CONTAINS
For audio recordings click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1952 Sun Schedule <

1952 SESSIONS (10)
October 1, 1952 to October 31, 1952

Studio Session for Billy ''Tag'' Williams, October 1952 / Trumpet Records
Studio Session for Willie Nix, October 2, 8, 9, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Raymond Hill, October 6, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Howlin' Wolf, October 7, 1952 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Walter ''Tang'' Smith, October 27, 1952 / J-B Records

For Biographies of Artists see: > The Sun Biographies <
Playlists of the Artists can be found on 706 Union Avenue Sessions of > YouTube <
  

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY ''TAG'' WILLIAMS
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR TRUMPET RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
TRUMPET SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE OCTOBER 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

Billy ''Tag'' Williams sang around Texarkana, Arkansas, and was represented by agent Lynn Farr, who had approached Trumpet with aspirations for a record deal. Williams had been the vocalist on Sammy Kaye's hit recording of ''The Old Lamplighter''. But whereas his smooth vocalizing worked well in a big-band context, it lacked character. This was glaringly obvious when he assayed country material. Although a fine honky-tonk band was enlisted for session, there was really nothing that could offset the bland, correct, and emotionally barren singing on ''Island Of Heartaches'', ''One-Sided Love'' and ''Sweetheart, I Wouldn't Change a Thing''. There was no excitement, no commitment, nothing challenging about the choice of tunes - although a beautiful piano accompaniment distinguished ''By And By''. Tag Williams's work affirmed everything predictable about country music and the lives of its audience, but in contrast to Jimmie Rodgers or Hank Williams, ''Tag'' was unable to offer any new insights into old predicaments or to hold out any fresh hopes or challenging responses. This ''same old'' aspect was just what Mrs. Lillian McMurry was trying to avoid, but she went ahead and released the tunes, apparently hoping that such merely serviceable stuff would find its niche.

> ISLAND OF HEARTACHES <
Composer: - Lynn Farr-H. Blair
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Globe Music
Matrix number: - DRC-140 - Master (2:41)
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1952
Released: - December 1952
First appearance: - Trumpet Records (S) 78rpm standard single Trumpet 192-A mono
ISLAND OF HEARTACHES / BY AND BY

> BY AND BY <
Composer: - Lynn Farr-H. Blair
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Globe Music
Matrix number: - DRC-141 - Master (2:39)
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1952
Released: - December 1952
First appearance: - Trumpet Records (S) 78rpm standard single Trumpet 192-B mono
BY AND BY / ISLAND OF HEARTACHES
Reissued: - January 6, 2010 Goldenlane Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - MISSISSIPPI HILLBILLY

> SWEETHEART I WOULDN'T CHANCE A THING <
Composer: - Lynn Farr
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Globe Music
Matrix number: - DRC-142 - Master (2:29)
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1952
Released: - April 1953
First appearance: - Trumpet Records (S) 78rpm standard single Trumpet 193-A mono
SWEETHEART I WOULDN'T CHANCE A THING / ONE-SIDED LOVE
Reissued: - January 6, 2010 Goldenlane Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - MISSISSIPPI HILLBILLY

> ONE-SIDE LOVE < 
Composer: - Lynn Farr
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Globe Music
Matrix number: - DRC-143 - Master (2:34)
Recorded: - Unknown Date October 1952
Released: - April 1953
First appearance: - Trumpet Records (S) 78rpm standard single Trumpet 193-B mono
ONE-SIDED LOVE / SWEETHEART I WOULDN'T CHANCE A THING
Reissued: - January 6, 2010 Goldenlane Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - MISSISSIPPI HILLBILLY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy ''Tag'' Williams - Vocal
More Details Unknown

For Biographies of Billy Williams see: > The Sun Biographies <
Billy Williams' Trumpet recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR WILLIE NIX
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: OCTOBER 2, 8, 9, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

Skinny as a rake and blessed with a loftiness that would do a high school basketball player proud, Willie Nix was one of the first musicians to be hired when The Memphis Recording Service opened for business in 1950. In the pre-Sun days, Sam Phillips hived-out Nix's recordings to RPM and Checker and then with the tag of "The Memphis Blues Boy" he came good for one in-house single with this personalised checklist of rolls and buns. Later sides appeared on Chance in Chicago.

