CONTAINS
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> Back 1952 Sun Schedule <

1952 SESSIONS (4)
April 1, 1952 to April 30, 1952

Studio Session for Little Junior Parker, April 1952 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Bobby Bland, April 1952 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Ike Turner & Ben Burton, April 195 2 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Bonnie & Ike Turner, April 1952 / RPM/Modern Records
Studio Session for B.B. King, April 1952 / RPM Records
Studio Session for Sleepy John Estes, April 5, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Raymond Jones, April 9, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Boyd Gilmore, April 13, 1952 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Charlie Booker, April 13, 1952 / Modern Records
Studio Session for Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys, April 14, 1952 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Howlin' Wolf, April 17, 1952 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Rufus Thomas, April 21, 1952 / Chess Records
Studio Session for Sleepy John Estes, April 24, 1952
Studio Session for Willie Nix, April 25, 1952 / Checker 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 - ©

APRIL 1952

Sun Records is launched on a local basis with a single by Johnny London (''Drivin' Slow'' b/w ''Flat Tire'' (Sun 175) and possibly Walter Bradford ''Dreary Nights'' b/w ''Nothin' But The Blues'' (Sun 176) though no copies of the latter are known to have survived. Phillips' log book and check register show that no order for Sun 176 was made to Shaw record manufacturing where #175 was plated or to Plastic Products where #175 was pressed.

Phillips is still involved in producing sessions for licence to other labels and does not concentrate on developing a distribution network for Sun. The label soon becomes inactive.

Sam Phillips records further sessions on Rufus Thomas and Howlin' Wolf for Chess Records. He unsuccessfully pitches acetates by Elven Parr's In The Groove Boys and Sleepy John Estes to Chess, although they do accept a Willie Nix session for their Checker subsidiary.

Duke Records is started in Memphis by James Mattis and Bill Fitzgerald, who launch with a single by Rosco Gordon, "Tell Daddy"/"Hey Fat Girl" (Duke 101). Naturally enough, the Biharis will take legal action against Duke, but not for a couple of months.

APRIL 2, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Bass player Leon Wilkeson is born in Jacksonville, Florida. He joins the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose ''Sweet Home Alabama'' is credited among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

APRIL 4, 1952 FRIDAY

Lefty Frizell recorded ''Forever (And Always)'' at Dallas' Jim Beck Studio.

APRIL 5, 1952 SATURDAY

Rosco Gordon's ''No More Doggin'' (RPM 350) enters the Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart and peaks at number 2 in a 15-week stay (number 18 rhythm and blues record of 1952).

Studio session with Sleepy John Estes at the Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reason

STUDIO SESSION FOR LITTLE JUNIOR PARKER,
BOBBY BLUE BLAND & IKE TURNER
FOR MODERN/RPM RECORDS

UNKNOWN LOCATION AND STUDIO
WEST MEMPHIS, ARKANSAS
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE APRIL 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - IKE TURNER
AND/OR JOE BIHARI

In April 1952, Ike Turner was one busy cat, recording with eight artists, himself included. The sessions produced 8 singles of extraordinary diversity. First up, Ike was back in the big city for a couple of sessions and appropriately, the sound is far more sophisticated. The first session was split between Herman ''Little Junior'' Parker and Bobby Bland both ably supported by the exceptional guitar of Matt ''Guitar'' Murphy: two great singers, two great instrumentalists, two great singles. Ike gets a turn in front of the microphone on his own single ''You're Driving Me Insane'' b/w ''Trouble And Heartaches'' recorded at with Ben Burton's band. Here the sound is heavier with a full horn section employed. ''You're driving me insane'', Ike's croons to a tune reminiscent of Tampa Red's ''It Hurts Me Too'' while ''Trouble And Heartaches'' rolls along and is squarely based on Roy Milton's 1946, number 2 rhythm and blues hit ''RM Blues''.

YOU'RE MY ANGEL
Composer: - Jules Taub-Herman Parker
Publisher: B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1809 - Master (1:57)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 864 mono
YOU'RE MY ANGEL / BAD WOMEN BAD WHISKEY
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1/26 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

BAD WOMEN BAD WHISKEY
Composer: - Jules Taub-Herman Parker
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: MM 1810 - Master (3:01)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 864 mono
BAD WOMEN BAD WHISKEY / YOU'RE MY ANGEL
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1/25 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

DRIFTING FROM TOWN TO TOWN**
Composer: - Jules Taub-Robert Bland
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1825 - Master (3:03)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - June 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 868-A mono
DRIFTING FROM TOWN TO TOWN / GOOD LIVIN'
Reissued: - 2011 Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 564-5 mono
BOBBY BLAND - IT'S MY LIFE, BABY

