CONTAINS
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1951 SESSIONS 7
July 1, 1951 to July 31, 1951

Studio Session for Howlin' Wolf, July/August 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Rosco Gordon, July 1951 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Harmonica Frank Floyd, July 15, 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Willie Nix, July 1951 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Jackie Brenston, Probably July 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Billy Love, Probably June/July 24, 1951 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Jackie Brenston, Probably July/August 1951 / Chess Records

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 1951

Sam Phillips purchases the rights to "Rocket 88" from Jackie Brenston for $910. Chess Records sells the publishing to Hill and Range for exploitation in the country music field. The first country cover version by Bill Haley's and His Saddlemen was recorded on June 14, and was released a few weeks later.

Sam Phillips buys the rights to Billy Love's "Juiced". Love's recording is rush-released under Jackie Brenston's name on Chess 1472. Brenston's originally planned follow-up "My Real Gone Rocket" is assigned a catalogue number (Chess 1469), but held back until October 1951.

Chess releases Harmonica Frank's ''Swamp Root'' (Chess 1475), This is one of Chess's first ventures into the country market. Initially the record is backed with ''Goin' Away Walkin''' but this is replaced with ''Step It Up And Go'', a minor hit at the time for Big Jeff on Dot.

Walt Disney’s 13th animated feature film “Alice in Wonderland” is released during July of 1951. Disney had been trying to create the film adaptation of the classic Lewis Carroll novel since the 1930s but was unhappy with it until after the end of World War II. When the film was finally finished and released in 1951 it was considered a flop and received negative reviews from film critics. “Alice in Wonderland” soon became a cult favorite film and was re-released in the 1970s to a more favorable critical response.

JULY 1951

Studio session with Rosco Gordon at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee. More details unknown.

Probably studio session with Willie Nix at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee, and Sam Phillips sends the dubs to Modern Records. These are believed to be the last recordings that Sam made for the Biharis, who were annoyed at his successful liaison with Chess Records. More details unknown.

Chess Records released the first of two disc by the Evangelist Gospel Singers of Alabama, probably recorded by Sam Phillips.

JULY 1, 1951 SUNDAY

Four weeks after he started working for the company, Precision Tools fires Elvis Presley because he's underage.

JULY 3, 1951 THUESDAY

The Carlisles recorded ''Too Old To Cut The Mustard'' in Nashville.

JULY 5, 1951 THURSDAY

Hank Williams renews his agreement with MGM Records for two more years.

JULY 9, 1951 MONDAY

Columbia released Lefty Frizzell's double-sided hit ''Always Late (With Your Kisses)'' and ''Mom And Dad's Waltz''.

Rosco Gordon's ''Rosco's Boogie'' (RPM 322) enters the local charts in Oak land, California.

JULY 10, 1951 TUESDAY

Singer/songwriter Cheryl Wheeler is born in Timonium, Maryland. She writes Dan Seals' 1988 hit ''Addicted'' and Suzy Bogguss' 1992 recording ''Aces''.

JULY 11, 1951 WEDNESDAY

Bonnie Pointer, of The Pointer Sisters, is born in Oakland, California. Though primarily a rhythm and blues act, The Pointers win a Grammy award in 1975 for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, for ''Fairytale''.

JULY 14, 1951 SATURDAY

Harry Choates, a Cajun fiddler best known for ''Jole Blon'', is arrested in Austin, Texas, for failure to pay child support. He dies in jail three days later. The death report blames cirrhosis of the liver, although some believe he was beaten to death.

JULY 15, 1951 SUNDAY

The Jay-Cees in Montgomery, Alabama, sponsor a Hank Williams Homecoming that includes performances by Hank Snow, The Carter Family and Chet Atkins, who's billled as the ''Teenage Tantalizer''.

''Rodeo King And The Senorita'' appears in movie theaters with Rex Allen and Buddy Ebsen in the starring roles.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

They kept fooling around in the studio, working not so much to refine the music, really, as to bore down into its molten core. Sam Phillips could experiment with mike placement, he could improve the engineering, and he did. He switched to an omni-directional mike because of the way Howlin' Wolf constantly moved his head from side to side, and he kept cranking up the sound to the point where it was just on the edge of distortion, sometimes past it, so that the music could jump right out of the jukebox but the needle would still stay in the groove, if only barely. He tried to give the piano player more confidence, the piano part may at this point have been merely filling out the sound, but it still didn't have the muscularity that the music called for. He tried to get the band to forget his presence in the studio, hanging back behind the glass as they just jammed, coming out only to indicate approval or make a slight mike adjustment that might be accompanied by an equally unobtrusive suggestion. But most of all, he knew he needed to get the Wolf so comfortable in the studio that he could just kick off his shoes, both figuratively and literally, and reach down for that part of him that was buried somewhere deep within.