> SEEMS LIKE A MILLION YEARS <
Composer: - Willie Nix-Sam C. Phillips
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 59 - Master (2:39)
Recorded: - October 8, 1952
Released: - January 30, 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single Sun 179-B mono
SEEMS LIKE A MILLION YEARS / BAKER SHO BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/8 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

''Seems Like A Million Years'', a sad theme is explored here, and receives appropriately serious treatment from the cascading piano work of Albert Williams to Joe Willie Wilkins' taught guitar- playing. Nix's vocal is measured, and his drumming simply follows the rhythmic line.

> BAKER SHOP BOOGIE <
Composer: - Willie Nix-Sam C. Phillips
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 60 - Master (2:39)
Recorded: - October 2, 1952
Released: - January 30, 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78rpm standard single Sun 179-A mono
BAKER SHOP BOOGIE / SEEMS LIKE A MILLION YEARS
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

This stomping boogie surely earns Nix the title of Jelly Roll King as he lauds the Lady's backing technique, and even her oven! Mucho sexual unnuendo indeed, and the tongue-in-cheek vocal is boosted by James Cotton's meaty harp solo. As limited as Nix was as a vocalist and as insufferable as he was personally, ''Baker Shop Boogie'' rocks out. This wasn't the first baker-sex analog, and it's not as well known as Lonnie Johnson's ''Here A Jelly Roll baker'' or even Blind Lemon Jefferson's ''Baker Shop Blues'', but it's irresistible nonetheless.

> BAKER SHOP BOOGIE <
Composer: - Willie Nix-Sam C. Phillips
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:27)
Recorded: - October 9, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30114-A-4 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 7 – SUN BLUES
Reissued: - June 18, 2012 JSP Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
VARIOUS ARTISTS - JUKE JOINTS 3 - VOLUME 2

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Willie Nix - Vocal and Drums
Joe Willie Wilkins - Guitar
Albert "Joiner" Williams - Piano
James "Jimmy" Cotton - Harmonica

Like Joe Hill Louis, Willie Nix was a local musician who worked sessions for Sam Phillips as well as seeing releases on Sun and Modern. A drummer and sometime guitarist, Nix had a radio show in West Memphis, Arkansas with Joe Willie Wilkins who plays guitar on this session. Albert Williams piano and Jimmy Cotton, harmonica complete the combo on this fine amalgam of cottonfield and city influences.

Sexual metaphor is no stranger to the blues. The joys of sex, indeed of anatomical detail, have been rhapsodized in terms of a host of metaphors, ranging from fast cars to musical instruments. Here, Nix's woman is a baker whose oven and sweet jelly roll(s) are a source of such joy to him that he was immortalized her charms in a boogie. The March 28, 1953 issue of Billboard' failed to appreciate his devotion, claiming "The material is ordinary, but Nix sings it out".

For Biographies of Willie Nix see: > The Sun Biographies <
Willie Nix's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

OCTOBER 1952

Joe Bihari arrives in Memphis to see Ike Turner, and to arrange further sessions for Modern Records. After the success of ''Rocket 88'' in 1951, Ike Turner probably wondered ''Why Jackie Brenston, not me''? After splitting from Brenston, Turner was now an employee of RPM-Modern Records, scouting and recording artists in the Delta. Piecing together his activities isn't easy, anf Ike probably liked it that way. Ike toured the South seeking and recording talent where he could. He married, toured and recorded with a pianist named Bonnie, and then divorced her. He married Johnny O'Neal's girlfriend, Alice, and took up with another pianist Anna Mae Wilson.

Sam Phillips pitches another Willie Nix acetate to Chess Records, which is refused (he later uses it in the re-launch of Sun Records). Chess also turn down a Raymond Hill single, as do Trumpet Records, who currently have a massive hit in their hands with Elmore James' "Dusty My Broom".

Sam Phillips records Walter "Tang" Smith for Jim Buleit's Nashville-based J-B label.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR RAYMOND HILL
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY OCTOBER 6, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Raymond Hill quit Jackie Brenston's Delta Cats to launch his own group. In October 1952, he returned to Sun with yet another ''Rocket 88'' alumnus, guitarist Willie Kizart.

