© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
 

Sun Records The Blues Years 1950-1956, Sun Box 105 set, contains 9 vinyl LP discs each in a feature-packed photos and information individual sleeve in addition to an LP-size 44-page book filled with interviews, a complete session discographies, a chronological account of the blues years, features on the historic Memphis music scene of that era, and a wealth of period photos and illustrations by Martin Hawkins, Colin Escott, and Hank Davis.  Most importantly, however, is the music contained on the 9 discs, a total of 151 recordings by such artists as Howling Wolf, B. B. King, Jackie Brenston, Little Junior's Blue Flames, Walter Horton, James Cotton, Little Milton, Billy Emerson, Rosco Gordon, Lost John Hunter and many, many others.  Selections include here ''Boogie In The Park'', ''Rocket 88'', ''Ridin' The Boogie'', ''Sam's Drag'', ''4 O'Clock Blues'', ''Drivin' Slow'', ''Mystery Train'', ''Red Hot'', and scores of others.  You will listen to:  The Prisonaires singing ''Don't Say Tomorrow'', The Jones Brothers doing ''Gospel Train'', ''Sweet Home Chicago'' by Honeyboy Edwards.  This box set is a historical treasure trove of blues, gospel and rhythm and blues music from Memphis in the early fifties.  Many recordings had not been previously issued.
 
Contains
Record 1 Side 1 ''Boogie In The Park''
Lost John Hunter-Joe Hill Louis-Charlie Burse-Sleepy John Estes
Record 1 Side 2 ''Highway Man''
 Howlin' Wolf
Record 2 Side 3 ''Boogie In The Park''
B.B. King-Jackie Brenston-Lou Sargent-Billy Love
Record 2 Side 4 Sam's Drag
L.J. Thomas-Rosco Gordon-Rufus Thomas-Walter Smith-Houston Stokes
Record 3 Side 5 ''Drivin' Slow''
Johnny London-Handy Jackson-Rufus Thomas-Big Memphis Marainey
Record 3 Side 6 ''Mystery Train''
Little Junior's Blue Flames-William Stewart-The Prisonaires-Hunki Dory
Record 4 Side 7 ''Gospel Train''
The Brewsteraires-The Southern Jubilees-The Prisonaires-The Jones Brothers
Record 4 Side 8 ''Feel So Worried''
Doctor Ross-Henry Hill-Sammy Lewis-Willie Johnson Combo
Record 5 Side 9 ''Sellin' My Stuff''
Walter Horton-Jack Kelly-Jimmy DeBerry
Record 5 Side 10 ''Take A Little Chance''
Jimmy DeBerry-Willie Nix
Record 6 Side 11 ''Hoo Doo Man''
L.B. Lawson-Honey Boy Edwards-Albert Williams-Joe Hill Louis
Record 6 Side 12 ''Mistreatin' Boogie''
Mose Vinson-Joe Hill Louis
Record 7 Side 13 ''Greyhound Blues''
D.A. Hunt-Earl Hooker-Boyd Gilmore-Charlie Booker-Walter Bradford
Record 7 Side 14 ''Cotton Crop Blues'
James Cotton-Pat Hare-Hot Shot Love
Record 8 Side 15 ''My Baby Left Me''
James Banister-Dennis Binder-Raymond Hill-Tot Randolph-Johnny O'Neal
Record 8 Side 16 ''Lookin' For My Baby''
Little Milton-Houston Boines
Record 9 Side 17 ''Red Hot''
Billy Love-Billy Emerson-Eddie Snow
Record 9 Side 18 ''Gonna Shake It''
Billy Emerson-Rosco Gordon
 
Project Co-Ordination
Roger Dopson and John O'Toole
Original Boxed Set Compilation
Martin Hawkins, Hank Davis, Colin Escott, Bez Turner, Cilla Huggins
Original liner notes
Colin Escott, Hank Davis, Bez Turner, Martin Hawkins, Rob Bowman
© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-1 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - BOOGIE IN THE PARK - HIGHWAY MAN
 
Contains
Record 1 Side 1 ''Boogie In The Park''
 
For music (standard singles) on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
 
During me early years of the Memphis Recording Service Sam Phillips recorded a wide range of material including blues, rhythm and blues, gospel and hillbilly. Side 1 of this set reflects his early attempts to capture the contemporary music of country-based blues stylists and men who had establishes themselves in an earner era of the Memphis blues. Phillips made several recordings in the spring and summer of 1950, placing titles with 4-Star and Modem Records. He also released titles on the Phillips label. Although, this music is not thought typical pf Phillips' studio, he had been familiar with local musical styles from childhood and he cites his interest in them as the reason for establishing a recording studio.
 
1.1 Cool Down Mama (Lost John Hunter & The Blind Bats) (1950) 2:12 > 4-Star 1492-A <
(Lyndell Woodson) (Music Clearance)
Recorded probably May 1950 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Lost John Hunter (vocal and piano), The Blind Bats
Unknown (guitar, bass and drums)
 
There used to be some confusion surrounding the recording place and date of these tracks by Lost John Hunter. The mystery seems to de solved at last. Phillips sold the tracks to 4-Star Records and the 4-Star numbering system would seem to date their issue around May/June 1950. This song, currently published by Acuff-Rose, was registered with B.M.I. shortly after release in September, 1950. This means that the Hunter titles might have been the very first blues recordings made by Phillips; certainly they were the first he placed with a third party. Technicalities aside, this is a fine record. It is driven by the prominently recorded piano and Lost Johns grainy vocal. The track is essentially a jumping city blues without the horn section. The Blind Bats, Hunter's backup group, made their presence known by chanting the response. (CE)(HD)
 
1.2 - School Boy (Lost John Hunter & The Blind Bats) (1950) 2:49 > 4-Star 1492-B <
(Lyndell Woodson) (Music Clearence)
Recorded probably May 1950 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Lost John Hunter (vocal and piano), The Blind Bats
Unknown (guitar, bass and drums)
 
 

Lost John Hunter joins the long list of unlikely sounding "schoolboys" that includes Jimmy Reed, Peppermint Harris, and Fats Domino. Hunters confident vocal soars over the guitar-bass-piano backing. Both his vocal and piano sound more at home on slower tempos like this. (HD)(CE)

1.3 - Shorty The Barber (Charlie Burse) (1986) 2:25 Previously Unissued
(Chuck Mathews) (Cromwell Music)
Recorded probably May/June 1950 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Charlie Burse (vocal probably guitar), Mickey Mathis or Lotis Stevenson,
or Bunny Hall (saxophone), Robert Burse (probably drums)

Charlie Burse's last commercial session produced this vaudeville flavoured song reminiscent of the rollicking music produced by the jug bands in which he once worked. Despite his twenty five years' experience, Burse sings the light-hearted lyric with gusto as if relishing another chance to record. and the lively "knocked-out" piano is particularly appropriate. Despite this, the song remained unissued for some thirty five years. (BT)

1.4 - Boogie In The Park (Joe Hill Louis) (1950) 2:45 > It's The Phillips 9002 <
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control)
Recorded July July 27, 1950 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal and guitar), Ford Nelson (piano),
Unknown (drums)

Originally issued on Phillips' eponymous label this "Boogie" is a rough, stomping song driven by percussive guitar work and punctuated by a squeaky harmonica. Louis returned to the theme several times but never with the raw force of this his first recording. (BT)

1.5 - Gotta Let You Go (Joe Hill Louis) (1950) 2:43 > It's The Phillips 9001 <
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control)
Recorded July 27, 1950 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal and guitar), Ford Nelson (piano),
Unknown (drums)

The flip of Louis' first disc has a similarly percussive backing but the tempo is slowed to allow greater prominence to the lyric. It tells the tale of an unfaithful woman on whom our hero has lavished money but has received little in return. Its a common enough blues theme but the chanted vocal only adds to the air of malice generated by the harsh guitar lines. (BT)

1.6 - Registration Day Blues (Sleepy John Estes) (1976) 3:08 Not Originally Issued
(John Estes) (Tristan Music)
Recorded April 24, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sleepy John Estes (vocal and guitar), Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp (harmonica),
Possibly Hammie Nixon (washboard)

This topical blues is obviously about the Korean War although Estes may well nave originally written it about World War II. It shows off His unique style to good advantage and, interestingly, he is using an electric guitar. From his first to last recordings, Estes employed an anguished delivery in which he would forcefully project the first half of a line or verse and then breathlessly slur the rest. There are also some of Estes' biting observations to or found here: ''Now let's go boys,' Hold up for your town/ If you ever get back home/ You'll be on your same old paved ground". Documents indicate that both Peacock and Chess were interested in ''Registration Day Blues'' and ''Rats In My Kitchen'', but apparently a deal was never struck. (CE)(HD

1.7 - Policy Man (Sleepy John Estes) (1996) 3:12 Previously Unissued
(John Estes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 24, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sleepy John Estes (vocal and guitar), Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp (harmonica),
Possibly Hammie Nixon (washboard)

This track offers the closest glimpse of Estes' pre-war style. The song is a sales pitch for an insurance company! Its original working title was ''Burial Insurance Blues''. For only $3 you get full benefits. Just give up some whiskey money every week and, when they bring you home with a sheet over your face, you'll be all set. Whoopee. It's easy to see why Phillips sought to capture Estes on record. It is very pure music. Phillips could not have foreseen the folk boom of the early 1960s which led to the resurrection of Estes and many others. He must have thought mat Estes' back-country music was on the verge of extinction. (HD)(CE)

1.8 - Rats In My Kitchen (Sleepy John Estes) (1985) 3:05 Previously Unissued
(John Estes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 24, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sleepy John Estes (vocal and guitar), Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp (harmonica),
Possibly Hammie Nixon (washboard)

The rats are so mean in Sleepy John's kitchen he needs a mountain cat. When John made these recordings he was only 48 years old! His voice suggests a wizened old survivor of the blues scene in his 70s. Listening to his 1941 Bluebird sides suggests that the intervening decade had not been kind to Estes, or perhaps his chops had just become rusty. This track dates from the same April 1952 session as the other titles, although the harp player seems to have sat this one out. (CE)(HD)

1.9 - Runnin' Around (Sleepy John Estes) (1996) 3:03 Previously Unissued
(John Estes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 24, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sleepy John Estes (vocal and guitar), Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp (harmonica),
Possibly Hammie Nixon (washboard)

Sleepy John is not best known for his up-tempo numbers but this track shows he could accommodate them into his idiosyncratic style. There is quite a lot of energy generated from the limited personnel here and some fine interplay between harp and guitar. Estes' vocal has a plaintive feel mat adds to the overall appeal of the track. (CE)(HD)

Contains
Record 1 Side 2 ''Highway Man''

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

This side features a selection from the early recordings tracks by one of Phillips' greatest ''discoveries'' – Howlin' Wolf. Phillips undoubtedly had the last word on these tracks when he said, "The greatest thing you could see today would be the Howlln' Wolf doing one of those sessions in my studio. God, what it would be worth to see the fervour in that man's face when he sang. He cut everything out of his mind and sang with his damn soul! I mean his eyes would light up and your see the veins come out on the back of his neck. Awww. how different! How good! I would love to have recorded mat man until the day he died. I never would have given up on him''. (CE)

2.1 - Highway Man (Howlin' Wolf) (1976) 2:25 Not Originally Issued
(Chester Burnett) (Burton Limited)
Recorded January 23, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf 9vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Willie Steele (drums), Albert Williams or
Louis Calvin Hubert (piano)

Wolf plays and sings with such coruscating attack on this recording he could have saved the south at Gettysburg. Sure, it's a ''Rocket 88'' spin-off but it has a vitality that owes nothing to any other record. Albert Williams' piano is rock solid and Willie Johnson's guitar fairly bristles with energy. Wolf is popping his "p"s into the mike, but it just adds to the abandon of the record. The original working title of the song was ''Cadillac Daddy'', which was arguably better. (CE)(HD)

2.2 - My Troubles And Me (Howlin' Wolf) (1976) 3:15 Not Originally Issued
(Chester Burnett) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded: - January 23, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Willie Steel (drums), Albert Williams (piano)

On this track, Wolf's own performance is matched if not overshadowed by the guitar work with its jazz leanings and distorted tone. The guitarist is bursting with ideas which pour forth not only around Wolf's vocal, but under it as well. The mellow sound of Wolf's harmonica offers a stark contrast. The major rough spot on the record comes during the first four bars when the guitar and piano seem to be at cross purposes. There is a sax buried in the mix to little effect. (HD)(CE)

2.3 - Everybody's In The Mood (Howlin' Wolf) (1977) 2:55 Not Originally Issued
(Chester Burnett) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 17, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Willie Steel (drums),
Bill Johnson (piano)

On April 17, 1952 Wolf appeared at the Memphis Recording Service to record a session for Chess, for which he was paid $200. Although not issued, this cut would have made an easy jumping B side to any of Wolf''s standout early singles. The guitarist plays some boogie licks under Wolf's vocal, but it really is Wolf who drives the recording along from start to finish. (CE/HD)

2.4 - Decoration Day Blues (Howlin' Wolf) (1976) 3:14 Not Originally Issued
John Lee Williamson) Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded April 17, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Willie Steel (drums),
Bill Johnson (piano)

Wolf turns his hand to a prewar hit by Sonny Boy Williamson, originally recorded in 1938. There is a very tenuous start, which suggests that Wolf knew exactly where he was going, but neglected to tell anyone else. During the first 8-12 bars the accompanists seem to be struggling to find were they belonged in the three-chord jungle. A shift in the recording level during the first verse suggests that not even Phillips was sure what was happening, However, once Wolf begins his vocal, things settle down into a fairly conventional mid-tempo blues distinguished by some excellent harp work and a rather impassioned vocal. (HD/CE)

2.5 - Bluebird Blues (Howlin' Wolf) (1977) 2:47 Not Originally Issued
(Jonn Lee Williamson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 17, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Willie Steel (drums),
Bill Johnson (piano)

At this point in his career, Wolf's thoughts were already turning north, as evidenced by the imagery in this song. It may be a fair way from Wolf's best work, but it provides a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of his style. When Wolf finally made his move north, it was in a late model Buick rather than on a bluebird. Phillips forwarded Wolf's cut to Chess although it was never issued. The original acetate found its way onto a bootleg in 1979. In point of fact, this vintage blues (usually attributed to John Lee "Sonnyboy" Williamson) was very popular in the late 1930's and early 19'40s. Tommy 'McClellan's gravel voiced version from 1942 even bears a superficial resemblance to Wolf's version. Musicologists Robert Dixon and John Godrich have suggested that the "Bluebird" in McClennan's version referred to the label for which it was recorded. Fanciful speculation or not, all such meaning was lost by the time Wolf made the song his own. (CE/HD)

2.6 - Well That's Alright (Howlin' Wolf) (1976) 2:53 Not Originally Issued
(Chester Burnett) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded April 17, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Willie Steel (drums),
Bill Johnson (piano)

Well, things are not alright. This ain't a technical masterpiece although, by way of compensation, Wolf offers a standout vocal. There's also an infectious spirit to the recording which transcends many of the technical flaws. meres some very sloppy timing and the track may have been little more than a jam session; in fact, the introduction snows again that Wolf was fond of kicking things off without cueing in his sidemen. (CE/HD)

2.7 - My Baby Walked Off (Howlin' Wolf) (1976) 2:56 Not Originally Issued
(Chester Burnett) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 23, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar)
Unknown (bass), Willie Steel (drums), Albert Williams
or Louis Calvin Hubert (piano)

It's hard to fault Wolf's vocal on this performance. It has all the feral energy that we expect from the man at his best. The pianist seems to have some real problems adjusting to Wolf's music during the first chorus but men settles in unobtrusively. Wolf contributes some genuinely bizarre lines: "You know she's just my colour; she's just my kind/ I'm crazy 'bout the woman, she just walked off and died''. His vocal inflection on the repetition of "colour" is magical. (CE/HD)

2.8 - Come Back Home (Howlin' Wolf) (1989) 2:33 Not Originally Issued
(Chester Burnett) (Copyright Control)
Recorded October 7, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar), Unknown (bass),
Walter ''Tang'' Smith (trombone), Charles Taylor (saxophone)
Willie Steel (drums), William Johnson (piano)

This is a wonderful way to sign off Wolf's contribution to the set. The track is a standout. There is evidence that, this time around, Wolf and his sidemen had worked out an arrangement and agreed the tempo and material up front. The lovely countryisn guitar figure that kicks off this track weaves its way under and around Wolf's vocal and provides continuity, not to mention a considerable hook. In fact, it is the simple two bar guitar figure that one recalls even after the memory of Wolf's vocal has faded. (HD/CE)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-2 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - RIDIN' THE BOOGIE - SAM'S DRAG

Contains
Record 2 Side 3 ''Boogie In The Park''

