© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 109-8 mono

This boxed set of eight albums contains some of the best music made in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1960s. It represents the very finest issued and unissued music recorded by Sun Records and associated labels during that period. It covers the full range of Memphis music from rock and roll and country to rhythm and blues, soul and gospel. It also contains recordings made for the Nashville-based Sun International Corporation after 1968.

Following on from Sun Box 106, The Rocking Years, this box traces the Sun story through its unfashionable years. Nevertheless - and perhaps to the surprise of many - the quality of the music remains high. We are proud to present ''Sun: Into The Sixties''.

There are 131 recordings in this box. Of these, there are: 33 unissued recordings (never before issued in any form); 10 unissued takes (alternative performances to those previously issued); 5 unissued versions (performances from different sessions to previously issued versions); 5 undubbed or remixed versions (recordings previously issued now presented in a different form); 21 not originally issued (recordings released in the 1970s or 1980s but not on the original Sun label); 57 original issues (recordings exactly as issued on the original Sun, P.I., Sun International, Midnight Sun or Plantation labels).


Record 1 ''Feel So Good''
Jerry Lee Lewis
Record 2 ''The Jackson Connection''
Carl Mann - Eddie Bush - Tony Austin - Rayburn Anthony
Record 3 ''Keepers Of The Flame''
Ray Smith - Ernie Barton - Charlie Rich - Jerry McGill - Don Hinton
Teddy Reddell - Tracy Pendarvis - Harold Dorman - Thomas Wayne
Record 4 ''One More Memory''
Eddie Bond - Texas Bill Strength - Don Scaife - Jimmy Louis - Anita Wood - Dane Stinit
Record 5 ''Betcha Gonna Like It''
Bill Johnson - Frank Ballard - Jeb Stuart - The Climates
Record 6 ''Cadillac Man''
Bill Yates - Billy Adams - The Jesters - Jimmie Day & The Jesters
Record 7 ''Frank, This Is It''
Brother James Anderson - Frank Frost - Arbee Stidham - Cliff Jackson & Jellean Delk
Record 8 ''Sun International'
Billy Riley - Jerry Dyke - Sleepy La Beef - Murray Kellum

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

By Colin Escott

Although few could have foreseen it, June 1958 was a watershed in the story of Sun Records. During that month Johnny Cash's divorce from Sun became final and Jerry Lee Lewis arrived back from England with a tarnished reputation.

Despite the bad news, Sam Phillips pushed forward. He knew that he had to move from his tiny storefront studio at 706 Union, Memphis. The studio floor itself was too small to accommodate the increasingly large groups. The studio technology was too primitive and there was insufficient space to install new equipment. The office quarters were too cramped to accommodate even the small staff that Phillips employed. Phillips felt that he had outgrown his original surroundings although journalist Edwin Howard, who worked across the street at the Memphis Press Scimitar, recalled that Phillips was also very superstitious about moving. And with good reason.

The new studio, a few city blocks from the old one, was a gutted Midas Muffler shop that had also been a bakery at some point in its life. It opened in late 1959 and its opening was another watershed. It was everything that the old studio was not. It was spacious, state-of-the-art - and soul-less.

Phillips installed a new Ampex 4 track recorder and brought in Charles Underwood as a resident engineer. Scotty Moore was brought over from Fernwood Records to work as a studio manager and cutting engineer. There was a second floor with offices for the Promotion Manager, Cecil Scaife, and the manager of the publishing companies. And then there was the penthouse floor on top of the complex. Sam Phillips finally got his own office with a personalised jukebox and his name emblazoned on the door. There was a bar thoughtfully positioned close-by together with the accounting department. One could walk out into a small garden and sunbathing area on top of the building. Decor was by Decor-by-Denise of Memphis. The entire complex cost over three hundred thousand pre-inflation dollars.

It looked as though Sam Phillips was settling in for continued prosperity in the 1960s. "Woodshed recordings have had it," said Phillips in an interview with Edwin Howard shortly before the official opening. ''You've got to have latitude today - all the electronic devices, built-in high and low frequency equalisation and attenuation, echoes, channel-splitting and metering on everything''.

So what went wrong?

Everyone who went into the new studio to record compared it unfavourably with the old studio. Phillips' instincts as an audio engineer which had served him so well at the old studio, failed him in the new building. The sound was too alive. The tight focussed echo of the old studio had been replaced by a hollow swampy echo that wholly lacked presence. The funkiness of the old studio which had been so conducive to creativity had been replaced by a sterile atmosphere that Cecil Scaife later likened to that of a doctor's office. But the reasons for the decline of Sun Records went much deeper than the audio characteristics of the new studio. The character of the entire industry was changing.

Sun had swept to prominence with some of the most starkly underproduced music ever recorded. ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'' and ''I Walk The Line'' had featured just three instruments and a vocalist. Those productions were going out of vogue. Phillips was frilly aware of that trend. Choruses were becoming commonplace, even on Sun Records, strings were becoming more common, horn sections were also a part of the changing face of rock and roll. In that environment, a Sun record would be indistinguishable from any other contemporary pop record.

The payola investigations were also effecting a subtle change in the industry. As the commission on payola held its hearings across the country, the most worried men were the bosses of the small independent record labels. Most had started in the rhythm and blues market where payola was a fact of life. Leonard Chess used it as a tax deduction. When the market for rhythm and blues product widened, those same men brought their freewheeling approach to the popular record market. Sun was certainly no exception. Jud Phillips had been very adroit at greasing the right palm and knowing precisely what it took to get a record moving off ground zero. He had left Sun back in 1958, at roughly the same that Cash had departed and Jerry Lee Lewis's career headed into its downswing, but those who followed in his footsteps making the rounds of the distributors and dee-jays knew how to take care of their friends.

When the payola investigations started, the industry went into a state of toxic shock. One could argue that it precipitated a move back to safer ground. The major labels, whose act had been somewhat cleaner, started to reassert their pre-eminence and there was a general atmosphere of retrenchment. Six of the Top Ten records from June 1957 had been on independent labels. Just three of the Top Ten in June 1960 were on independent labels. And the cleaner labels signed cleaner artists.

Phillips had founded his business on talent that had literally walked in off the street. Phillips himself gravitated towards the rawness he found in so many of those who stood before him, both black and white. Phillips still gravitated towards the rawness but the marketplace did not. Bill Justis and Jack Clement had started to take a greater role in production. They made records that were closer to mainstream and edged Sun into the changing times.

Country boys were walking through the door but the men to whom Phillips entrusted his productions could see no commercial merit in their rawness and unsophistication. They moved instead towards good looking boys with the pretty sound that followed the national trend. Sun was now following instead of leading.

The fact that Phillips was entrusting his productions in the hands of others bespoke his increasing lack of interest in his record labels. But then after you have discovered two of the most dynamic performers in rock 6 roll and one of the half dozen most influential voices in the history of country music, it must be hard to now what to do for an encore.

Phillips had made a lot of money from rock and roll but he sensibly decided to invest it elsewhere. To invest it back in nurturing pop singers would be akin to winning the lottery and using the winnings to buy lottery tickets. Instead Phillips turned to radio and other investments wholly outside the music industry.

Jim Dickinson, the Memphis producer and musician, sees Phillips' growing lack of involvement as an interruption of the creative flow that cannot be restarted. "Knox Phillips and I did a lot of work once trying to get Sam a session with B.B. King," recalled Dickinson. "We didn't think to ask him first. When we did, he said, 'No.' Knox said, 'You can't just say no. Why not?' Sam said, 'You can't just go to Picasso and ask him to paint a little picture'. That may be presumptuous of Sam but that's the way he saw it. Everything in recording is input and output and when you lose that signal flow, you never get it back. Or, if you do, it's not the same''.

However, not all was doom and gloom during Sun's last years. Phillips' taste for rhythm and blues reasserted itself when he recorded a stellar album by Frank Frost that became an essential statement of raw blues music from the 1960s. Other rhythm and blues based sides by Frank Ballard, Jeb Stuart and others were less artistically viable but still accounted for some fine music.

The Jackson Connection also gave Sun a steady infusion of top talent. Carl Perkins was long gone but Carl Mann was still looming large as the new decade dawned. He was followed by Rayburn Anthony and Tony Austin, both of whom contributed some unique and undervalued music.

Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich were still there until 1963. Both tried with varying degrees of success to recapture the initial flush of public acclaim. There were some experiments that are best forgotten but, more importantly, some music from their later years that ranks alongside their very finest work. Jerry Lee Lewis gave the old Sun label its last Hot 100 entry as his revival of Sweet Little Sixteen came and went in a flash. However, Jerry's final Sun session would represent a blueprint for the country superstardom that lay five years beyond the end of his last term on Sun.

Two Memphis hitmakers from 1959-1960, Harold Dorman and Thomas Wayne, who eluded Sun on the first go-round came into the fold to attempt a resuscitation of their careers. In both cases the ploy failed although some fine music resulted. Ray Smith, who had started on Sun, returned to try and recapture the success of Rockin' Little Little Angel. Again, the results were commercially disappointing.

Sun's involvement with country music which extended from the very dawn of the label continued into the 1960s. The music may have lacked the hillbilly vitality of much of the music that Phillips recorded in the early and mid-1950s but then the complexion of country music had changed a great deal since those far-off days.