> LONG GONE RAYMOND (1) <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:38)
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm SUNBOX 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3/18 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

By all accounts Raymond Hill began to record solo for Sam Phillips because he felt he wasn't getting his financial due from previous efforts with Ike Turner and Jackie Brenston. Here he honks his way tunefully through a straight ahead outling, ably supported by pianist Evan Bradshaw, and mercifully confirming that not all sax-players of the era were obsessed with replicating hippo farts.

Although this track was never released, Sam Phillips was sufficiently impressed with Hill's sax style to continue recording him over the next couple of years. In 1954 Raymond Hill finally saw a Sun release, "Bourbon Street Jump"/"The Snuggle" (SUN 204).

On this 1952 session, Hill and Kizart were joined by yet another of Ike's Kings of Rhythm, bassist John Edward Nash. It might have been Phillips who supplied two local Memphis musicians, pianist Bradshaw and drummer Houston Stokes. Bradshaw played the steady roll behind Hill. If Hill had something on his mind, when he concocted this tune, it was probably Jimmy Forrest's ''Night Train''.

> MY BABY LEFT ME <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Cop Cont - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:25)
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126-A-1 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 11 - MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3/19 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

It is, of course, a well-worn cliché, but as a vocalist Raymond Hill makes a pretty good sax player. Here, alongside several of his confreres from the "Rocket 88" session, Raymond reworks Elmore James' riff. Willie Kizart's guitar is outstanding and the backing is rock solid, but there is no getting away from the shortcomings of Raymond's vocal - which is doubtless why it was not released at the time.

> SOMEBODY'S BEEN CARRYIN' YOUR ROLLIN ON <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:57)
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-B-3 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3/20 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Two very distinct versions of ''Somebody's Been Carryin' Your Rollin' On'' were recorded. This (take 1) is the unadorned track, but at some point Phillips added echo and a vocal group to another take, making a polished master that went some way toward disguising Raymond's weak vocal. The other version (take 2), audibly dubbed from acetate, appeared on an early 1970s Redita Records collection, Memphis Blues at Sunshine''.

Chess Records was sufficiently interested in the overdubbed version and another song that has disappeared from the vault, ''Hold Me Baby'' to assign master numbers, but the release was cancelled in the disagreement that set in between Chess and Phillips. Earlier, Sam Phillips had sent a dub of this song to Lillian McMurry at Trumpet, who's refused it.

SOMEBODY'S BEEN CARRYN' YOUR ROLLIN ON
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - F 1039 - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Unknown Vocal Group
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Redita Records (S) 78rpm Redita 105 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES AT SUNSHINE

This (Take 1) slow blues takes on added depth of meaning if you suppose that the singer is the 'somebody': "Have you ever loved a woman/and she's always doing you wrong/well, I'm gonna tell you if you don't know...". Now it becomes one of those 'best friend' melodramas that so frequently square the eternal triangle. Hill's voice may be lacking in nuance but part of his limitation stems from his attempts to sing in the then-fashionable-laid-back style of West Coasters like Charles Brown and Amos Milburn. He gets the job done but lacks the extra commitment that Jackie Brenston could supply, seemingly with little effort.

> SITTIN' ON TOP OF THE WORLD <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:25)
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - 1986 Krazy Kat Records (LP) 33rpm KK 7427 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES - UNISSUED TITLES FROM THE 1950
Reissued: 1992 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-12 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4

"Sitting On Top Of The World" (also "Sittin' On Top Of The World") is a country blues song written by Walter Vinson and Lonnie Chatmon. They were core members of the Mississippi Sheiks, who first recorded it in 1930. Vinson claimed to have composed the song one morning after playing at a white dance in Greenwood, Mississippi. It became a popular crossover hit for the band, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.

"Sitting On Top Of The World" has become a standard of traditional American music. The song has been widely recorded in a variety of different styles, folk, blues, country, bluegrass, rock, often with considerable variations and/or additions to the original verses. The lyrics of the original song convey a stoic optimism in the face of emotional setbacks, and the song has been described as a "simple, elegant distillation of the Blues". In 2018, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or artistically significant''.

