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1955 SESSIONS (4)
April 1 , 1955 to April 30, 1955

Unknown Sessions

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APRIL 1955

In April of 1955, it was announced to the world that Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine was determined to be safe and highly effective in preventing the disease. Salk had started to develop the vaccine in 1952 and the trials began in 1954. By 1957, the vaccine was more widely available and the number of new cases of polio had dramatically declined. In 1962, a new, more effective oral polio vaccination was created by Albert Sabin and quickly replaced Salk’s vaccine. The creation of these vaccines nearly eradicated the formerly rampant illness and now in most developed countries there are only a handful of cases each year.

APRIL 1, 1955 FRIDAY FRIDAY

Sun 216 ''Don't Believe'' b/w ''Uncertain Love by Slim Rhodes released. Billboard reviews Rhodes' (Sun 216) (''Don't Believe''/''Uncertain Love'') as ''strong talent, despite run of the mill ideas''.

APRIL 3, 1955 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley receives a speeding ticket outside of Shreveport.

APRIL 4, 1955 MONDAY

Hank Snow recorded ''Cryin', Paryin', Waitin', Hopin'''.

Columbia released Carl Smith's two-sided hit, ''There She Goes'' backed with ''Old Lonesome Times''.

APRIL 5, 1955 TUESDAY

''Seven Spanish Angels'' singer Ray Charles marries Della Howard in Dallas, Texas.

APRIL 6, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Songwriter Red Hayes recorded his own composition, ''A Satisfied Mind'', with his daughter, Betty, for Decca Records in Nashville.

APRIL 7, 1955 THURSDAY

Webb Pierce recorded three future singles in Nashville's Bradley Studios, although all are deemed unsuitable and re-recorded later. At issue, ''Yes, I Know Why'', ''Cause I Love You'' and a duet with Red Sovine, ''Little Rosa''.

Red Foley and his daughter, Betty Foley, recorded ''Satisfied Mind''.

APRIL 8, 1955 FRIDAY

Kitty Wells recorded ''There's Poison In Your Heart'' at the Bradley Studio on Hillboro Road in Nashville.

APRIL 9, 1955 SATURDAY

Red Foley performs ''Peter Cottontail'' and ''Foggy River'' on ABC's ''Ozark Jubilee''. Red Stewart delivers ''Tennessee Waltz''.

APRIL 10, 1955 SUNDAY

Sun Records released Elvis Presley's ''Baby, Let's Play House'', backed with ''I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'' (Sun 217).

APRIL 11, 1955 MONDAY

Jean Shepard recorded ''A Satisfied Mind'', ''Take Possession'', ''I Thought Of You'' and ''Beautiful Lies'' during an overnight session at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

Capitol released Ferlin Husky's ''I'll Baby Sit With You''.

APRIL 13, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Bass player Louis Johnson is born in Los Angeles. A member of the rhythm and blues group The Brothers Johnson, he contributes to Bill Anderson's country-disco hit ''I Can't Wait Any Longer'' and T.G. Sheppard's ''I'll Be Coming Back For More''.

APRIL 1955

Slim Rhodes is signed to Sun Records. Slim and his band The Mountaineers are now on WMC-TV, Memphis and KVTV, Pine Bluff, Arkansas weekly.

APRIL 13, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Tickets for Elvis' 8:00 p.m. show at the High School Auditorium in Breckenridge, Texas, were $1.00 in advance at the Harmony House and $1.25 for adults and 75-cents for children at the door after 6 o'clock. Opening the show were a collection of local acts, including Fonda Wallace, eleven-year old "Pretty Little" Dee Don, Ben and Deana Hall, steel-guitarist Weldon Myrick, and future Sun rockabilly singer Dean Beard, who was a regular on KRBS in Abilene.

These performers were followed by Onie Wheeler. Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black took the stage about three-fourths of the way through the two-hour show. Elvis sings ''That's All Right'', ''I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine'', ''Tweedlee Dee'', and ends with ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''. The paper reports that many of the young women ''swooned with his every appearance on stage''. It is also noted that more than one man is overheard saying: ''I'd like to meet him out behind the bar'', or ''I'd better not see any girlfriend of mine going up after an autograph from that singer''.

The next day's article by Ann Cowan in the Breckenridge American offered the first post-show review of an Elvis concert. Ms. Cowan reported that he arrived in his pink Cadillac and played to a "near capacity crowd of teenagers and adults". On stage, Scotty Moore and Bill Black wore "vivied orange shirts" and charcoal trousers while Elvis Presley emphasized his "cat look" by donning a shirt and slacks in an apricot shade of orange and a black sport coat with inserts of orange in the jacket's back. Ms. Cowan noted that his show was a big success with the young women in the audience, many of whom "near swooned with his every appearance on stage".