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

The first major successes of the Memphis Recording Service came about one year after Phillips started pitching masters to the independent rhythm and blues companies. Apart from Howling Wolf and B.B. King, each with there own stylistic mix of blues and rhythm, there was Jackie Brenston's ''Rocket 88'' - the second biggest selling rhythm and blues record of 1951. There was an element of real wildness on ''Rocket 88'' which marked it out, albeit subtly, from other rhythm and blues records of the period and pointed me way toward rock and roll. By comparison, Billy ''Red'' Love lived and died in almost total obscurity. As his recordings demonstrate, he was a hugely accomplished musician but he had a number pointed out, he lacked a dedication to his career. He also a defined style. He had mastered many styles but he did not carve out his own indefinable territory. (CE)(MH)

3.1 - She's Dynamite (B.B. King) (1951) 2:28 > RPM 323-B < 
(Hutson Whitteker) (Wabash Music Corporation)
Recorded May 27, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
B.B. King (vocal and guitar)
Phineas Newborn Jr. (piano), James Walker Bass, Unknown (baritone saxophone),
Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums), Adolph Duncan (tenor saxophone),
Possibly Earl Forrest or Man-Son (drums), Ike Turner (piano)

A young B. B. King is in full cry here and this track really jumps. Phineas Newborn sets the pace with a rolling boogie intro (but note that he lacks the jackhammer left hand of the classic boogie pianists). The surprise is that the guitar part is reportedly played by brother Calvin rather than B. B. He plays tasty little fills while B. sings and then switches to straight boogie during the sax break. The sax player, who is only identified as "Leroy", as a blistering tone and thorough command of the honker's vocabulary. Perhaps the most exciting feature. though, is the piano and guitar playing the bass riff in unison during the sax break. In fact, the entire arrangement, including rhythmic stops, presaged rock and roll from the mid 1950s. (CE)(HD)

3.2 - B.B. Blues ( B. B. King) (1951) 2:27 < RPM 323-A <
(Riley B. King-Jules Taub) (Wabash Music Corporation)
Recorded January 8, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
B.B. King (vocal and guitar) Solomon Hardy (saxophone), Ford Nelson (piano),
James ''Shinny'' Walker (bass), E.A. Kemp (drums)

The immediate distinguishing feature of this track is the excitable saxophonist, Solomon Hardy, who unleasnes a bansnee scream on his instrument at well chosen junctures. The lyrics are rejuggled blues clichés, but B.B.'s impassioned vocal and the searing sax help lift the record out of the ordinary. The pianist, Ford Nelson, has been a Memphis radio personality for over 30 years and his work here contributes to the appealing cacophony. The track contains no instrumental break, but it hardly needed one. The musicians had more than enough opportunity for self expression during the brief fills around B.B's vocal. (CE)(HD)

3.3 - Rocket 88 (Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats) (1951) 2:48 > Chess 1458-A <
(Jackie Brenston) (N.M.P.C)
Recorded March 5, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jackie Brenston (vocal and baritone saxophone), Raymond Hill (tenor saxophone),
Eugene Fox (tenor saxophone), Ike Turner (piano), Willie Kizart (guitar),
Jesse Knight (bass), Willie Sims (drums)

Rightly nailed as a classic, this was one of the finest jump blues to emerge from the early 1950s. Several things make this record unique. The first is Willie Kizart's guitar; he inadvertently created the first fuzz tone when his amplifier fell off the back of the car on the way to Memphis bursting the speaker cone. Phillips recalled, "We had no way of getting it fixed so we started playing around with the damn thing, stuffed a little paper in there and it sounded good, sounded like a saxophone''. Only Phillips would have the courage to pair it with the piano to lay down a rhythm track that could kill at 50 paces. Brenston's vocal drips confidence that belies his tender years and Raymond Hill's sax solo builds in momentum to a screaming climax. After the session was over and the paperwork under-wav, Phillips realised that Brenston was underage and the contract had to be signed by his mother. which seems at variance with Brenston's hard drinking and good timing image. The long standing claim that this was the first rock and roll record is borne out by Little Richard among others. Richard acknowledged ''Rocket 88'' as the inspiration for ''Good Golly Miss Molly''. (CE)(HD)

3.4 - Ridin' The Boogie (Lou Sargent) (1951) 2:18 > Chess 1465-A <
(Sam Phillips-Leonard Chess) (B.L.P.C.)
Recorded probably May 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Lou Sargent (Luther Steinberg) (trumpet), Tot Randolph (saxophone)
Phineas Newborn Jr. (piano), Les Mitchell (bass)
Jeff Greyer (drums)

"Lou Sargent" was a pseudonym for Luther Steinberg, although, in a broader sense, the name was used to describe the entire aggregation. Steinberg himself was unaware that he had acquired a new identity until the record appeared. In fact, this title could almost have been the backing track for ''Rocket 88''. Small wonder because the group represents Brenston's touring band after his split with Ike Turner. The track is driven by the piano of Phineas Newborn Jr., who may have been under contract to Modern at the time. The nominal leader, Sargent, is barely audible on trumpet. Luther's brother Wilbur played bass and provided the vocal on the flip-side under another pseudonym, Les Mitchell.

3.5 - Juiced (Billy Love) (1951) 2:31 > Chess 1472-A <
(Milton Morse Love) (Burton Limited)
Recorded July 24, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Love (vocal and piano), Charles walker (saxophone)
Calvin Newborn (guitar), Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums)

This record deserves a footnote in the histon of rhythm and blues. A cryptic entry in Phillips' session files states that Billy Love was paid $100 for the composition, session piano and vocal. The irony, of course, is that this track was released under Jackie Brenston's name as the follow-up to ''Rocket 88''. It is an uproarious performance from start to finish. Love mimicks Brenston's habit of yelling the soloists name and whooping throughout his efforts. There is a prodigious amount of energy here. Loves left hand is rock solid and drives the recording, playing in unison with the bass. Guitarist Calvin Newborn fills incessantly around the vocal and takes an extended solo. His playing jazz with lethal attack and the dirty rhythm and blues tone that Phillips loved. The sax is buried until the solo but then assumes control in fine style. (CE)(HD)

3.6 - My Real Gone Rocket (Jackie Brenston) (1951) 2:27 > Chess 1469-A <
(Jackie Brenston) (B.L.P.C.)
Recorded Probably July 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jackie Brenston (Vocal), Willie Kizart (guitar), Ike Turner (piano),
Willie Sims (drums), Raymond Gill (tenor saxophone),
Unknown (trumpet)

If there were any doubts that Phillips' recordings with Jackie Brenston presaged rock and roll then this should silence them. The piano is mixed way up front as Brenston continues the ''Rocket 88'' saga. Its a wild recording that almost goes out of control. Once again the thunderous left hand of the pianist is supported by an electric guitar. This is quintessential good timing music with contagious energy and a few wonderful lines: ''When I cruise through your town/ Like that great Northwestern/ You can tell everybody/ That was mighty Jackie Brenston''. Yes, indeed! (CE)(HD)

3.7 - Tuckered Out (Jackie Brenston) (1951) 2:29 > Chess 1469-B <
(Larry Meeks) (Burton Limited)
Recorded probably (July/August 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jackie Brenston (vocal) Unknown (saxophone), Unknown (bass),
Phineas Newborn Jr. Piano, Calvin Newborn (guitar),
Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums), Band (chorus)

It is unknown how Phillips or Brenston came across this song, but it is much better crafted than Brenston's good-timing numbers. The riffing horns are mixed way down and have been replaced by the band chanting the refrain while Calvin Newborn's guitar solo has distinct jazz leanings. The often unreliable Chess matrixing system indicates that this title was recorded later than ''My Real Gone Rocket''. Brenston himself recalled that this song was touted as the "A" side and he felt that his career lost some momentum as a result. However, this is a wonderful performance that is as tight and organised as ''Real Gone Rocket''is loose and unbrialed. (CE)(HD)

3.8 - Drop Top (Billy Love) (1952) 2:41 > Chess 1508-A <
(Milton Morse Love) (Burton Limited)
Recorded October/November 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Love (vocal and piano), Charles Walker (saxophone),
Calvin Newborn (guitar), Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums)

''Rocket 88'' spawned many sequels and a fair number of them emanated from Phillips' studio (''My Real Gone Rocket'', ''T-Model Boogie'', ''Mr Highway Man''). This time its the turn of Billy Love. The song is a delightful eulogy to the long gone gas guzzling convertibles of the early 1950s. It's a simple 8 to the bar boogie driven by Loves rock solid left hand and hugely confident vocal. The automobile becomes a metaphor for cookie by the halfway point Love was decidedly a major talent. His debt to Roy Brown is clear on this track, but he is still his own man. According to Rosco Gordon, ''Love died years ago. He was a winehead. Last time I saw him he was out west somewhere. He looked terrible. He had a wife and six kids. It was just too much for him to handle. He drank himself to death''. (HD)(CE)

Contains
Record 2 Side 4 Sam's Drag

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

With the success of ''Rocket 88'', Phillips continued to place rhythm and blues recordings with other labels throughout 1952. One titled, ''Sam's Drag'', shows the stylistic basis for many of the up-tempo items on this album. It is an old Jazz/bIues riff that predates the jazz hit ''Night Train'' and such blues as ''Junior Jives'' by Roy Milton. The remaining titles on side 4 introduce further small group stylings including two of Phillips most successful performers - Rosco Gordon and Rufus Thomas. (MH)

4.1 – Sam's Drag (L.J. Thomas) (1952) 2:51 > Chess 1493-A <
(Lafayette Jerl Thomas) (Burton Limited)
Recorded October 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Lafayette Jerl Thomas (guitar), Unknown (saxophone, bass and drums)

This instrumental is anything but a drag with its tough guitar work. Thomas is demonstrating his burgeoning talent rather than giving a polished performance and the off-key passage near the end indicates that he had some was to travel along the road to west coast guitar star. (BT)

4.2 – Baby Take A Chance With Me (L.J. Thomas) > Chess 1493-B <
(Lafayette Jerl Thomas) (Burton Limited)
Recorded October 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Lafayette Jerl Thomas (guitar), Unknown (saxophone, bass and drums)

Thomas's pinched vocal is clearly from the Texas tradition but his fluid guitar fills and inventive soli point clearly to the prime place such playing was to occupy in the post. war blues. His band play in a wonderfully doomy vein in counterpoint to their leader. (BT)

4.3 - T-Model Boogie (Rosco Gordon) (1986) 2:25 Not Originally Issued
(Rosco Gordon) (Lion Music Publishers)
Recorded December 4, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Willie Sims (saxophone),
Willie Wilkes (saxophone), John Murry Daley (drums),
Band (chorus)

Rosco recorded at least three versions of this song, two for Sam Phillips (the other appears on CR 30101) and a speeded up version for Duke with automobile noises spliced on the intro and ending, The song is obviously a ''Rocket 88'' spinoff but has an engaging spirit. However things fall apart rhythmically during the third verse after Rosco tries to cram a few gratuitous beats into the measure. The tenor sax player springs to life during his solo and exhibits a surly blues tone. His sustained note during the last verse is particularly effective (HD)(CE)

4.4 - Decorate The counter (Rosco Cordon) (1977) 2:59 Not originally Issued
(Robert Henry-Courtney Harris) (Copyright Control)
Recorded January 23, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Willie Sims (saxophone),
Willie Wilkes (saxophone), John Murry Daley (drums)

It's hard to be critical of a record like this. It is good timing music pure and simple. Rosco brings the infectious spirit necessary to carry of it. An earlier practice version appeared on Rosco's "Legendary Performer'' album on Charly, but the boys plainly have it together on this take. This version was mastered for release on Chess as the follow-up to ''Booted''. However, legal wrangling over Rosco's contract made it impossible for Chess to issue this track since Leonard Chess had felt strongly about the song, he requested another version with the same general sound. Phillips rapidly assembled the same band. He then brought in another artist who. like Rosco, specialised in good timing, good natured performances. Enter Rufus Thomas, Phillips forwarded the results to Chess in April 1952 and the record was in stores within weeks. (HD)(CE)

4.5 - Married Woman (Rufus Thomas Jr.) (1986) 2:45 Previously Unissued
(Rufus Thomas Jr.) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 21, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas Jr. (vocal), Willie Wilkes (tenor saxophone),
Richard Sanders (baritone saxophone0, Billy Love (piano),
John Murray Daley (drums)

Rufus's baby left him on Saturday, March 1. On April 21 he was in Phillips' studio telling the world about it. He was accompanied by the Rosco Gordon band, Rufus offers a distinctive vocal and the band cooks behind him. Murray Daley kicks things along with some driving percussion and Willie Wilkes' tenor is a highlight. He sustains the opening note of several lines for all the tension they're worth. (HD/CE)

4.6 - You'll Be Sorry (Houston Stokes) (1986) 2:18 Previously Unissued
(Houston Stokes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded November 18, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Houston Stokes (vocal and drums), Frank Strozier (alto saxophone),
Gilmore Daniels (tenor saxophone), Matthew Garrett (trumpet),
Evans Bradshaw (piano), Erskine McLellan (guitar)

Houston Stokes was one of several singing drummers in Memphis, and proves to be a most exciting vocalist as he fronts a jumping city styled combo. The piano playing is in a boogie vein giving rhythmic impetus to the booting sax and stinging guitar work.

4.7 - Blue And Lonesome (Houston Stokes) (1986) 2:01 Previously Unissued
(Houston Stokes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded December 4, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Houston Stokes (vocal and drums), Pat Hare (guitar), Billy Love (piano),
Kenneth Banks (bass), Tom Roane (saxophone)

This song moves at a slow rolling pace punctuated by fiery guitar work and anchored by rock-steady piano from Evans Bradshaw. Stokes' high pitched voice betrays his youth but is no less effective for that. Part of the lyric is drawn from Walter Davis and since another version was cut in Chicago by Blue Smitty this was probably a popular song in the clubs of the Deep south. (BT)

4.8 - Baby's Gone And Left Me (Houston Stokes) (1986) 2:08 Previously Unissued
(Houston Stokes) (Copyright Control)
Recorded December 4, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Houston Stokes (vocal and drums), Pat Hare (guitar), Billy Love (piano),
Kenneth Banks (bass), Tom Roane (saxophone)

Taken at a very fast pace and with a galloping drum beat this track is mainly a guitar workout for Erskine McLellan. McLellan is a total unknown which, given his virtuosity, is a great shame but he stands shoulder to shoulder in talent with legends such as Pat Hare and Willie Johnson. His solo is particularly violent and of considerable length which may indicate that Stokes and little lync to sing! (BT)

4.9 - Hi-Tone Mama (Walter ''Tang'' Smith) (1953) 2:45 > J-B 606-A <
(Walter ''Tang'' Smith) (Delta Music)
Recorded October 27, 1952 at 796 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter ''Tang'' Smith (vocal) Unknown (trumpet), Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
James Luper (tenor saxophone), Charles''Chas'' Chinn (saxophone),
Harry Gibson (piano) Unknown (bass), L.T. Lewis (drums)

There must have been very little room to breathe at 706 Union when they recorded this agreeable track in October, 1952. It features a rolling piano and full horn section, riffing behind Smith's vocal. There is a double length instrumental break led by a very aggressive Jewell Briscoe on tenor sax. Briscoe unleashes his arsenal of honks and double honks during the second instrumental chorus. For the uninitiated, Walter Smith's middle name, "Tang", is a snort form of "Poontang'', which is, in turn, an American colloquialism for pussy. This track first appeared as a 78 on Jim Bulleits J-B label. Label owner Bulleit and Sam Phillips were in the process of consummating a deal in which Bulleit would invest in the Sun re-launch of January 1953. (CE)(HD)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-3 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - DRIVIN' SLOW - MYSTERY TRAIN

Record 3 Side 5 ''Drivin' Slow''

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

This side captures the period when Sun Records was born. Sun was launched In April 1952 with Johnny London. The label folded later in the year and was reopened In 1953. Rufus Thomas' ''Bear cat'' gave Sun their first certified hit, apparently justifying Phillips' decisions to break out from the frustration of dealing with Chess, Modem and other third parties. (MH)(CE)

5.1 - Drivin\ Slow (Johnny London) (1952) 2:58 > Sun 175-A <
(Johnny London) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny London (alto saxophone), Joe Louis Hall (piano)
Charles Keel (tenor saxophone)
Julius Drake (drums)

Here is the first Sun record to hit the streets. London was a local rhythm and blues and jazz musician who walked in to make some demos and was snapped up by Phillips. His marvellous sinewy alto sax is heard to great advantage here. There are the inevitable shades of Charlie Parker, but London is essentially his own man. With minimal support from tenor sax player Charles Keel and pianist Joe Hill Hall, London unleasned a tortuous improvisation drenched in the blues. Phillips achieves a recording balance here that creates the illusion that London is playing in the next apartment, all of which adds to the disc's "after hours" charm. It was a brave step releasing an instrumental as the first offering on Sun in April, 1952, but the record reached number 1 on some local charts (in particular, WHBO), and a copy of the 78 was affixed to the studio entrance at 706 Union for years. London's principal recollection of the session is that Phillips had holes in his shoes when he put his feet up on the desk. "He was scuffling''. (CE)(HD)