The title line of "Sitting On Top Of The World" is similar to a well-known popular song of the 1920s, "I'm Sitting On Top Of The World", written by Ray Henderson, Sam Lewis and Joe Young (popularised by Al Jolson in 1926). However the two songs are distinct, both musically and lyrically. Similarities have also been noted between "Sitting On Top Of The World" and an earlier song by Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, "You Got To Reap What You Sow" (1929) or that the melody is from an unidentified song by Tampa Red.

In May 1930, Charlie Patton recorded a version of the song (with altered lyrics) called "Some Summer Day". During the next few years renditions of "Sitting On Top Of The World" were recorded by a number of artists: the Two Poor Boys, Doc Watson, Big Bill Broonzy, Sam Collins, Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. After Milton Brown recorded it for Bluebird Records the song became a staple in the repertoire of western swing bands.

Lyrically "Sitting Top Of The World" has a simple structure consisting of a series of rhyming couplets, each followed by the two-line chorus. The structural economy of the song seems to be conducive to creative invention, giving the song a dynamic flexibility exemplified by the numerous and diverse versions that exist.

Harmonically the song differs from a standard 12 bar blues, and though the original has a clearly bluesy harmonic feeling, including blue notes in the melody, there is some disagreement about whether it is really a blues.

"Sitting Top Of The World" is a strophic nine-bar blues. Bar nine provides rhythmic separation between stanzas, the end of one stanza and the relatively large pickup at the beginning of the next.

The numerous versions of "Sitting Top Of The World" recorded since 1930 have been characterized by variations to the original lyrics, as recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks in 1930. "Sittin' On Top Of The World", recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1957 (and published under his birth-name Chester Burnett), is a well-known and widely used version of this song. This was the version recorded by Cream in 1968.

Howlin' Wolf shortened the song to just three verses. The first and third verses are similar to the second and fifth verses of the Mississippi Sheiks' song. The middle verse of Howlin' Wolf's version: "Worked all the summer, worked all the fall / Had to take Christmas, in my overalls", was an addition to the 1930 original, but had previously appeared in a version recorded by Ray Charles in 1949.

HOLD ME BABY
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Redita Records (S) 78rpm Redita 105 mono
HOLD ME BABY / SOMEDODY'S BEEN CARRYIN' YOUR ROLLIN ON

> YOU'VE CHANGED <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:20)
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126-A-2 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 11 - MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS

> I'M BACK PRETTY BABY <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:39)
Recorded: - October 6, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126-A-3 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 11 - MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3/21 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Like almost all of the tracks from this session, this relies upon Willie Kizart's bedrock boogie patterns, this time played in union with the bass. Evan Bradshaw's piano also gets to peep through the cracks at times, after supplying an opening solo. Hill's tenor solo is relaxed and rasping, making this perhaps the most successful and rounded performance from the session. Even so, this was his one and only outing as a budding vocalist.

Sam Phillips assigned a Chess master number F 1039 to ''Somebody's Been Carrying Your Rollin' On'' but Chess refused the title. Phillips subsequently pitched it to the Diamond Record Co. (Trumpet) but they also refused it.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Raymond Hill - Vocal (except - 1) and Tenor Saxophone
Evans Bradshaw - Piano
Willie Kizart - Guitar
John Ed Nash - Bass
Houston Stokes - Drums

For Biographies of Raymond Hill see: > The Sun Biographies <
Raymond Hill's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

OCTOBER 1952

Sam Phillips did some recordings for Trumpet Records' Lillian McMurry, the lady who had given the Bihari brothers such a hard time when they tried to steal her artists. And Sam sold a couple of hard blues sides that he had recorded on Joe Hill Louis earlier in the year of 1951, to 4-Star proprietor Bill McCall, who had put out the very first records ever to come out of the Memphis Recording Service. But clearly he no longer had enough of a ready market to sustain his recording activities. There was a brief flicker of hope when Leonard Chess announced the formation of a new sister label, Checker, in the spring, but than just a couple of months later Checker had an entirely unexpected instrumental hit by Muddy Waters' virtuosic harmonica player, Little Walter. ''Juke'', which topped the rhythm and blues charts for five weeks in the fall, not only smashed all previous Chess sales records, it pretty much put paid to any hopes Sam might have had of promoting his own harmonica virtuoso, Walter Horton, as brilliant in his way as his younger namesake, in whom both Leonard Chess and the Bihari brothers had shown some interest in the past.