GOOD LOVIN'**
Composer: - Jules Taub-Robert Bland
Published: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1826 - Master (2:23)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - June 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 868-B mono
GOOD LOVIN' / DRIFTING FROM TOWN TO TOWN
Reissued: - 2011 Jasmine Records (CD) 500/200rpm JASCD 564-6 mono
BOBBY BLAND - IT'S MY LIFE, BABY

YOU'RE DRIVING ME INSANE***
Composer: - Jules Taub-Ike Turner
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: MM 1833 - Master (2:21)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 356 mono
YOU'RE DRIVING ME INSANE / TROUBLE AND HEARTACHES
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-1-29 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

TROUBLE AND HEARTACHES***
Composer: - Jules Taub-Ike Turner
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: MM 1834 - Master (2:35)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 356 mono
TROUBLE AND HEARTACHES / YOU'RE DRIVING ME INSANE
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/1 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Bobby Bland – Vocal & Guitar**
Little Junior Parker - Vocal & Guitar*
Ike Turner - Vocal & Piano***
Matt Murphy - Guitar
L.C. Dranes - Drums
Ben Burton - Bass
Raymond Hill - Saxophone *

Ben Burton Orchestra:
Unknown - Saxophones
Unknown - Trumpet

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR BONNIE & IKE TURNER
FOR RPM/MODERN RECORDS 1952

TUFF GREEN'S HOUSE
1293 QUINN AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE APRIL 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - IKE TURNER

Back at Tuff Green's house at 1293 Quinn Avenue in Memphis, Ike Turner cut two singles with Bonnie Turner. As Mary Sue, she cut ''Everybody's Talking b/w ''Love Is A Gamble'' and in duet with Ike as Bonnie and Ike Turner they recorded ''My Heart Belongs To You'' b/w ''Looking For My Baby''. Bonnie was Ike's then third wife, and Ike still only 21! The marriage didn't last too long but at least to August 1953 when they recorded again at Sam Phillips' Sun studio at 706 Union Avenue on August 2. Significantly, Bonnie was a pianist which allowed Ike to take on the guitar duties in his band. He was taking lessons from guitarist, Earl Hooker (who he would later record for Blue Thumb Records) and Willie Kizart, the ''Rocket 88'' guitarist. However, with his guitar skills not yet up to scratch, on these recordings Ike is still at the piano.

EVERYBODY'S TALKING
Composer: - Joe Josea-Ike Turner
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number; - MM 1859 - Master (2:51)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 880 mono
EVERYBODY'S TALKING / LOVE IS A GAMBLE
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/11 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

LOVE IS A GAMBLE
Composer: - Ike Turner
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - MM 1860 - Master (3:06)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 880 mono
LOVE IS A GAMBLE / EVERYBODY'S TALKING
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/12 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

MY HEART BELONGS TO YOU
Composer: - Arbee Stidham
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - MM 1863 - Master (2:51)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 362 mono
MY HEART BELONGS TO YOU / LOOKING FOR MY BABY
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/5 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

LOOKING FOR MY BABY (1)
Composer: - Jules Taub-Ike Turner-Baron
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Universal Music
Matrix number: - MM 1864 - Master (2:30)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 362 mono
LOOKING FOR MY BABY / MY HEART BELONGS TO YOU
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/6 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bonnie Turner (Mary Sue) - Vocal
Ike Turner - Piano
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Unknown - Saxophones
Richard ''Tuff' Green - Bass
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR B.B. KING
FOR RPM RECORDS 1952

TUFF GREEN'S HOUSE
1293 QUINN AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE APRIL 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - IKE TURNER
AND/OR JOE BIHARI

B.B. King also recorded at Tuff Green's place around the same time and it is likely Ike Turner played on the two songs recorded by King. Both sides of RPM 363 are blues ballads that feature droning saxophones, delicate tinkling piano but no sign of BBs trademark guitar. Another King single was recorded five months later.

YOU DIDN'T WANT ME
Composer: - Jules Taub-B.B. King
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1865 - Master (2:32)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 363 mono
YOU DIDN'T WANT ME / YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/7 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU
Composer: - Jules Taub-B.B. King
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1866 - Master (3:05)
Recorded: - Unknown Date April 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - RPM Records (S) 78rpm RPM 363 mono
YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU / YOU DIDN'T WANT ME
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/8 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
B.B. King - Vocal & Guitar
Possibly Bill Harvey - Tenor Saxophone
Possibly George Coleman - Alto Saxophone
Possibly Floyd Jones - Trumpet
Possible Ike Turner - Piano
Possibly Richard ''Tuff'' Green - Bass
Possibly Ted Curry - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Sam Phillips had tried Don Robey in April with some of his rawest cottonpatch blues to date, by Sleepy John Estes, a fifty-three-year-old native of Brownsville, Tennessee, midway between Jackson and Memphis, who, like so many others, just showed up at the studio with his battered guitar and new store-bought teeth. Sam was knocked out by his music, Sleepy John, who had first recorded for Victor in the 1920s, was a brilliant songwriter with a unique crying style of singing, but evidently his teeth didn't fit, and at one point they went flying across the room as he put his heart and soul into the performance.