5.2 - Got My Application Baby (Handy Jackson) (1953) 3:04 > Sun 177-A <
(Handy Jackson-Sam Phillips) (Delta Music Incorporated
Recorded January 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Handy Jackson (vocal and piano), Willie Wilkins or
Johnny London (saxophone), Robert Carter (guitar),
William Cooper (drums)

This was the third release on Sun, issued on January 30 1953 as part of the re-launch of the label. It has the typical over-amplification of the rhythm instruments and, like the first Sun release, it showcases the music of a local artist of whom Phillips thought highly. Sam recalled seeing potential for both jazz and blues in Handy Jackson (real name, Gay Garth) although he could recall little else about the band whose qualities are not fully obvious from this straightforward city blues. Jackson brings an appealing and anguished vocal to the slightly obscure lyric and there is a plaintive quality to the saxophone work. This very rare recording is dubbed from disc but the slightly muddy sound dates back to the original recording. (MH)

5.3 - Bear Cat (Rufus Thomas Jr.) (1953) 2:51   > Sun 181-A <  
(Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 8, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal and piano), Albert Williams (piano),
Tuff Green (bass), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Houston Stokes (drums)

Billboard was not joking when it noted that ''Bear Cat'' was "the fastest answer song to hit the market". Big Mama Thornton's ''Hound Dog'' was shipped at the beginning of March 1953. ''Bear Cat'' was recorded on March 8 and was in the stores by the end of the month. It entered the charts on April 18 and reached its high point (at number 3) on May 2. It is not known exactly when Phillips was served with an injunction by Don Robey, but it appeared quite promptly too. Gimmickn, aside, this is a very primitive record. It is driven by Tuff Green's very percussive string bass and Joe Hill Louis's spare electric guitar work. Louis has an extended 36 bar solo, after which Rufus elbows his way back in. To his credit, Louis does not run short of ideas, many of which were borrowed directly from Pete Lewis, who played on the original record. The real problem is that gimmickry cant simply be put aside and as such this record hasn't weathered as well as some of the commercially less successful recordings from the same period. Thirty years later, Phillips' only comment was, "I should have known better. The melody was exactly the same as theirs but we claimed credit for writing the damn thing''. (CE)(HD)

5.4 - Walking In The Rain (Rufus Thomas Jr.) (1953) 2:22 < Sun 181-B <
(Rufus Thomas Jr.) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 8, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal and piano), Albert Williams (piano),
Tuff Green (bass), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Houston Stokes (drums)

Rufus does a credible job of chanting on his own minor key blues. Joe Hill Louis plays aggressively in the now famous over-amplified and distorted style perfected at 706 union. Louis is supported by an under-recorded acoustic guitar, probably played by bassist Tuff Green, and a comping piano played by Rufus himself. The song only makes a brief two-bar foray into a major key. (HD)(CE)

5.5 - Call Me Anything, But Call Me (Big Memphis Marainey) (1953) 3:00 > Sun184-A < 
(Dubrover-Milton ''Mitt'' Addington) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded April 19, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Big Memphis Lillie Mae Glover (vocal), Pat Hare (guitar),
Houston Stokes (guitar), Onzie Horne (piano and vibes),
Tuff Green (bass), Houston Stokes (drums)

Lillie Mae Glover's style has its origins in a different tradition from most of the tracks in this collection. Her full throated delivery derives from vaudeville and classic blues and the lady obviously considers herself an heir to this tradition by virtue of her pseudonym. For this recording she was paired with Onzie Horne, the late Memphis musician who worked originally for Phillips transcribing songs for copyright purposes. Horne worked with Issac Hayes in a later era. This track is an interesting experiment that doesn't work. It is at best a curious mishmash of styles. pat Hare's decidely blue guitar vies uneasily for space with Horne's sophisticated vibes. (CE/HD)

5.6 - Baby No, No (Big Memphis Marainey) (1953) 2:41 > Sun 184-B <
(Milton ''Mitt'' Addington-Marion Keisker) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded April 19, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Big Memphis Lillie Mae Glover (vocal), Pat Hare (guitar),
Houston Stokes (guitar), Onzie Horne (piano and vibes),
Tuff Green (bass), Houston Stokes (drums)

This is a standard jump blues, complete with stops in the verse, but it is performed with none of the usual instrumentation. Here, Ms. Glover's husky vocal is backed only by a trio, fronted by guitarist pat Hare, whose sound is less distorted than usual. On balance, this is an extremely rare record (the artist herself complained to us recently that she could not afford a copy) but is nonetheless undistinguished it was aimed at the black habitués of the local nightclub scene and Phillips probably had little ambition of selling it outside Memphis. The song had been composed by Milton ''Mitt'' Addington, a consulting psychologist and amateur songwriter, together with Marion Keisker who typed it out at her desk in the front office at 706 union. Thirty years after her sides for Sun were recorded, the big mama was still singing in the same style, without a marked diminution of exuberance, for white tourists in an artificially recreated Memphis blues scene. (CE)(HD)

5.7 - Save That Money (Rufus Thomas Jr.) (1953) 2:42 > Sun 188-B < 
(Rufus Thomas Jr.) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 30, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal), Matt Murphy (guitar), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone), 
William ''Struction'' Bill Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

This Is Thomas' finest city blues and a welcome change from the novelties which brought him such fame. Note that the lyric refers to the Depression of 1929-30 and updates a traditional theme. The band is splendid, too, with Floyd Murphy etching a guitar pattern over the riffing sax of James Wheeler. (BT)

5.8 - Tiger Man (King Of the Jungle) (Rufus Thomas Jr.) (1953) 2:48 > Sun 188-A < 
(Joe Hill Louis-Sam Burns) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 30, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rufus Thomas (vocal), Matt Murphy (guitar), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone),
William ''Struction'' Bill Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass)
Houston Stokes (drums)

Rufus' menagerie was starting to fill out, although the funky chicken was still over ten years away. Joe Hill Louis and Sam Phillips (aka Sam Burns) where obviously wearing their hit-maker's hats when they concocted ''Tiger Man''. Louis also plays a nice repetitive lick on the guitar which Presley copied note for note 15 years later. Rufus comes across as an engaging personally but a limited singer with ragged timing. Joe Hill takes a primitive solo that hints at some notes rather than stating them, but is quite effective for all that. Surprisingly, the record failed to reach the charts and Rufus moved on to Phillips' local competitor, Les Bihari at Meteor. (CE)(HD)

Contains
Record 3 Side 6 ''Mystery Train''

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

Following quickly after the success of ''Bear Cat'', Little Junior Parker gave Sun their second major hit of 1953 with ''Feelin' Good''. This was followed with success in the rhythm and blues and pop markets with the Prisonaires. Sun's hits had come despite, or perhaps because of, Sam to record what he enjoyed - the jazz leanings of Johnny London, the jumping country blues of Junior Parker's, Williams Stewart's in his cottonpatch style, Hunky Dori a capella harmony, and the stinging guitar runs of Pat Hare welded both to the vaudeville-based delivery of Rufus Thomas and the classie blues shouting of Big Memphis Ma Rainey. (MH)

6.1 - Feelin' Good (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1953) 2:56 > Sun 187-A <
(Herman Parker) (Delta Music Corporation)
Recorded July 8, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), Pat Hare (guitar), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone),
Floyd Murphy (guitar), William ''Struction'' Bill Johnson (piano),
Kenneth Banks (bass),Houston Stokes or John Bowers (drums)

There are several mysteries surrounding Sun's second hit. The identity of some of the sidemen is uncertain and the recording date is also hard to pinpoint. It has always sounded as if two guitars were on the date. However, in a recent conversation, Sam Phillips recalled that Floyd Murphy exhibited an amazing dexterity on the guitar. "He could make it sound like there were two men playing at once''. The whole performance owes a debt to the king of the one-chord boogies, John Lee Hooker. Another interesting fact is that Junior saw himself as a slick uptown singer and disavowed Hooker's countrified boogies. However, Phillips did not like the material that Junior was offering so, when Phillips went out to answer the telephone, the boys in the studio agreed to give him a real taste of down home music. Phillips was thrilled and to the group's surprise ''Feelin' Good'' was a hit. (CE)(HD)

6.2 - Fussin' And Fightin' (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1953) 2:57 > Sun 187-B < 
(Herman Parker) (Delta Music Corporation)
Recorded July 8, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), Pat Hare (guitar), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone),
Floyd Murphy (guitar), William ''Struction'' Bill Johnson (piano),
Kenneth Banks (bass), Houston Stokes or John Bowers (drums)

This very mellow outing based on Eddie Boyd's 1952 hit ''Five Long Years'', stands in marked contrast to ''Feelin' Good''. Junior had already defined his croony blues style, although the band brings more jazz to Juniors support than subsequent groups. When Junior revived Boyd's hit in 1958 for Duke, his vocal was almost a note for note copy of this performance. (HD/CE)

6.3 - Mystery Train (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1953) 2:25 > Sun 192-A < 
(Herman Parker-Sam Phillips) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded August 5, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone),Floyd Murphy (guitar),
William ''Struction'' Bill Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes or John Bowers (drums)

This beautifully poised blues is one of the true classics to emerge from Phillips' early recordings. Everything meshes so that the end result is something much greater than the sum of its parts. The parts are really disarmingly simple: Junior's melodic composition and high pitched vocal; the gentle rhythm established by the bass and drums; a breathy saxophone; and an instantly memorable guitar riff. The piano is buried in the mix to no great effect. The record is a deeply affecting, personal and atmospheric blues that stood little chance of repeating the success of its predecessor "Feelin' Good". Perhaps the greatest "mystery" is the derivation of the song's title. At no point is it made clear. When it originally appeared, ''Mystery Train'' was credited solely to Junior Parker and published by Memphis Music. By the time Elvis Presley recorded his version in 1955 Sam Phillips had appended his name to the copyright (possibly in part settlement of Junior Parker's contract dispute) and the publishing had been transferred to Phillips' Hi-Lo Music. The mellow tone of Parkers original contrasts sharply with Presley's more famous version, which exudes confidence and assertiveness. (CE)(HD)

6.4 - Love My Baby (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1953) 2:36 > Sun 192-B <
(Herman Parker) (Memphis Music)
Recorded August 5, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone), Floyd Murphy (guitar),
William ''Struction'' Bill Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass)
Houston Stokes or John Bowers (drums)

This extraordinary track is certainly one of the earliest rock and roll records. It is arguably one of the earliest rockabilly records as well. The song originally appeared on the flip-side of ''Mystery Train'' which often overshadows it. When Jud Phillips went on the road in November 1953, DJs were picking ''Love My Baby'' as the follow-up to ''Feelin' Good'' me recording sports an instantly catchy guitar riff, although the guitarist loses his way momentarily and blows one chord change during the third verse. Parker's high creamy tenor soars over the instrumental back drop. Three years later, when Suns blues era was firmly consigned to the past, Phillips would play Parker's uptempo records to his rockabilly artists, asking the guitarists to duplicate Floyd Murphy's riffs. Ironically, the guitar work on this track has crept into the consciousness of a whole generation of rockabilly and rock guitarists who have never heard of Junior Parker, much less guitarist Murphy. Perhaps the first to be influenced by this solo was Sun's most famous sideman: Scotty Moore. An interesting footnote to this track is that it once again reveals that, totally uncomfortable with fade-out endings. He either sunned them or never mastered the rudimentary skill of producing one during Sun's peak blues years. (HD)(CE)

6.5 - Sittin' Drinkin' And Thinkin''' (Little Junior's Blue Flames) (1954) 3:07 Not Originally Issued
(Herman Parker) (Bluesman Music)
Recorded March 2, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Herman Parker (vocal), Pat Hare (guitar), Raymond Hill (tenor saxophone),
Unknown (alto saxophone), James Wheeler (tenor saxophone),
Bill Johnson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

This song comes from an unknown session. It may date from a session that Junior Parker did for Phillips on March 2, 1954. The guitarist is audibly Pat Hare and he provides incessant fills around Junior's vocal, along with a marvelously jazzy solo. Junior delivers one of his relaxed sounding vocals with a couple of Roy Brown moans. A few weeks after recording this tune, Junior broke his Sun contract and was in the Duke studio in Houston where he re-recorded this song (Duke 127). However, this version is obviously a finished track and not a rough demo. Reportedly, Robey was more comfortable with Junior's jazz leanings than Phillips, who was willing to record these efforts, but was more likely to release the countryish tracks. (CE)(HD)

6.6 - Country Farm Blues (William ''Talking Boy'' Stewart) (1986) 1:54 Previously Unissued
(William Stewart) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 14 or 15, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William ''Talking Boy'' Stewart (vocal and guitar)

Years ago, it was assumed that the William Stewart who recorded unamplified blues at Sun was the same guy who played unamplified acoustic guitar with the Prisonaires. Even Sam Phillips claimed to remember Stewart playing cottonpatch blues. This, we're certain now, is not the case. For one thing, the guitarist with the Prisonaires was a harmonically sophisticated player; Talking Boy Stewart was most assuredly not. And a newly-discovered note in the tape box dates the session 1951 when the Prisonaires were securely confined elsewhere. That said, we know very little of William ''Talking Boy'' Stewart.

The presence of old Mississippi looms heavy over ''Country Farm Blues''. With a layer of crackle and hiss, you could easily believe that it had been recorded twenty or more earliers. In fact, Son House recorded a more-or-less unrelated ''Mississippi County Farm Blues'', as did Bukka White and others. Both House and White knew whereof they sung because both had served time at Mississippi's Parchman Farm (as had Elvis Presley's father), but Stewart leaves no clue to tell us which county farm is on his mind. true, John Lee Hooker and Lightnin' Hopkins were selling records rooted in rural blues around 1951, but they brought a sheen of modernity (and in Hooker's case electricity) to their music. William Stewart gave every indication of having just arrived from the late 1920s. There's some confusion about exactly who's gone out on the country farm; in his second verse, he sings, "Well my gal done left me, gone out on the country farm". Its a bit like, "Have a sandwich, my feet are killing me". Given the context of the other verses, perhaps there should've been an "I've" separating the two statements.

6.7 - Just Walkin' In The Rain (The Prisonaires) (1986) 2:50 Not Originally Issued
(Robert Riley-Johnny Bragg-Buddy Killen) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded Unknown Date 1953 at Tennessee State Penitentiary, Nashville, Tennessee
Johnny Bragg (tenor vocal),Ed Thurman (tenor vocal), John Drue (tenor vocal)
William Stewart (vocal and guitar), Marcell Sanders (bass vocal)

By any criteria this out-take of Sun 186 is a long way from the blues but by most criteria it's a lovely record. It barely qualifies as a vocal group record because there is very little harmony singing until the final verse; it's basically ''Jonnny Bragg with vocal support''. The tradition that the Prisonaires are drawing upon has it origins in smooth acts such as the Ink Spots; gospel and rhythm and blues have barely left their mark here. Session guitarist Joe Hill Louis sat out this cut leaving only the simple chording of William Stewart. It is a rudimentary record that stands or falls on Bragg's vocal, which happens to be perfectly performed. The Prisonaires were brought to Sun by Red Wortnam (who kept the publishing) and Phillips' partner Jim Bulleit. If Bulleit's J-B label had not folded a few months previously the group might have ended up on that label. The record was released in mid July 1953. Jud Phillips' sales trip reports indicated that the boys were getting 10-25 fan letters a day by the end of July and planned to bring them all to Memphis to show Sam. Among those fans was Johnny Ray who revived the song three years later. Nashville publisher Buddy Killen later bought one-third of the copyright and is currently listed as co-composer. (CE/HD)

6.8 - Don't Say Tomorrow (The Prisonaires) (1976) 2:32 Not Originally Issued
(Robert Riley) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded February 2, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Bragg (tenor vocal),Ed Thurman (tenor vocal), John Drue (tenor vocal)
William Stewart (vocal and guitar), Marcell Sanders (bass vocal)

Phillips certainly brought an idiosyncratic approach to recording vocal groups. It was one style for which he had little feeling, which may account for some of the incongruous, if pleasant, results. This may be the finest unreleased track the Prisonaires left behind at sun. It is a lovely, melodic performance with strong harmony and driving rhythm. Basser Marcell Sanders is the standout performer here, although everyone was in fine shape. One can only guess at the joyous sounds that flowed from the car as the Prisonaires and their guard drove back to the Nashville pen after the session in Phillips' studio. If this track had been recorded in New York, the simple acoustic guitar would probably nave been replaced by a riffing sax section and some piano boogie. As it is, the sound owes more to earlier quartet styles and does not lean toward the uptown sound defined by Clyde McPhatter or the Clovers. ''Don't Say Tomorrow'' is a little masterpiece caught out of time, delightfully at variance with the prevailing trends. The song was composed in 1953 by Robert Riley, but not registered with BMI until 1957 when Riley saw this song first issued by the Hollyhocks on Nasco. (HD)(CE)

6.9 - I Want My Baby Back (Hunki Dory) (1986) 2:25 Not Originally Issued
(Chester McDonald) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably May 14 or 15, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Hunky Dory (Chester McDowell) (vocal)
Unknown (vocal group)

