"Rocket 88" tops the Rhythm & Blues charts.
Sam Phillips quits his two other jobs (i.e. WREC and Hotel Peabody).
Sam Phillips records his first session with white
Folk and Blues artist Harmonica Frank Floyd. He sends the dubs to Chess Records.
Sam Phillips record his final session with B.B. King.
The first commercial computer to be created in the U.S., the UNIVAC (Universal Automatic Computer), was dedicated for use at the U.S. Census Bureau during June of 1951. The computer was designed by Presper Eckert
and John Mauchly and was created by the Remington Rand company. Eckert and Mauchly had also created the first general-purpose computer (ENIAC) in 1946. The data-processing machine had 5,000 vacuum tubes, weighed about 16,000 pounds, and measured 14.5 by 7.5
by 9 feet in size. UNIVAC was an improved version of ENIAC and the first successful commercial computer created for civilian use. It could do about 1,000 calculations in a second, improving the efficiency of the Census Bureau.
Studio session with Walter Horton at The Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.
By the middle of 1951, however, pianist and future Sun recording star, Roy Hall had again
made his way to Detroit where he briefly formed a new group named The Eagles, recording for Detroit's Citation Records.
JUNE 1, 1951 FRIDAY
Lefty Frizzell recorded eight Jimmie Rodgers songs at the Jim Back Studio in Dallas, Texas, including ''Travellin' Blues''.
World War II movie ''Fighting Coast Guards'' opens in theaters with music by The Sons Of The Pioneers.
JUNE 3, 1951 SUNDAY
Louisville, Kentucky, celebrates Pee Wee King Day.
Lula Grace Wood, the future Jan Howard, welcomes her third son, David Bryan Wood, in
Elvis Presley walked over to the 1132 Kansas Avenue to take a look at the building. He then went home and called Whitehall 8-1652, and asked if they
were hiring. A day later, on June 3, 1951, Elvis Presley filled out an employment application and was hired to work from 7:00 a.m. to 3:20 p.m at Precision Tool Corporation, located at 1132 Kansas Avenue, across McLemore Avenue.
JUNE 4, 1951 MONDAY
Decca released Red Foley's ''(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)''.
JUNE 6, 1951 WEDNESDAY
Songwriter Jon Vezner is born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He authors such hits
as ''Then What?'' by Clay Walker, ''If I Didn't Love You'' by Steve Wariner and ''Where've You Been'' by his wife, Kathy Mattea.
JUNE 8, 1951 FRIDAY
Tony Rice is born in Danville, Virginia. A highly admired bluegrass guitarist, he joins J.D. Crowe and The New South in the 1970s, where his bandmates for a short time include Rocky Skaggs
and dobro ace Jerry Douglas.
Carl Smith recorded ''(When You Feel Like You're In Love) Don't Just Stand There'' in the afternoon at the Tulane Hotel's Castle Studio in
JUNE 9, 1951 SATURDAY
''Rocket 88'' hit number 1 on the Billboard
Rhythm and Blues charts and stayed there well into July. By the end of August it would sell over one hundred thousand copies. In the ads that Chess Records took out in the trade magazines the sky was clearly the limit. ''Climbing to the Top'', proclaimed the
girl in the bathing suit, who sat astride a crudely drawn version of the same rocket on which a fully clothed, giddily excited young married couple was perched in the original Oldsmobile ad for ''a driver's dream come true''. But for all of the promise that
the ''Hottest Little Label in the Country'' held out for their sensational new act, the seeds for the band's dissolution were already planted and well under way.
what it came down to in the view of everyone except the principal figure himself was that Jackie Brenston had gotten the big head. Ike Turner was still seething that Jackie's names had gone on the record when everyone knew it was Ike's band. But it wasn't
just Ike, who might have been volatile under the best of circumstances. Raymond Hill, the sixteen-year-old lead saxophonist, was sufficiently irked that he commandeered the band and played gigs around the Delta as Raymond Hill and His Delta Cats, on occasion
featuring ''Jackie Brimson'', while the real Jackie Brenston was out on his own. According to Ike's admittedly imperfect recollection, the only date the original band played together following the record's release was the triumphant Handy Theatre performance
on April 7 and 8, and while that may not have been the literal truth, it didn't miss the mark by much. In fact, when Leonard Chess pressed Sam Phillips for a follow-up by the band, it proved so impossible to get Jackie and the Kings of Rhythm back in the studio
at the same time that, with Leonard's permission, Sam picked out a ''Rocket''-styled number written by versatile pianist Billy Love and recorded Billy playing and singing it with an all-star Memphis contingent behind him. He then purchased both song(''Juiced'')
and performance from its author and gave it to the record company to put out under Jackie's name.
For the first time, Sam Phillips felt like his star was truly in the
ascendancy. Chess rush-released two more of his recordings in this new hard-driving ''swing boogie'' style, including a gruff-voiced novelty item ''Night Workin' Blues'' backed with ''Why Did You DeeGee?'' (Chess 1466) by Rufus Thomas, the WDIA disc jockey
who had hosted the Handy Theatre show. The Biharis, too, suddenly seemed more receptive, as Sam completed an animated B.B. King session, this time showcasing B.B.'s own lead guitar, delivered another unclassifiable number by Rosco Gordon and sent in sides
by eccentric blues drummer Willie Nix and harmonica wizard Walter Horton in the gutbucket blues style that he himself personally favored. Perhaps almost as significant, a western swing outfit from Chester, Pennsylvania, called Bill Haley and the Saddlemen
put out a cover version of ''Rocket 88'', and while Sam didn't think much of Haley's version, it didn't come close in his view to matching the intensity or drive of the original, the very fact of its popularity with a white audience went a long way toward
proving a point that he found himself returning to again and again in conversation with Leonard Chess and the Bihari brothers; this music didn't have to be limited to an audience of a certain complexion, this music wasn't restricted to any one segment of the
population, this was a music that, by its very nature, potentially had universal appeal.
JUNE 10, 1951 SUNDAY
''Casa Manana'', a musical about an entrepreneur opening a Mexican restaurant, appears in theaters. Spade Cooley provides the band.
12, 1951 TUESDAY
The Weavers recorded the pop hit ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine''. Six years later, it's revived as a pop and country crossover hit by Jimmie Rodgers.
JUNE 15, 1951 FRIDAY
Ernest Tubb recorded the Ray Price-written ''Hey La La'' during an evening
session at Nashville's Castle Studio.
JUNE 16, 1951 SATURDAY
Hank and Audrey
Williams hold grand opening for a new clothing store, Hank & Audrey's Corral, at 724 Commerce Street in downtown Nashville. Lefty Frizzell is on hand for the activities.
17, 1951 SUNDAY
Pop singer Lenny LeBlanc is born in Leominster, Massachusetts. As a member of the duo LeBlanc & Carr, he's part of the 1977 hit ''Falling''. He also
writes Sawyer Brown's 1996 country hit ''Treat Her Right''.