Sam persuaded him to put them in his pocket. ''I said, 'Don't break them, save them, you might have a girlfriend that you want to see'', and Estes who had gone blind a couple of years earlier, even returned for a second session on April 24, with Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp on harmonica and washboard-playing friend, Hammie Nixon, but Sam Phillips was never able to sell any of the sides, which he considered priceless and which remained unissued until they came out in England some thirty years later.

STUDIO SESSION FOR SLEEPY JOHN ESTES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 5, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Sam Phillips noted this session as unsatisfactory. The tapes have not been found, and were probably re-used. Some song re-recorded on Estes' second session on April 24, 1952.

RATS IN MY KITCHEN
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 5, 1952

BURIAL INSURENCE BLUES/POLICY MAN
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 5, 1952

RUNNIN' AROUND BLUES
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 5, 1952

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sleepy John Estes - Vocal & Guitar

For Biography of Sleepy John Estes see: > The Sun Biographies <
Sleepy John Estes 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 RAYMOND JONES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY APRIL 9, 1952
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS

LET ME COUNT THE CURLS (ON YOUR CUTE COOTIE)
Composer: - Raymond Jones
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - April 9, 1952

According to London, "Drivin' Slow" was a number 1 record locally, and provided a great deal of additional work for the band. In view of that it is indeed remarkable that London's final appearance in the Sun studio should have been just 10 days after his record had been released, on April 9 he backet Raymond Jones on 10 takes of a straightforward pop song "Let Me Count The Curls". London recalls: "During that time Phillips was also recording Rufus Thomas, and some others. He had his hands in everything. I think we were busy too - trying to make as much money as possible off the record. We were at school at that time, too. Also, we never made as much money off the record as we thought we would. That may have been the reason".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Raymond Jones - Vocal & Drums
Joe Louis Hall - Piano
Johnny London - Alto Saxophone
Charles Keel - Tenor Saxophone

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR BOYD GILMORE & CHARLIE BOOKER
FOR MODERN RECORDS 1952

UNKNOWN STUDIO LOCATION
CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI
MODERN SESSION: WEDNESDAY APRIL 13, 1952
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – IKE TURNER
AND/OR JOE BIHARI

Ike Turner was back in Clarksdale to cut again with Boyd Gilmore and Charlie Booker. ''Charlie's Boogie Woogie'' bowls along with each member of the band taking a crack at a solo as Booker sings his boogie. The other side of this single ''Moonshine Blues'' doesn't feature Ike Turner. Gilmore's coupling is the real deal and if you think the introduction and solo to ''All In My Dreams'' are familiar, you'd be right because they are spliced in from Elmore James' ''Please Find My Baby''. The other side is Gilmore's expressive version of Robert Lockwood's ''Take A Little Walk With Me''.

ALL IN MY DREAMS*
Composer: - Jules Taub-Boyd Gilmore
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1837 - Master (3:11)
Recorded: - April 13, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 872 mono
ALL IN MY DREAMS / TAKE A LITTLE WALK WITH ME
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/2 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

TAKE A LITTLE WALK WITH ME*
Composer: - Robert Lockwood
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1838 - Master (2:31)
Recorded: - April 13, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 872 mono
TAKE A LITTLE WALK WITH ME / ALL IN MY DREAMS
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/3 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

CHARLIE'S BOOGIE WOOGIE**
Composer: Charlie Booker
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Modern Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MM 1852 - Master (2:29)
Recorded: - April 13, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm Modern 878 mono
CHARLIE'S BOOGIE WOOGIE / MOONRISE BLUES
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rpm SECBX025-2/4 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951 - 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Boyd Gilmore - Vocal * & Guitar
Charlie Booker - Vocal ** & Guitar
Ike Turner - Piano
Jesse ''Cleanhead'' Love - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 7, 1952 MONDAY

Capitol released Faron Young's debut single, ''Tattle Tale Tears''.

APRIL 11, 1952 FRIDAY

The Stanley Brothers hold the last of their four Columbia recordings sessions.

APRIL 13, 1952 SUNDAY

Mandolin player Sam Bush is born in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He gains acclaim with the progressive acoustic group New Grass Revival, but also plays on hits by Pam Tillis, Kathy Mattea and Garth Brooks, among others.

APRIL 14, 1952 MONDAY

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''Somebody's Stolen My Honey''.

APRIL 15, 1962 TUESDAY

Rex Allen and Slim Pickens combat counterfeiters in the Old West in the debut of ''Border Saddlemates''. Woodwind player Darol Rice has an on-screen part.

