s he was acting as a regular sideman for dozens of dates with Johnny Young, Big Mama Thornton, Johnny Shines, and Robert Nighthawk. He also appeared on a string of albums under his own name for Argo, Decca, Red Lightning, Sire, Delta and Alligator and through the 1960s and 1970s he was a frequent visitor to European shores, appearing with the American Folk Blues Festival and with the Chicago Blues All Stars. He died in Chicago on December 8, 1981. (MH)

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©