Sam sent auditions to both Modern and Chess, even as he continued to work with the band. He had no intention of stopping before he reached a point that declared, this is the core of what you are looking for. This is the pure essence. For the first time he felt as if he had in Marion Keisker a full partner in his enthusiasm for the music. Despite the indifference she had always shown toward not just the music but its practitioners (they were for the most part, in her view, an ill-behaved lot who trucked in mud on the linoleum floor without the slightest regard for all the effort she put in to keep things clean), she was utterly charmed by Wolf, by the spontaneity of his style and the gentleness of his demeanor. Marion put it down initially to the single-mindedness of Sam's focus. ''Sam played Wolf over and over. I have some marvelous old discs of Howlin' Wolf that have maybe fourteen sets of lyrics to ''How Many More Years''. You couldn't be in the presence of Sam's intense motivation and drive and hear him making all these comments about, the music, without picking something up. But Sam's favorite Wolf story was my Wolf story. I was over at the studio, one night, either painting the floor or woodwork, totally absorbed in what I was doing, and all of a sudden I heard this voice, sounding like it was coming down from the sky. 'Miss Marion, what you doing down there on the floor?''', according Marion Keisker. She was scared to death at first, of course, but then she realized Wolf had been passing by and, when he saw the lights on in the studio, had come in out of concern for her. And she retained her fondness for both him and his music all her life.

STUDIO SESSION FOR HOWLIN' WOLF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY TWO SESSIONS JULY/AUGUST 1951
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

''I was totally blinded by the sound of his voice'', Sam Phillips told Peter Guralnick many years later. ''I'm not sure I heard anything in the way of instrumentation''. Those are the words of someone attuned to every aspect of recording, and that alone speaks to Howlin' Wolf's authority. Even a list of all Wolf's obvious and not-so-obvious influences, like Tommy Johnson, Charley Patton, and Jimmie Rodgers, doesn't half-way explain the ageless wonder of his debut. He was so much more than the sum of those parts. This is one of those records that could have come from nowhere but Mississippi. There's a piano on ''How Many More Years'', suggesting that it might have been recorded at a different time from ''Moanin' At Midnight''. And there were earlier versions of ''How Many More Years'' suggesting that it was the presumed A-side until Wolf suddenly cut loose with ''Moanin' At Midnight''. One possibility is that the pianist thought ''Moanin''' was a run-through and sat it out. The identity of the pianist has never nailed beyond doubt, but there seems to be common assent that it's Ike Turner, even though Phillips didn't recall Turner ever working with Wolf. Guitarist Willie Johnson later insisted that he had a hand in writing the song on the way to the studio. ''I'm the one (who)... printed it and put the words in his mouth'', he said. Wolf disputed that claim, but it was a moot point at first because the putative composer of both sides was Carl Germany, who was also credited with writing several other songs on Chess, including some of Sax Mallard's records and one of Jackie Brenston's song, ''Hi Ho Baby''. It wasn't unknown for Chess to use composer credits to repay favors. Alan Freed was often thus rewarded, and Russ Fratto, who ran a Chicago stationery company, received one third of Chuck Berry's ''Maybellene'' in return for who knows what. Rufus Thomas's first single, ''Night Walkin' Blues'', was credited to Marty Witzel, who'd introduced Leonard Chess to his wife. Carl Germany, a mid-western dance promoter and Chicago disc jockey, was similarly blessed. These days, though, the composer credit reads as it always should: Chester Burnett.

01(1) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS"* – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Carl Germany-Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 83 Master
Recorded: - July/August 1951
Released: - August 31, 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1479-B < mono
HOW MANY MORE YEARS / MOANIN' AT MIDNIGHT
Reached at number 4 at the Billboard's Rhythm and Blues charts
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-2 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

On "How Many More Years", in contrast to Willie Johnson's striding, intricate guitar riff on "Moanin' At Midnight", the mood is set by Williams stomping double-fisted piano style, as irresistible as anything by Jerry Lee Lewis. On top of them all, the icing on the cake, is the deepest, most reverberating howl ever yet heard on record, a voice that audibly sent all the needles in the control room jerking over into the red danger zone. It was an extraordinary debut, 40-years in the making.

01(2) - "HOW MANY MORE YEARS"* – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Carl Germany-Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - None - Chess Alternate Take - Presto Acetate
Recorded: - July/August 1951
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Redita Records (LP) 33rpm RLP-105 mono
VARIOUS - MEMPHIS BLUES AT SUNSHINE - MEMPHIS BLUES AT SUNRISE

Many words have been devoted to unraveling just how and why this is among the truly seminal recordings in the almost 100-year history of recorded blues. Some have written elegantly about is, some inelegantly, but all have been transfixed by the emotional impact of the eerie, wordless moan and the one-chord vamp over which Wolf sings his song. The sub-par recording quality only enhances the enigma. It's as if you're hearing voices of the dead rising through a miasma of sound. Musicologist Ted Giola made a detailed analysis of the song, exploring Wolf's uncertain tonality and guitarist Willie Johnson's ability to shuttle between ''a predictable rhythmic figure and acerbic interjections that push and prod Wolf in his bristly vocal''. Even parsed and analyzed, it retains its inscrutability.

Later in life, Sam Phillips would sometimes place a retrospective spin on what he'd done, but he was clearly high on Howlin' Wolf from the beginning. Writing to Nashville disc jockey Gene Nobles on September 3, 1951... three days after this record was released, Phillips said, ''Moanin' At Midnight'' is the side... I know I'm partial, but it is the most different record I ever heard''. Wolf still had his radio show on KWEM and was probably plugging the record heavenly. Phillips told Nobles that it was already the top-selling blues record in Memphis. On November 10, it entered the national Rhythm and Blues charts, the first of Wolf's six charted hits.