''I Want My Baby Back'' is one of the more intriguing mysteries Sun has to offer. Although Sam Phillips professes no memory of this group, it is clear they were no fly-by-night outfit or one-session wonder. Aural evidence indicates at least two full sessions were recorded. On one occasion, the group was backed by a conventional small rhythm and blues combo (see Charly CR30148). On the session that produced this track, they performed a cappella. This is a strong performance, and the skill with which the four voices navigate through unaccompanied waters, not to mention the fact that they even attempted such a performance, suggest that the name "Hunki Dory" may hide the identity of a gospel quartet. Indeed, it is well known that Sam Phillips was quite persuasive in attempting to record secular music with his spiritual artists. Aside from commercial considerations, Phillips' reason for not releasing this track as it stands is pretty obvious. There is one brief moment (prior to the last verse, immediately following a chorus of "Come Back Baby's") where things break down noticeably. It's a sudden case of five voices in search of a part. It is possible that the name "Hunki Dori" was never associated with this group. These performances were found on a tape reel that also contained the work of a pop vocal quartet, quite obviously white. No recording date or session personnel were listed. Thus, perhaps thirty years later, it is any-body's guess whose performance is offered on this track. What is clear, is the engaging quality of the vocal harmonyzing left in this obscure comer of the sun blues vaults. (HD)

Update: From a pair of tape boxes intriguingly marked Hunky Dory (sic), we have slowly pieced together the story of their likely origin. Sam Phillips had no memory of the group, but he remembers they were associated with a Memphis disc jockey. A printed program for the Cotton Makers' Jubilee (the African American equivalent of Memphis's big pageant, the Cotton Carnival) carried a WLOK advertisement for a disc jockey called Hunky Dory, and that seemed too much of a coincidence. A little research revealed that Hunky Dory was actually Chester McDowell. Born in Beaumont, Texas, McDowell was a decorated World War II veteran who began singing with spiritual groups before landing on KCIJ, Shreveport around 1951 as a disc jockey named Daddy Yo Hot Rod. In Jud Phillips road trips reports to Sam, mentions McDowell. After several years on WLOK as Hunky Dory, McDowell moved in July 1958 to KYOK, Houston, another station owned by the OK Broadcasting chain. At KYOK he was Hotsy Totsy. Confirmation that McDowell was involved in the Hunky Dory recordings came from the files of Duke Records in Houston. Later in 1958, Chester McDowell recorded two of the songs demo'd at Sun for Duke. So it seems that McDowell came to Sun, probably in the months before he left Memphis, to demo some songs with a vocal group and make full recordings of other songs with a conventional small rhythm and blues combo. The skill with which the four voices navigate ''I Want My Baby Back'' this a cappella song suggests that McDowell might have recruited a gospel quartet. They are very assured. (CE) 

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-4 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - GOSPEL TRAIN - FEEL SO WORRIED

Contains
Record 4 Side 7 ''Gospel Train''

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

Although the Prisonaires gained success with their secular songs and black harmony groups were generally easy to record. Sam Phillips was essentially wary of recording gospel music. If nothing else, marketing thereligious music that appears on this side represented a whole set of skills and contacts that Phillips lacked. As a result, despite his own liking for me music and despite the wealth of talent mat Memphis offered, only four of the tracks on this side were issued at the time and none sold well. (HD)(MH)

7.1 - Where Shall I Be (When That First Trumpet Sounds) (The Brewsteraires) (1952) 2:43 > Chess 1502-A <
(Charles P. Jones) (Burton Limited)
Recorded September 26, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Brewsteraires: Solomon Ouston (lead tenor), Odell Rice (baritone),
Nathaniel Peck (tenor), Henry Reed (bass)

This group was originally formed in Memphis in 1943. They were known as the Mt. Pisgah Gospel Singers before the Rev. Brewster took them under his wing. Brewster was a prolific songwriter and his radio show "Old Campmeeting Of The Air", broadcast over WHBQ meant certain exposure in the mid-south gospel market. In addition to their sides for Sam Phillips (which were sold to Chess), the Brewsteraires recorded some memorable work for Dot in Galatin, Tennessee and for Gotham in Philadelphia. Later the Brewsteraires broadcast regularly over WDIA. They were a Memphis institution. In a 1981 interview, Nathaniel Peck indicated that most of the groups material was arranged by either himself or Rev Brewster. The personnel on the four sides recorded by Phillips in 1951 (two of which have never surfaced) includes Nathaniel Peck; Odell Rice; Solomon Ouston; Henry Reed. John Cole may also have been present. Melvin Lee, the guitarist featured on later Brewsteraires sides had not yet joined the group. ''Where Shall I Be?'' underscores just how practiced and tightly arranged a cappella performances had to be to succeed. Here the arrangement takes the material through three distinct phases. The first time through, it's an emotional free-meter reading complete with many of the techniques that soul singers would take to the bank 15 years later The second time through, the meter is regular and the performance is syncopated, with a heat debt to the bass. On the final reprise, a ''mouth trumpet" swings through the changes. (HD)

7.2 - (The Lord Gave Me) Wings For My Soul (The Brewsteraires) (1952) 2:34 > Chess 1502-B <
(Reverend W.H. Brewster) (Burton Limited)
Recorded September 26, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Brewsteraires: Solomon Ouston (lead tenor), Odell Rice (baritone),
Nathaniel Peck (tenor), Henry Reed (bass)

Compared to its original flipside, ''Wings'' is a far more conventional, less adventurous performance. Again, the roots of 1960s soul music are plainly in evidence here, especially during the final segment. In all respects, this is a solid, tense gospel quartet performance. Both the lead and vocal support are intense and although the arrangement features no rhythmic changes or vocal simulations of musical instruments, it remains memorable. (HD)

7.3 - There's A Man In Jerusalem (The Southern Jubilees) (1977) 2:21 Not Originally Issued
(Joseph Johnson) Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Recorded December 19, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Southern Jubilees: Jose Lee Smith (lead vocal), Lavorne Smith (lead vocal),
Dan Taylor (tenor vocal), James Sanders (baritone vocal),
Eddie Henderson (bass vocal)

The Southern Jubilees recorded four sides for Sam Phillips in 1951. All were in the classic a cappella quartet style. Despite his success with the Brewsteraires barely three months earlier, Phillips was unsuccessful in placing any of the Jubilees' material. This track is perhaps the most commercial of the four Phillips recorded by the Southern Jubilee Singers. It builds both power and intensity as it moves along. In fact, so engaging is the performance that it may go unnoticed that there are essentially no lyrics to the song. The group simply repeats the lines "There's a man in Jerusalem,'They call him the mighty King" to a simple 16-bar chord progression. In many ways the arrangement draws its power from the work of bass Eddie Henderson. Initially he sings words along with the group. Then he begins to sing notes, effectively weaving around the lead singer and backup chanting. Ultimately he sings the part a bass (instrument). Many a cappella groups who did not generally imitate musical instruments, were not averse to saving their "basser" simulate the part of a stringed instrument. (HD)

7.4 - Forgive Me Lord (The Southern Jubilees) Previously Unissued
(Ford) (Copyright Control)
Recorded December 19, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Southern Jubilees: Jose Lee Smith (lead vocal), Lavorne Smith (lead vocal),
Dan Taylor (tenor vocal), James Sanders (baritone vocal),
Eddie Henderson (bass vocal)

The Jubilees have again put together a powerful package that builds in tension, although not as obviously as ''Man In Jerusalem''. This is an emotionally intense reading whose strength focusses on the lead singer and groups "basser''. From the opening line "Sinful days are now behind me", there's a compelling quality to the performance. The sustained chords behind the lead vocal are kept in meter by the bass notes which seem to throb through them. When the lead sings "You know I promise" the quartet hits the kind of gloriously "churchy" 1-7 chord that Ray Charles built a mid-1950s career around. The bass has a one bar solo that telegraphs the start of the falsetto segment. All in all, this is a lovely, emotionally charged, but tightly controlled performance in a style that has been all but lost in an onslaught of electric guitars, organs and
Buddy Rich drumming. (HD)

7.5 - He Never Left Me Alone (The Southern Jubilees) Previously Unissued
(Traditional) (Copyright Control)
Recorded December 19, 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Southern Jubilees: Jose Lee Smith (lead vocal), Lavorne Smith (lead vocal),
Dan Taylor (tenor vocal), James Sanders (baritone vocal),
Eddie Henderson (bass vocal)

This performance owes much to the "formula" gospel pieces of the day. During the first reading, the lyric is worked through in a free-meter style, while the lead wrings it for every bit of emotion. From then on, it's a strictly metered performance in tidy 16 bar units. The backing is unusually formal, almost approximating a military march tempo as the group chants "He never left me never". The piece ends on a sustained chord that blends into the characteristic 1-7 gospel quartet ending. Although this is the least adventurous of our sampling registers as a solid gospel entry. (HD)

7.6 - A Prisoners Prayer (The Prisonaires) (1953) 2:41 > Sun 191-A < 
(James Proctor) (Memphis Music)
Recorded August 3, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny Bragg (lead tenor vocals), John Drue (2nd tenor vocals), William Stewart (baritone vocals and guitar),
Marcell Sanders (bass vocals), Ed Thurman (tenor vocals) Possible Ike Turner (bass)

Only in the most technical sense is this a gospel quartet recording. The subject matter is only remotely spiritual. More cynically, this is a pop record designed to capitalise on the unique status of the group. As prison music, this is certainly a long way from work songs and field hollers, but it does have its moments. The reference to "Cell Block 23" certainly brings it down to a nuts and bolts level. The vocal performance owes little to the classic quartet tradition represented on this collection. It centres more upon the lead singing of Johnny Bragg, in occasional duets with bass singer Marcell Sanders. Sparse and effective instrumental support was provided by Ike Turner on electric guitar and acoustic guitar played by the groups own William Stewart. (HD)(CE)

7.7 - Amazing Grace (The Jones Brothers) (1986) 3:27 Previously Unissued
(Dr. I. Watt-Public Domain) (Copyright Control)
Recorded June 11, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Jones Brothers: William Gresham (vocal), Jake McIntosh (vocal, Charles Jones (vocal),
Eddie Hollins (vocal), Johnny Prye (vocal), James Rayford (vocal),
Charles Bishop (guitar)

This hymn stands as one the best known and most widely recorded gospel selections in the world. It has also ranked as an unlikely pop hit performed by a team of bagpipers. From the opening notes of this track, played by an electric guitar it's clear the Jones Brothers are from a different gospel tradition. There is certainly vocal blending, but the lead vocalist has been listening to gospel shouters. There is little of the Jubilee harmony style here, despite the fact that the group's arranger Johnny Prye, purported to be strongly influenced by the Golden Gate Quartet. The Jones Brothers' reading of ''Grace'' is done entirely in free-meter. During the first verse the group stays close to the original material. However, things change radically during the second verse, when their performance loses its debt to the classic hymn. It is nearly as free of traces of ''Amazing Grace'' as it is of meter. Rather than sing any of the lyrics from the Dr. Watts' original (and there were verses galore!), the singer chants a personal testimonial about calling on God in the midnight hour (HD)

7.8 - Gospel Train (The Jones Brothers) (1986) 2:16 Previously Unissued
(Traditional) (Copyright Control)
Recorded June 11, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Jones Brothers: William Gresham (vocal), Jake McIntosh (vocal, Charles Jones (vocal),
Eddie Hollins (vocal), Johnny Prye (vocal), James Rayford (vocal),
Charles Bishop (guitar)

When the Jones Brothers recorded this track during an undated session, they were resurrecting a selection that had become the signature song for the world famous Golden Gate Quartet. In fact, the Gates had performed it during the 1938 ''Spirituals To Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall. The Brothers turn in a spirited version here, in a style that owes more to Jubilee than most of their recorded work. As on the Cates' version, there are vocal train effects and, to make the song their own, there is a topical reference to "Memphis". (HD)

7.9 - Look To Jesus (The Jones Brothers) (1955) 2:49 > Sun 213-A <
(Eddie Hollins) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 28, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
The Jones Brothers: William Gresham (vocal), Jake McIntosh (vocal, Charles Jones (vocal),
Eddie Hollins (vocal), Johnny Prye (vocal), James Rayford (vocal),
Charles Bishop (guitar)

The Jones Brothers consisted of six voices and one guitar. The group had its origins in Marion, Arkansas in the late 1930s when Cas Jones formed a quartet. Death and normal attrition took their tolls, and the 1954 session that produced this disc featured a somewhat different personnel. Along with Cas Jones, there were Jake Mackintosh, William Gresham, Johnny Prye, James Rayford and Eddie Hollins. Charles Bishop played guitar. In 1983, five members of the group were still living in Memphis. Along with Prye and Mackintosh, James Taylor was there, as was James Rayford. Walter Oliver, who had become a minister, also still lived in Memphis. Oliver had not sung in a while and, during an impromptu reunion, he commented "The pipes are a bit rusty".

The Jones Brothers came to Sam Phillips' attention through brother Theo Wade, a mainstay of WDIA and the Memphis gospel scene. The contact led to two sessions. When we visited in 1983, Johnny Prye was still living at the same address and held the same day job as he had when Sam Phillips had first summoned the group to record in 1953. Prye has remained active in the local gospel scene, singing with several groups and training still others. The Jones Brothers hold a rare honour among the black quartets recorded by Phillips: theirs was the only release that appeared on Sun. Ironically, its dismal sales may have helped to doom any future prospects for gospel quartets. Curiously, this track was recorded and released over two years after Phillips' work with the more classic styles of the Brewsteraires and Southern Jubilees. Perhaps he felt that the addition of an electric guitar and more blues-tinged gospel vocal made the Jones Brothers a better bet for commercial success. He was wrong.

''Look To Jesus'' is not a particularly memorable recording. Among gospel collectors it is typically viewed as being a very rare, but not particularly distinguished outing. Little fault can be placed with the lead vocal, which is certainly expressive and has an arresting, almost country quality. The arrangement is rooted in call and response, which may be the root of the problem. The background vocals are not particularly strong. Despite the number of singers involved, there is no strong bass and the overall choral sound is very similar to the range of the lead singer The guitar does not help things and, arguably, dissipates some of the occasional vocal tension the group manages to build. (HD)

Contains
Record 4 Side 8 ''Feel So Worried''

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

This side offers two approaches to the harmonica and guitar-led blues combos of the Memphis area. Both Doctor Ross and the Lewis-Johnson combo had an energetic, driving approach that Sam Phillips enjoyed. Isiah Ross, however, recorded in a more country style, based on pre-war Mississippi music. Lewis and, in particular, Willie Johnson, brought an altogether toucher contemporary sound to me same tradition. (MH)

8.1 – That Ain't Right (Doctor Ross & Henry Hill) (1977) 2:56 Not Originally Issued
(Isiah Ross-Henry Hill) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Unknown Date 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Henry Hill (vocal and piano), Doctor Ross (harmonica and guitar),
Reuben Martin (washboard)

Pianist Henry Hill introduces us to the good time blues of '''Doctor' Isiah Ross'', and Hill takes the vocal on the first of these four Ross tracks. Ross takes up the invitation to ''play some woogies" in the driving and persistent style that is the hallmark of this left-handed one-man-band. (MH)

8.2 - Left Job Boogie (Doctor Ross) (1986) 3:45 Previously Unissued
(Isiah Ross) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Unknown Date 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Henry Hill (vocal and piano), Doctor Ross (harmonica and guitar),
Reuben Martin (washboard(Copyright Control)
Recorded Unknown Date 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Henry Hill (vocal and piano), Doctor Ross (harmonica and guitar),
Reuben Martin (washboard)

What this track lacks in variety, it certainly makes up in sneer drive. From a distance of 30 years, we can still appreciate why Phillips took such delight in recording the music of Isiah Ross. The sound of Ross' harmonica has an unusual and altogether pleasing accordion-like quality. It's a perfect match for his percussive acoustic guitar. Quite a tight little combo was Dr. Ross. (CE)(HD)

8.3 - Terra Mae (Deep Down In The Ground) (Doctor Ross) (1986) 2:43 Previously Unissued
(Isiah Ross) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Unknown Date 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Doctor Ross (vocal, harmonica and guitar),
Reuben Martin (washboard)

Doctor Ross sings me praises of the lovely ''Terra Mae''. He contributes one of his typical engaging outings here. It's a most melodic effort with a wonderful back country rhythm. (HD)(CE)

8.4 - Come Back Baby (Doctor Ross) (1953) 2:48 > Sun 193-A <
(Isiah Ross) (Memphis Blues)
Recorded October 3, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Doctor Ross (vocal, harmonica and guitar),
Reuben Martin (washboard

The music of Dr. Isiah Ross is instantly recognisable. True to form, this track is totally engaging. It's not music to sit still through. How the song manages to retain its charm more than 30 years after its release is any-body's guess. Surely it has nothing to do with the totally forgettable lyric or the one chord musical backing. But somehow, the good doctor with his warm delivery and back country dance rhythm manages to charm the hell out of all us patients. A fine track. (HD)(CE)