By the end of Sun Records' existence as an independent Memphis-based label in early 1967, two factors were impossible to ignore. The first was the British invasion and the second was the nascent soul music explosion. Sun made belated gestures towards both. The British invasion owed much to Sun Records. Virtually all of the guitarists in the first wave of British groups had learned to play from Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins; and the acclaim accorded Jerry Lee Lewis on his second and third British tours in 1962 and 1963 showed the profound influence that he still exerted upon the way in which the Europeans understood and played rock music. The Yardbirds even came to the fountainhead and recorded a session in Memphis with Sam Phillips behind the board.

Phillips' son, Jerry, played in a group that seemed to owe more to the British interpretation of the Memphis heritage than to the heritage itself. The Jesters were a loose and sometimes musically incompatible aggregation that comprised too many disparate influences but nevertheless managed to come up with one genuinely magnificent record.

There were other one-shot artists who also showed some of the fire that had given the name 'Sun Records' such a mythic quality. Their conspicuous lack of success seems to imply that the marketplace lacked the ears or the willingness to hear. But perhaps Sun Records' growing lack of interest in promotion and their steadily shrinking distribution network doomed some records that were indeed genuine contenders.

And that is the mise en scéne for the final volume of the SUN RECORDS story. The music shows that there was still much to love on yellow Sun Records as the 1960s wore on. Perhaps more than had been thought. Some of the music may lack the striking originality and blistering quality of the finest music that appeared on Sun but much of the music remained true to its impressive legacy.

Talking to Martin Hawkins, 9 September 1987

The Studios

"Sun Records moved into the 1960s in a new studio on Madison Avenue in Memphis. Our original premises on Union Avenue were really too small and outdated.

I built the new studio because I just felt that recording technology was improving and that we needed to move along to keep pace technically. Now this did not mean that I personally was abandoning the sound that had been so successful for Sun. The people working for me in the new studio probably did get a little caried away though - and I'm not blaming anybody - with the musical technology at the expense of the basic gut feeling in music. You see, good rock and roll , and that;s all we trying to archieve, that doesn't need 15 pieces all the time. We needed to record it the best way we could, technically, but we didn't need to have the technology make the music which is what increasingly happened in the music industry through the 1960s.

The new studio itself didn't have anything to do with the denise of Sun Records from its former prominent place in the music charts. The studio was fine. The running down of Sun was really a story of two parts. First , it was a tale of one man being just two damn busy to keep going at the same level of success. Then too it was to do with great changes in the music business.

As far as my time, see I was about two years planning and building that new studio and I had to hand over the day to day running of the other aspect to other people. Plus, I was more and more involved with other things. I had two radio stations and I had publishing and other business interest too. I was strung out across too many business commitments.

Then, too, I was building a studio and a sub office of Sun in Nashville at that time. Basically, the reason Sun, in my opinion, did not become a quote unquote 'major label' was that I preferred to invest my time in other things than to hook up in the record business with any of the major corporations. I just knew that I couldn't do the job the way I wanted to do it as part of the big company, and I did have several offers in those days.

In the 1960s things were changing rapidly and drastically as far as the distribution set-up went in the USA. Most top-selling artists were lured away from small companies during the later part of the 1950s, as with Sun, and a number of the indie labels themselves were being bought out by a major label corporation. I could see what was coming about and I wanted no part of it. It is not my way to work for somebody.

I carried on recording in a small way through the 1960s. I know that there was a real world out there that was saying hey, if you want to be somebody and be a major forte the the music business, you have to fall in with a major corporation to ensure you get your records on the street. A lot of the indepedented record distributors were caving in under pressure and being taken over by the majors and I just did not like that. I'm not saying it was wrong or anything - I'm just saying that my temperament and my personality and everything gave me just no interest In being a part of that.

As I said, I continued to be personally involved with recording throughout the 1960s but on a smaller scale. I supervised sessions throughout the early part of that decade though I had more people to assist with engineering and arrangements than back in the old studio.

The administrative aspect of it had become so time-consuming by about 1958, once Sun really began to sell records, that I just had to have some help. I tried to keep control of everything as long as I could because that is the way I work, but it just wasn't practical.

Bill Fitzgerald was General Manager of Sun Records from about 1959, certainly In the last two years of the old studio. We had promotional people Barbara Barnes was a very good promo lady and was with us some time before she went back to teaching. Then I had various people in charge of sales and so on Cecil Scaife, my brother Jud for a time. All these people played a part in keeping Sun Records on top at the time.

In the studio, Bill Justis and Jack Clement were the only helpers for a long time. Then after they left sometime toward the end of 1958, I had several other engineers and arrangers. Ernie Barton worked for me a while although we never were too successful with Erie's arrangements – he was inclined toward a too full sound, strings and all. Later on Charlie Underwood and Scotty Moore worked the Madison Avenue studio. Toward the last few years of Sun my son Knox Phillips started looking after the studio and he really recorded the most of the things that came out on Sun at the last. Of course, he was a younger man and he had new ideas. He wanted a much bigger sound than me, but he is an excellent producer and many of the things he did were good.

As far as the Nashville studio, we ran that between 1961 and 1964 and I always supervised recordings over there as far as I could.

I think that of all the people that worked for me back then, Billy Sherrill who was the engineer in the Nashville studio had a pretty good basic feel for what I wanted. On top of that he was a really excellent musician. Now Billy was aware that things were changing in music and he had a tendence to arrange things a little more than was my way. There's not necessarity anything wrong with that but the musicians I put together in a studio always had to have a little freedom so they could be confident about what they were doing but fresh-sounding at the same time.

I opened up in Nashville because I felt that Nashville could be a good centre for not only country music, but for the range of music we were recording. I was at the same time trying to bring in there a new kind of influence in the recording business. I told the Musician Union over there that I needed to bring my people in, but my musicians had a kinda hard time to get in the Union over there. That was one problem we faced. But the bottom line was my time. I was never able to make myself have the confidence in other people. I knew they were talented people and Billy Sherrill has proven that. He was very knowledgeable about what I wanted to do and he was a great mixer though often it just didn't come out the way I knew it could have. We tried to bring in a little of a new concept over there but I just didn't stay with it personally long enough to usher it in frilly. There was so much opposition from the people in Nashville.

The first sessions we did on Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich in Nashville turned out real well. I thought although it was never quite as authentic as the Memphis studio. The two studios were very comparable as far as equipment and so on. The musicians we used from Nashville were entirely different though. They were ''real'' musicians and the problem is that musicians often care too much about how they sound as an individual, rather than how the whole thing turns out as far as style and feel and sound.

Billy Sherrill always wanted to record Jerry Lee Lewis but I never would let him. I didn't think anyone else would get the backbeat and the accents that I felt were necessary for Lewis to record well.

Vinnie Trauth worked for me for some time in the 1960s. He was a well trained musician and a damn fine arranger. He had the capability I thought to do really well, the potential. He had been working at the Pepper jingle studio here in Memphis and I was impressed with his work and took him from there. Vinnie was a very talented man, the kind of guy you love to work with. His mind was very open to me. He was a good 'ol coonass from Louisiana and he didn't just have talent but also a little down to earth realism. You've got to have imaginative people around you but you need that basic sense that stops people getting carried away. Vinnie produced many sessions in Memphis in the 1960s and it's just a shame that I didn't spend enough time with him for us to complement each other fully.

The Musicians

Carl Mann was a very laid-back kind of boy and his style did not really suit me yet I liked his music and that was why we took a chance on him. He came in with a guitar player named Eddie Bush who had a very unusual style of playing. That guitar was integral to my liking of the Mann band.

I saw a place in the market for Frank Frost even though it was the most bluesy thing I had recorded in years. By the 1960s there were more radio stations that could expose the blues to the white audience than there had been earlier, and although rock music had gone in other directions I felt that there was a chance of going against the odds and producing down home solid blues that would still get played bought have been a very
big artist. My long time friend from Nashville, John ., the DJ, rang me and told me that the on Frank Frost was the best record that he a ever heard. And John R .was a big name, he didn't have any reason to call me and just say that.

Brother James Anderson was a black minister that Knox recorded. He put the idea to me and I conceded that we would try out a gospel record because my mind went back full circle. Not to start up the old sounds again, but I have such a feeling for the blues and spirituals that I felt we needed to move back towards the origins of our music. The rock world had moved on so far in other directions at that time.

The Climates were four black boys from here in Memphis. Knox cut the sessions on them for Sun and Holiday Inn. They were a very talented group, just vocalists. We put a studio band with them, a fine band with I think Tommy Cogbill and his group.

Billy Adams was an artist I recorded for Sun. He was really a novelty type of act who worked at the Old Hideaway Club. He liked to sing old rhythm and blues things, but he was not an original. Now Bill Yates was a different altogether. Bill worked often with Billy Adams but he had an awful lot of soul in his voice. He was probably as versatile, without being a copyist, as any artist I worked with. He had a lot of merit and it is a real shame that we were not able to get a hit for him. He was a man who made you want to listen when he opened his mouth to sing, and he played the piano like it should be played, he was a talent.

If I recall rightly I cut Rayburn Anthony in the old studio and in the new one. We tried out several things, even some old Tin Pan Alley type things. Rayburn had a Carl Mann sort of approach though maybe a better voice. I never felt that we got anywhere near what we were looking for on Rayburn. We went down the wrong road with him probably.