What hurt most about this final break with Chess Records was losing Howlin' Wolf once and for all. Sam Phillips had one last session with Wolf on October 7, 1952, from Sam's perspective it was the least satisfying session yet, with Chess insisting on a fuller horn section and Sam complying by putting together an off-kilter trombone-saxophone combination, probably not the commercial direction that the label had in mind. From Sam's point of view Leonard Chess, like the Biharis, was more interested in ''excitement'' than in ''feel''. And while to the casual observer, or even to the passionate Wolf fanatic, the difference may have seemed slight, Sam clearly felt pressured (''I don't think they wanted to take the time to say, 'Hey man we're proud of this damn music''), and, in any case, there were to be no more sessions. For the next year and a half Leonard Chess did his best to get the Wolf to quit Memphis, and Wolf, who could be as obstinately principled as the next person, in fact, sometimes considerably more so, staunchly resisted.

There were no more Wolf singles until January 1953, when two sides were culled from the last session, and then, as if to say to Wolf, ''If you don't move to Chicago, you're through, 'nothing for the last eleven months of the year. Wolf got so fed up that he appears to have recorded some sides on his own, probably at the radio station, and then gone to Les Bihari, the oldest of the Bihari brothers, why by 1953 had moved to Memphis and, with his brothers' active participation, started a studio and a label, Meteor, of his own. According to this Bihari, neither the most stable personality nor the most reliable of sources, ''Howlin' Wolf came to me, and he says he's supposed to have a record released. I called Leonard and I told him I had Howlin' Wolf in the office, and if he wasn't going to record him and put it out, I was''. After being assured that Chess had no intention of letting Wolf go, Bihari evidently sent the tapes to the label, and just two or three months later, finally satisfied that the time was right, Wolf set out for Chicago, where he would remain until his death in 1976, an unrivaled exponent of the raw, wrenched-from-real-life feel that for Wolf, and for Sam Phillips, too, was at the heart of the blues.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR HOWLIN' WOLF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: TUESDAY OCTOBER 7, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

MOST OF THE REPERTOIRE ON THIS SESSION WAS DUBBED FROM
ACETATE OR DISC SOURCE
MANY OF THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES HAVE BEEN LOST

Howlin's Wolf last known appearance in Sam Phillips' studio. Phillips' log book noted that Wolf was to return and cut some more titles to fulfill his obligation, but there is no indication that he ever did. The tape box was marked "Wolf With Big Band" and the session featured an often ragged horn section.

> OH RED*/** <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:43)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-1 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

This uptempo cut, was derived from a pre-War song by The Harlem Hamfats but Wolf may have recorded it in deference to local pianist and fellow Chess artist, Billy "Red" Love (Also known as Drop Top Red) who might be playing piano on the session.

> OH RED*/** <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:38)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Rounder Records (LP) 33rpm SS 28 mono
CADILLAC DADDY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-14 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

> OH RED*/** <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1037 Take 3 - Master (2:35)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - Approx November 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1528-A mono
OH RED / MY LAST AFFAIR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-10 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

> MY LAST AFFAIR <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (3:02)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-2 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

> MY LAST AFFAIR <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1038 Take 2 - Master (2:56)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - Approx November 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1528-B mono
MY LAST AFFAIR / OH RED
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-11 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

> COME BACK HONE <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:33)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-3 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

> COME BACK HOME <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:31)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-12 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

''Come Back Home'' (take 3) 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 countryish 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 single two bar guitar figure that one recalls even after the memory of Wolf's vocal has faded.

It's blues combo man Willie Johnson, who made his greatest mark as Howlin' Wolf's lead guitar player.