8.5 Gonna Leave You Baby (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo) (1986) 2:18 Previously Unissued
(Sammy Lewis-Willie Johnson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 28, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sammy Lewis (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
L.C. Hubert (piano), Joe Nathan Franklin (drums)

There are some absolutely beautiful moments on this previously unreleased track. The decided rural sound of Lewis' harp introduction is poignant and haunting. Unfortunately it is also so-o-o out of tune with Johnson's guitar that the performance loses much of its potential impact. One noteworthy feature that survives even this discordant pall is Lewis' extremely melodic vocal reading of the first verse. It is a gem that snows just how musical the blues can be, despite the chordal restrictions of the form. (HD/CE)

8.6 - I Feel So Worried (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo) (1986) 2:07 Previously Unissued
(Sammy Lewis-Willie Johnson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 28, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sammy Lewis (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
L.C. Hubert (piano), Joe Nathan Franklin (drums)

Now this is really an alternate take. There are so many points of difference between this slower warm-up version and Sun 218 that we must conclude that they were recorded at very different times in the session, with considerable reworking between them. For one thing, the guitar on this version is again out of tune,as it was on ''Gonna Leave you Baby''. It must have been a long night at 706 union to get from this tentative take to the released version. (All of which underscores Phillips' importance as a "producer" before such terms existed.) The lyric here owes a more obvious debt to ''Feelin' Good'', on which this track was modelled. Few of the memorable lines that appear on Sun 218 have surfaced yet, again suggesting Phillips' role in snapping the final performance. In addition, the musical balance has not yet taken on the crisp drive of the final arrangement. Notably, Lewis' harp is more prominent in this preliminary mix. (HD/CE)

8.7 - I Feel So Worried (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo) (1955) 2:36 > Sun 218-A <
(Sammy Lewis-Willie Johnson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 28, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sammy Lewis (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (guitar),
L.C. Hubert (piano), Joe Nathan Franklin (drums)

Sam Phillips tried to recapture the success he had found with Little Junior parkers ''Feelin' Good''. His most obvious attempt was with Little Junior himself, but Phillips never deemed ''Feeling Bad'', the follow-up they produced, worthy of release. Although ''Feeling Bad'' was by no means a bad record, this track, truly the ultimate sequel, is infinitely better. In fact, in many ways, it eclipses the original. ''I Feel So Worried'' differs in some ways from Parker's original: the tempo is a touch slower and ''Worried'' is performed in a minor key. But it retains the vocal effect that made ''Feelin' Good'' so memorable and it captivates the listener once again. Like many of Sun's best blues recordings, this track announces itself and demands attention within the first two bars. Sammy Lewis' talk/sing style is engaging throughout, and the brief and sudden appearance of a second harmonica at the end of the guitar solo is quite a nice touch. Lewis' vocal, like Parkers before it, is strikingly southern. In this case, its back country ways may have restricted the disc's urban potential, although it is surprising that ''Worried'' didn't grab more attention even in rural venues. Nevertheless, the track is a gem. (HD)(CE)

8.8 – So Long Baby Goodbye (Sammy Lewis & Willie Johnson Combo) (1986) 2:10 Previously Unissued
(Willie Johnson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 28, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Sammy Lewis (vocal and harmonica), Willie Johnson (vocal and guitar),
L.C. Hubert (piano), Joe Nathan Franklin (drums)

Here is an alternative take of the track that gave rise to the immortal dictum "Well all right, Sammy, blow the backs off it!". This version is not markedly different from the issued take of Sun 218 but it does offer another chance to listen to guitarist Willie Johnson as vocalist. Here Johnson propels his defiant, hell-raising blues with biting guitar work and carries it through with a rand-edged, wolf-like vocal. (MH)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-5 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - SELLIN' MY STUFF - TAKE A LITTLE CHANCE

Contains
Record 5 Side 9 ''Sellin' My Stuff''

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

Jimmy and Walter (Jimmy DeBerry and Walter Horton) recorded some of the most enduring blues ever to emerge on yellow Sun Records. Both men had roots stretching back to the Memphis blues scene of the 1930s. Together and separately they made magical music, from the excitement of ''Easy'', mountlng with almost mathematical logic, to the desperate poignancy of slow blues. (CE)

9.1 - Walter's Instrumental (Walter Horton) (1986) 2:53 Previously Unissued
(Walter Horton) (Copyright Control)
Recorded probably January 1951 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Horton (harmonica), Billy Love (piano),
Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar),
Unknown (drums)

Horton's first known recording and a tour de force of harmonica playing demonstrating different techniques and moving from fast to slower passages. It is one of the classic tracks of the post war blues. Now it is easy to see why the Bihari's accepted two complete sessions of Horton's material after nearing this test. Mention, too, must be made of the perfect guitar playing which echoes the harp in places and acts as a counterpoint in others. (BT)

9.2 - Sellin' My Whiskey (Jackie Boy & Little Walter) (1952) 1:20 < Sun 174-B <
(Jack Kelly-Walter Horton) (Promotional Copies Only) (Label Restored)
Recorded February 25, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jack Kelly (vocal and piano), Walter Horton (harmonica and Kazoo),
Joe Hill Louis (guitar and drums), Will Batts (fiddle)

This track (with its oddly bowdlerized title) harks back to Kelly's south Memphis Jug Band with its romping rhythm and good time lyric. It's a shame to hear only a fragment and one can only speculate as to what Walter Horton sounded like on the complete recording. (BT)

9.3 - West Winds Are Blowing (Walter Horton) (1986) 3:04 Previously Unissued
(Walter Horton) (Burton Limited)
Recorded September 15, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Horton (vocal and harmonica), Jack Kelly (piano),
Joe Hill Louis (guitar), Willie Nix (drums)

Why Chess Records refused this and its partner is a matter of some interest for musically it is a very strong track and the combination of harp and lead guitar during the break is particularly effective. All the instruments meld and the musicians play with an empathy which is often difficult to capture in the studio. (BT)

9.4 - Little Walters Boogie (Walter Horton) (1986) 2:34 Not Originally issued
(Water Horton) (Burton Limited-Tristan Music)
Recorded September 15, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Horton (harmonica), Jack Kelly (piano),
Joe Hill Louis (guitar), Willie Nix (drums)

Perhaps the title ff this track is the clue to its non-issuance by Chess. They were having huge success with Little Walter Jacobs at the time and obviously another artist with the same name would have been awkward. However they could have re-titled this forceful instrumental (which draws ideas from the instrumental track 1) but had no doubt decided not to take any more productions from Phillips. Instead they concentrated on their own studios and Horton didn't get another chance until 1964 with Chess.

9.5 - Off The Wall (Walter Horton) (1977) 2:13 Not Originally Issued
(Walter Horton) (Tristan Music)
Recorded July 15, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Horton (harmonica), Earl Hooker (guitar),
Unknown (bass), Willie Nix (drums)

A popular theme for great harmonica players, ''Off The Wall'' is a mid-pace instrumental with an unremitting drive underscored by firm drumming with just a few guitar licks audible as Horton pauses. (BT)

9.6 - Easy (Jimmy & Walter) (1953) 2:58 > Sun 180-A <
(Walter Horton) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded February 25, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Horton (harmonica), Jimmy DeBerry (guitar),
Houston Stokes (drums)

''Easy'' is one of the most erroneously titled issues ever! Horton demonstrates total control with a long, slow build-up as he climbs the harp's register to blow a harsh passage as the tunes bridge. There is often a saxophonic quality to his blowing which belies the cheapness of the harp he is playing but what impresses most are the perfect sense of time and the breadth of his musical ideas. Truly a masterpiece! (BT)

9.7 - Before Long (Jimmy DeBerry) (1953) 2:56 > Sun 180-B <
(Jimmy DeBerry) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded February 25, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy DeBerry (vocal and guitar), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Houston Stokes (drums)

This song refutes Sam Phillips' assertion (made to musicologist David Evans) that he never got a good cut out of Jimmy DeBerry. Perhaps Phillips heard something in a demo session that DeBerry never recaptured, but surely the blues comes no purer than this astounding recording. Without prompting, Marion Keisker remembered these lines 30 years after DeBerry had sung them in the studio: "Woman I love dead and in her grave, woman I hate, I see her everyday".

If ever one needed evidence of the blues as folk poetry, they need look no further than this song. The recording is spartan but DeBerry's performance is masterful. It is a beautifully poised country blues, vocal and guitar meshing perfectly with rudimentary support from Houston Stokes on drums. Not a note or vocal inflection is wasted. (CE)(HD)

9.8 - Party Line Blues (Jimmy DeBerry) (1977) 3:06 Not Originally Issued
(Jimmy DeBerry) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 16, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy DeBerry (vocal and guitar), Mose Vinson (piano),
Raymond Jones (drums)

DeBerry is well assisted by Mose Vinson on this track and the jangling piano work provides a musical framework which smoothes off the sharp edges of DeBerry's performance. DeBerry also sounds more at ease than on ''Before Long''. IBT)

Contains
Record 5 Side 10 ''Take A Little Chance''

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

Along with Joe Hill Louis and Walter Horton, drummer Willie Nix became a frequent session musician at Phillips' studio. Sam Phillips recorded him as a vocalist on several occasions but recalls in particular his enthusiasm: ''Willie Nix was not the subtiest of drummers, I would I would say, but he drove 6 session along and he had a feeling for what I wanted to get. He was something of a character too, I have to say that''. (MH)

10.1 - Take A Little Chance (Jimmy DeBerry) (1953) 2:20 > Sun 185-A <
(Jimmy DeBerry-Sam Burns) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 16, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy DeBerry (vocal and guitar), Raymond Jones (drums)

Jimmy DeBerry does not deserve the obscurity into which he has fallen. His total studio output is contained on two pre-war singles for Vocalion and Okeh together with his two sun singles. This track showcases DeBerry's talents as a superbly expressive vocalist. It contains obvious timing irregularities and some asthmatic groaning during the solo that may indicate that the track was intended only as a session warm-up until Phillips heard what he had captured. (HD/CE)

10.2 - Time Has Made A Change (Jimmy DeBerry) (1953) 2:41 < Sun 185-B <
Recorded May 16, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Jimmy DeBerry (vocal and guitar), Mose Vinson (piano),
Raymond Jones (drums)

The fuller instrumentation suggests that this song may have been the plug side but it is markedly inferior to its flip-side. This is arguably the least affecting and the sloppiest of DeBerry's recordings for Phillips. The lead instrument, Mose Vinson's honky tonk piano, competes with, rather than complements DeBerry's acoustic guitar. The timing surrounding the Stops is so noticeably ragged in places that it is surprising Phillips saw fit to release this track. Incidentally, "Burns" who claims half of the composer credit on both this song and ''Take A Little Chance'' is none other than Phillips. (CE)(HD)

10.3 - Midnight Showers Of Rain (Willie Nix)(1986) 2.59 Previously Unissued
(Lowell Fulson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 25, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Billy Love (piano), Willie Johnson (guitar)

Nix leads this slow blues with his customary verve, beautifully supported by Walter Horton who blows a perfectly controlled solo on Harp. Willie Johnson stitches the song together with robust guitar work with the piano providing only a rhythmic base. (BT)

10.4 - Prison Bound Blues (Willie Nix) (1977) 2:40 Not Originally Issued
(Leroy Carr) (Delta Music Corporation)
Recorded April 25, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Billy Love (piano), Willie Johnson (guitar)

At mid-tempo this band exhibit an irresistible swing and drive as Johnson floats occasional licks over the stomping piano work underscored by Nix's solid drumming. (BT)

10.5 - Riding In the Moonlight (Willie Nix) (1986) 3:12 Previously Unissued
(Chester Burnett) (Copyright Control)
Recorded April 25, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Billy Love (piano), Willie Johnson (guitar)

Howling Wolf's classic song is re-interpreted by Nix who employs a softer, slower treatment. His vocal lies across the beat an a occasionally battles with Willie Johnson's forceful guitar playing. Walter Horton takes a relatively minor role, confining himself to squeaky, high-register work. BT

10.6 - Take A Little Walk With Me (Willie Nix) (1977) 2:28 Not Originally issued
(Robert Lockwood) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded April 25, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Billy Love (piano), Willie Johnson (guitar)

This traditional song gets a thunderous updating with a stomping drum beat, wailing harp and a fiery rhythm Willie Johnson's guitar licks have a nasty edge and add an air of tension to an already gloomy performance. BT

10.7 - Seems Like A Million Years (Willie Nix) (1953) 2:41 Sun 179-B <
(Willie Nix-Sam C. Phillips) Delta Music Incorporated
Recorded October 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar),
Albert ''Joiner'' Williams (piano),
James Cotton (harmonica)

A sad theme and one given appropriately serious treatment from the cascading piano work of Albert Williams to the taut guitar playing. Nix's vocal is measured and his drumming simply follows the rhythmic line. (BT)

10.8 - Baker Shop Boogie (Willie Nix) (1953) 2:42 > Sun 179-A >
Willie Nix-Sam C. Phillips) Delta Music Incorporated
Recorded October 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Willie Nix (vocal and drums), Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar),
Albert ''Joiner'' Williams (piano),
James Cotton (harmonica)

This stomping boogie surely earns Nix the title of Jelly Roll King as he lauds the lady's baking technique and even her oven! Sexual innuendo indeed, and the tongue in cheek vocal is boosted by a meaty harp solo. (BT)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-6 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - HOO DOO MAN - MISTREATIN' BOOGIE

Contains
Record 6 Side 11 ''Hoo Doo Man''

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

Although Sun Records did not capture all of the significant blues guitarists active in and around Memphis, the tracks included here do contain examples of several important styles. The Influential if little recorded James Scott and Charles McClelland (with L.B. Lawson) and Joe Willie Wilkins (with Albert Williams) on the slide guitar of Honeyboy Edwards and the immedlatele identifiable Joe Hill Louis. (MH)

11.1 - Cant Love Me And My Money (L.B. Lawson) (1986) 2:27 Previously Unissued
(Latge B. Lawson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably 1951/1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Latge B. Lawson (vocal and tube), Shaker James Scott Jr. (guitar),
Charles McClelland (guitar), Robert Fox (drums or tube bass)

Lawson sings in deep measured tones on this track and is dramatically countered by the coruscating guitar lines of James Scott Jr. The drummer plays little and so the rhythm is ably carried by the guitar playing of Charles McClelland who demonstrates the assurance which comes from playing regularly in the same small group. (BT)

11.2 - Sweet Home Chicago (Honeyboy Edwards) (1977) 2:57 Not Originally Issued
(David Edwards-Sonny Boy Williamson) (Arc Music Corporation)
Recorded End 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
David Edwards (vocal and guitar) Albert Williams (Piano),
Joe Wilkins (guitar), Dickie Houston (drums),
James Walker (washboard)

David Edwards searing slide guitar all but overwhelms the backing he receives to his hoarse, declamatory vocal. It's a favourite song for all Mississippians for Chicago was often their goal but Edwards version is particularly powerful with its country feel. (BT)

11.3 - Rhumba Chillen (Albert Williams) (1977) 2:29 Not Originally Issued
(Albert Williams) (Tristan Music)
Recorded Possible 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Albert ''Joiner'' Williams (vocal and piano), Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar),
James Walker (washboard), Dickie Houston (drums)

Joe Willie Wilkins plays a ''Feeling Good'' riff throughout this song but Williams' lyric takes us back to the source - John Lee Hooker's hit ''Boogie Chillun''. This is a very tough version and is one of the few recordings on this box to include a washboard in the backing. (BT)

11.4 - Hoo Doo Man (Albert Williams) (1986) 2:48 Previously Unissued
(Albert Williams) (Tristan Music)
Recorded Possible 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Albert ''Joiner'' Williams (vocal and piano), Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar),
James Walker (washboard), Dickie Houston (drums)

Williams' vocal is more reflective on this, presumably his theme song, and he accompanies himself with swinging but solid piano playing. Joe Willie Wilkins guitar solo is quite remarkable being both forceful and lyrical at the same time. (BT)

11.5 - When I'm Gone (Joe Hill Louis) (1952) 3:45 > Checker 763-B <
(Joe Hill Louis) (Burton Limited)
Recorded March 31, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal and guitar), Nolan Hall (drums)

Originally issued on Checker in a shortened version ''When I'm Gone'' is a slow menacing blues driven by "back in the alley" guitar playing and a thumping drummer. It's amongst the nastiest of Louis' blues and quite unlike the genial ebullience for which he was well known. (BT)

11.6 - We All Gotta Go Sometime (Joe Hill Louis) (1953) 2:41 > Sun 178-A <
(Walter Horton-Joe Hill Louis) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded Probably December 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Albert Williams (drums)

A favourite theme of Joe Hill's ''Gotta Go'' is a strong up-tempo performance with much harp playing and particularly forceful piano playing from Albert Williams. The trio nave a drive matched by few others and this country boogie has a ferocious swing attributable to their many sessions together (BT)