However, Elvis Presley had the opposite reaction on their boyfriends, several of whom were over heard exchanging "vicious statements" among themselves about what they would do to Elvis "behind the barn". According to Ms. Cowan, Elvis Presley performed several songs that he had not recorded, including "Tweedlee Dee".

He also sang "That's All Right", "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine", and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky". Jay Thompson, disc jockey at local KTSB radio, recalled that Elvis Presley was paid $300 plus 50% of ticket sales above $300. It was his later impression that Elvis' first appearance in Breckenridge lost money.

Later that year, on June 10 1955, Dean Beard also with Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore and Bill Black stopped by Breckenridge, Texas, to pick up a quick $300 for an 8:00 p.m. show at the American Legion Hall. According to Ken Hayden's recollections in the Breckenridge American (September 13, 1989), the Legion building, like so many similar facilities of the day, was not air conditioned. Consequently, the one thing that most of the 1,500 fans who attended the show remembered - after Elvis Presley's wild gyrations on stage - was the stifling heat. Following the show Elvis Presley spent the night at Rowe's Motel.

 

THE BRECKENRIDGE STORY - After a break Elvis, Scotty, and Bill started another set of backto- back gigs across north central Texas, starting in Breckenridge. Poised on the brink of West Texas, Breckenridge lay in Tornado Alley, about 100 miles. . . from absolutely nothing. Immediately after the show, the boys would have to scoot 166 miles through the "lake district" to their Thursday Gainesville concert, only to back-track past Breckenridge to catch Friday night's double feature in Stamford. On these long drives, Scotty and Bill usually alternated at the wheel, not out of deference to their lead singer, but out of sheer selfpreservation.

With a country driver certainty that any road they traveled would eventually get him to his destination, Elvis maintained a brilliance for getting lost. Earlier ventures found Scotty jolted awake in the wee hours of the morning by the uneven sur-face of an abandoned gravel road. When asked for a location update, Elvis contentedly announced that he didn't know, while continuing to rocket through country so remote, even the local roadrunners had to consult their GPS compasses. It's said that when you see road signs printed in Spanish , you should start worrying. Thus, Elvis-the-driver got demoted to Elvisthe- passer for the majority of their adventures., except when they needed speed. Then Elvis was their man. This agreement lasted until Elvis bought his first car, a 1951 Lincoln Cosmopolitan he was so attached to they had to pry him out with a crowbar.

Scotty pulled up short in front of Breckenridge High School. The dirt that had chased them across the state finally settled across the broad hood of the used pink and white Cadillac, stuffed to the girls with band equipment. Last month, after a valiant struggle, the Chevy Bellaire got called to a higher service station.

True to his promise in Abilene, disc jockey Sid Foster brought Elvis and the gang to his hometown stomping ground. Sid personally arranged the concert, filling the bill with the local talent of disc jockey/singer Ben Hall; country singer Onie Wheeler; Dean Baird, who played with the Champs of "Tequila" fame; Weldon Myrick, whose steel guitar stylings can still be heard behind many other famous musicians; Gene Funderburk; and Sid himself.

Sid made sure the concert received a plug from every disc jockey who owed him a favor, which constituted most of the state. Packed to the rafters with rock-a-billy aficionados ready to par-tay, the house band found it an easy task warming up the audience. They were already stoked when Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys vaulted on the stage and set the high school ablaze. The girls shrieked their approval of everything that came from Elvis's mouth. He could have sung "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," and the females would still have screamed. And when he gave them the come-hither look and sang, "I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man," the women climbed over the beats and their boyfriends' heads to rip the orange and black Ricky Ricardo jacket off his body.

Needless to say, the boyfriends ceased to be quite so thrilled at the evening's entertainment. Bill danced with his bass and slapped it in time to Scotty's mad guitar pounding. Strings flew off Elvis's guitar as he literally ripped the chords off his Martin. Warned by Sid that Elvis played the guitar like a ravenous wolf with a T-bone, the house band stayed out of the range of the Martin jerking violently on the neck strap. Elvis had been known during particularly happenin' moments to slam the instrument backwards so violently that it bashed into the gut of any unsuspecting band member who stood within ten feet behind him. Years later when a newspaper reporter remarked to Johnny Cash that he played the guitar hard, Cash exclaimed, ''I don't play hard. Now, Elvis, he played hard. He broke strings before he got started''.