Ray Smith was a hell of a talent. He was an artist that really should have made it and stayed up there. When he came back to Sun for a second period, I recorded a song called ''Candy Doll'' which was quite good but maybe was a little too close to Roy Orbison's ''Candy Man''. But ''Travellin' Salesman'' was the record that should have done it for Ray. I cut that one in Nashville and I was very proud of that. It should have been a big hit. In earlier days I would have stayed on it longer, pushing it till it hit. By the time that record came out I had less time and the independent distributors we used were just not strong enough to really make it happen.

The Eddie Bond gospel album was something I picked up. It was not recorded by me, but by Jack Clement. Jack had the Echo Studio on Manassas Avenue and he and Stan Kesler came to me with those tapes. Now I never had seen the merit in Eddie Bond as a recording artist - he was a good DJ and a great showman on stage - and I still feel that way. For some reason Jack put the deal to me and I decided to go along with it. It did surprisingly well locally due to Eddie's contacts and radio show but I don't think it was really ever going anywere.

Dane Stinit's big problem was that he sounded so much like Johnny Cash. That's a strike against you, right there, before you start to record. He was a Cash fan, and so am I, so I took the chance that I could do something with that limited kind of sound that Johnny himself was no longer doing. That was why I went into that venture. I knew we'd be accused of copying but that really wasn't what it was about. It was a statement about the roots of country music but I guess it didn't really seem to come off''.

Cecil Scaife in conversation with Colin Escott

Cecil Scaife has enjoyed a thirty year career behind the scenes in the record business. He has worked for Hi, Sun, Columbia/CBS and his own labels and, looking out over the Columbia River, from his palatial house in the suburbs of Nashville, he can look back on a good measure of success.

Scaife originally saw his future in the movie industry. Born in Helena, Arkansas, he was spotted on a talent search and despatched to Tinsel Town. With thirty five years hindsight, Scaife wishes that he had stayed but the movie industry seemed to be in a terminal decline. Paramount, the studio who had brought him out to the West Coast, was putting new productions on hold and filming its remaining commitments in 3-D.

After another brief sent as a protégé of M.GM., which saw Scaife go to New York and act in a couple of off-Broadway productions, he returned to Memphis and became the first frill-time employee of Hi Records. At that point, Hi were just on the point of opening their tiny operation out of a house that Poplar Tunes and Hi Records boss Joe Cuoghi had leased on Poplar Ave. It also contained the first Hi studio which was, as Scaife noted, a ''prehistoric set-up''.

Scaife worked on getting Carl McVoy off the ground and then received a phone call in the wee hours of the morning.

On Joining Sun

"I was back in Helena. Sam phoned me and asked me what I was doing. It was about two o'clock in the morning and of course I was sleeping. Sam asked' me if I wanted to come up to Memphis and talk to him about joining Sun. He was wanting to make a fast move because Jud had just left. That night I went to Memphis and had dinner with Sam and Sally Wilbourn out at the Embers. I could see that Hi wasn't going to get off the ground immediately so I went with Sun''.

"I started right away making the rounds of the radio stations and distributors. We usually tried to have different distributors for Sun and Phillips International in most centers because we felt that we got better promotional coverage that way. We worked local sock hops and local television shows that featured rock and roll artists. It was an exciting time to join the record business''.

On Jerry Lee Lewis

"Just after I joined Sam, it was my awesome task to try and take Jerry's image and get a new direction for him. The press was making mincemeat out of him. At that time he had his hair peroxided blonde and it was extra long. That was the image that the cartoonists caricatured. He would be holding his wife's hand in these cartoons like she was five years old. Holding a teddy bear, you know. 'I had a very serious talk with Jerry regarding his image. We went next door to Taylor's restaurant and sat down in a booth. Jerry had one of his pickers with him. He always had someone with him. You could rarely get him one-on-one. I told him what I thought we should do in as much detail as I thought he could absorb in one sitting. What I wanted was to get him out of the typical rock and roll regalia. Ive League was in. I wanted him to get a crewcut. I wanted to have a press conference and invite key members of the press and announce that he was somewhat remorseful. He would take on an adult image''.

''We discussed it for over an hour. Jerry was very polite and listened. He would not every once in a while, but he kept looking at his watch. Finally, he shook it like it wasn't working and he looked at his buddy across the table and said, 'What time is it'? The guy said, 'It's five before one' Jerry said, 'Oh! The double feature starts at the Strand in five minutes. It's Return of the Werewolf and The Bride of Frankenstein meets Godzilla'! Then he jumped up and left the table. That was the last time we discussed Jerry's image''.

''I remember I later cut a terrific version of ''Will The Circle Be Unbroken'' with Jerry but Sam wouldn't let me release it. Jerry was a phenomenal entertainer. When he came to Memphis we'd go into the studio and, while we were going over material, he would play to you as if you were 10,000 people. He would sit there and entertain you. He had this innate ability to perform''.

On Charlie Rich

''The truth was that it wasn't in Charlie's nature to perform. He was a great talent but had a hard time recognising his talent and believing in himself. He only believed in himself as a writer. He would tighten up when he was singing and try to sing higher than he could have but the problems really began when you got him out of the studio and on the road. He could make a front man like me a little nervous''.

''Charlie was a good looking guy and, on promo trips, people would mistake him for Elvis Presley. He had that look. He looked like a star and he could have been a star then if he'd had the desire. He was so shy, though. I remember one time we were on the Dick Clark show out of New York. We were trying to break ''Lonely Weekends''. Charlie was a nervous wreck and perspiring something awful. I said, 'Charlie, all you gotta do is just sit here and lip sync it. The mike's dead. Dick Clark tried to interview him and Charlie just clammed up. Dick would ask a question and then have to answer it. I thought that this was the end of us with Dick Clark but Dick helped us with other artists''.

On Carl Mann

''You know, the last two hits of any size on Sun came out of the old studio, ''Lonely Weekends'' and ''Mona Lisa''. And ''Mona Lisa'' was my baby''.

''Before Jack or Bill got canned, they had invited this group from Jackson. I think Rayburn Anthony was supposed to be the front man. Anyway, his car blew up on him so we just had the backing group: Carl Mann, Eddie Bush and W.S. Holland. We waited a couple of hours and the musicians decided that they would entertain themselves. Carl did a beat arrangement of ''Mona Lisa'' which was one of my favourite songs. He was playing it on the piano and faking a lot of it, playing with two fingers on his left hand and three on his right. I turned the machine on and I remember thinking, 'This ole boy has the potential of cutting a hit if we can get it right''.

''I couldn't wait for Sam to hear ''Mona Lisa'', but he wasn't interested in it Weeks and months went by and Conway Twitty was on his way into town and called me to see if I had any material for him to record sitting in our publishing catalogues. He was coming off ''It's Only Make Believe'' and I had helped to get that song off the ground when I was on the road because we had been friends back in Helena. I spread the word and even handed out records. I told Conway when he came in that we didn't have anything that we owned but we had an arrangement on ''Mona Lisa'' that sounded good I played him Carl's arrangement and he got real excited. He said, 'I don't believe you're give this to me'. I said, 'You can borrow arrangement if you put it on an LP. I still have hopes of putting it out on Carl as a single''.

''MGM put it out on the LP and then pulled an EP from the album. It started hitting the charts in Minneapolis and it was doing good in the mid-West I took the charts to Sam and said, 'We're losing a hit'. Sam said, 'l don't put out mediocre product'. I thought on that for a while and then there was a dee-jay convention coming up in Miami. I just hated to lose the record and see Conway get the credit. I said, 'Sam, unless you tell me not to put out Carl's version of ''Mona Lisa'', I'm gonna put it out and do a promo number down in Miami that everyone will remember'. So I went to Miami and hired a model to stand in the hotel lobby with a sash saying, Ask Me About Mona Lisa'. She was handing out promo copies, too. She got the attention. Then I persuaded Sam to let me put an ad in Billboard with that same girl. I was telling everyone that Carl had the original version even though Conway's had come out''.

''I took Carl on a whirlwind promo tour through Atlanta, Charlotte, Baltimore and New York Dick Biondi was in Buffalo at that time on a 50,000 watt station and Dick called me when I got back. He was gonna lay on it 'til he broke it. And he did. It became one of the last really big hits on Sun".

On Sun Studios

''We had problems at 639 Madison from day one. For a start, the roof leaked because the building had a number of flat roofs. Every time it rained, I'd have to go over there with buckets and mops. It delayed the opening for six months. Then the room wasn't tuned properly. I took some Nashville guys over there to record and they walked out. The sound was too hot. Too alive. It didn't have the range that the old studio had. The board was never right either. It was awful hard to create there. 706 Union had a terrific atmosphere. A creative atmosphere. There was a naturalness about it and you felt up when you walked in the new studio had a sterile atmosphere. It was like a doctors office. It was too state-of-the-art''.

''Soon after we opened the new studio Memphis, Sam got the idea to build one in Nashville. Memphis was slowing down as a recording centre and Nashville was really starting to happen. Sam visited Nashville one time and he was looking for a publishing office because Frances Preston at BMI was encouraging him to open up an arm of his publishing business in town. He was looking for office space in the old Cumberland Lodge Building which was a Masonic temple. It had wood floors and walls and high ceilings. It was a perfect ambient hall for back then when the character of the room made the difference. Sam saw the room and loved it''.