APRIL 16, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Nearly five years aster the started, Porter Wagoner's wife, Ruth, ends her work with the International Shoe Company in West Plains, Missouri.

APRIL 17, 1952 THURSDAY

Elvis Presley returns to work at Loew's State Theater but is fired five weeks later after an altercation with another usher. Loew's State became notable for being the place where Elvis Presley got his first job, in 1948, as an usher and later being fired, and then re-instated. The auditorium was built into an older warehouse which actually fronted Second Street. Second Street wasn't a suitable address for such a prestigious theater so Loew's acquired a single storefront on Main Street which aligned with the warehouse/auditorium on 2nd. Unfortunately, there was an alley between the two buildings which the City of Memphis would not allow Loew's to close off. The solution? The storefront was gutted and turned into a lovely half-block-long lobby which ended in a single grand stairway. This stairway rose to a level high enough to allow a bridge over the alley and entered the auditorium at balcony level. When the LS was not at peak capacity, the sign on the stairs said "downstairs closed" instead of the usual "balcony closed" so familiar to those going to the movies in the 1960's.

The State had a vaudeville stage and pit. The hall was never renovated during its life and so retained all it's Thomas Lamb "Loew's Adam" decor to the end. The first organ in the Loew's State was a Moller. It was replaced by a Wurlitzer in the mid-1920's. The 2 big Loew's theaters in downtown Memphis were under construction at the same time.

APRIL 18, 1952 FRIDAY

Jim Scholten is born in Bay City, Michigan. As bass player for Sawyer Brown, he contributes to such hits as ''The Dirt Road'', ''Six Days On The Road'', ''All These Years'' and ''Thank God For You''.

Columbia released Carl Smith's two-sided single, ''Are You Teasing Me'' and ''It's A Lovely, Lovely World''.

APRIL 21, 1952 MONDAY

Webb Pierce recorded ''The Last Waltz'' at Nashville's Castle Studio.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans recorded ''Happy Trails''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Guitarist Parr's band took its name from a WMC radio show that broadcast 15 minutes of suitably 'groovy' records every day. They worked the circuit which moved up and down the Mississippi from Memphis to Cairo, via clubs like M.C. Reeder's 199 Club in Osceola, Arkansas. Pianist Eddie Snow worked with them regularly, as did for a while the lanky Albert Nelson before he changed his last name to King. "Baby Child" is a slow blues with a lusty if slightly winded vocal from Snow.

''She's got me going round in circles, crying just like a baby child". The balance favours Luther Taylor and Bennie Moore's saxes at the expense of their leader's guitar. Sam sent dubs of this 1952 session to Chess, who sent back a ''What else you got''? letter.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ELVEN PARR'S AND THE GROOVE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 14, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

> BABY CHILD <
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:24)
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/12 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

> I'M A GOOD MAN <
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:27)
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30126-A-5 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 11 - MEMPHIS BLUES SOUNDS
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/13 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Elven Parr seems to have turned his amp up for this enthusiastic boogie, but the capering saxes still get in the way of what might be one of the great guitar solos recorded at Sun Records - if only we could hear it. Eddie Snow sounds a touch frantic as he claims he wants to live "the right kind of life". Even so, "Let me tell you one ting I want to know/if you have any children (they) got to look like Snow". Chances were, with the lifestyle of a touring band being what it was, there were a few of those already.

> IN THE GROOVE RHUMBA <
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:50)
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/14 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

The horns are still front and centre as Eddie Snow's piano takes the lead on this "shimmy like you wanna". When the leader finally gets a chance to show us what he can do, he is once again rather overshadowed. Having made sure we can't ignore them, the horns then break into their lounge lizard riff until the slightly botched ending. The 'mighty rum bling' that persists through most of the tune is caused by Eddie Snow's foot on the sustain pedal as his left hand pounds out the rhythm.

> SKIN AND BONE WOMAN (1)
Composer: - Johnny Temple
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Slow Version - Not Originally Issued (2:44)
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUN 30 mono
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/15 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

The band - or Sam Phillips - hedged their bets with this song, since it exists in both slow and fast versions. Eddie Snow's woman is reduced to the 'skin and bones' of the title. "You used to be beautiful but you lived your life too fast/now you ain't got nothin' but your dark unattractive past". Which seems to be what he sings. Legibility is just as problematic on the fast version which changes the verse order and adds two more as well as a frantic tenor solo. Eddie Snow returned three years later to make a Sun single of his own.

> SKIN AND BONES WOMAN (2)
Composer: - Johnny Temple
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Fast Version - Not Originally Issued (1:59)
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - 1984
First appearance: Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-9/4 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

This ''Skin And Bones Woman'' in contrast, this is a very different alternate take used on the 1990's box after being first issued on the Sun Blues Archive CDs in the 1980s. It's the fast version of the song issued on the original LP boxset.