Tonight the only victim to his enthusiasm was the six-string, five-string, four-string, threestring. Bill Black asked backup Gene Funderburk if Elvis could borrow his guitar while the other one went into outpatient surgery. Gene resisted the temptation to clutch it to his chest and take off for parts unknown. Like a parent watching his only daughter moving out of the house, Gene painfully handed over the precious instrument to the wild man. Ironically, Elvis treated it like Gene's daughter, stroking the strings gently instead of wrenching them off the neck.

After the performance, Elvis returned it to its grateful owner/father, not a scratch marring the surface.

During the photograph signings, Elvis found himself a date to take to the Dairy Mart for a burger and Coke. He returned a few hours later to catch Sid's wife, cousin, and Sid himself going out for a late bite at the Why Not Cafe. A second dinner? Why not.

One of the girls at the show walked home that night, proudly bearing a newly autographed Elvis picture. When she got ready to pay the baby-sitter, she realized she'd fust spent her last available dollar on a picture of the King. Instead of waiting for a bank to open in the morning, or an ATM to be invented in forty years, the baby-sitter opted to take the picture instead. Even though she hadn't been to the concert, she thought the man in the photograph looked handsome. That photograph is now worth about $750, pretty much what one night of baby-sitting costs today.

APRIL 14, 1955 THURSDAY

Imperial released Fat Domino's pop hit ''Ain't It A Shame''. Hank Williams Jr. earns a country hit with the song in 1972.

Decca released The Wilburn Brothers' ''I Wanna Wanna Wanna''.

APRIL 16, 1955 SATURDAY

Red Foley, Porter Wagoner and Jean Shepard perform ''A Satisfied Mind'' during ABC's ''Ozark Jubilee''.

APRIL 19, 1955 TUESDAY

Aurelia Browder (37) was arrested for violating Alabama bus segregation laws on April 19, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama.

APRIL 23, 1955 SATURDAY

Justin Tubb joins ''Ozark Jubilee'' host Red Foley on the ABC series.

APRIL 24, 1955 SUNDAY

The Denton Record-Chronicle reports Wade & Dick's appearance on local television. ''We won't say the whole NTSC faculty and student body are making guest appearances on television, but the college will have a good representation on TV this week. Two students, Wade Moore and Dick Fender (sic), who appeared on the campus stage not long ago, will be on the Jerry Haynes Show Monday. The noon-time show is seen on KRLD-TV''.

APRIL 25, 1955 MONDAY

Sun 217, ''I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'' b/w ''Baby Let's Play House'' by Elvis Presley is released. Elvis Presley is now touring with Onie Wheeler. He also appears on the Big D Jamboree in Dallas, Texas, with Tex Ritter.

Also this day, Sun 218 ''I Feel So Worried'' b/w ''So Long Baby Goodbye'' by Sammy Lewis/Willie Johnson Combo are released.

Capitol released Hank Thompson's double-sided hit, featuring ''Breakin' In Another Heart'' and a collaboration with guitarist Merle Travis, ''Wildwood Flower''.

APRIL 26, 1955

The Platters recorded the pop hit ''Only You (And You Alone)'' at Capitol's Melrose Avenue Studio in Los Angeles. Reba McEntire recorded a hit country version of the song 26 years later.

APRIL 28, 1955 THURSDAY

Eddy Arnold four hits with Hugo Winterhalter's orchestra at Webster Hall in New York, ''The Cattle Call'', ''The Richest Men (In The World)'', ''The Kentuckian Song'' and ''I Walked Alone Last Night''.

APRIL 29, 1955 FRIDAY

Patsy Cline makes her first appearance in the Apple Blossom Festival parade in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia.

APRIL 30, 1955 SATURDAY

Marvin Rainwater performs ''I Gotta Go Get My Baby'' on ABC-TV's ''Ozark Jubilee'', also featuring Shug Fisher and host Red Foley.

APRIL 30, 1955 SATURDAY

Sam Phillips put out two more singles on Flip, before a combination of union opposition and a renewal of faith, or maybe it was just hope on Sam's part, led him to virtually abandon the label. One was a well-crafted harmony vocal by the Miller Sisters (Flip 504/Sun 504), called ''Someday You Will Pay'' backed with ''You Didn't Think I Would'', the sisters-in-law, actually, from Tupelo, Mississippi, whom Sam Phillips compared favorably to the very popular Davis Sisters, and who sang a wonderful, almost Cajun-flavored original set off by Bill Cantrell's ''corn-stalk'' fiddle and the spoons-playing of Charlie Feathers, and Sam released Flip 503, ''I've Been Deceived'' backed with ''Peepin' Eyes'' by Charlie Feathers.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©