> COME BACK HOME <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:08)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30134 mono
THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS – HOWLIN' WOLF
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-15 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

> C.V. WINE BLUES** <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:05)
Recorded: - October 7, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30102-A-4 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 2 – SAM'S BLUES
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-9 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal*, Vocal and Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Willie Steele - Drums
William Johnson - Piano
Walter "Tang" Smith - Trombone**
Charles Taylor - Tenor Sax**
Billy Love - Piano

"Leonard Chess kept worryin' me to come to Chicago", Wolf recalled to David Booth. "They talked me the notion to give up my business and come. I turned my farming business over to my brother-in-law, my grandfather's farm that he left me. I moved to Chicago in 1952 or 1953. I had a four-thousand-dollar car and $3,900 in my pocket. I'm the onliest one drove out of the South like a gentlemen".

The first two sessions that Howlin' Wolf held in Chicago have sometimes been mistaken as Memphis sessions. They appear as such in Blues Records 1943-1970 (Leadbetter/Slaven). Chess obviously tried to re-create the Memphis sound but the results were considered unsuccessful. Few of the titles were assigned master numbers and only one single (Chess 1557) resulted. There were two or three re-makes of unreleased Memphis recordings, the most notable being "Just My Kind", a breakneck rework of "Color And Kind".

Almost a year passed between Wolf's last session at the Memphis Recording Service and the first sessions in Chicago (probably held in September 1953). As Sam Phillips had reactivated the Sun label during that period, there may have been some question whether Wolf was to remain on Chess or transferred to Sun together with Joe Hill Louis, Rufus Thomas and Walter Horton. Chess seems to have placed the matter beyond doubt by bringing him to Chicago or, as Wolf put it, "talking me the notion to come to Chicago".

"I left the other guys back in West Memphis and came up to Chicago by myself", he told writer Pete Welding. "They were afraid to take the chance. I went back down there a year later and picked up some of them (notably, of course, Hubert Sumlin), brought them back with me. But at first I was using guys that Chess Records furnished, the studio band that I recorded with, bassist Willie Dixon, guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood and so on. After moving to Chicago I found it easy to get into those clubs, playing my music, 'cos the people had heard about me before I came. Right off I started playing at a place at 13th Street and Ashland. Muddy Waters had been playing there. Then I went to stretching out all across town".

In fact, there is no firm evidence that Leonard Chess put Howlin' Wolf into the Chicago studio until early 1954, since he had such a stockpile of Memphis-cut material to use up, like "Howlin' For My Baby", "Oh Red", and "All Night Boogie". in the meantime, though, in 1952, the Muddy Waters band had spawned the next great Chess star - Little Walter. "I never had anything to do with Little Walter", said Wolf, dismissively. "Cos he was always smoking dope and all that juve and I don't go for that... My reputation is too high to let someone drag it down with a weed. I'll take a drink of whiskey but I ain't fooling with no cigarettes".

For Biographies of Howlin' Wolf see: > The Sun Biographies <
Howlin' Wolf's Chess recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

OCTOBER 1952

One Howlin' Wolf was in Chicago, the Chess brothers tried to create the sound that Sam Phillips formulated, even to the point of rerecording some of unissued titles from Wolf's Memphis sessions. After a few missed cues, Wolf evolved a slightly modified sound in Chicago and eventually brought Willie Johnson up to join him. He became one of the seminal figures in postwar blues, which ensured that he spent his last years touring college campuses, where he looked strangely out of place amid a sea of freshly scrubbed, young white faces.

After his death in January 1976, he received a tribute from Sam Phillips: ''He had no voice in the sense of a pretty voice but he had command of every word he spoke. When the beat got going in the studio he would sit there and sing, hypnotizing himself. Wolf was one of those raw people. Dedicated. Natural''.

Sam Phillips never found a bluesman to equal Howlin' Wolf. He has said that he would never have given up on him, that he would have recorded him until the day he died. Phillips has even rated Wolf, above Elvis and all others, as his greatest discovery. And even without the private video that Phillips can play in his mind of Wolf performing in his little studio, his enthusiasm is easy to understand. The bizarre, haunting images that populated Wolf's songs, the quality of his voice, and his frightening energy were the marks of a true original. His music ran the gamut, from purest evil to heartbreaking tenderness. There was an emotional greatness to Howlin' Wolf, a greatness that Phillips was the first to capture.

OCTOBER 2, 1952 THURSDAY

Shelia Shipley is born in Scottsville, Kentucky. In 1993, she becomes the first woman named to head a major country label when MCA re-activates Decca.