ROCKAWAY BABY
Composer: - Eddie Snow
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - Sun Unissued

ALL ALONE
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 14, 1952
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Krazy Kat Records (LP) 33rpm Krazy Kat KK 7427-B/5 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES - UNISSUED TITLES FROM THE 1950S

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Snow - Vocal and Piano
Luther Taylor - Saxophone
Bennie Moore - Saxophone
Elven Parr - Guitar
Carl Tate - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

ELVEN ''L.V.'' PARR INTERVIEW

Interviewed by Mark Dalton and Mike Lynch in Seattle, Spring of 1996. The transcription was created and edited by Mark Dalton. This piece originally appeared on the (long gone) Caldonia web page, and was republished in the May 1997 edition of Blues and Rhythm ("The Gospel Truth") Magazine (UK). L.V. Parr died in Seattle in 1996.

We caught up with Elven "L.V." Parr at a First Hill retirement home, in a room he shares with another resident. The room is impersonal, institutional, much like a hospital room, except for the Washington Blues Society Award on the wall above L.V.'s bed. L.V. is blind now, from the effects of diabetes, and he has slowed down some from the accumulation of 70 years of living, but he was up for talking with us, laughed readily, and occasionally we could see the years drop away as he touched on a happy memory of a free and easy moment, living the blues. Here's L.V.'s story:

I was born in Osceola Arkansas in 1925. My dad ran a cotton gin for many years there. My mother was a housewife, and I was their only child. My dad played piano, and I was exposed to all kinds of music growing up. I didn’t listen to that much blues when I was a child. I sang in the church choir, and was in a gospel quartet as a teenager.

I got into some trouble with the law as a young man, and I really picked up on the guitar while I was in prison. I didn’t have much to do but practice, and I had music books and teachers there too. I had a few guys I could play guitar with, who would show me different things playing, and I began to like it when I was playing with them. Guys would teach me this and that and I was very into listening.

I started playing professionally in 1950. We had a band in Osceola called the "In the Groove Boys" and we were on the radio every day at 3pm. I think the station was KOSE. We had guitar, piano, and drums. We did our own show and also backed up special guests.

I used to know Albert King back in Osceola. He was Albert Nelson back then, that's before he got famous. We used to play together a little bit, but he couldn't play nothing but, you know, soul or blues. He didn't know any chords at that time, but he made it big. I wish I was in his shoes!

I started going to Memphis regularly after I'd been playing awhile. I had a hotel gig there, and would go out on the road with various bands and singers that needed a guitar player. The hotel was owned by a guy named Sunbeam Mitchell, who was also a music promoter.

Sunbeam Mitchell started off promoting B.B. King in the early days. During this period I played with Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Johnny Ace and Percy Mayfield, among others. I played a gig with Ray Charles at hotel in Atlanta. There were so many guys I played with... I was working all the time back then.

I also did quite a bit of recording at that time. I was...what do you call it, a studio musician? I did a lot of work at Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley made his first recordings. I recorded there with Johnny Ace, Bobby Bland and Earl Forrest, among others. B.B. King was a friend of mine back in those days. We never played together because he had a pretty good guitar player in his band already! (laughs). We used to hang out. He was also a disc jockey at that time. I played quite a bit on Beale Street in Memphis. I played with all the local guys, and then Sunbeam would send us out on the road. I did a long tour with Johnny Ace, not too long before he died. We were out for about six months, mostly playing theaters. We were being booked out of New York City. I played the Apollo Theater back then, and all over the country.

They claimed Johnny Ace killed himself playing Russian Roulette. I think that was a lie. I knew Johnny too well. He wouldn’t do himself that way. What happened was Johnny was fooling with a girl, a white girl. I had just left the tour in Kentucky. This girl had been following Johnny around the south for awhile. Every show he did, she was there. The guys in the band told me that the night Johnny died, this girl's brother and her uncle came to see Johnny, that they went up to his room, and brought down this story that he was playing Russian Roulette. I think one of them shot Johnny.

Johnny Ace was a fun guy to be with. He kept everyone laughing. He could just let himself go. I played on some of his records, including "The Clock." That one was really my tune - I pretty much wrote that one. I worked with him off and on for a couple of years all together, after he went out on his own. Before that he played piano in B.B. King's band.

Another guy I played with down south was Earl Forrest, a good rhythm and blues singer. He was just starting out. We played all down through the south, down into Mississippi. He had a hit record out called "Whoopin' and Hollerin'''. I'd be talking to pretty girls and Earl, he'd come up and say "I'm the bossman here!" (laughs). The girls, they'd say "Who''?