''I was down in Palm Beach, Florida looking after Sam's all-girl radio station down there, He called me and said, 'Cec, I've found this room. It's be great for a studio. If you'll come and run the operation, I'll buy it' I hopped on a plane, came and looked at it and we made arrangements for me to move to Nashville and manage the studio. Billy SherrilL - would be the engineer. Kelso Herstom the session guitarist, would run the publishing companies from an office in the same building''.

''At that time the Cumberland Lodge Building was considered to be the music building. Mercury, the Wilburn Bothers, Tree and some other publishers were all there. I remember that the Wilburns brought Loretta Lynn there when she first came to Nashville. She practised walking on high heels on the marble floors outside our office. The Sun studio did a lot of demo work for Tree and a lot of publishers. We did a lot of custom work too. I remember Fats Domino came in there. I went out and bought him the biggest cowboy hat I could find when I heard he was coming in to record. His face lit up when he saw it. He tried it on and it fit perfectly. He said, 'Lawd almighty, how did you know my size?' I said, 'Fats, I just got the biggest one I could find''.

"I don't really know why Sam sold the studio. I know it had one problem that we couldn't correct - and that was the parking problem. WSM, the Capitol building and a lot of other companies were nearby and you just couldn't find a place to park there. When Sam was ready to sell, he called me and asked if I would be interested in buying it. I had left Sun by that time and was out on my own. I gassed and Fred Foster at Monument bought it''.

On Sam Phillips

''Sam's interest was really in radio during that time, I believe. Most of the time when we would meet, he would talk about the stations he was buying or applying for or expanding or enlarging the wattage or something. For some reason, his interest in the music business had diminished''.

''I know that he was concerned that sessions were getting more expensive and that was part of the reason that he canned Bill Justis and Jack Clement, I believe. He didn't want them to run up a budget on recording. Jack could be pretty close with a buck but Bill was a schooled musician and often brought in horns and voices. I think Sam had become disenchanted with the direction those two had been taking, especially the money spinning. The record sales weren't justifying it Sam also demanded loyalty and the official reason for their dismissal was ''insubordination'', I believe''.

"I think he also detested the expense involved in putting out albums. And he never really believed in them. I remember him saying, 'You're giving away all your singles.' It took a lot of persistence to get Sam to put out an album''.

''I learned a lot from Sam, though he was very astute man He had a lot of insight. He understood humanity and human nature. It was just demoralising to work there toward the end. It was an uphill battle. I had no budget to remote. Sam's thought was, 'If they happen - fine; if they don't - fine'. There was no honest effort in going to, say, Nashville or New York and getting songs together for a recording session''.

On Leaving Sun

''I had no reason to leave Sam except I couldn't make any money. I didn't own a piece of the company but I had a percentage of the profits, which were going steadily down. We parted on good terms. He actually paid me a backhanded compliment when I left. No, I guess it was a real compliment. Billboard asked him who he was going to get to replace me. He said, 'You don't replace Cecil Scaife.' I didn't realise he cared 'til I left".

Source: Cecil Scaife interviewed by Colin Escott, June 12, 1987

© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-1A/B) mono

An album of unissued Jerry Lee Lewis is always a cause for celebration, particularly when it is drawn from the Sun Records catalogue. This collection comprises some previously undiscovered tapes in conjunction with some remixed versions of some old favourites.

The two versions of ''My Blue Heaven'', dating from June 14, 1961, eluded the compilers of the Sun Years box because the song had also been recorded back in 1959. It therefore showed up as a duplicate entry on the file cards. The original 4 track tapes had never been mixed down from the 1961 session. It seemed as though no-one was having anything to do with Jerry's reinterpretation of ''My Blue Heaven''. The 1959 version was never issued, the 1961 version was never even mixed and a later version, recorded for Mercury in 1969, also sat in the can until resurrected in 1987.

The re-mixes are a different kettle of fish. From 1960 until he quit Sun in 1963 Jerry recorded in multi-track studios. Some of the multi-track tapes have survived and they allow us the liberty of rewriting history - to an extent. The problem is that Jerry was recorded on 4 track tape which meant that the choruses or strings were often on the same track as, say, the bass and drums. Eliminate the chorus and you eliminate the bass and drums. Also, the baffling in the old Sun studios was not very good so there is an element of bleed-through, which means that it is almost impossible to completely eliminate any part of the mix. If the choruses and strings had not been present on the session then it would have been simplicity itself to eliminate them (witness the ease and totality with which the chorus was removed from most of the Charlie Rich titles on the Zu-Zazz album, ''Don't Put No Headstone On My Grave'').

So, we have included a couple of tentative re-mixes which give a better understanding of the recording process and show Jerry's vocal and piano in a slightly brighter light but are, nevertheless, far from perfect.

Finally, we have a selection from some newly-discovered tape boxes mostly dating from late 1959 or early 1960. Another tape in the same batch dates from 1962. The 1959/60 tapes represented Jerry's first venture into the new Sun studio on Madison Avenue. Sam Phillips was at the controls and he mixed down all the instruments to one track of his new four track tape, rewound the tape and then mixed another set of songs onto another track. The third track was left for overdubs and the fourth track was left empty. This splendidly defeated the purpose of multi-track tape but those tapes, sequestered away for over 25 years, allow us to catch the last gasp of the famous Jerry Lee Lewis recording combo comprising Roland Janes on guitar, J.M. Van Eaton on drums and possibly J.W. Brown on bass. More from these sessions can be heard on the Zu-Zazz albums, ''Keep Your Hands Off It'' and ''Don't Drop It!''.

This is a pot-pourri for sure, but we get a few tasty additions to the Sun Years boxed set and another welcome glimpse of the genius of Jerry Lee Lewis at, or near, its peak.

Record 1 Side 1 ''Feel So Good''
1.1 - As Long As I Live (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Take)
1.2 - Bonnie B (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Take)
1.3 - What'd I Say (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Version)
1.4 - Don't Drop It (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued)
1.5 - Great Speckled Bird (Jerry Lee Lewis) Unissued)
1.6 - You Can't Help It (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Version)
1.7 - Old Black Joe (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Undubbed Unissued Take)
1.8 - Baby Baby Bye Bye (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Undubbed Unissued Take)
Original Sun Recordings

Record 1 Side 2 ''Feel So Good''
2.1 - My Blue Heaven - 1 (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Version)
2.2 - My Blue Heaven - 2 (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Version)
2.3 - I Feel So Good (I've Been Twisting) (Jerry Lee Lewis (Unedited Version of > Sun 374-A < 
2.4 - Good Golly Miss Molly (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Undubbed Unissued Take)
2.5 - Waiting For A Train (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Version)
2.6 - I Can't Trust Me (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Unissued Undubbed Take)
2.7 - I Can't Seem To Say Goodbye (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Undubbed Remix)
2.8 - Carry Me Back To Old Virginia (Jerry Lee Lewis) (Undubbed Remix)
Original Sun Recordings

Name (Or. No of Instruments
1.1 to 1.8 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, December 1959 or January 1960)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Leo Lodner or Jay W. Brown - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

2.1 & 2.2 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, June 14, 1961)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Ace Cannon - Saxophone
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Jay W. Brown - Bass
Gene Chrisman - Drums

2.3 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, January 1, 1962)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
R.W. McGhee - Bass
Al Jackson - Drums

Note: This is the original issued take. However, before release, Phillips edited the final part of Take 4 onto this version (Take 3). The take was mixed down to stereo from the original session tapes by Dave Roys and Colin Escott, Singleton studio, May 15, 1987.

24 to 2.6 (7th Avenue North , Nashville, September 11, 1962)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Boots Randolph - Saxophone
Fred Carter - Guitar
Kelso Herston - Guitar
Lightnin' Chance - Bass
Buddy Harmon - Drums

Mixed to stereo from original masters by Barry McVicker and Colin Escott, Montclair studio, Toronto.

2.7 & 2.8 ( 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, August 28, 1963)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Herman Hawkins - Bass
Morris Tarrant - Drums
Anne Oldham, Noel Gilbert, Joan Gilbert, Milton Friedstand - Strings

Remixed by Dave Roys and Colin Escott, Nashville, May 1987.

Front & Back Cover: Jerry Lee Lewis
Courtesy by Colin Escott

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-2A/B) mono

The Jackson, Tennessee connection with Sun Records started with Carl Perkins, whose huge success in 1956 inspired many would-be rockabilly singers and in particular those from his own home area.

Sam Phillips began to receive letters from Jackson containing piches from singers, bands, writers and publishers, but it would be three years before he found another star in Carl Mann. With his Phillips International hit on ''Mona Lisa'' in 1960, Carl Mann was certainly the most successful of the Jackson-area artists in this collection.

The distinctive rolling rhythm of Mann's band and in particular the cutting guitar figures of Eddie Bush characterized not only their own recordings, but those of several other Sun's artists including Jackson-based Rayburn Anthony.

Side two features Rayburn Anthony, then a young singer and writer trying to find a place in the music business. Anthony subsequently wrote, produced and sang several hits in the country market but back in 1960/1961 Sun Records saw him more as a pop-rock performer.