OCTOBER 3, 1952 FRIDAY

''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet'' debuts on ABC-TV with 11-year-old Rocky Nelson in a regular role.

OCTOBER 4, 1952 SATURDAY

RCA released Porter wagoner's debut single, ''Settin' The Woods On Fire''.

OCTOBER 7, 1952 TUESDAY

Lefty Frizzell recorded ''I'm An Old, Old Man (Tryin' To Live While I Can)'' at the Jim Back Studio in Dallas, Texas.
Red Foley recorded ''Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes''.

OCTOBER 8, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Goldie Hill recorded ''I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes'' in Nashville.

NBC debuts ''Scott Music Hall'', hosted by Patty Page, the singing rage.

OCTOBER 9, 1952 THURSDAY

Red Foley recorded ''Slaves Of A Hopeless Love Affair''.

OCTOBER 10, 1952 FRIDAY

Columbia released Marty Robbins' first charted single, ''I'll Go On Alone'', and an duet from Gene Autry with Rosemary Clooney, ''The Night Before Christmas Song''.

OCTOBER 12, 1952 SUNDAY

Faron Young recorded his first hit, ''Goin' Steady'', plus ''I Can't Wait (For The Sun To Go Down)'' at the Castle Studio in Nashville's Tulane Hotel.

OCTOBER 13, 1952 MONDAY

Decca released Bill Monroe's bluegrass classic ''In The Pines''. The recording is hailes among the 500 greatest country singles ever made in the Country Music Foundation's 2003 book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Faron Young makes his first appearance on The Louisiana Hayride at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport.

After six months with no activity, there is an entry in the Sun check register for $8.16 in phone call(s) to Nashville. This could be the initial phone discussions with Jim Bulleitt that led to Phillips supplying masters to Bulleitt and Bulleitt eventually becoming a partner in Sun's early 1953 relaunch.

OCTOBER 14, 1952 TUESDAY

Hank Snow recorded ''Honeymoon On A Rocket Ship'' in the evening at Nashville's Brown Brothers Studio.

OCTOBER 15, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Hank Williams signs a document in Montgomery providing for Bobbie Jett and her child, sired by Williams. As an adult, the baby takes the stage name Jett Williams.

OCTOBER 18, 1952 SATURDAY

Drummer Keith Knudsen is born in Ames, Iowa. He goes on to become a member of rock music's Doobie Brothers and country music's Southern Pacific.

Hank Williams marries Billie Jean Jones Eshliman in Minden, Louisiana. On the way to Shreveport, their car runs out of gas.

OCTOBER 19, 1952 SUNDAY

Charlie Chase is born in Rogersville, Tennessee. Teamed with Lorianne Crook, he becomes a significant TV personality promoting country music, best known for the syndicated show ''Crook and Chase''.

Hank Williams and Billie Jean Jones repeat their wedding vows from the previous day in front of a New Orleans concert audience.

OCTOBER 20, 1952 MONDAY

Decca released Red Foley's ''Midnight''.

''South Pacific Trail'' appears in movie theaters, with Rex Allen, Slim Pickens and The Republic Rhythm Riders, including Woodwind player Darol Rice.

Capitol released Sonny James' first hit, ''That's Me Without You''.

OCTOBER 21, 1952 TUESDAY

Keyboard player Brent Mydland is born in Munich, Germany. He joins the rock band The Grateful Dead in 1979. The group will be referenced in the 1996 Lonestar country hit ''No News''.

OCTOBER 22, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Rhythm and blues singer Carl Carlton is born in Detroit, Michigan. He earns a 1974 hit with the Nashville-originated ''Everlasting Love'', which becomes a country hit five years later for Narvel Felts.

OCTOBER 24, 1952 FRIDAY

Mark Gray is born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Briefly a member of Exile, he pens Janie Fricke's ''It Ain't Easy Being Easy''' and Alabama's ''Take Me Down'' and ''The Closer You Get''. Gray also recorded three 1984 solo hits and a duet with Tammy Wynette, ''Sometimes When We Tough''.