I met Fenton Robinson in Cairo, Illinois around that time. He was about eighteen years old then. I left the little group I was in to go on this tour, and Fenton came in to take my place. I used to show him different stuff, techniques when he was getting started. He played in my place until I got back off the road.

I came out to Seattle in 1959. I got into trouble with the law again, and was basically paroled to my dad, who was living out here by then. I played all over the Northwest when I got here. Things were jumping. I played at first with a guy named Gerald Frank, who had a band and also owned a lot of property, after-hours joints and stuff, around town. He played with Duke Ellington at one time, and could play drums and organ. We played at the Black and Tan, Birdland, the Drift Inn, the Cotton Club, the Mardi Gras, those clubs on Jackson Street. All over. I played with all the local guys, most everyone in town at one time or another.

I played with Dave Lewis off and on. Joe Johansen used to play with him too, and that kid that made it big, Larry Coryell, he played with Dave at one time. I knew all these guys. Jimi Hendrix used to come around. He was just a kid then, I used to practice over at 20th and Madison with James Thomas and a couple of old guys. Every time we were over there, Hendrix would come over and be asking me things, asking me to show him this or that. I don't if you'd call it teaching him or not, but I used to show him a lot.

In the early years I always used a hollow-bodied guitar. I had an Epiphone that was my favorite. Later on I used a Fender Stratocaster. I took a few breaks from playing over the years, drove a cab. I started playing down in the Pike Market in 70's. Hanging out on First Avenue was fun in those days.

I used to hang out at Pig Alley a lot. Also at the Ridge. I bartended at the Shellback for awhile. I hung out with Isaac Scott some back then. We played the same places. Tom McFarland was a good friend. A lot of the time I played with (Hammond B3 organist) Donny Osias. Donny has tapes of us playing together back then, but I never got into a studio in Seattle.

I followed Tom McFarland into a house band gig at the Boulder Cafe at First and Pike around 1976, and we played five nights a week there for year or two. Those were some good times in Seattle. Getting the "Living Legend" award from the Washington Blues Society a couple years ago was great. My friend (local musician and social worker) Joe Martin took me up there to the ceremony. I've got it hanging right here by my bed.

L.V. Parr's health prevents him from playing any more, but his music lives on in others. There are many unsung musical heroes like L.V., people whose daily work helps to create and maintain the rich musical matrix that nourishes the young Jimi Hendrixes and Larry Coryells of the world, and which makes life a little easier and richer for us all.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

By April 1952 Sam Phillips was sending out dubs to Chess once again. But with their differences out in the open once and for all (Sam's declaration of independence, however short-lived, did not go unnoticed), things were not about to be put back together again. On every issue, it seemed, Sam and Leonard vehemently disagreed, from the whole business of the bus, which continued to fester, to the proper way to record the Howlin' Wolf. Sam had another session with Wolf in the middle of the month, but of the eight sides he sent the label, Chess put out only one, and between April and December, out of all the other material Sam sent them, they released just four singles by any of his other artists.

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

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: THURSDAY APRIL 17, 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

Note: the session files indicate that other titles were recorded at the session, but the musicians on those titles (''Dorothy Mae'', ''Sweet Woman'' ''Color And Kind'') appear to be different from those titles here.

> EVERYBODY'S IN THE MOOD (ALL IN THE MOOD) <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:55)
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30134-4 mono
THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS – HOWLIN' WOLF
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-15 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

On April 17th 1952 Wolf turned up at the Memphis Recording Service to record a session for Chess Records, for which he received $200, a princely sum for those days. None of the sides were released at the time, although this cut would clearly have made a great jumping B-side to any of his great early singles. Guitarist Johnson fits some powerful boogie licks in beneath Wolf's vocals, but this time its clearly the Wolf's show as he drives it along, calling all the shots from start to finish.

> COLOR AND KIND <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:09)
Re-recorded later as "Just My Kind".
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30134 mono
THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS - HOWLIN' WOLF
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-14 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

> BLUEBIRD (BLUES) <
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:47)
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30134-3 mono
THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS – HOWLIN' WOLF
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-13 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

It would seem that even at this early point in his career Wolf's thoughts were already turning North to Chicago, as evidenced by the imagery in this song. Although far from representative of Wolf's best work, it provides a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of his style (although when Wolf finally made his move North, it was in a late model Buick rather than on a bluebird). Sam Phillips duly sent these cut to Chess Records, although they remained unissued at the time - the original acetate of ''Bluebird (Blues)'', this side eventually finding its way onto a bootleg in 1979.

This vintage blues was popular during the late 1930s and early 1940s, Tommy McClennan's gravel-voiced version from 1942 even bearing a superficial resemblance to Wolf's version. Musicologists Robert Dixon and John Godrich have suggested that the "Bluebird" in McClennan's version referred to the label for which it was recorded: fanciful speculation or not, all such meaning was lost by the time Wolf annexed the song making it his own.