02 - "MOANIN' AT MIDNIGHT" – B.M.I. - 2:53
Composer: - Carl Germany-Chester Burnett
Publisher: - Arc Music Incorporated - Charly International
Matrix number: - U 84 Take 1 Master
Recorded: - July/August 1951
Released: - August 31, 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1479-A < mono
MOANIN' AT MIDNIGHT / HOW MANY MORE YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-3 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

Although the Wolf will always be remembered in tandem with his later Chicago guitarist Hubert Sumlin, it is clear that the younger man learned much from Willie Johnson's belligerent, driving guitar style. There is little to suggest that, if Johnson had been willing to travel north a couple of years later, the Wolf catalogue would be any the weaker. Musically, that is - though one of them might well have killed the other before too long. "Willie and Wolf would just argue all the time like cat and dog", said James Cotton. "Willie could be pretty mean, too. It just got to be too much trouble for the old man".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal and Harmonica
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Willie Steele - Drums
James Cotton - Harmonica
Possibly Ike Turner - Piano* or
Billy ''Red'' Love - Piano

The tape of the Howlin' Wolf sessions went to Chess Records in Chicago, but a next second version, produced on a session in September by Ike Turner over KWEM radio in West Memphis, Arkansas, also included a version of "Moanin' At Midnight" (''Morning At Midnight'') (RPM 333) and was sent to the Biharis, appearing on RPM Records. This situation could clearly not last, and by the following year all Howlin' Wolf sides were going to Chess, and Sam Phillips had burned his boats as far as the Biharis were concerned.

Summarize, it was only after the Bihari brothers had indicated a final and irrevocable break with their Billboard announcement that they had signed all of Sam's discoveries to exclusive contracts at the end of July that Sam at last turned in a record to Leonard Chess that he felt did full justice to Wolf's talents. This time he got Rosco Gordon's mentor, Billy ''Red'' Love, for the piano chair. Fair-skinned, freckle-faced, and barely twenty-one, Billy was comfortable in every style, and it was his distinctive piano figure that served as the intro to ''How Many More Years'' before Willie Johnson's thunderous guitar chords and Wolf's inexorable vocal took over the play. The other side, oddly enough, was not ''Baby Ride With Me'', the track they had been working on all these weeks May 14, 15, but an entirely different number, which dispensed with piano altogether and led off with a feature not present in either of the other songs, Wolf's howl. In this case it took the form of an almost unearthly moan, starting low and gathering force over the first eight bars of the song, until it coalesced in a single focused blast that seemed capable of ripping the innards out of Sam's prized omni-directional mike.

''Moanin' At Midnight'' was the very embodiment of all the loneliness and all the ferocity implicit in Wolf's music. The howl came from the ''blue yodel'' of Jimmy Rodgers, the so-called father of Country Music, whom Wolf always acknowledged as a direct influence, and Crystal Springs, Mississippi bluesman Tommy Johnson, whose delicate filigreed style, punctuated with wordless falsetto ululations, was the point of origin for much of the subtle lyricism underlying Wolf's otherwise extroverted approach. But the performance itself was inimitable, with the same hypnotic power that Sam himself had experienced from the very first time he had heard the Wolf but imbedded now in the grooves of a record in a way that the world itself could fully apprehend it. There may never have been a more powerful example of blues committed in the pure Mississippi style, not by Wolf's mentor, Charley Patton, widely acknowledged as the progenitor of Delta blues, nor by anyone else who has arrived on the scene before or since. ''I can take one damn record like 'Moanin' At Midnight''', Sam told Wolf co-biographer James Segrest, ''and forget every damn thing else that the man ever cut''. Not that he ever would. As far as Sam was concerned, there was no question at that moment that he was going to go on recording Wolf until the day that one of them died. But there was equally little question that they had achieved something together that would be around for the ages. No less than if it had been carved in marble, in granite. It would be there, Sam Phillips was convinced. It would be there. As big as life itself.

For Biography 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 - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROSCO GORDON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR RPM RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JULY 1951
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

01 - "WOMEN, WOMEN, WOMEN (DIME A DOZEN)"* – B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1639 Master
Recorded: - July 1951
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 336-A < mono
DIME A DOZEN / A NEW REMEDY FOR LOVE
Reissued: - November 24, 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 694-6 mono
ROSCO GORDON - BOOTED - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

02 - "A NEW REMEDY FOR LOVE"* – B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1640 Master
Recorded: - July 1951
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 336-B < mono
A NEW REMEDY FOR LOVE / DIME A DOZEN
Reissued: - November 24, 1998 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 694-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - BOOTED - THE BEST OF THE RPM YEARS

03 – ''KICKIN' THE BOOGIE'' – B.M.I.
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - 1982
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH51-1-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS - VOLUME 2

04 – ''A MISERABLE FEELING'' – B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1951
Released: - 1980
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace CH26-2-5 mono
THE BEST OF ROSCO GORDON - VOLUME ONE
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD 213-11 mono
ROSCO GORDON - LET'S GET HIGH

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

For Biography of Rosco Gordon see: > The Sun Biographies <
Rosco Gordon's RPM/Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Frank Floyd was not the first white musician to record for Sam Phillips; that distinction goes to Slim Rhodes or Buck Turner. However, he was the first white musician who had a real dash of blues in his style. Sam Phillips sold two cuts to Chess, "Swamp Root" and "Goin' Away Walkin". Two weeks later, the single was withdrawn and "Goin' Away Walkin'" was replaced with "Step It Up And Go". Despite the confusion, the new coupling appears to have sold quite respectable. Frank received $100 from Chess and the label placed an advertisement in Billboard (August 25, 1951) announcing that the record was The newest country smash... Spreading Like Wildfire.