The Carl Mann sound permeates both sides of Sun 333, included here, while Anthony's subsequent recordings developed a more personal style. We have included two previously unissued titles including a good original performance of ''Hambone'', a song taken up by Carl Perkins. Carl's own songs lived on in Jackson during the 1960s, of course, and drummer Tony Austin left an interesting slower version of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' on tape during that period to round off the Jackson connection.

Record 2 Side 3 ''The Jackson Connection''
3.1 - Even Tho' (Carl Mann) (Not Originally Issued)
3.2 - Canadian Sunset (Carl Mann) (Not Originally Issued)
3.3 - Chinatown My Chinatown (Carl Mann) (Not Originally Issued)
3.4 - Because Of You (Carl Mann) (Not Originally Issued)
3.5 - Baby I Don't Care (Eddie Bush) > PI 3558-A <
3.6 - Eddie's Blues (Eddie Bush) (Unissued)
3.7 - Blue Suede Shoes (Tony Austin) (Not Originally Issued)
Original Sun Recordings

Record 2 Side 4 ''The Jackson Connection''
4.1 - Hambone (Rayburn Anthony) (Unissued)
4.2 - Girls Like You (Rayburn Anthony) (Unissued)
4.3 - Alice Blue Gown (Rayburn Anthony) > Sun 333-A <
4.4 - St. Louis Blues (Rayburn Anthony) > Sun 333-B <
4.5 - There's No Tomorrow (Rayburn Anthony) > Sun 339-B <
4.6 - Who's Gonne Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet (Rayburn Anthony) (Undubbed Sun 339)
4.7 - Big Dream (Rayburn Anthony) > Sun 373-B <
4.8 - How Well I Know (Rayburn Anthony) > Sun 373-A < 
Original Sun Recordings

Name (Or. No. of Instruments
31 to 3.4 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, March 20, 1962
Carl Mann - Vocal and Piano
Eddie Bush - Vocal and Guitar
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
Al Jackson - Drums

3.5 & 3.6 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, October 12, 1959)
Eddie Bush - Vocal and Guitar
Carl Mann - Guitar
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
W.S. Holland - Drums

3.7 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown date)
Tony Austin - Vocal, Piano and Drums
Wes Beavers - Bass

4.1 to 4.8 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Dates 1960/1961)
Rayburn Anthony - Vocal
Unknown Groups

Note: ''Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet'' remixed from original session tapes, Singleton studio, May 1987.

Front Cover: Rayburn Anthony / Back Cover: Tony Austin
Courtesy: Colin Escott

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-3A/B) mono

As the 1950s gave away to a new decade, the impact of Sun Records' rock and roll classics was beginning to fade. A softer, more produced form of rock music was in the charts, and even in the Sun catalogue. Nevertheless, the label continued to record and issue some good roots rock and roll. No longer balls of fire, but still a solid flame.

Ray Smith's second period with Sun commenced in 1961 and yielded two fine singles from Sam Phillips' Nashville studio. Songs like ''Travelin' Salesman'' and ''Candy Doll'' compare with much of the output from the original Sun studio.

Just before the old studio closed, singer and songwriter Ernie Barton was employed there as a record producer and recording artists. We have drawn four excellent performances from the many Barton left behind. They all contain evidence of the mixing of country and black influences that was so important to the best of Sun rock and roll. Note that Barton's version of the rhythm and blues classic ''Open The Door Richard'' was recorded with musicians who were long associated with Billy Riley, and that Riley joins Barton on this novelty vocal them.

Hot rock and roll was not Charlie Rich preferred music, although ''Little By Little'' pounds along nicely and contrasts with two undubbed versions of favourite Rich tunes, ''Time And Again'' and ''Midnight Blues''.

This album is completed by five very different but worthwhile rockers from the later 1950s ans early 1960s and a previously unissued Sun re-recording of Thomas Wayne's hit ballad ''Tragedy''. The mixture of recordings on this album from Sun's Union Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Nashville studios shows conclusively that good rock and roll was made at all three locations. The new studios did not have the sound of Union Avenue, but they did have more space and technical capacity which could on occasion, and with the right musicians be used to carry the flame one step further.

Colin Escott

Record 3 Side 5 ''Keepers Of The Flame''
5.1 - Travelin' Salesman (Ray Smith) > Sun 372-A <
5.2 - I Won't Miss You'' (Ray Smith) > Sun 372-B <
5.3 - Candy Doll (Ray Smith) Candy Doll > Sun 375-A <
5.4 - Hey Bossman (Ray Smith) > Sun 375-B <
5.5 - Raining The Blues (Ernie Barton) > PI 3528-B < 
5.6 - Open The Door Richard (Ernie Barton) > PI 3541-A <  
5.7 - Shut Your Mouth (Ernie Barton) > PI 3541-B < 
5.8 - Herb Of Turtles (Ernie Barton) (Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

Record 3 Side 6 ''Keepers Of The Flame''
6.1 - Little By Little (Charlie Rich) (Not Originally Issued)
6.2 - Time And Again (Charlie Rich) (Unissued Undubbed Take)
6.3 - Midnight Blues (Charlie Rich) (Unissued Undubbed Take)
6.4 - I Wanna Make Sweet Love (Jerry McGill) > Sun 326-A < 
6.5 - Honey Bee (Don Hinton) > PI 3556-B < 
6.6 - Me And My Blues (Teddy Reddell) (Not Originally Issued)
6.7 - Belle Of The Suwanee (Tracy Pendarvis) > Sun 359-A <
6.8 - Wait Til Saturday Night (Harold Dorman) > Sun 377-B < 
6.9 - Tragedy (Thomas Wayne (Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

Name (Or. No. of Instruments)
5.1 to 5.4 (7th Avenue North, Nashville, Probably 1961)
Ray Smith - Vocal
Unknown - Group

5.5 & 5.8 (Probably 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Probably 1958
Ernie Barton - Vocal and Guitar
Ronald Smith - Guitar
Bob Hadaway - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Vernon Drake & Others - Vocal Chorus

5.6 to 5.7* (706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Date)
Ernie Barton - Vocal and Guitar
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass and Vocals on ''Open The Door Richard''
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Regina Reese - Vocal on ''Shut Your Mouth''
Revision of entry in Sun Records ''The Discography''.

6.1 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis or 7th Avenue North, Nashville, Unknown Date
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Unknown Group

6.2 & 6.3 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, January 17, 1962
Charlie Rich - Vocal and Piano
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Robert McGhee - Bass
Al Jackson - Drums
Floyd Newman - Saxophone

6.4 (706 Union Avenue, Memphis, January 21, 1959)
Jerry McGill - Vocal and Guitar
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Charlie Rich - Piano
Billy Riley - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

6.5 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, March 16, 1960)
Don Hinton - Vocal
Charlie Rich - Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Sid Manker - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

6.6 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Probably November 1960)
Teddy Reddell - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
J.C. Caughron - Bass
Bobby Grafford - Drums

6.7 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Date)
Tracy Pendarvis - Vocal and Guitar
Larry Mohoberac - Piano
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Jerry Reeve Goodman - Drums

6.8 (7th Avenue North, Nashville, April 14, 1961)
Harold Dorman - Vocal
Floyd Cramer - Piano
Kelso Herston - Guitar
Hank Garland - Guitar
Jr. Huskey - Bass
Buddy Harmon - Drums
Mildred Kirkham, Dorothy Ann Dillard, Gordon Stoker and Louis Nunley - Chorus

6.9 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis. Probably February 15, 1962)
Thomas Wayne - Vocal
Larry Mohoberac - Piano
Unknown Group
Probably Brad Suggs - Guitar
Probably Scotty Moore - Guitar
Probably R.W. McGhee - Bass
Probably Al Jackson - Drums

Photo Front Cover: Ernie Barton
Courtesy: Courtesy Colin Escott

Photo Back Cover: Tracy Pendarvis end Ray Smith
Courtesy: Colin Escott and L. Smith

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-4A/B) mono

The country music of Memphis in the 1960s was never as distinctive as that which earlier helped spawn rockabilly music. In fact, country releases on Sun were few and far between. Nevertheless, this album does contain some excellent music, much of it previously unissued.

Eddie Bond has been an integral part of Memphis music scene for many years, as singer, disc jockey and local personality. In January 1962, he recorded two sessions at the Echo Studio on Manassas Avenue for Jack Clement and Stan Kesler. The sessions were then sold to Sam Phillips. A mediocre gospel LP was issued at the time, leaving these fine country performances boxed away on a shelf. The songs derive mostly from the early to mid-1950s and it is understandable that Sam Phillips was not attracted by them as a commercial prospect in 1962. Now that the commercial pressures are nearly three decades behind us, however, these performances certainly merit release. Eddie Bond sings with some feeling, and he was well supported by good band led by John Hughey on steel guitar.

Other local disc jockey also found themselves on Sun Records at various time. Texas Bill Strength was better known than most, having recorded for major labels through the 1950s. Don Scaife's unissued Sun session was in a similar smooth-voiced country style to Strength's contrasting with Jimmy Louis' bluesier approach. Going back uptown, former Presley girlfriend Anita Wood issued a passable Patsy Cline imitation in 1961, but like other Sun country records it still sold less than Johnny Cash's back catalogue.

It would be several years before Sam Phillips would attempt a blatant update of the Cash sound on Sun. The artist was Dane Stinit, who managed to turn in several good recordings modelled on the Cash style to mark the end of the country music era on Sun.