11.7 - She May Be Yours (Joe Hill Louis) (1953) 2:59 > Sun 178-B < 
(Joe Hill Louis-Sam Phillips) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded November 17, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal, harmonica, and guitar),
Albert Williams (piano), Willie Nix (drums)

This take of ''She May Be Yours'' is a firmly paced version with a fluid instrumental line riding over a stomping rhythm line. Louis' first harp solo is full and in a lower register than was common for him but the second is more typically ''squeaky'' and follows the rhythm closely. Note, too, the dramatic, drawn-out ending. (BT)

11.8 - Keep Your Arms Around Me (Joe Hill Louis) (1986) 3:00 Previously Unissued
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably December 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Albert Williams (drums)

This song represents at his considerable best as he blasts away on harmonica or shouts out the lyric, his voice slightly muffled by the harp rack in front of the microphone. The solo is a rousing call backed by stomping piano playing from Albert Williams as they speed up the already fast tempo. (BT)

Contains
Record 6 Side 12 ''Mistreatin' Boogie''

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All the material on this side is probably from one long session held on September 9, 1953. However, It should be mentioned that Mose Vinson is not totally sure that all the titles were recorded at the same time, but those same notes indicate that Vinson sings on all eight tracks, which is obviously not the case. It is fairly certain that Joe Hill Lou's is the singer heard on ''Hydramatic Woman'', '''Tiger Man'' and ''Shine Boy''. Mose began working at Sam Phillips' studio as a caretaker. Between sessions, Mose would sit down at the piano and play ''44 Blues''. Eventually, Phillips decided to record him and the eight titles heard on this side were born. At the time, none was issued although Phillips did master two titles from the session on both 45 and 78 (U 100/101, mastered January 8, 1954). However, there is no indication which songs he intended to release. Phillips' notes list Kenneth Banks as the bass player and Israel Franklin as the drummer. (RB)

12.1 - Mistreatin' Boogie (Mose Vinson) (1986) 2:31 Previously Unissued
(Mose Vinson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 9, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mose Vinson (vocal and piano), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Israel Franklin (drums)

A classic boogie track kicks off the side. Mose opens with a two bar tremolo before diving into a descending right hand break, then launching into a archetypal train rhythm. The drummer (with Mose's piano) marks beats 4 and 1 during the two chorus introduction before shifting to a 2-4 back-beat (with the odd shuffle thrown in) for the verses. Mose really shines on this track, taking a total of five solo choruses with tremolos, repeated right hand triplet figures, and other classic boogie devices. Note the drum breaks in bars 3 and a of most of the solo choruses. Joe Hill Louis appears to have sat this track out. (RB)

12.2 - Worry You Of My Mind (Mose Vinson) (1986) 3:10 Previously Unissued
(Mose Vinson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 9, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mose Vinson (vocal and piano), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Isreal Franklin (drums)

Several takes of this song were recorded. The version included here was the first. The song features harmonica and guitar. Phillips' notes do not indicate that a harp player was present suggesting that the role belonged to Joe Hill Louis. There is some problem with this idea because, on the next track, Louis sings at the same time a harp is heard. As with all the tracks that Mose performed at this session, the song is a standard 12-bar blues carried by Moses characteristically high, nasal and somewhat unintelligible vocals. Basically, Louis vamps in the background, throwing in the occasional set of slashing notes behind the first phrase of some of the verses. (RB)

12.3 - Hydramatic Woman (Joe Hill Louis) (1969) 2:39 Not Originally Issued
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 27, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal and guitar), Walter Horton )harmonica),
Albert Williams (piano), Unknown (drums)

Louis previously recorded this song as ''Automatic Woman''. Both terms refer to the automatic transmissions found on early 1950s General Motors cars. The lyrics consist of a series of clever car-woman metaphors. The solo work is shared by harmonica and guitar, although the distortion tends to blend the two instruments together. (RB)

12.4 - Tiger Man (Joe Hill Louis) (1969) 2:56 Not Originally Issued
- Joe Hill Louis-Sonny Burns (Pseudonym Sam Phillips) (Copyright Control)
Burns is the maiden name of Phillips wife, Becky (Rebecca)
Recorded Spring 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal and guitar), Albert Williams (piano),
Walter Horton (harmonica), Willie Nix (drums)

This title is also a showcase for some splendid harmonica playing. It is strange that the group would attempt this song because the same month saw Phillips release Rufus Thomas' version, which had been_recorded three months earlier with Louis on guitar. Besides the great harp playing, once again Louis' guitar features low end distortion giving it a very full sound. The two instruments blend well together during the somewhat chaotic solo. Louis' vocals are a lot more open than Vinson's and it is also worth pointing out that no often talks his way through part of a line. His final held note suggests an interesting concept of tuning. (RB)

12.5 - Shine Boy (Joe Hill Louis) (1986) 2:24 Previously Unissued
(Joe Hill Louis) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 27, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Joe Hill Louis (vocal and guitar), Walter Horton (harmonica),
Albert Williams (piano), Unknown (drums)

This is the real oddity of the session. Vinson does not recall cutting it, but the original session tape reveals that it was indeed made along with the other titles. However, it would appear that Joe Hill Louis and Walter Horton are actively involved as well if not more than Mose. The title is also odd in that the spoken asides are under-recorded, whereas the shine rhythm is miked extremely closely. The entire item is really a novelty number that was never brought to fruition. (RB)(MH)

12.6 - Reap What You Sow (Mose Vinson) (1986) 2:44 Previously Unissued
(Mose Vinson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 9, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mose Vinson (vocal and piano), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Isreal Franklin (drums)

This is a medium tempo blues with a typically fine Vinson vocal. Unfortunately, Joe Louis seems to have some trouble figuring out what key the song is in. This is especially apparent in his low end runs. The bottom two strings on his guitar also appear to be out of tune. Nevertheless, the track is worth issuing for Mose's vocal and sprightly piano solo. (TB)

12.7 - 44 Blues (Vinson) (1986) 2:35 Previously Unissued
(Mose Vinson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 9, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mose Vinson (vocal and piano), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Isreal Franklin (drums)

This title was Mose's signature tune. "It was an old song way back In my fathers day and I just put some words to it''. The ringing authority of Mose's opening descending line immediately lets the listener know that this is something special. The band generally just vamps behind Vinson, double timing everything so they appear to be playing a 24-bar blues while Vinson sings a 12-bar blues over the top. The net effect is a nonstop back-beat sounding as if the drummer is hitting the ofbeat of all four beats in the bar. Louis takes the solo playing out some call and response with himself. During the solo, Phillips boosts the level of the drums and bass and this, combined with the bass playing double time, makes the track appear to speed up. (RB)

12.8 - Come See Me (Mose Vinson) (1986) 2:12 Previously Unissued
(Mose Vinson) (Copyright Control)
Recorded September 9, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Mose Vinson (vocal and piano), Joe Hill Louis (guitar),
Joe Willie Wilkins (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Isreal Franklin (drums)

This is the second of three takes. It opens with piano, bass and hi-hat vamping on a variation of ''Shortnin' Bread''. The hi-hat is hitting all four beats while the bass accents 1 and 3. After a couple of 12-bar vamp verses, Vinson takes two solo choruses rooted in the swing style, throwing in a little boogie at the beginning of the second. Overall, the amount of variety in his playing throughout this session is quite remarkable. It is surprising that these tracks have had to wait over thirty years to see light of day. (RB)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-7 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 - GREYHOUND BLUES - COTTON CROP BLUES

Contains
Record 7 Side 13 ''Greyhound Blues''

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Sides 13 and 14 of ms set add to the range of blues guitar styles already included on sides 8 to 12. The acoustic style of D. A. Hunt gives way to the fowling electric style of Earl Hooker and the biting sound of Charlie Booker. The Walter Bradford sides contain some of the earnest and most flowing solos by Pat Hare, Sam Phillips' favourite guitarist. (MH)

13.1 - Greyhound Blues (D.A. Hunt) (1953) 2:36 > Sun 183-B <
(Daniel Augusta Hunt) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded Probably March 11, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Daniel Augusta Hunt (vocal and guitar)

Lightnin' Hopkins was clearly the model for Hunt and he employs the pinched vocal and sour guitar lines so characteristic of Texas blues. He even replicates Hopkins' spoken asides in an very recreation of his mentors sound. (BT)

13.2 ''Lonesome Ol' Jail (D.A. Hunt) (1953) > Sun 183-A <
(Daniel Augusta Hunt) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded Probably March 11, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Daniel Augusta Hunt (vocal and guitar)

This performance is even gloomier than Hunt's first as he reflects on his baby while locked up in his cell. The vocal drips with feeling making it hard to believe that this was recorded in Phillips' studio and not at some southern penitentiary! (BT)

13.3 - Steel Guitar Rag (Earl Hooker) (1981) 2:52 Not Originally Issued
(Earl Zebedee Hooker-Leon McAuliffe) (Copyright Control)
Recorded July 15, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Earl Hooker (guitar), Joe Willie ''Pinetop'' Perkins (piano),
Little Walker (harmonica), Unknown (bass),
Willie Nix (drums)

At first sight this would appear to be a prime example of cross cultural fertilisation: black guitarist Earl Hooker has recorded a western swing classic complete with a pseudo finger picking style. There is no doubt that Hooker must nave been influenced by Leon McAuliffe's recording with Bob Wills but the song's roots actually date back to a blues, ''Guitar Rag'', recorded by Sylvester Weaver in 1923. Hooker manages to sustain the hillbilly flavour throughout his performance with some authentic sounding bass string chokes thrown in for good measure. The anonymous bassist makes up in forcefulness what he lacks in accuracy. If there were any doubts that this track was only intended as a studio warm-up, they are dispelled by the final four bars. (CE)(HD)

13.4 - Believe I'll Settle Down (Gilmore) (1977) 2:15 Not Originally Issued
(Boyd Gilmore) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded July 15, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Boyd Gilmore (vocal and guitar), Joe Willie ''Pinetop'' Perkins (piano),
Adolph Duncan (saxophone), Earl Hooker (guitar),
Little Walter Horton (harmonica),
Unknown (bass), Willie Nix (drums)

A fine rolling blues here, in the tradition B.B. King was busy making his own. Gilmore's vocal, while huskier than King's, still follows the same familiar pattern, and Earl Hooker's guitar sounds like a disciple of ''Lucille''. Theres some fine two handed piano in the mix as well, but the tentative nature of the track is revealed at the end when Gilmore stops singing midway through the last verse and we get a rather unexpected a-bar instrumental ending. (HD/CE)

13.5 - Walked All Night (Charlie Booker) (1977) Not Originally Issued
(Charlie Booker) (Delta Music Incorporated
Recorded Probably 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Chris ''Charlie'' Booker (vocal and guitar), Oliver Sain (saxophone),
John W. ''Big Moose'' Walker (piano), Willie Dodson (bass),
Junior Blackmon (drums)

In many ways, this track epitomises all that is excellent in Sun blues. It is tight, taut and urgent. Like Sammy Lewis' ''Feel So Worried'', this track manages to straddle the fine line between major and minor keys, which adds to the tension. The guitar figure is prominent and Booker's vocal has an appealing back-country sound. (HD)(CE)

13.6 - Baby I'm Coming Home (Charlie Booker) (1986) Previously Unissued
(Charlie Booker) (Delta Music Incorporated
Recorded Probably 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Chris ''Charlie'' Booker (vocal and guitar), Oliver Sain (saxophone),
John W. ''Big Moose'' Walker (piano), Willie Dodson (bass),
Junior Blackmon (drums)

Charlie Booker offers a twelve bar blues with a mambo feel during the verses, although the song shifts to 4/4 during the sax break. The vocalist is backed by a grainy guitar and two saxes riffing in unison. It's a pity that there is a veil of mystery surrounding the circumstances under which Booker recorded his single session for Sun. (CE)(HD)

13.7 - Reward For My Baby (Walter Bradford) (1977) 3:01 Not Originally Issued
(Walter Bradford) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 14, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Bradford (vocal), Louis Calvin Hubert (piano),
Pat Hare (guitar), Jerry Walker (drums)

Walter Bradford was a deejay in Forrest City Arkansas and Phillips recorded him with hopes of placing the titles with Chess. Although they were rejected, two other titles, recorded at approximately the same time were among the first Sun releases in April 1952.

This is a powerful and arresting track and it bears an uncanny resemblance to James Cotton's ''Cotton Crop Blues'', recorded two years later. Both titles feature guitarist Pat Hare and it is Hare's work that enhances the similarity. If this is Hare's recorded debut, then it is obvious that he emerged from Arkansas with a fully formed style that already incorporated the familiar distorted tone. The sneer uninhibited force of his playing is quite remarkable. To complete the parallel with ''Cotton Crop Blues'', there is the same ominous piano played by L.C. Hubert and an anguished vocal delivery by Bradford that is surprisingly similar to Cotton's. (CE)(HD)

13.8 - Love For My Baby (Walter Bradford) (1986) 2:14 Previously Unissued
(Walter Bradford) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 14, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Bradford (vocal), Louis Calvin Hubert (piano),
Pat Hare (guitar), Jerry Walker (drums)

Like Willie Nix, Bradford tackles the traditional blues ''Take A Little Walk'' albeit with a slightly altered lyric. His high pitched voice betrays his youth (he was only seventeen at the time of recording) and he is often overshadowed by the merciless guitar playing of Pat Hare. (BT)

13.9 - Lucy Done Moved (Louis Calvin Hubert) (1986) 2:25 Previously unissued
(Louis Calvin Hubert) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded June 14, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Louis Calvin Hubert (vocal and piano), Walter Bradford (guitar),
Pat Hare (guitar), Jerry Walker (drums)

Despite being listed in the files as a Bradford vocal this singer is quite obviously older than seventeen with a smooth voice and assured techniques. My guess is that L. C. Hubert, the pianist sings for the guitar playing is surely too flashy to allow Pat Hare to sing as well. Whatever, it's a very solid performance highlighted by the coruscating guitar lines. (BT)

Contains
Record 7 Side 14 ''Cotton Crop Blues''

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Developing the themes in the Walter Bradford tracks, this side is essentially a ''tour de force'' from Pat Hare. It is easy to see why Phillips has cited Hare as the best among his session musicians as Hare brings added life to a range of vibrant Memphis blues. (MH)

14.1 - My Baby (James Cotton) (1954) 2:23 > Sun 199-A <
(James Cotton) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded December 7, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Cotton (vocals), Tom Roane (tenor saxophone), Harvey Simmons (tenor saxophone),
Pat Hare (guitar), Billy Love (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass), Houston Stokes (drums)

Its not clear whether James Cotton's pronunciation has been slurred by his Mississippi origins or a half bottle of Ripple, but it's obvious that he studied at the same school of diction as Jimmy Reed. Nevertheless, Cotton manages to crank up a pretty rocking opus out of a slender riff sax and guitar cover a lot of ground here that might otherwise nave been handled by a horn section. Both solos show distinct jazz leanings. (HD)(CE)

14.2 - Straighten Up Baby (James Cotton) (1954) 2:20 < Sun 199-B <
(James Cotton) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded December 7, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Cotton (vocals), Tom Roane (tenor saxophone), Harvey Simmons (tenor saxophone),
Pat Hare (guitar), Billy Love (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass), Houston Stokes (drums)

It is really unclear which side of Sun 199 was destined to be the plug side. Arguably, both this and ''My Baby'' are competent performances with solid riffs. However, they both lacked the special excitement which would distinguish them from the other 30-40 rhythm and blues releases of that week in April 1954. (HD)(CE)

14.3 - Cotton Crop Blues (James Cotton) (1954) 2:58 > Sun 206-A < 
(James Cotton) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 14, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Cotton (vocal possibly percussion), Pat Hare (guitar),
Mose Vinson (piano), John Bowers (drums)

If ever there was a seminal example of country and city merging in Memphis. this must surely be it. The lyrical content is so deeply rooted in the delta, it's surprising that it even got as far as Memphis. On the other hand, Pat Hare's devastating guitar playing and sound epitomises the harsh angularity of the city blues.