STUDIO SESSION FOR HARMONICA FRANK FLOYD
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: SUNDAY JULY 15, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

On May 15, 1981 there was a press conference-cum-reception honouring the participants in the forthcoming Memphis Music in May festival. Over in the corner, looking for all the world as though he should be standing in the Farm Credit Bureau, was an elderly gentleman downing a respectable quantity of wine. There was a decal on his overalls which, on closer inspection, read Harmonica Frank - King Of Harps. Aside from a few patronising comments from the media types and hangers-on, Frank was being ignored, which did not seem to bother him a great deal, perhaps because of the limitless supply of wine and cheese. He pulled his guitar from its case, ran through a few numbers that he intended to use the next day, and spoke of days long passed.

The fact we know anything at all about Frank Floyd is entirely due to the perseverance of blues researcher Steve LaVere who followed up the skimpiest of leads and finally tracked down the elusive Harmonica Frank in rural Tennessee. LaVere recounts his exploits in Blues Unlimited No. 99.

Harmonica Frank opened the May festival. He walked on stage colourfully attired in red trousers, red shoes, a multicolored jacket, psychedelic tie and shirt, all topped with a red baseball cap. He ran through his repertoire of old time music which he had extended to include a couple of Hank Williams songs. His guitar playing was proficient but, in the man's own words, "I'm not a guitarist. Don't claim to be".

However, when he started pulling harmonicas from various pockets and pouches in his jacket he suddenly became very special. He really could hold a harmonica in one side his mouth and sing out of the other side. It wasn't just a gimmick, it was his style. He was also clutching a bootleg Dr. Ross EP that he hoped to sell and, for the benefit of those who had never heard of him, he reiterated his claim to be the founding father of rock and roll.

Of course, that claim is a little far fetched but if we can allow Jelly Roll Morton to assert that he invented jazz one day in 1902 then we can live with Frank's claim. At the very least, he was playing a mix of blues and hillbilly music years before most people thought that the two could, or should, be combined.

Frank became a rambler. He joined a carnival and played for nickels and dimes in town squares and on street corners. He had already reached a high level of virtuosity on the harmonica but did not take up the guitar until he heard Jimmie Rodgers, perhaps the first popular artist to blend black and white musical styles. Frank Floyd became so enamoured of Rodgers' style that he even made a pilgrimage to Rodgers' home in Kerrville, Texas, to meet his idol.

01 - "SWAMP ROOT" – B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 80 Master
Recorded: - July 15, 1951
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1475-B < mono
SWAMP ROOT / GOIN' AWAY WALKIN'
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2-1 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-1-19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

After hearing ''Swamp Root'', it is impossible to imagine how record collectors could ever have thought that Harmonica Frank was black. This song bears some similarity to Buddy Jones' 1937 recording ''Hunting Blues'' *reworked in 1950 by Joe Stewart on Star Talent), although it was probably a medicine show or vaudeville routine dating back much further. Chris Bouchillon was the first to record in this talking blues style, but that doesn't mean he originated it. Frank was the master of pastiche. A bit from here, a bit from there; some definitely from Bouchillon. Water from an ancient well perhaps, but it was idiosyncratically his own. The title comes from a patent medicine: Dr. Kilmer's Swamproot: Kidnet, Liver, and Bladder Cure. Frank probably sold it somewhere along the way. And along that way, he picked up couplets like ''The wine goes in, the truth comes out / Two more shots and I'll tell it all...'' Every verse has noises that most of us renounced at the age of five, but no matter, it adds to the sloppy drunk charm of the tune.

02 - "GOIN' AWAY WALKIN'" – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 81 Master
Recorded: - July 15, 1951
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1475-Alternate B < mono
GOIN' AWAY WALKIN' / SWAMP ROOT
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2-2 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-1-20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

On ''Goin' Away Walkin'' out comes the harmonica, and here comes the blues. Now this could have fooled some folks into thinking they were hearing a black guy. ''Goin' Away Walkin''' is basically a crazy-quilt of blues cliches, but it proves that Frank had a genuine feel for blues cadences and rhythms. Probably no more than a few lines were freshly minted for the recording but Frank delivers it all with real conviction. It is not hard to see the delight that Phillips must have taken in recording the man because there is a real intuitive musically underlying every performance.

"Frank Floyd - now here was a musician I was very much into", recalled Sam Phillips. "He was what I call a modern-day hobo. He didn't stay anywhere for very long. He was unique, and he fascinated me. It was a little difficult to find a market for Frank, because people appreciated what he did without really buying his records that much. He was really out of the old school. Frank was a one-man-band. He played harmonica out of one side of his mouth and sang through the other side. He didn't use a harmonica bracket. He picked guitar and did a lot of those old narrative type songs. You have to keep in mind along that time, music was getting somewhat less pure that it had been - had I been able to spend the money on Frank Floyd I think, because of the sheer fact that he was so different, he could have become an institution here. It would have been more a classification of a novelty kind of act compared to most of the artists we had".