Record 4 Side 7 ''One More Memory''
7.1 - Satisfied (Eddie Bond) (Original PILP 1980)
7.2 - Rockin' Daddy (Eddie Bond) (Not Originally Issued)
7.3 - Double Duty Lovin' (Eddie Bond) (Not Originally Issued)
7.4 - Back Street Affair (Eddie Bond) (Not Originally Issued)
7.5 - I Can't Quit (Eddie Bond) (Unissued)
7.6 - You Nearly Lose Your Mind (Eddie Bond) (Unissued)
7.7 - One More Memory (Eddie Bond) (Unissued)
7.8 - They'll Never take Her Love From Me (Eddie Bond) (Unissued)
7.9 - My Bucket's Got A Hole In It (Eddie Bond) (Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

Record 4 Side 8 ''One More Memory''
8.1 - Guess I'd Better Go (Texas Bill Strength > Sun 346-B < 
8.2 - Call The Wild (Texas Bill Strength) (Not Originally Issued
8.3 - Drunken Gambler (Don Scaife) (Unissued)
8.4 - Gone And Left Blues (Jimmy Louis) > PI 3565-A < 
8.5 - I'll Wait Forever (Anita Wood) > Sun 361-A <
8.6 - Shot Out Of The Saddle (Dane Stinit) (Unissued)
8.7 - Don't Knock What You Don't Understand (Dane Stinit) > Sun 402-A <
8.8 - Muddy Old River (Dane Stinit) > Sun 405-A <
Original Sun Recordings

Name (Or. No of Instruments)
7.1 to 7.9 (Echo Studio, Memphis, January 29 and February 13, 1962)
Eddie Bond - Vocal and Guitar
John Hughey - Steel Guitar
Jimmy Smith - Piano
Toomstone Hawkins - Bass
Morris Tarrant - Drums
Gilbert Mickle - Fiddle

Note: ''One More Memory'' and ''My Bucket's Got A Hole In It'' were released with overdubs on Millionaire MLP 6118. The undubbed versions are released here for the first time. Remixed by Dave Roys and Colin Escott, Singleton Studio, Nashville, May 1987.

8.1 & 8.2 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, July 19, 1960)
Texas Bill Strength - Vocal
Scotty Moore - guitar
Unknown - Steel Guitar
Larry Mohoberac - Piano
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
D.J. Fontana - Drums

8.3 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, July 19, 1960)
Don Saife - Vocal
Scotty Moore - guitar
Unknown - Steel Guitar
Larry Mohoberac - Piano
R.W. Stevenson - Bass
D.J. Fontana - Drums

8.4 (No Details, Leased from Nita Records)
Jimmy Louis - Vocal

8.5 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, December 28, 1960)
Anita Wood - Vocal
Unknown Group

8.6 to 8.8 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, November 26, 1966)
Dane Stinit - Vocal and Guitar
Reggie Young - Guitar
Bobby Wood - Piano and Organ
Mike Leech - Bass
Gene Chrisman - Drums

8.9 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, January 29, 1966)
Dane Stinit - Vocal and Guitar
Bill Yates - Piano and Organ
Billy Wood - Bass
Billy Adams - Drums

Photo Front Cover : Eddie Bond & The Stompers, 1962.
L-R: Jimmy Smith, Tarp Tarrant, Gilbert Mickel, Eddie Bond and John Hughey.
Courtesy: Webbs/Gallicott/Escott

Photo Back Cover: Dane Stinit (L) with Corky and Betty Ford, Gary, Indiana, 1959.
Courtesy: Colin Escott

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-5A/B) mono

Very little rhythm and blues had been recorded at Sun in the late 1950s when the label's energies were channelled into rock and roll.

By the 1960s, the character of rhythm and blues music had also changed and Sam Phillips found himself working in an almost totally new environment. During a period which saw the energence of soul music as a national force, with a particularly strong emanating from Memphis, Sun Records recorded very little contemporary black music.

This album reflects Sun's approach to black music in the 1960s. Sam Phillips would occasionally record someone he thought was good, but usually these would be one-off deals or maverick ideas. There was no planned or sustained campaign aimed at getting back into the changing black music market.

Bill Johnson's 1960 recordings offer some 1950s style rhythm and blues after the hit style Of Lloyd Price. The musicians he used at that time would soon become better known as James Brown's backing band.

Frank Ballard and the Philip Reynolds Band made an LP for Phillips International in 1962 - a concept record aimed at the teenage market. Ballard was a distant relation to the then hot singer Hank Ballard, which may have influenced Phillips' decision to issue the record. Several of the titles we have pulled from Ballard's sessions are previously unissued and they reveal a schooled yet bluesy band, in contrast to some of the more uptown and gimmicky items on the original L.P.

Ultimately, though, Frank Ballard' music was based upon 1950s rhythm and blues. Jeb Stuart, on the other hand, could have offered something new at Sun, although the label chose to emphasise the smoother, Brook Benton-styled aspects of his voice. This was not down-home Memphis soul. This was smooth-voiced rhythm and soul, never raucous but always engaging. We have again included some unissued titles and alternative versions. These show just how good a singer Stuart was, capable of a soulful, gospel-based approach that was largely produced-out of his issued singles.

Finally, in one concession to prevailing trends in soul music, Sam and Knox Phillips recorded a local vocal group, The Climates, who unerringly reproduced the New York, Memphis and Detroit soul sounds. They saw one record on the Holiday Inn label and one on Sun right at the end of the label's existence.

The deeper roots of black music are picked up in album seven of this set which concentrates on Sun's forays into the blues and gospel fields during the 1960s.

Record 5 Side 9 ''Betcha Gonna Like It''
9.1 - Bobaloo (Bill Johnson) > Sun 340-A < 
9.2 - You Better Dig It (Bill Johnson) (Unissued)
9.3 - Shake 'Em Up Baby (Frank Ballard) (Unissued)
9.4 - No-One To Call Your Own (Frank Ballard) (Unissued)
9.5 - Move On Down The Line (Frank Ballard) (Unissued)
9.6 - If That's The Way It Is (You Better Move On) (Frank Ballard) (Originally PILP 1985)
9.7 - I See Trouble Down The Road (Frank Ballard) (Originally PILP 1985)
9.8 - I Just Can't Help It (Frank Ballard) (Originally PILP 1985)
Original Sun Recordings

Record 5 Side 10 ''Betcha Gonna Like It''
10.1 - Just Walkin' In The Rain (Jeb Stuart) (Not Originally Issued)
10.2 - Coming Down With The Blues (Jeb Stuart) > PI 3567-A <
10.3 - I Betcha Gonna Like It (Jeb Stuart) > PI 3575-A < 
10.4 - I'm In Love Again (Jeb Stuart) > PI 3580-B <
10.5 - I Ain't Never (Jeb Stuart) (Unissued Alternative)
10.6 - Will I Ever Be Free (Jeb Stuart) (Unissued)
10.7 - All My Weakness (The Climates) (Unissued)
10.8 - No You For Me (The Climates) > Sun 404-A <
10.9 - Breakin' Up Again (The Climates) > Sun 404-B < 
Original Sun Recordings

Name (Or. No of Instruments)
9.1 & 9.2 (Probably 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, January 14, 1960)
Bill Jonson - Vocal
Clair Pinckney - Tenor Saxophone
Al Brisco Clark - Alto Saxophone
John Wingfield - Guitar
Hubert Perry - Bass
Sammie Johnson - Drums

9.3 to 9.8 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, February-March 1962)
Frank Ballard - Vocal
Phillip Reynolds - Tenor Saxophone
Frank Reed - Trombone
Clarence Render - Trumpet
Kurl McKinney - Piano
James E. Matthews - Guitar
Ike Price - Bass
Chester N. Maxwell - Drums

10.1 & 10.5 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Date)
Jeb Stuart - Vocal and Piano

10.3 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Probably 1961)
Jeb Stuart - Vocal
William Maharrey - Saxophone
Robert Oldham - Saxophone
Larry Mohoberac - Piano
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Brad Suggs - Guitar
Al Jackson - Drums

10.4 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Probably 1962)
Jeb Stuart - Vocal
Robert Oldham - Horns
Floyd Newman - Horns
Booker T. Jones - Organ
Larry Mohoberac - Piano
Scotty Moore - Guitar
Steve Cropper - Guitar and Bass
Al Jackson - Drums

10.7 to 10.9 (Probably 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Probably 1967
The Climates - Vocals
Charles Chalmers - Horns
Floyd Newman - Horns
Bobby Wood - Piano and Organ
Reggie Young - Guitar
Mike Leech - Bass
Gene Chrisman - Drums

Front Cover:Frank Ballard
Courtesy: Colin Escott
Back Cover: Bill Johnson & Jeb Stuart
Courtesy: Colin Escott

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-6A/B) mono

Although the innovative Sun sound Of the 1950s had fused elements of rhythm and blues with country music, the practitioners of those respective arts had pursued entirely separate lives.

In the 1960s, Memphis saw signs of change. The classic soul music of the Stax and Hi studios came bout from integration on the studio floor and from a growing white appreciation of rhythm and blues music as such rather than as something to be ''covered'' for the pop market.