OCTOBER 27, 1952 MONDAY

Willie Nelson marries Jewel Matthews in Cleburne, Texas.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Sam Phillips sent Jim Bullet in Nashville some mellow T-Bone Walkerish sides that he had cut of Walter ''Tang'' Smith, the trombonist who had played on Howlin' Wolf's recent band session on October 7. When Bulleit bought the sides for $250, Sam sent him some more, including a couple of raw ''cottonpatch'' blues by Charles Thomas from the August 12 session, whom Sam touted as possessing a style he said, ''a lot like Johnnie Lee Hooker's but I actually think he does a better vocal than Hooker''. Bulleit deferred a decision on the Charles Thomas sides, even after Sam lowered his price, but scheduled the ''Tang'' Smith for release and at the same time brought up the idea of a potential partnership.

STUDIO SESSION FOR WALTER ''TANG'' SMITH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR J-B RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY OCTOBER 27, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

The partnership would necessarily depend upon the participation of Sam's wealthy radio patron, Clarence Camp, and, on the basis of Sam's notable success with ''Rocket 88'' and ''Booted'' in particular, would put Sam in charge of recording, Bulleit in charge of sales and promotion. As they went back and forth on the matter, it soon became evident that Bulleit saw Camp as providing him with a way to cut some of his debts, with the new partnership reimbursing him at least in part for the investment he had already made in his company and the back catalogue he would bring to the new label. Once Sam made it clear that he was not in full agreement with this plan, Bulleit's demands came down to no more than a couple of thousand dollars, and then when it turned out Clarence Camp would not be returning to Memphis from his Florida vacation until late spring and had indicated to Sam that he would be unable to consider the matter until then, for some inexplicable reason, perhaps because as an instinctive venture capitalist all he needed to get in was the sense that he already was in, Jim Bulleit proposed that they go full speed ahead. So long as it was understood that he would continue with his own label, J-B Records, and his own little distribution business.

There must have been very little room to breathe at 706 Union when they recorded this agreeable tracks in October 1952.

> EVERY MONDAY MORNING <
Composer: - Walter "Tang" Smith
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Nash 14 - Master (3:08)
Recorded: - October 27, 1952
Released: - 1953
First appearance: - J-B Records (S) 78rpm standard single J-B 606-B mono
EVERY MONDAY MORNING / HIGH TONE MAMA
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3/25 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Walter sounds more like a pussy on ''Every Monday Morning'' than a poontang persuader here, as he bemoans the departure of his latest "baby". Pull yourself together, man! Briscoe seems to be affected by the self-pity, and delivers a rather pedestrian solo to an accompaniment that approximates a Rosco Gordon louche lope. Walter then works himself into a medium lather, singing a final verse that puts an interesting spin on the "brooks run into the river/river runs into the say" theme.

> HIGH TONE MAMA <
Composer: - Walter "Tang" Smith
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Nash 15 - Master (2:45)
Recorded: - October 27, 1952
Released: - 1953
First appearance: - J-B Records (S) 78rpm standard single J-B 606-A mono
HIGH TONE MAMA / EVERY MONDAY MORNING
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3/24 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

There must have been precious little free space in the studio when they cut this agreeable track, which features a rolling piano and a full horn section riffing behind Smith's vocal. There is a double-length instrumental break led by a very aggressive Jewel Briscoe on tenor sax, in which he unlesshes his arsenal of honks and double-honks during the second instrumental chorus.

This both sides first appeared as a 78rpm on Jim Bulleit's J-B label whilst Bulleit and Phillips were in the process of consummating the deal which saw the former investing in the relaunch of Sun Records, in January 1953. For the unitiated, Walter Smith's middle-name "Tang" is an abbreviation of "poontang", which was in turn of local colloquialism for "pussy".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
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

For Biography of AWalter Tang Smith see: > The Sun Biographies <
Walter Tang Smith's recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on 
> YouTube < 

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

OCTOBER 28, 1952 TUESDAY

Billie Jean Eshliman's divorce from Harrison Eshliman is finalized, 10 days after she married Hank Williams.

Not quite one year after the death of his first wife, Red Foley marries TV personality Sally Sweet in Luka, Mississippi.

OCTOBER 31, 1952 FRIDAY

Hank Williams checks into a Shreveport hospital with acute intoxication.

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© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©