03 - "STEP IT UP AND GO" – B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 82 Master
Released: - August 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1475-A < mono
STEP IT UP AND GO / GOIN' AWAY WALKIN'
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2-3 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-1-21 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

When the first incarnation of Chess 1475A was snatched off the market after a few weeks, it was replaced by ''Step It Up And Go'' as a new partner for ''Swamp Root''. Like many blues songs, its lineage begins with the first recorded version, even if the original wasn't necessarily by the original writer. Charlie Burse recorded an unissued song called ''Oil It Up And Go'' on July 8, 1939. Blind Boy Fuller was almost certainly around when that song was cut, on March 5, 1940, recorded ''Step It Up And Go''. In between, on November 22, 1939, Tommy McClennan recorded ''Bottle It Up And Go''. The first hillbilly version was by Blue Friday & His Daniel Boone Ramblers on Rich-R-Tone in 1949. Big Jeff's Dot recording appeared at rougly the same time as the Maddox Brothers and Rose's ''New Step It Up And Go'', and both became juke box favorites. The Maddoxes' record was notified to Billboard in April 1951 and Big Jeff's in May. Frank recorded it in July. His version features some spirited interchanges between the guitar and harmonica and possesses a wonderful drive. Frank Floyd was a tight little rhythm section. He sounds like both Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee rolled into one.

At the end of July 1951 Chess Records released Harmonica Frank's "Swamp Root" (Chess 1475), one of their first ventures into the country market. Initially, the disc is backet with "Goin' Away Walkin'", which is later replaced by "Step It Up And Go", a minor hit at that time for Big Jeff on Dot Records.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harmonica Frank Floyd - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica

For Biography of Harmonica Frank see: > The Sun Biographies <
Harmonica Frank's Chess/Sun 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 THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR RPM RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JULY
OR PROBABLY JUNE 18, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "LONESOME BEDROOM BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Willie Nix-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1608 Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1951
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 327-A < mono
LONESOME BEDROOM BLUES / TRY ME ONE MORE TIME
Reissued: - 2004 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 1003-2 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN

02 - "TRY ME ONE MORE TIME" – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Willie Nix-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Modern Music
Matrix number: - 1609 Master 
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably July 1951
Released: - Fall 1951
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm standard single > RPM 327-B < mono
TRY ME ONE MORE TIME / LONESOME BEDROOM BLUES
Reissued: - 2004 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCHD 1003-1 mono
THE MODERN DOWNHOME BLUES SESSIONS VOLUME 3 - MEMPHIS ON DOWN

03 - "FINE AND MELLOW BABY" – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Willie Nix-Jules Taub
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably July 1951
Released: - Japan 1994
First appearance: - P-Vine Records (CD) 500/200rpm P-Vice PCD 3036 mono
ANTHOLOGY OF THE BLUES - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Willie Nix - Vocal & Drums
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Billy Love - Piano
More Details Unknown

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

If there were any real doubts that Phillips' recordings with Jackie Brenston presaged rock and roll, then this should bury them for good. Ike Turner's piano is mixed way up front as Brenston continues the "Rocket 88" saga: a wild recording which almost veers off the road, out of control, Turner's thunderous left hand once again drives the beast along, ably supported by guitarist Willie Kizart.

This is indeed quintessential good-time music, riddled with contagious energy and a couple of memorable lines, viz: "When I cruise through your town/Like that great Northwestern/You can tell everybody/that was mighty Jackie Brenston'. Yes, indeed!".

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACKIE BRENSTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY JULY 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "MY REAL GONE ROCKET" – B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Jackie Brenston
Publisher: - B.L.P.C.
Matrix number: - U 66A Master
Recorded: - Probably July 1951
Released: - October 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1469-A < mono
MY REAL GONE ROCKET / TUCKERED OUT
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-12 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

The identity of the group on this session is unclear. Brenston seems to identify the saxophonenist as Clint, and the presence of a trumpet suggests that we're hearing the Steinberg outfit. The neatly executed section work similarly seems to imply skilled musicians, not honkers and screamers.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jackie Brenston - Vocal
Willie Kizart – Guitar
Ike Turner - Piano
Willie Sims - Drums
Raymond Hill - Tenor Saxophone
Unknown - Trumpet

For Biographies of Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner see: > The Sun Biographies <
Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner's Chess recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 17, 1951 TUESDAY

Cajun-fiddler Harry Choates dies while incarcerated in Austin, Texas. Though the cause of death was listed as cirrhosis of the liver, a jail beating might have been the actual cause. Choates earned acclaim with ''Jole Blon''.

JULY 19, 1951 THURSDAY

Mary Carlson is born. She is destined to marry Merrill Osmond, of The Osmonds.

JULY 21, 1951 SATURDAY

Lefty Frizzell joins the Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

JULY 22, 1951 SUNDAY

Guitarist and record producer Richard Bennett is born in Chicago. He works with George Strait, Neil Diamond, Steve Early, Conway Twitty, Hal Ketchum, Travis Tritt and Emmylou Harris, among others.

JULY 23, 1951 MONDAY

George Jones' first wife, Dorothy, files for divorce.