The whole record becomes a metaphor for rural oppression and hopelessness, in much the same way as Mercy Dee Walton's best records (but without any of the humour). Who can forget Cotton's brooding interjections like ''So Dark Ana Muddy On This Farm''? But make no mistake, it is Hare's work that elevates this record to its classic status. His blistering fills and solo, complemented by the barely contained distortion, are truly lightning in a bottle. The pounding sound of drums and piano are ideal complements for Hare's style. The solo was obviously preconceived (parts of it are reproduced note for note in other Hare recordings) but the fact that it was conceived at all, much less recorded is truly impressive. (CE/HD)

14.4 - Hold Me In Your Arms (James Cotton) (1954) 2:45 > Sun 206-B <
(James Cotton) Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Recorded May 14, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Cotton (vocal possibly percussion), Pat Hare (guitar),
Mose Vinson (piano), John Bowers (drums)

Every note of this song, from Pat Hares intro to the simulated fadeout, is borrowed from Little Juniors ''Love My Baby'' although Cotton claims that he and guitarist Floyd Murphy first conceived the tune and played it over radio KWEM. In truth, if one had to plagiarise this is as good a place to start as any. In a recent interview, Cotton vividly recalled this session down to the fact that he had contributed to the rhythm section by playing "drums" on a cardboard box. (HD/CE)

14.5 - I'm Gonna Murder My Baby (Hare) (1986) Previously Unissued
(Clayton) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 14, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Auburn Pat Hare (vocal and guitar), Billy Love (piano),
Unknown (bass), Israel Franklin (drums)

This alarming song, born in part from Dr. Claytons ''Cheatin' And Lyin' Blues'', presaged events in Pat Hare's life. Life imitated art for a change. He did in fact murder his baby, albeit several years later. Hare is not a great vocalist, but this recording is distinguished by his guitar solo and the psychopathic nature of the song. Hare's menacing response to his girls infidelity is captured on tape and could almost nave been used as court evidence. In the light of what transpired, interjections such as ''Gonna Kill Her Tomorrow''! are chilling. Arguably, the violence in Pat Hare's life lay very close to the surface, although many of his cohorts from the good days in Memphis remembered him quite differently. Rosco Cordon described Hare as ".. . a beautiful personality, such a gentle person" in a Living Blues interview (number 49). In any case, this is a very disturbinal record. (CE)(HD)

14.6 - Bonus Pay (Pat Hare) (1986) Previously Unissued
(Eddie Vinson) (Cherio Music)
Recorded May 14, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Auburn Pat Hare (vocal and guitar), Billy Love (piano),
Unknown (bass), Israel Franklin (drums)

Although not originally titled as such, this track features Pat Hares recording of Eddie "Cleanhead'' Vinson's 1946 Mercury recording of ''Bonus Pay''. It was previously released as ''Ain't Gonna Be That Way'' and credited to Hare. By comparison with his previous work, the guitar solo is quite restrained, although it certainly features Hares fondness for over-amplification to the point of distortion. Perhaps the major problem here is that Hare was constrained by trying to sing and play guitar fills without the benefit of overdubbing or modern multi-track techniques. (CE)(HD)

14.7 - Wolf Call Boogie (Hot Shot Love) (1986) 2:33 Previously Unissued
(Coy Love) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 8, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Coy "Hot Shot" Love (vocal and harmonica), Pat Hare (guitar),
Mose Vinson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

This engaging and effective track was recorded in January 1954 with help from several of Sun's stalwart session men, including guitarist Pat Hare. Coy Love blows harp and jive talks his way along the bar of a juke joint which sounds like the distant prototype of a singles bar his style here is irrepressible, although Sam Phillips held on for one more take before releasing this song on Sun 196. At the time he made this record, Love was an itinerant musician based on Cavoso Street in Memphis. Before his death in 1980, he earned his living as a sign painter. Both his jacket and his bicycle were emblazoned with choice epigrams. He was truly a man who marched to a different drummer. (HD)(CE)

14.8 - Harmonica Jam (Hot Shot Love) (1954) 2:34 > Sun 196-B < 
(Coy Love) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 8, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Coy "Hot Shot" Love (vocal and harmonica), Pat Hare (guitar),
Mose Vinson (piano), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

The title tells it all. It sounds like one of those sessions where the wine flowed and everyone had a fine old time. Love does his patented "shtick" here, jive talking (albeit one line directed towards Miss Priscilla) and shouting through his harp in the style popularised by Sonny Terry. Guitarist Hare manages to hit one clam but, as Sam Phillips would tell you, all was forgiven by the overall feeling of the take. (HD)(CE)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-8 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 – MY BABY LEFT ME- LOOKIN' FOR MY BABY

Contains
Record 8 Side 15 ''My Baby Left Me''

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Back In 1951, Ike Turner had brought a band from Clarksdale, Mississippi to Memphis. This included Jackie Brenston and Raymond Hill and marked the start of a whirlwind period when Turner worked for Phillips, Chess, Modem and himself, putting together bands and recording sessions and generally hustling. This side contains several artists and sidemen associated with Turner, although Ike himself only appears on the Johnny O'Neal session. (MH)

15.1 – Ain't Gonna Tell You No Lie (James banister) (1986) 2:26 Previously Unissued
(James Banister) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 3, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
James Banister (vocal and drums), Bobby Field (tenor saxophone),
Dennis Binder (piano), Johnny Smith (bass)

After Jackie Brenston left, Ike Turner regrouped his band and brought several aggregations to Phillips' Studio. This track derives from a May 1952 session. Messrs. Banister and Binder have borrowed this track from the risqué blues favourite ''Dirty Mother Fuyer''.There is some jazzy piano in the "stops", but this rhythmic gimmick becomes wearisome. The sloppy ending suggests once again that this was either a session warm-up or a rough run-through that Phillips mixed on the spot. (HD)(CE)

15.2 - Love You, Love You Baby (Dennis Binder) (1986) 2:19 Previously Unissued
(Dennis Binder) (Copyright Control
Recorded May 3, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Dennis Binder (piano), Bobby Field (tenor saxophone),
James Banister (drums), Johnny Smith (bass)

This jumping track is really a loose package of blues clichés and prime tenor honking, The sax player (Bobby Fields) is truly wired and contributes some primal screams. The overall feel approximates a jam session which builds to a roaring climax but held little potential as a single release in 1952. (CE)(HD)

15.3 - Long Gone Raymond (Raymond Hill) (1986) 2:38 Previously Unissued
(Raymond Hill) (Copyright Control)
Recorded October 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Raymond Hill (tenor saxophone), Evans Bradshaw (Piano),
Willie Kizart (guitar), John Ed Nash (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

Raymond Hill began to record solo for Sam Phillips because he felt he wasn't getting his financial due from previous efforts with Jackie Brenston. Here he honks his way through a straight ahead outing. Although this track never saw release, Phillips was sufficiently impressed with Hill's sax style to record him over the next couple of years. In 1954 Hill finally saw a Sun release, ''The Snuggle''. (CE)(HD)

15.4 - My Baby Left Me (Raymond Hill) (1976) 2:25 Not Originally Issued.
(Raymond Hill) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 8, 1952 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Raymond Hill (tenor saxophone), Evans Bradshaw (Piano),
Willie Kizart (guitar), John Ed Nash (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

It may be a cliché, but as a vocalist Raymond Hill is a pretty good sax player. Here, with some of his confrères from the ''Rocket 88'' session, Raymond reworks the Elmore James riff. Willie Kizart's guitar is outstanding and the backing is rock solid, but there is no denying that Raymond's vocal was simply not strong enough to sustain this track as a commercial single. (CE)(HD)

15.5 - Blues Train (Tot Randolph) (1986) 2:34 Previously Unissued.
Theautry "Tot" Randolph (Copyright Control)
Recorded June 23, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Tot Randolph (vocals and baritone saxophone), Charles Lloyd (alto saxophone),
Willie Dodson (tenor saxophone), L.C. Hubert (piano), Willie Johnson (guitar),
Tuff Green (bass), Junior Blackmon (drums)

The second sax instrumental of this side features Tot Randolph. There's plenty of enthusiasm here as the ''Blues Train'' rolls along. The baritone sax is an unusual instrument to find in a solo role. In both jazz and rhythm and blues it is usually confined to section work. Here, Randolph's baritone work is pretty impassioned in comparison to Raymond Hill's tenor style. But compared to Willie Johnson's guitar sound, even Randolph is asleep at the wheel. Johnson literally tears the session up, ranging from some fiery unison work to a solo lead-in that borders on atonal. Although not audible, alto man Charles Lloyd is credited with being on the session. 25 years later he would become the flower child of the jazz world. (HD)(CE)

15.6 - Ugly woman (Johnny O'Neal Johnson) 2:27 Not Originally Issued.
(Johnny O'Neil Johnson) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded August 2, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny O'Neal (vocal), James Wheeler (saxophone), Thomas Reed (saxophone),
Bonnie Turner (piano), Ike Turner (guitar and 2nd vocal),
Jesse Knight (bass), Willie Sims (drums)

Johnny O'Neal (O'Neal Johnson) had been a long time cohort of Ike Turner when it finally came time for him to record. This song has its origins deep in the dozens (Your old lady is so ugly that...). Things were fairly spirited on this, the second, take. Before the session was over, Sam had the boys try the song another eight times. Surprisingly, he never considered any of the versions for release. The lyrical content is consistently strong and Ike Turner provides a stinging solo that never falls short of ideas. Truly a good timing record. (HD)(CE)

15.7 - Dead Letter Blues (Johnny O'Neal Johnson) (1976) 3:37 Not Originally Issued.
(Johnny O'Neil Johnson) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded August 2, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny O'Neal (vocal), James Wheeler (saxophone), Thomas Reed (saxophone),
Bonnie Turner (piano), Ike Turner (guitar and 2nd vocal),
Jesse Knight (bass), Willie Sims (drums)

This song is a reworking of the old death letter theme with more than a nod toward the Kingdom of B.B. Ike Turner provides some very engaging guitar fills and a lovely solo which is reminiscent of his work on Billy Emerson's ''No Teasing Around''. Overall, this is a very powerful performance that did not deserve to remain unreleased for as long as it has. (HD)(CE)

15.8 - Johnny's Dream (Johnny O'Neal Johnson) (1986) 2:56 Previously Unissued.
(Johnny O'Neil Johnson) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded August 2, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Johnny O'Neal (vocal), James Wheeler (saxophone), Thomas Reed (saxophone),
Bonnie Turner (piano), Ike Turner (guitar and 2nd vocal),
Jesse Knight (bass), Willie Sims (drums)

This little psychodrama, which features the acting and musical talents of Ike and Bonnie Turner, was designed to be released on Sun. Recorded in August 1953, it was mastered on both 45 and 78 in January 1954 but never released. The most likely scenario is that Sam Phillips ran short of dollars and held back this track along with some Mose Vinson sides mastered at the same time. Ike Turner decided that the concept was too strong to stay on the shelf awaiting an upturn in Phillips' finances. He returned to Clarksdale where he recorded essentially the same song, Eugene Fox's ''Sinners Dream'', in February 1954. He sold it to the Chess brothers in Chicago who lost no time in issuing it. Still another version by Fox was produced by Ike Turner and sold to RPM a few months later. (CE)(HD)

Contains
Record 8 Side 16 ''Lookin' For My Baby''

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

Perhaps the most talented of the performers Ike Turner brought to Sun was Little Milton Campbell. Milton was an artist who did not have an identifiable style at the time but he was capable of a surprising range of amazing performances - a chameleon of the blues. (HD)(MH)

16.1 - Beggin' My Baby (Little Milton) (1953) 2:23 > Sun 194-A <
(James Milton Campbell) (Memphis Music Incorporated)
Recorded July 28, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano),
C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone), Jesse Knight (bass),
Willie Sims (drums)

From the rolling and melancholy 4-bar piano introduction, it was clear that ''Beggin' My Baby'' was a winner. As Little Milton's Sun legacy reveals, the man was truly a chameleon, capable of turning his talents to a variety of contemporary stylings ranging from B.B. King to Fats Domino. Arguably, this was not the kind of artist that lawsuit-prone Sam Phillips needed on his roster. Here, Milton turns his attention to a barely disguised version of Fats Domino's 1953 hit ''Going To The River ''. Despite its derivative nature, Milton's performance is totally arresting. Even Billboard concurred, giving ''Beggin''' highest marks and observing on January 23, 1954 "Here's a sock rendition of a most melodic new effort by Milton over a pounding backing. The lyric has suspense and Milton sings it for all he's worth. A solid slicing that could easily break out for the big coin''. (HD)9CE)

16.2 - Somebody ToId Me (Little Milton) (1953) 2:58 > Sun 194-B <
(James Milton Campbell) (Memphis Music Incorporated)
Recorded July 28, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano),
C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone), Jesse Knight (bass),
Willie Sims (drums)

Once again Milton contributes a highly charged blues performance. However, it lacks the impact of his best Sun work because he is constrained by the mambo rhythm. Milton's vocal phrasing is ill suited to the Latin rhythm and his guitar does not get a chance to shine; it is limited to a supporting role. Fortunately, the band breaks free of the mambo during the chorus and extended instrumental 'break. (CE/HD)

16.3 - Carry My Business On (Houston Boines) (1976) 2:29 Not Originally Issued
(Houston Boines) (Delta Music Incorporated)
Recorded December 23, 1953 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Houston Boines (vocals), Milton Campbell (guitar), Ike Turner (piano),
Jesse Knight (bass), Lonnie Hayes (drums)

Houston Boines is something of an enigma. Virtually nothing is known about him. Even Little Milton, who played on this session and was responsible for bringing Boines to the Sun studio knew little about him. "I met him in Leland, Mississippi. He played harmonica. I don't know where he is now. Nobody seems to. He was quite an old guy when we recorded. He would be at least 70 by now (1982)". Boines has achieved an interesting feat: he has written and performed a song that may well be the most lyrically note worthy in this entire collection, but we will probably never know. His diction and delivery is sufficiently inaccessible to tempt, but ultimately frustrate, the listener. It's obviously a backwoods story song and it contains some fascinating couplets that can be in stilled with as much or as little significance as you like: "I rode a white horse called silver streak one day/ I met Old Man Quiggle and Old Boston along the way".

Undoubtedly, the song is rich in detail and rather obscure imagery, but you'd need an advanced degree in deep south patois and backwoods mythology to get it all. Even Milton, from almost thirty years' distance, recalled "we could never get the clarity on his recordings. We could never understand what he was saving. Sam Phillips didn't think it was good enough to release. We were supposed to go back into the studio and re-do the stuff because it was unfinished product but we never got back. We were in there all day long .. and part of the night''. (Blues Unlimited' #144).

Failing that, you can just sit back and enjoy the solid guitar work of Little Milton Campbell or Ike Turner's fine piano stylings. However, it's the simple slap bass of Jesse Knight that really propels this recording. You might notice that the record is a strange paradox: a story song with roots way back in the country, sung to a rather modern sounding blues backing. (HD)(CE)

16.4 - She's My Queen (Campbell) (1986) 2:29 Previously Unissued
(James Campbell) (Hi Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 30, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano), C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone),
Lawrence Taylor (alto saxophone), Cleophus Robinson (bass),
Probably Jesse Knight Jr. (electric bass),
Lonnie Will Haynes (drums)

This is a straightforward blues outing that doesn't distinguish itself until Milton's guitar solo. Then it really soars. There are shades of Guitar Slim, but Milton is essentially his own man here. No one would want to deny Milton this later success, but it's a pity that it placed a lesser emphasis on his brilliant guitar playing. (CE)(HD)

16.5 - Re-beet (Re-beat) Campbell) (1986) 2:36 Previously Unissued
(James Campbell) (Hi Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 30, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano), C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone),
Lawrence Taylor (alto saxophone), Cleophus Robinson (bass),
Probably Jesse Knight Jr. (electric bass),
Lonnie Will Haynes (drums)

This is unquestionably the most unusual track Milton recorded for Sun. If Sam Phillips was looking for hybrid material, he should have stayed with this effort. It's got a clear streak of hillbilly running right through it and the title suggests a throwback to the 1940s. Quite apart from its origins, ''Rebeat'' has an engaging rhythm and a sizeable hook. This is about as far as Milton ever strayed from traditional blues forms during his early career (HD)(CE)

16.6 - Lookin' For My Baby (Little Milton) (1954) 2:53 > Sun 220-B < 
(James Campbell) (Hi Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 30, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano), C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone),
Lawrence Taylor (alto saxophone), Cleophus Robinson (bass),
Probably Jesse Knight Jr. (electric bass),
Lonnie Will Haynes (drums)

There is not a level on which this track does not succeed. Perhaps more than any other title it emphasises what a terrific guitarist Milton could be. His sense of timing and drama shine through. It almost serves as a working definition of stinging guitar. There are other delights too, notably Milton's spoken intro ("see I can't find her'') in addition, the whole group supplies a rhythmic hook by accenting the first beat in key measures. This track was previously reissued on CR 30102, but erroneously titled ''Rode That Train''. (HD)(CE)

16.7 - Rode That Train (Little Milton) (1976) 2:50 Previously Unissued Alternative Take
(James Campbell) (Hi Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 30, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano), C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone),
Lawrence Taylor (alto saxophone), Cleophus Robinson (bass),
Probably Jesse Knight Jr. (electric bass),
Lonnie Will Haynes (drums)

This is a decidedly alternate version of Sun 220. The tempo is faster and the opening riff is lifted from Elmore James' hits of the day. There is a prodigious amount of energy on this take and, unlike many alternate takes, this is a finished product. It offered Phillips a genuine option in terms of which version to release. (CE)(HD)

16.8 - Homesick For My Baby (Campbell) (1976) Not Originally Issued
(James Campbell) (Hi Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 30, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano), C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone),
Lawrence Taylor (alto saxophone), Cleophus Robinson (bass),
Probably Jesse Knight Jr. (electric bass),
Lonnie Will Haynes (drums)

A straightanead blues outing, this alternative take of Sun 220 is distinguished by yet another superlative guitar solo which demonstrates Milton's flair for aggressive phrasing. The sax contributes some very soulfully notes and Ike Turner shines in his limited supporting role on piano. The only sour note in the performance is literally the last but, as Sam Phillips would have told them, "It's the feeling that counts". (HD/CE)

16.9 - If You Love Me (Little Milton) (1954) 2:32 > Sun 200-A < 
(James Campbell) (Hi Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded March 30, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton Campbell (vocal and guitar), Ike Turner (piano), C.W. Tate (tenor saxophone),
Lawrence Taylor (alto saxophone), Cleophus Robinson (bass),
Probably Jesse Knight Jr. (electric bass),
Lonnie Will Haynes (drums)

Once again Milton displays his gift for imitation that borders on plagiarism. However, on this occasion it barely matters that he was ploughing someone else's furrow. He has borrowed that irresistible intro from Elmore James' ''Dust My Broom'' which, in turn, was the inspiration for B.B. Kings' ''Please Love Me''. Milton turns in a strong vocal performance here and is ably assisted by Ike Turner's pounding piano and some persuasive percussion. B.B. King remembered Ike Turner as one of the finest pianists he had heard and these tracks by Milton bear evidence for his claim. (HD)(CE)

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105-9 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956 RED HOT - GONNA SHAKE IT

Contains
Record 9 Side 17 ''Red Hot''

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

During and after 1954, there was a move toward jump blues at Sun and away from the range of older stylesPhillips had experimented with Billy Emerson, Billy Love, Eddie snow and Rosco Gordon led the way, although the Love sides included here wen not released at the time.