''Bluebird when you come back to Chicago
I want you to fly between the sun and cloud (x2)
If you get a message from Lacey Belle, don't let it hit the ground''.

> SADDLE MY PONY*/** <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1028 - Master (2:31)
Originally titled "Pony Blues", on the Chess 78, the full title is "Saddly My Pony
(Gonna Find My Baby Out In The World Somewhere)"
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - July 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single > Chess 1515-A < mono
SADDLE MY PONY / WORRIED ALL THE TIME
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15500-9 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

> DOROTHY MAE <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:42)
Recorded: - April 17, 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 15500-13 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 2

> DOROTHY MAE <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:36)
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - 1989
First appearance: - 1979 Blue Night (LP) 33rpm BlueNight BN 073 1667 mono
FROM EARLY TIL LATE
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-16 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

> SWEET WOMAN (I GOT A WOMAN) <
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:26)
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - September 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30134 mono
THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS – HOWLIN' WOLF
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-17 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

> THAT'S ALL RIGHT (WELL THAT'S ALL RIGHT) < 
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:53)
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30102-A-8 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 2 – SAM'S BLUES
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-19 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

Well, actually, things are not alright! This ain't no technical masterpiece by a long shot - although by way of compensation Wolf proffers a standout vocal, and there is an infectious spirit to this recording which transcends most of the technical flaws. There's some rather sloppy timing and the track appears to have been little more than a loose jam - in fact the introduction provides a further example of Wolf kicking into gear without cuin in his sidesmen.

> DECORATION DAY BLUES <
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:14)
Recorded: - April 17, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30102-A-7 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 2 – SAM'S BLUES
Reissued: - 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15460-18 mono
MEMPHIS DAYS - THE DEFINITIVE EDITION - VOLUME 1

Wolf turns his band to Sonny Boy Williamson his pre-war hit, which he latter has originally recorded back in 1938. As prolific as Sonny Boy was, he didn't originate the song. Teddy Darby aka Blind Darby recorded it first in 1935... although it's unclear if he wrote it. Curtis Jones recorded it next, but Williamson's was the version that Wolf and others copies nearly word-for-word. Following an exceedingly tenuous start - which suggests that Wolf knew exactly where he was off to, but neglected to tell the band - the accompanists struggle to find a point of access into this three-chord jungle. A shift in the recording level during the first verse indicates that not even Sam Phillips was sure what was going down. However, once Wolf gets into his vocal, things settle into a fairly conventional mid-tempo blues distinguished by some excellent harp heroics, and an impassioned vocal.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howlin' Wolf - Vocal, Harmonica and Guitar*
Willie Johnson - Guitar
Unknown - Bass / The bass is barely audible
Willie Steele - Drums / May not be present on all cuts
Bill "William" Johnson - Piano
James Cotton - Harmonica*

"When I Am Gone" listed in the Chess files with this session is actually by Joe Hill Louis.

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 RUFUS THOMAS
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 21, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR MARION KEISKER

It was the version "Decorate The Counter" from Rosco Gordon, that Rufus Thomas reproduced when he went into the studio on April 21, 1952. There is little wonder that the difference between the two men's versions of this good time Saturday night song was not wide since Rufus used Willie Wilkes, Richard Sanders and John Murrat Daley on the session - the same band as Rosco. Rufus calls "What you say Richard" as Richard Sanders is about to take his solo, as had Rosco. Only Rosco himself is missing, replaced by Billy Love on piano. Rufus's vocals are slightly more prominent and assured than Rosco's even though it is not hos own song. "Decorate" was apparently written by or in the name of Robert Henry, who managed the Handy Theater and booked Rufus and Gordon there along with other local talent and all the big bands of the day. He was also the first manager of B.B. King and one of the real enduring characters of Beale Street, right up to his death in 1978. He ran a pool hall and store there for years and liked to tell people that if they wanted to get served, they'd better decorate the counter, put their money down.

The song that was chosen for release along with "Decorate" was "Juanita", an impassioned ballad complete with mock crying and wailing, a style that found favour in the early 1950s and was exemplified in hits like Tommy Brown's "Weepin' And Cryin" on Dot Records which was the number one rhythm and blues hit of December 1951. If anyone was going to be able to carry off this histrionic style, then Rufus Thomas - the entertainer - was probably the man. No doubt his performance of "Juanita" went down a storm in live performance, but this is a very slow song and although Richard Sanders contributes a moving baritone sax solo, the performance drags a little on record. It was left to Chuck Willis - with a different song - to take "Juanita" into the top ten and rhythm and blues history four years later.