JULY 24, 1951 TUESDAY

Sam Phillips and his assistant Marion Keisker opened a file on the man who told them his name was Milton Billy Love, and they noted that Love was living at 172 Person Street. The City Directory for that year lists Milton Love, a musician, living at the rear of 159 Majuba Avenue.

Both addresses were located in South Memphis below Beale Street and near to Riverside Park, as too was Florida Street. Milton Love was listed as living with a wife or girlfriend named Carrie at that time, though no trace of a marriage registration can be found.

Phillips noted a telephone number for Love but then crossed it out and added seven more in the period 1951 to 1954 and so it is probable that Love moved house again more than once. The last number was described as being that of 'Harvey'.

It may have been that of saxophonist Harvey Simmons but equally it could have been bandleader Bill Harvey with whom Love is known to have played at one time. Harvey put a band together for B. B. King, who said: "Bill was one of the greatest bandleaders and one of the worst guys ever - he was one of the best people but he loved to drink." We can also imagine Billy Love falling in with the drinking and dice crowd at this time if he had not already done so with the Rosco Gordon crowd.

That July day in 1951 Sam Phillips paid Milton Billy Love a hundred dollars for performance and rights to Chess 1472 for Brenston to be deducted from Brenston royalties. Saxophonist and singer Jackie Brenston was a member of a band led by Ike Turner, known as the Kings of Rhythm, who had recorded for Phillips in March 1951. By that summer they were riding high on the rhythm and blues charts with a storming rhythm and blues number Phillips had recorded and sold to Chess Records, Rocket 88. Phillips had credited the record to Jackie Brenston's Delta Cats, to Turner's displeasure, and the Delta Cats were soon in demand for personal appearances. On 7 May Sam Phillips bought Brenston a complete PA-system' for $165. By August 15, Phillips had made the down payment on a $1000 tour bus for Brenston and his band. Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner had a falling out over who was the real mover and leader of the band and that summer Brenston toured first with Turner's band and then with the Steinberg band, then the Newborn brothers who put a band together to tour the big cities - Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia.

A follow-up disc by Brenston was in demand as much as personal appearances were and Brenston recorded a second disc in April and May 1951. Its release was delayed and then it did not hit, and Phillips was soon under pressure to produce a better follow-up and one that could be issued quickly. Brenston made another session early in July 1951 having been in Memphis briefly to sign a contract about royalties on June 28.

Phillips decided, however, that only one song was worthy of release and that this would be a B-side. He badly needed another storming performance, and this was where Billy Love came in. Brenston was a better sax player than a singer and he did not have a strong original song. Besides, he was in demand on the road. Billy Love, in contrast, was in town playing sessions for Sam, was a better singer, wrote his own songs, and played a storming piano too. He played Sam a song that fit the bill exactly, Juiced. Sam Phillips told me: "Ike Turner took Jackie Brenston's band away from us, and so we had a problem. At that time Chess was screaming for some more top notch product so I recorded Billy Love singing 'Juiced' and we used that as the follow up song. It was the best song around and I bought it off Billy for release as Jackie."

Released around October 1, 1951 as Chess 1472 by Jackie Brenston, ''Juiced'' was the finest record Jackie Brenston never made - and that Billy Love was never credited with making. It is likely that the song was recorded after Brenston's session at the end of June and before Phillips paid Love for the song on July 24. ''Juiced'' is a drinking song of the first order and features Love's enthusiastic shouts and edgy vocal about getting loose and drinking some juice. Love plays a rolling piano boogie punctuated by rocking guitar figures and solos by Calvin Newborn. There is an excellent sax solo by Charles Walker and the storming track is carried along by drummer Phineas Newborn senior. It would have made sense if Phineas's son were also there playing piano, but the style is clearly that of Billy Love. On the strength of his session work so far and the promising cut on Juiced, Sam Phillips signed Billy Love to a personal services contract dated July 31, 1951. On August 29, Phillips noted he gave Love a personal loan of $15 and that, unusually, this was 'not checked against royalties. Years later Phillips confirmed to me his liking for Billy Love's music saying, "Billy was a super good musician".

Here is a photograph (above) of Billy Love sitting at a piano on the corner of the stage of what may well be the Palace Theater on Beale Street in Memphis and behind him is an advertising poster for the Johnny Otis Show due to appear in Memphis for four nights from 9 -12 of a month and year that are not visible. It is known that the Otis show featuring the same singers and guests as listed in the poster was in Memphis at the Palace on November 9-12, 1950, and it just may be that Billy Love played that show too as part of the local support.

The Otis revue made regular visits to Memphis over the next two or three years and so Love's promotional photograph could date from as early as 1950 or as late as 1953.

ABOUT BILLY RED LOVE - Billy Love was a massive talent, becoming the Sun label's best session pianist in black music and the leader of Rosco Gordon's road band for some years. But he spent his life in and out of the armed forces, in and out of employment, in and out of jazz clubs, and in and out of the attention of law enforcement officers. Billy Love led a full, short, frustrating and strange life.

Until now Billy Red' Love was a name on a record label, a name in a recording company's files, someone several of his contemporary musicians remembered - but the information, though intriguing, was sparse at best and contradictory at worst. Billy Love was never featured in any music publications or promotional blurbs, and he was never interviewed.