So it was too at Sun, where as much rhythm and blues was recorded by white singers as by blacks. Billy Adams and Bill Yates ran a popular local band which specialised in rhythm and blues. They played with some style and success, if perhaps little originality. Adams was the drummer, journeyman vocalist and bandleader, while Yates was the pianist and an alto ether better singer. We have included here several sides from their best singles, cut between 1963 and 1966, together with some very worthwhile alternative takes and the unissued ''Poison Ivy''.

The Jesters were a group of younger musicians whose personal varied but was centred around guitarist Teddy Paige and Jerry Phillips (Sam's son). They were a studio band rather than a working group. Depending on who was present at the time, the group was capable of fairly uninteresting copies of the British beat sound, itself based on rhythm and blues, or it could turn in really fine roots rhythm and blues in the best Memphis tradition. We have concentrated here on the latter style.

The first four tracks feature the group at their very best, with Jim Dickinson on vocal and piano. Other titles have Tommy Minga singing and there is also an interesting unissued white soul ballad from Jimmie Day, recorded at a time when the Jesters' rhythm section was playing locally as Jimmie Day and the Nites.

Record 6 Side 11 ''Cadillac Man''
11.1 - Stop, Wait And Listen (Bill Yates) > Sun 390-B <
11.2 - Don't Step On My Dog (Bill Yates) > Sun 390-A < 
11.3 - Poison Ivy (Billy Adams) (Unissued)
11.4 - Too Late To Right My Wrong (Bill Yates) > Sun 397-B < 
11.5 - Trouble In Mind (Billy Adams) > Sun 391-A < 
11.6 - Reconsider Baby (Billy Adams) (Unissued Take)
11.7 - Big Big World (Bill Yates) > Sun 399-A < 
11.8 - Rock Me Baby (Billy Adams) > Sun 401-B <
Original Sun Recordings

Record 6 Side 12 ''Cadillac Man''
12.1 - Cadillac Man (1) (The Jesters) > Sun 400-A <
12.2 - My Babe (The Jesters) > Sun 400-B <
12.3 - Night Train From Chicago (The Jesters) (Unissued)
12.4 - Jim Dandy And Sweet 16* (The Jesters) (Unissued
12.5 - Heartbreak Hotel (The Jesters) (Unissued)
12.6 - Boppin' The Blues (The Jesters) (Unissued)
12.7 - What's So Good About Goodbye (Jimmie Day & The Jesters) (Unissued)
12.8 - Cadillac Man (2) (The Jesters) (Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

*Note: Slight fault on master tape.

Name (Or. No. of Instruments)
11.1 & 11.2 (Probably 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, April 6, 1964
Bill Yates - Vocal and Piano
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Gene Parker - Drums
Russ Carlton - Saxophone

11.3 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, December 28, 1963)
Billy Adams - Vocal and Drums
Bill Yates - Vocal and Piano
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Russ Carlton - Saxophone

11.4 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, September 21, 1964)
Bill Yates - Vocal and Piano
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Al Jackson - Drums
Russ Carlton - Saxophone

11.5 & 11.6 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, September 21, 1964)
Billy Adams - Vocal and Drums
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass and Vocal 11.5
Russ Carlton - Saxophone

11.7 & 11.8 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, January 11, 1966)
Bill Yates - Vocal and Piano 11.7
Billy Adams - Vocal 11.8
Unknown Female Vocal
Russ Carlton - Saxophone
Lee Atkins - Guitar
Duck Dunn - Drums

12.2 to 12.4 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Dates Later 1965) (Session filed January 22, 1966)
Jim Dickinson - Vocal and Piano
Teddy Paige - Guitar
Jerry Phillips - Guitar and Maraccas
Billy Wulfers - (Bass)
Eddie Robertson - Drums

Note: Mixed by Frank Green & Colin Escott, November 1987.
''Cadillac Man'' slightly extended from original single version.

12.5 & 12.6 & 12.8 639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Dates)
Tommy Minga - Vocal
Teddy Paige - Guitar
Jerry Phillips - Guitar and Maraccas
Billy Wulfers - (Bass)
Eddie Robertson - Drums

12.7 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, Unknown Date)
Jimmie Day
Teddy Paige - Guitar
Jerry Phillips - Guitar and Maraccas
Billy Wulfers - (Bass)
Eddie Robertson - Drums

Photo Front Cover: L-R Bill Yates & Billy Adams
Courtesy: Colin Escott/Mississippi Valley Collection

Photo Back Cover: L-R Jerry Phillips, Sam Phillips, Eddie Robertson, Billy Wulfers, Teddy Page, Sun studio.
Courtesy: Jimmy Dickinson/Colin Escott

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-7A/B) mono

The original roots of the Sun label were to be found in Sam Phillips' penchant for gospel and down-home blues. Occasionally during the 1960s Sam and his sons would make an artistically rewarding return to those roots, as demonstrated on this album.

The Brother James Anderson recordings have a strange history. They were recorded in 1962 using Memphis session musicians, black and white, and released five years later by Knox Phillips. Anderson himself is from Chicago area but travels widely as a minister and made the recordings during one of his brief stays in Memphis.

Having been recorded, the tapes then sat on a shelf for 5 years until Knox Phillips decided to launch a series of gospel records on Sun. He pulled two Anderson titles for Sun 406, the penultimate Sun record. The rest of the series never materialised. Now, over 20 years later, we have used several other good gospel tracks from those sessions. Unfortunately Anderson himself remains to be interviewed, but his music tells its own story.

Turning to the blues, Sam Phillips personally supervised fine sessions in 1962 with Frank Frost, a roots blues man from Lula, Mississippi. With Frost's own band providing minimally support, these sessions produced high quality blues of some originality while retaining the basic delta blues sound. That sound was then gaining exposure through Jimmy Reed's rhythm and blues and pop hits on VJ Records, and this development may have been a factor in Phillips' decision to issue an album by Frost.

Three years later, a bluesman of even longer pedigree came into the new studio in the form of Arbee Stidham. Produced by Knox Phillips, the sessions found a level somewhere between the traditional and the modern and it is surprising that nothing was issued at the time.

Finally, right at the end of the Sun story, Jerry Phillips produced blues singer and drummer Cliff Jackson for the short-lived Midnight Sun label in 1969. Phillips' colleague from the Jesters, Teddy Paige, played all instruments. Other than drums and together he and Jackson made very creditable blues. Jellean Delk takes vocal honours on ''Frank, This It Is'', the style of the song harking back to ''Sinner's Dream'' and other recordings from Ike Türner's bands of the early 1950s.

Record 7 Side 13 ''Frank, This Is It''
13.1 - I'm Tired, My Soul Needs Resting (Brother James Anderson) > Sun 406-B < 
13.2 - Gonna Move In The Room With Thew Lord (Brother James Anderson) > Sun 406-A < 
13.3 - Workin' Diggin' Deeper (Brother James Anderson) (Unissued)
13.4 - Hush Hush (Somebody Call My Name) (Brother James Anderson) (Unissued)
13.5 - Nobody's Bloodstains (Brother James Anderson) (Unissued)
13.6 - What Can I Do (Brother James Anderson) (Unissued)
13.7 - Going Home With Jesus (Brother James Anderson) (Unissued)
13.8 - On My Appointed Time (Brother James Anderson) (Unissued)
Original Sun Recordings

Record 7 Side 14 ''Frank, This Is It''
14.1 - Jelly Roll King (Frank Frost) (Original PILP 1975)
14.2 - Crawl Back (Frank Frost) (Original PILP 1975)
14.3 - Take The Pain From My Heart (Arbee Stidham) (Unissued)
14.4 - Please Let It Be Me (Arbee Stidham) (Not Originally Issued)
14.5 - My Heart Belongs To You (Arbee Stidham) (Not Originally Issued)
14.6 - Can't Live In This World By Myself (Arbee Stidham) (Not Originally Issued)
14.7 - Nine Below Zero (Cliff Jackson) (Originally Midnight Sun 2)
14.8 - Frank, This It It (Cliff Jackson & Jellean Delk) (Original Midnight Sun 2)
Original Sun Recordings

Name (Or. No. of Instruments)
13.1 to 13.8 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, 1962)
Bother James Anderson - Vocal
Chips Moman - Guitar
Roland Janes - Bass
Lester Robertson - Piano and Organ
Al Jackson - Drums

14.1 & 14.2 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, April 28, 1962)
Frank Frost - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
Jack Johnson - Guitar
Sam Carr - Drums
Roland Janes - Bass

14.3 to 14.7 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, May 25, 1965)
Arbee Stidham - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Group

14.8 & 14.9 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, 1969)
Cliff Jackson - Vocal and Drums
Jellean Delk - Vocal 14.8
Teddy Paige - Guitar, Bass and Harmonica

Photo Front Cover: Buying clothes on Beale Street, 1966
Courtesy: E.C. Withers/Colin Escott

Photos Back Cover: Arbee Stidham, Frank Frost, and Cliff Jackson
Courtesy: Sun International Corporation

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


© April 1989 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm ''Sun Records - Into The Sixties'' (Sun Box 109-8A/B) mono

The prime concern of Shelby Singleton when he purchased the Sun tapes in 1969 was to recycle the old Sun catalogue for both the album and singles markets. However, it was also his intention to re-establish Sun as a singles label for new material, primarily in the country market.