17.1 - Way After Midnight (Billy Love) (1986) 2:47 Previously Unissued
(Milton Morse Love-Sam Phillips) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 19, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton ''Billy'' Love (vocal and piano), Harvey Simmons (saxophone),
Jewell Briscoe (saxophone), Lucian Coleman (saxophone),
Charles McGowan (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

Despite the sombre nature of the material, there's a fine energy level here. The record was an immediately charged atmosphere established by the boys whooping it up in the background. A very effective move. Love's vocal is nignly confident and his piano work is every bit a match. The alto player seems destined for outer space during his solo, as he works some jazz changes into Love's basic 12 bar blues. Such a pity that Love never lived to see a little deleted recognition. Phillips registered this copyright with BMI in May, 1954,
perhaps suggesting that he was considering it as a single. (HD)(CE)

17.2 - Hart's Bread Boogie (Love) (1954) 2:39 Not Originally Issued
(Milton Billy Love) (Copyright Control)
Recorded May 3, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Billy Love (vocal and piano), Pat Hare (guitar),
Unknown (bass and drums)

Love pays a talking blues tribute to the title product. The Hart's Bread snow ran regularly on KWEM in West Memphis and an alternate version of this song appeared on the Hart's Bread label. The lyric recounts the curative and restorative powers of the product in a manner that would no longer pass the U.S. Advertising Code. It would be priceless watching Love and Sam Phillips trying to argue in court the truth of such lines "You cant do the boogie if your heart's not in it''. Love's vocal is performed in the same greasy style as Ray Charles' ''It Should Have Been Me'', which was popular in late 1953 when the song was conceived. (CE)(HD)

17.3 - Gee I Wish (Billy Love) (1977) 2:15 Not Originally issued
(Milton Morse Love-Sam Phillips) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 19, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton ''Billy'' Love (vocal and piano), Harvey Simmons (saxophone),
Jewell Briscoe (saxophone), Lucian Coleman (saxophone),
Charles McGowan (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

The big guns were out for this session; three saxes, together with a full rhythm section. The session cost Phillips $92.50 to put together, compared with the average cost of $20,25. The results are impressive and were tentatively scheduled for release on Sun. Perhaps Phillips' financial problems prevented their appearance. Love's vocal is confident and the sax soloist betrays distinct jazz leanings in the first half of his solo but then simplifies his approach quite markedly. It's almost as if someone had leaned over and whispered "Too close to jazz, man". The song features a catchy hook and would have fitted in well with the uptown blues hits of 1954, all of which make its non-appearance a mystery (CE)(HD)

17.4 - The News Is All Around Town (Billy Love) (186) Previously Unissued
(Milton Morse Love-Sam Phillips) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded January 19, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Milton ''Billy'' Love (vocal and piano), Harvey Simmons (saxophone),
Jewell Briscoe (saxophone), Lucian Coleman (saxophone),
Charles McGowan (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Houston Stokes (drums)

This is a beautifully poised after-hours blues featuring Billy Love as himself, rather than in his more customary role of resident chameleon. Loves vocal is confident and keeps pace with the standout lyric ("She snows me no mercy, she feels no pain"). Love also contributes some fine rolling piano. There is a fluid and jazzy tenor sax solo, and Phillips has miked the acoustic bass very prominently for an unusually ballsy sound. About the only liability here is the drummer, who could nave used a short course in subtlety.

Fans of Sun ephemera will enjoy the distant ring of the telephone at the end of the first line, a phenomenon most classically associated with Jimmy DeBerry sessions but one apt to appear at any time. (HD)(CE)(MH)

17.5 - Shim Sham Shimmy (Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson) (1978) 2:20 Not Originally Issued
(William Billy Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 27, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Bennie Moore (tenor saxophone),
Luther Taylor (alto saxophone), Charles Smith (trumpet),
Elven Parr (guitar), Robert Prindell (drums)

It's a real mystery why this track was never released; it's among the most instantly catchy of Emerson's tunes, made more memorable by the band chanting the refrain. Admittedly, the pure blues content is low, but this was a solid commercial effort and was resurrected as ''Do The Chicken'' three years later during an Emerson session for VJ. (HD)(CE)

17.6 - When It Rains It pours (Billy Emerson) > Sun 214-B <
(William Billy Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 27, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Bennie Moore (tenor saxophone),
Luther Taylor (alto saxophone), Charles Smith (trumpet),
Elven Parr (guitar), Robert Prindell (drums)

Marion Keisker remembered Elvis Presley coming into the Sun studio asking whether he could cover versions of the day's top hits. Sam Phillips had two good reasons for refusing: He didn't own the publishing rights and there were already enough versions on the market competing for airplay. Thus, Phillips fed Presley Hi-Lo copyrights whenever possible. Among these was Billy Emerson's ''When It Rains'', which Emerson recorded 3 months after Presley's first session. Presley duly recorded it for Sun although it remained unreleased until recently (Legendary Performer Volume 4). More surprisingly, he re-recorded it for RCA in 1958. Emerson's version stands up quite well. The riffing is very aggressive and the instrumental break is a beautiful moment in Sun rhythm and blues history. Emerson's cry of "All right!" sets up Bennie Moore's powerful solo which begins with a tense sustained note. Reportedly, Moore was angry with Phillips for having to do so many takes and his frustration was put to good use here. Elven Parrs' guitar has a fine dirty tone and his incessant chording showcases Moore's impassioned honking. (HD)(CE)

17.7 - Move Baby Move (Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson) (1955) 2:46 > Sun 214-A <
(William Billy Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 27, 1954 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Bennie Moore (tenor saxophone),
Luther Taylor (alto saxophone), Charles Smith (trumpet),
Elven Parr (guitar), Robert Prindell (drums)

Emerson himself admitted that this song owed more than a passing nod to the influence of Big Joe Turner. In fact, the melody is a note for note copy of Big Joe's hit of the day, ''Shake Rattle And Roll'', although that song certainly did not originate with Turner. ''Move Baby Move'' is a wonderful and driving performance, none the worse for its derivative origins. Once again, Emerson sets up Bennie Moore for a fine sax solo. It's a good thing the rhytnm was abetted by hand clapping since this track is not one of Phillips' better efforts in the art of crisply recorded drums (CE)(HD)

17.8 - Red Hot (Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson) (1955) 2:27 > Sun 219-A <
(William Billy Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded May 31, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal and piano), Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone), Calvin Newborn (guitar), Kenneth Banks (bass),
Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums), Band (chorus)

Emerson derived this song from a cheerleader chant ''Our Team Is Red Hot''. He recorded it with a band put t . together by Phineas Newborn Sr. The rock and roll revolution was well underway by the time the boys settled down to record this in May 1955. Eighteen months later, rockabilly artist Billy Riley recorded a lyrically stripped down and cleaned up version of the song, although the classic retort "Your girl ain't doodlev squat" was retained. Bob Luman also recorded it in 1957. The song remained untouched until Sam the Sham recorded it in 1966. Ten years later Robert Gordon turned in a sizzling version that inspired further rockabilly covers. (HD)(CE)

17.9 - Bring Your Love Back Home (Eddie Snow) (1955) 3:14 > Sun 226-B < 
(Eddie Snow) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded July 19, 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Eddie Snow (vocal and piano), Floyd Murphy (guitar), Eddie Davis (tenor saxophone),
Bennie Moore (alto saxophone), Jeff Greyer (drums)

Eddie Snow first appeared on the doorstep at 706 union in 1952 as the pianist with Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys. They had journeyed from Osceola, Arkansas to make a demo for Chess, Snow reappeared in 1955 with Bennie Moore, another Parr alumnus, to cut a single for Sun. The results are this rolling blues with a catchy tune that might have done quite well but for Phillips' lack of promotional capital and the fact that Sun was now touting itself in the trade papers as America's number 1 country label. The alto sax solo is probably by Bennie Moore, who had obviously spent long nights listening to Charlie Parker 78s. The other horn man might be Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, who later joined Count Basie but began his career honking in rhythm and blues bands. (CE/HD)

Contains
Record 9 Side 18 ''Gonna Shake It''

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

With the increasing accent on rock and roll and country music at Sun, just two of Sam Phillips' favourite rhythm and blues stylists remained - Billy Emerson and Rosco Gordon. Both continued to turn in fine Individualistic up-tempo performances to the very end of Sun Records' blues years. (MH)

18.1 - Something For Nothing (Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson) (1956) 2:48  > Sun 233-B <
(William Robert Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded November 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal), Billy Love (piano), Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone), Calvin Newborn (guitar),
Kenneth Banks (bass), Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums)

Emerson rates his work on this title very highly, and with good reason. The record is a tight, jumping blues with more than a nod towards the urgency of nascent rock and roll. Emerson brought in Pnineas Newborn Sr.s band for the session which meant that they had to work up the arrangement from scratch. Despite this, there is an infectious spontaneity to the performance. (CE()HD)

18.2 - Little Fine Healthy Thing (Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson) (1956) 2:34 > Sun 233-A <
(William Robert Emerson) (Hi-Lo Music Incorporated)
Recorded November 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
William Billy Emerson (vocal), Billy Love (piano), Jewell Briscoe (tenor saxophone),
Moses Reed (tenor saxophone), Calvin Newborn (guitar),
Kenneth Banks (bass), Phineas Newborn Sr. (drums)

This is a catchy melodic composition with more spice and variety than most rhythm and blues titles from the period. It also shows up Emerson's limitations as a vocalist: he was competent and even distinctive, but lacked the aggressive approach of many of his contemporaries. The song itself shows some unique imagery, although Emerson seemed to nave a penchant for women who could make ''a bulldog hug a hound". Emerson prided himself on being a songwriter, not just another reshuffles of blues clichés. What he says here manages to be both loving and lecherous. A fine combination. The lady should nave been flattered. (CE)(HD)

18.3 - That's What You Do To Me (Rosco Gordon) (1986) 2:48 Not Originally Issued
(Rosco Gordon) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably February 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Billy Duncan (alto saxophone),
Charles Taylor (alto saxophone), Richard Sanders (baritone saxophone),
Sax Willie Wilkes (tenor saxophone), Foree Wells (guitar),
Tuff Green (bass), John Murry Daley (drums)

The results of this later session by Rosco Gordon give clear evidence of the advent of rock and roll. Rosco was no longer a 17 year old kid, and his musical style had evolved since his earliest session for Phillips 5 years before. At the least, the lyrical content of these songs, while not timeless poetry, was still beyond the primitive rantings of ''Rosco's Boogie''. This was one of Gordon's more sophisticated offerings to date, using the irony of opposites to make its point. Rosco's well known sense of humour is plainly in evidence on lines like ''I wear oil on my face/powder on my hair/ I'm a stage acting man/ But I Just don't care''. His second reading of the title line in each couplet is especially melodic. The song rolls along nicely with that loping shuffle Rosco made his own (Rosco's Rhythm). The recording features a surprisingly active guitar player. When Rosco moved on to Vee-Jay Records three years later, the song was still buzzing around in his head. He recorded it for that label in 1959, with a considerably different arrangement, when it finally saw commercial release. (HD)(CE)

18.4 - Found A New Love (Rosco Gordon) (1986) 3:06 Previously Unissued
(Rosco Gordon) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably February 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Billy Duncan (alto saxophone),
Charles Taylor (alto saxophone), Richard Sanders (baritone saxophone),
Sax Willie Wilkes (tenor saxophone), Foree Wells (guitar),
Tuff Green (bass), John Murry Daley (drums)

This previously unreleased title is a very effective version of Rosco's trademark shuffle. The man turns in a slick and confident vocal performance, bringing an unexpected measure of variety into his phrasing. The instrumental nignlignt of the cut is Richard Sanders' baritone sax which provides a solid bottom, ample rhythmic thrust, and an ending that must have pushed Phillips' VU meter into the red zone. (HD)(CE)

18.5 - I'm Gonna Shake It (Rosco Gordon) (1986) 1:57 Previously Unissued
(Rosco Gordon) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably February 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Billy Duncan (alto saxophone),
Charles Taylor (alto saxophone), Richard Sanders (baritone saxophone),
Sax Willie Wilkes (tenor saxophone), Foree Wells (guitar),
Tuff Green (bass), John Murry Daley (drums)

This rollicking performance is not one of Rosco's lyrical masterpieces. It is a good timing example of rhythm and blues blending into rock and roll, mirroring the changing musical times of the mid-50s. Richard Sanders provides a solid anchor with his baritone sax, but the real instrumental highlight comes from drummer Murray Daley, who offers some standout counter-rhythms in the 2-bar break between verses. (HD)(CE)

18.6 - Let's Get High (Rosco Gordon) (1986) Not Originally Issued
(Rosco Gordon) (Copyright Control)
Recorded Probably February 1955 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocal and piano), Billy Duncan (alto saxophone),
Charles Taylor (alto saxophone), Richard Sanders (baritone saxophone),
Sax Willie Wilkes (tenor saxophone), Foree Wells (guitar),
Tuff Green (bass), John Murry Daley (drums)

This strong track was never released by Sam Phillips and probably came too late to be peddled to another label. Following his patented ''No More Doggin''' introduction, Rosco and the band launch into a confident arrangement that features prominent drum-work and a riffing baritone sax, played by Richard Sanders. Only an inappropriate major seventh ending reveals the likely spontaneous origin of the arrangement. Interestingly, Rosco went back into the studio in 1984 and, looking for a flip-side for a moving tribute he had recorded for his late wife, chose ''Lets Get High''. (HD)(CE)

18.7 - New Orleans (Rosco Gordon) (1986) 2:08 Previously Unissued
(Rosco Gordon) (Copyright Control)
Recorded October 25, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocals and piano), Phillip Walker (guitar), L.W. Canty (bass),
Joe W. Payne (drums), James Jones (tenor saxophone),
Lionel Prevost (tenor saxophone)

Once again we see that Rosco's Vee-Jay recordings had their origins in his Sun output. This version of ''New Orleans, La.'' is no rough demo. There are at least two finished versions and both are surprisingly full productions. The opening couplet owes its origins to Stick McGhee's earlier good timer about the Crescent City, ''Drinking Wine Spodee Odie''. The general background chaos here puts one in mind of the early 1960s hits by Gary U.A. Bonds. In any case, this track never saw release on Sun or on any of the later Rosco Gordon collections issued on Charly. It appears here for the first time. The later Vee-Jay version, although recorded in 1961, was first released on a Charly anthology in 1982. (HD)(CE)

18.8 - Shoobie Oobie (Rosco Gordon) (1956) 2:55 < Sun 257-B < 
(Rosco Gordon) (Knox Music Incorporated)
Recorded October 25, 1956 at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee
Rosco Gordon (vocals and piano), Phillip Walker (guitar), L.W. Canty (bass),
Joe W. Payne (drums), James Jones (tenor saxophone),
Lionel Prevost (tenor saxophone)

when Rosco Gordon made his triumphant return to performing in Memphis in 1981, ''Shoobie Oobie'' was one of his featured numbers. He turned in a dazzling performance and, as he must nave done in Phillips' Studio, he left his trademark "blood on the Keys" from playing so hard. The first twelve bars Of this track are incessant and memorable. It's a bit surprising that all of this musical tension and power abates so soon and the song resolves itself into a playful and scat-nonsense lyric. This track. and its utterly bizarre flip-side Cheese and crackers attracted a fair bit Of southern attention during its original release in January', 1957. Billboard noted that it "had some flash" and was "good for a few spins". They didn't reckon on its being reissued with scholarship an a reverence nearly thirty years later. (HD/CE)

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