According to the files kept between 1951 and 1954 by Sam Phillips and Marion Keisker at the Memphis Recording Service, where Love made all his known recordings, his real name was Milton Billy Love. But Love is quite a familiar surname in and around Memphis and parts of Mississippi, in both the black community and the white, and it was not immediately clear and straightforward whether we should be looking to trace a man named Billy or William or Milton.

In the official registers of births, no-one named Billy or William seemed to fit the bill. A little research soon revealed that our man was not the same Billy Love who was famous around Greenville, Mississippi, for buying and selling cotton. Equally he was not the same Milton Love who recorded as lead singer of The Solitaires for Old Town Records in New York in the mid-'50s. Some contemporaries and writers have confused him with Willie Love, another blues pianist and singer associated with Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi, Others have speculated some connection with harmonica player Coy Love but research along those lines led to nothing. Eventually, it became possible to identify our man through the records of the U S Army; these revealed that he was named Milton Love and that he had first signed on for the Army in 1946 in Memphis. With that information, it was possible to find his July 1944 application for a social security number - and there it finally transpired that his real full name was Milton Morse Love junior.

But the Memphis of the late 1940s and early 1950s was full of good pianists, both local fixtures and those passing through, professional and amateur, dedicated and not. Pianist Roosevelt Sykes came through Memphis to play for many years and remembered: "I played at the Palace Theater. I had me a band in there. The Palace was awful popular,, they'd bring all the leading names in." Along Beale Street the Palace was vying for business with the Daisy Theater, Pee Wee's Saloon, Robert Henry's, and other establishments, both large and small. Sykes described how he, played all over Memphis, out there in Boxtown, on Kansas Street, at Trigg and Florida for 'Tobacco George I played at LaFonza's (Joe Ruffanti's Midway Cafe) on Fourth and Beale. Pianist Memphis Slim got his start in there... Them places they had a restaurant in the front, but you go through the back, that's the big part, that's where the action is, card tables and dice tables, and the bandstand was back there... (The pianists) all them guys, they'd only play if they got broke. Then they'd say 'I'm going to play the blues' and start playing because somebody would give 'em a stake to get back in the game. Then too, they could get the women. B. B. King said, "I think that area around Beale Street and Fourth Avenue would have been my community college, because they had a lot going on. Guys would be out there, professional guys, practicing their horns, shooting craps, or dancing. I mean the best.... They would play amongst each other, they would learn from each other... and late Fridays and Saturdays, people would come from the surrounding area, so it would be almost like Times Square on a Saturday there."

Meanwhile Billy Love's contemporaries and friends from Florida Street were all finding their way over to Beale Street, once known as the Main Street of Negro America, where the action lay in the theatres and bars and night clubs there. They probably also made their way across the river to the other area of night clubs and bars in West Memphis, Arkansas.

Emerging blues singer and guitarist B. B. King had found his way onto radio and onto records and formed a band that included pianist Johnny Ace, drummer Earl Forest, and sax player Richard Sanders, Billy Love's friend and Lillie's brother, to play clubs in the local area. Rosco Gordon, too, was making some moves after his various attempts to get out of Memphis as a teenager. Rosco said: "When I got back to Memphis, I had these two friends. We were inseparable. We liked to drink Mogen David wine, and on this particular Wednesday night we had no wine money, so we went, to the amateur night that they had every Wednesday on Beale Street, where Rufus Thomas was the emcee. They coaxed me to go up on stage to make the wine money: Whether or not Billy Love was one of these friends, and whether or not he, too, played the amateur shows, or even the professional shows, is unknown. What is clear is that Rosco started to win amateur prizes, then appeared on radio WDIA as part of one prize, and then gained an introduction to Sam Phillips at the Memphis Recording Service over on Union Avenue. Sam was looking to make blues and rhythm and blues records to lease to big city record companies, Phillips recorded Gordon in February 1951, and on five more occasions that year. The liaison bore fruit with Gordon's chaotic and unusual 'big-handed' piano style that had emerged from Billy Love's teachings. Sam dubbed this 'Rosco's Rhythm' and before long Gordon's recording of Rosco's Boogie was making significant sales on RPM Records. Another pianist and former Florida street player, Johnny Ace, soon followed and briefly eclipsed Rosco's success with ''My Song'' and other recordings for Duke Records before his early and much reported demise while playing with a hand gun.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY LOVE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: POSSIBLY TUESDAY JULY 24, 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Billy Love was a massive talent, becoming the Sun label's best session pianist in black music and the leader of Rosco Gordon's road band for some years. But he spent his life in and out of the armed forces, in and out of employment, in and out of jazz clubs, and in and out of the attention of law enforcement officers. Billy Love led a full, short, frustrating and strange life. His music was not strange though. In his singing, song writing, arranging and piano playing he was up there with the best.