The first newly-recorded single on Sun International came out in 1969. Fittingly it was by one of Sun's rockabilly stalwarts, Billy Riley. ''Kay'' was recorded in the Sounds of Memphis studio with the nucleus of a band that would become known as the Dixie Flyers and which would contribute much to the Memphis-based sessions of the Atlantic/Stax labels. Riley's contact in the band was Jim Dickinson, whom Riley had met when he turned up to play harmonica on an Albert Collins blues album.

''Kay'' was a classy debut midway between country and rock. Even Sam Phillips was moved to tell Dickinson that he felt it to be the best record Riley ever made.

We have included here all six sides issued by Riley on Sun International, plus 3 cuts which were unissued at the time. Six of these sides were made during three Memphis sessions in 1969, ''San Francisco Lady'', ''Tallahassee'' and ''Old Home Place'' were recorded the following year in Florida. Billy Riley had been hired by Shelby Singleton to produce recordings at a studio he owned in Valparaiso. Six titles were made there by Riley but only two were issued. It was previously thought that Riley had played all instruments on these sessions, but it now appears that a session band was used, as detailed on this sleeve.

Because he originally recorded for Sun in its rockabilly heyday, Riley's later Sun International recordings will always be received with less acclaim. It is true that some of them are derivations from well-known 1960s styles, but they are none the less enjoyable for that. One or two are true milestones in southern music in their own right.

Side Two of this Sun International retrospective focuses on artists signed by Singleton in the 1970s with roots in the old Sun sound.

Jerry Dyke was actually contracted to Sam Phillips before Singleton and his record was a direct result of the retained Memphis connection.

Sleepy La Beef recorded both for Singleton's Plantation label and for Sun International. On stage he was then, as now, a guardian of the old rockabilly sounds and possessed a massive repertoire. Recording for both Singleton's Plantation and Sun labels, he inclined toward country music and almost broke through to success on several occasions. The songs here concentrate on the moodier side of his Arkansas country roots.

Bobby Trammell had a lengthy career in rock and country behind him before recording a very good latter day rocker for Sun. Finally, Murray Kellum had been rejected from the original Sun label before he a hit with ''Long Tall Texan'' on Hi Records. He was working in Nashville as a songwriter when he recorded ''Memphis Sun'' for Plantation. It is a rockabilly-era of little originality but plenty of feeling. It is a reminder of the continuing regard held for Sun Records in the music world.

Record 8 Side 15 ''Sun International''
15.1 - Kay (Billy Riley) (Original Sun Int 1100)
15.2 - Lookin' For My Baby (Billy Riley) (Original Sun Int 1100)
15.3 - Pilot Town, LA (Billy Riley) (Original Sun Int 1105)
15.4 - Workin' On The River (Billy Riley) (Original Sun Int 1105)
15.5 - Sun Goin' Down On Frisco (Billy Riley) (Not Originally Issued)
15.6 - Nitty Gritty Mississippi (Billy Riley) (Not Originally Issued)
15.7 - San Francisco Lady (Billy Riley) (Not Originally Issued)
15.8 - Tallahassee (Billy Riley) (Originally Sun Int 1116)
15.9 - The Old Home Place (Billy Riley) (Originally Sun Int 1116)
Original Sun International Recordings

Record 8 Side 15 ''Sun International''
16.1 - Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Jerry Dyke) (Original Sun Int 1109)
16.2 - Blackland Farmer (Sleepy La Beef) (Original Sun Int LP 130)
16.3 - I'm Ragged But I'm Right (Sleepy La Beef) (Not Originally Issued
16.4 - Stormy Monday Blues (Sleepy La Beef) (Not Originally Issued)
16.5 - There Ain't Much Left After Texas (Sleepy La Beef) Original Sun Int 1134)
16.6 - Jenny Lee (Bobby Lee Trammell) (Original Sun Int 1135)
16.7 - It's All Your Fault (Bobby Lee Trammell) (Original Sun Int 1135)
16.8 - Memphis Sun (Murray Kellum) Original Plantation 176)
Original Sun International/Plantation Recordings

Name (Or. No. of Instruments)
15.1 (Sounds of Memphis Studio, 1969)
Billy Riley - Vocal
Charlie Freeman - Guitar
Jim Dickinson - Piano
Tommy McLure - Bass
Sammy Greason - Drums
Wayne Jackson - Horns
Andrew Love - Horns

15.2 (Memphis, 1969)
Billy Riley - Vocal
Unknown - Harmonica, Guitar, Bass and Drums

15.3 to 15.6 (Sounds of Memphis Studio, 1969)
Billy Riley - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
Teddy Paige - Guitar
Jim Dickinson - Piano
Stan Kesler - Bass
Louis Paul - Drums

15.7 to 15.9 (Playground Studio, Valparaiso, Florida, March 30/31, 1970
Billy Riley - Vocal
John Atkins - Guitar
R.J. Benninghoff - Piano
Larry Shell - Acoustic Guitar
Kent Phillips - Bass
David Atkins - Drums

16.1 (639 Madison Avenue, Memphis, 1969)
Jerry Dyke - Vocal
Unknown Group

16.2 to 16.5 (Singleton Sound Studio, Nashville, 1970-1979)
Sleepy La Beef - Vocal and Guitar
Various Unknown Bands

16.6 & 16.7 (Music Mill Studio, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 1977)
Bobby Lee Trammell - Vocal
Unknown Bands

16.8 (Singleton Sound Studio, Nashville, December 11, 1977, Vocal overdub December 23)
Murray Kellum - Vocal and Guitar
Stan Chase - Bass
Jerry Bruno - Drums

Photo Front Cover: Billy Riley, 1969
Courtesy: Colin Escott

Photos Back Cover : Sleepy La Beef, Murray Kellum, and Billy Riley
Courtesy: Colin Escott

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


By Colin Escott

As the 1960s wore on and both Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich departed for the greener climate at Mercury, Sam Phillips gradually lost interest in Sun Records. Much of the day-by-day activity of the label devolved to general manager Bill Fitzgerald and Sam's older son Knox. By the mid-1960s Knox was approaching the business of making records with much the same enthusiasm that his father had shown fifteen years earlier.

On working at Sun Records

''I started off shipping out promo copies. Even though we hadn't had a hit of any size since ''What'd I Say'' we still sampled 3500-4000 disc jockeys, distributors etc. We had a hand cranked stencil machine with all their addresses and one of my first jobs at the new studio was to ship out these samples records. At night they would often cut sessions and I used to keep the log on the tape boxes and so on''.

''Then, while I was at Southwestern (Vocational and Technical College), I started experimenting with the equipment and I just set out to find some artists who would experiment with me. I didn't have a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and most of it was self-taught. I just wanted something really strange because I had been raised on Jerry Lee Lewis sessions and drunk Charlie Rich sessions. I started experimenting with Randy and The Radiants and then ,later, with the Jesters, Jimmy Day and the Nights, Bob Simon and so on''.

On the studio equipment

''We had a four track machine and then we installed a three track machine because Scotty Moore wanted to be compatible with the studios in Nashville which were all working to three track, in those days. There were also two single track monaural machine in tandem with the multi-track and Sam would always regard what he got on the single track as the mix''.

''The console was arranged like a 'V'. It was very futuristic. I never had much to do with the equipment in Nashville. I know that it was sold along with the studio but we later got some of it back and used it in the Trace Studio that Sam opened with Ray Harris in Tupelo''.

On The Reasons For Sun Records' Demise

''The basic reason I believe was that Sam wasn't going to gamble the money promoting records any more. He had seen some of his friends go broke, such as the people who ran Vee-Jay, and he became just a little too conservative when the Memphis music industry really took off in the mid-1960s. That's a pity because the independent distribution network was still fairly strong. We would sample each record everywhere and we would test market most of them in a specific area. Bill Fitzgerald would hire independent guys in these markets to promote records – and we still had some records that sold strongly on a regional level. The problem was that there wasn't a commitment of spirit''.

Knox Phillips on the end of Sun Records

''There wasn't a moment when we said, ÓK, that's the last record we put out on Sun'. I just wanted to get some money behind something and then the Holiday Inn deal came along and that was the tacit end of Sun Records. I thought that if I produced something for Holiday Inn that there would at least become cash behind it''.

''I personally pushed the idea of selling the Sun Records catalogue. I know that Shelby had approached Sam back when he was working for Mercury. I remember that it went so far that Irving Green (Mercury president) came down but nothing ever happened. Sam didn't see it as a major priority. I know that Columbia talked to him, probably because they wanted the Johnny Cash masters, and Jerry Wexler came down from Atlantic. We also talked at some length to Chess. I knew Marshall Chess because he was my generation. I told Sam he should go with Chess. Marshall came down to see us with Eddie Braddock but, once again, it didn't get finalized''.

''I know that Sam had higher offers for Sun Records than Shelby's offer but he knew that Shelby would work the catalogue and would keep the Sun logo alive. I was all in favour of it at first because Shelby was hot in those days. I placed quite a few masters with Shelby immediately after we signed the deal. We produced some great records and those were great times. We had big hits with the Gentrys and that Cliff Jackson record should have been a monster. There were signs that it was going to break and then it just unaccountably died. That could have been a very profitable deal for Shelby and I both but it fell apart unfortunately''.

Knox Phillips interviewed by Colin Escott, December 10, 1987

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