01 – "JUICED" – B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Milton Morse Love
Publisher: - Hill and Range Songs Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 7349 Master 
Recorded: - Possibly July 24, 1951
Released: - July 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1472-A < mono
JUICED / ROCKET 88
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-11 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

This track is most certainly deserving of more than a passing footnote in the annals of rhythm and blues. A cryptic entry in Phillips own session files states that Billy Love was paid $100 for the composition, session piano, and vocal, but the irony was, of course, that this track was released under Jackie Brenston's name as a follow-up to "Rocket 88". An uproarious performance from start to finish, Love mimics Brenston's habit of yelling the soloist's name and whooping continually throughout. There is indeed a prodigious amount of energy in these grooves: Love's left hand is rock solid and fairly drives the session along, playing in unison with the bass. Guitarist Calvin Newborn fills incessantly around the vocal and takes a mean. extended solo: he's playing Jazz with lethal attacks, and that dirty rhythm & blues tone which Sam Phillips so loved. The sax is buried until the solo initially, but then assumes control in fine style. It should a been a biggie - in fact, perhaps if "Juiced" been issued under Billy Love's own name he could have afforded to kill himself on a better brand of liquor.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Love - Vocal and Piano
Charles Walker - Saxophone
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums

For Biography of Billy Love see: > The Sun Biographies <
Billy Love's Chess recordings can be heard on the playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACKIE BRENSTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1951

MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: PROBABLY JULY/AUGUST 1951
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Songwriter Larry Meeks is a white, Colorado-based lounge pianist and tunesmith who worked at one time or another with Benny Goodman, Les Elgart, and Tennessee Ernie Ford. In 1951, he was in the Navy, based in Millington, Tennessee... just north of Memphis. ''I was a pianist with the Navy band'', Meeks said recently. ''I wrote this song for the score of a musical comedy titled 'Prairie Navy' which had only two performances at the Auditorium in Memphis. I wrote it for me to sing in the show and I made a demo recording of the song at Sun studio and later learned it was recorded at Sun with a group or performer whom I didn't know''. As far as we know, this is the only show tune , and one of just a handful of songs written by white composer... if you discount the appearance of label owners in the composer credits. ''Prairie Navy'' ran in March 1951, so Phillips must have sat on the song for a few months.

01 - "TUCKERED OUT" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Larry Meeks
Publisher: - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - U 85 Master
Recorded: - Probably July/August 1951
Released: - October 1951
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1469-B < mono
TUCKERED OUT / MY REAL GONE ROCKET
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-1-15 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

It isn't known how Sam Phillips or Jackie Brenston stumbled across this number, but its clearly a rather better - crafted song than Brenston's own loose, good-time rockers. The riffing horns are mixed way down, upstaged by the band chanting the refrain, whilst Calvin Newborn's guitar solo evinces distinct jazz leanings. Although recorded a month or so after the rather meatier "My Real Gone Rocket" Brenston himself recalled that this one was touted as the A-side, and he felt that this career lost momentum as a result. Nonetheless, this remains a magnificent performance, as tight and organized as "Real Gone Rocket" is loose and unbridled.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jackie Brenston - Vocal
Unknown - Saxophone
Unknown - Bass
Phineas Newborn Jr. - Piano
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums

For Biography of Jackie Brenston see: > The Sun Biographies <
Jackie Brenston Chess recordings can be heard on the playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 25, 1951 WEDNESDAY

Hank Williams recorded ''Lonesome Whistle'' and ''Crazy Heart'' at Nashville's Castle Studio. He also takes a swipe at ''Baby, We're Really In Love'', though he records it again the following month.

JULY 26, 1951 THURSDAY

The Abbott & Costello comedy ''Comin' Round The Mountain'' appears in movie theaters, with ''Freudin' And Fightin'''singer Dorothy Shay co-starring.

JULY 27, 1951 FRIDAY

George Jones is slapped with a court order to stay away from his wife, Dorothy, who has filed for divorce.

JULY 28, 1951 SATURDAY

''Modern Inks Seven Artists to Packs, was the headliner in Billboard, with Ike Turner, Jackie Brenston, Phineas Newborn, and Walter Horton included, and the stipulation that Jackie, and presumably all others from Memphis, had now joined the American Federation of Musicians in Atlanta. ''Tho Rocket 88'' has been a top seller, Chess, has, no pact with Brenston'', the press release unhesitatingly declared, essentially positing union membership as the only basis for a legitimate contractual relationship.

''I had a deal with Phillips to pick up all the stuff he made'', Jules Bihari declared in an interview nearly twenty years later. When ''Rocket 88'' hit, he said, ''that sure blew the deal''. Which as far as Sam Phillips was concerned didn't match the facts in any way, shape, or form. There was no way in hell it was an exclusive deal. And if it was, the Bihari brothers hadn't lived up to it from the start. Of all the recordings he had sent them in the eight months between the time they had first met and Leonard Chess' arrival in Memphis, the only record they had actually put out was the Joe Hill Louis single that they had sat on forever. From Sam's point of view, it was all just a bunch of bullshit, to the Bihari brothers it was all about the money, pure and simple, they would just as soon ruin him as look at him. But he was not about to acquiesce. And besides, by now he had seen it, he had heard it, he had found what he had been seeking all along, that magical meeting of flesh and spirit, where, as he would later say, ''the soul of man never dies''. He had over the past month met and recorded the music of the man he would consider the greatest talent, the most profound artist he ever encountered, the Howlin' Wolf.

JULY 29, 1951 SUNDAY

Songwriter Ed Hunnicutt is born in Troy, New York. He authors Mickey Gilley's 1986 hit ''Doo-Wah Days''.

JULY 30, 1951 MONDAY

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''Hey La La''.

Decca released The Weaver's pop hit ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine''. Six years later, Jimmie Rogers lauches a new version into the pop and country charts.

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

 

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