> JUANITA <
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1024 - Master (3:27)
Recorded: - April 21, 1952 - Source Rufus Thomas
Released: - July 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1517-A mono
JUANITA / DECORATE THE COUNTER
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-13 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

When Rufus Thomas recorded "Juanita" for Sun Records, Sam Phillips didn't believe in its commercial possibilities. As a result, it had been sold to Chess Records in Chicago, who released it a few months later. It failed to make the charts. "Sam Phillips sold me the damned song to get even with me", Leonard Chess recalled. Some have said that Elvis Presley sang "Juanita", on tour in 1955 and may have recorded it while at Sun Records. Possible dates: February 6, 1955, November 13, 1954; or something in December 1954. Why Elvis Presley selected the song for his act is a mystery. Rumour has it that Elvis Presley watched Thomas perform "Juanita" in local clubs in Memphis. Combined with that, it probably was simply due to his penchant to experiment with rhythm and blues songs, couplet with the fact that he had just visited with Rufus Thomas in Memphis. Source Rufus Thomas.

> DECORATE THE COUNTER <
Composer: - Robert Henry-Courtney Harris
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - 1025 - Master (2:23)
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Released: - July 1952
First appearance: - Chess Records (S) 78rpm standard single Chess 1517-B mono
DECORATE THE COUNTER / JUANITA
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-12 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Recorded the same day, and perhaps one of the main reasons for the session, was Rufus version of Rosco Gordon's hymn to intemperance. Rosco's own was now on the shelf alongside the empties from last weekend's carouse. In order to retain the song's unique blowsey atmosphere, Sam Phillips brought the composer and his band into the studio to lend a hand - and perhaps an elbow. For all his exuberance, Rufus can't quite catch the manic edge that Rosco habitually brought to his song. Note the lack of spontaneity when Rufus repeats Rosco's original aside, "What you say, Richard?/that's what I thought you said", as Richard Sanders sets out on a solo that sounds like a malfunctioning industrial vacuum cleaner.

> MARRIED WOMAN <
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:45)
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-14 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Two final songs from the session was "Married Woman" which is presented here in two alternative take. Rufus' baby left him on Saturday, March 1. On April 21 he was in Phillips studio telling the world about it. It is a thumping blues about Rufus sitting around trying to drink his blues away. His baby's leaving - "she was a married woman" - and how loving a married woman will do you no earthly good. The first version contains a storming sax solo by Willie Wilkes, and the second is similar except that Rufus adds some slurred speech at the start to emphasize the depth of his plight.

> MARRIED WOMAN <
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control (2:40)
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Released: - 2008
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-15 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

According to Marion Keisker's session logs, Rufus recorded four other songs at the "Decorate" session. One of these was the intriguing "Beale Street Bound", a recording that has not apparently survived.

BEALE STREET SOUND
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Released: - Sun Unissued/Lost

> I'M OFF THAT STUFF <
Composer: - Rufus Thomas
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:57)
Recorded: - April 21, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Krazy Kat Records (LP) 33rpm KK 7427 mono
MEMPHIS BLUES - UNISSUED TITLES FROM THE 1950
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-16 mono
RUFUS THOMAS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

This title to be recorded at the session was also a moral tale - of temperance, abstinence and fidelity - told to a mid-paced rhythm and blues stomp. This time the solo is taken by Richard Sanders on baritone sax, and you can just imagine Rufus the entertainer delivering the lyrica of "I'm Off That Stuff" with a twinkle in is eye.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rufus Thomas - Vocal
Willie Wilkes - Tenor saxophone
Richard Sanders - Baritone Saxophone
Billy Love - Piano
John Murry Daley – Drums

The day after the session, the Phillips studio airmailed dubs of ''Decorate The Counter'' and ''Juanita'' to Chess Records, and twelve days later masters were "sent to Shaw (probably meaning Billy Shaw's New York based Shaw Artists Corporation). Marion Keisker logged that copies were sent to influential disc jockeys on June 16, including Gene Nobles at WLAC in Nashville, and that payments at musicians union scale were made to the session musicians directly by Chess. The record was released as Chess 1517 at the start of July.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 22, 1952 TUESDAY

The day after the Rufus Thomas session, the Phillips studio airmailed dubs of "Decorate The Counter" and "Juanita" to Chess Records, and twelve days later masters were sent to Shaw (probably meaning Billy Shaw's New York based Shaw Artists Corporation). Marion Keisker logged that copies were sent to influential disc jockeys on June 16, including Gene Nobles at WLAC in Nashville, and that payments at musicians union scale were made to the session musicians directly by Chess. The record was released as Chess 1517 at the start of July 1952.

APRIL 23, 1952 WEDNESDAY

Hank Williams makes his second appearance on NBC-TV's ''The Kate Smith Hour'', performing ''Cold Cold Heart''.

Pop keyboard player Jay Gruska is born in New York City. He writes ''Both To Each Other (Friend And Lovers)'', a 1986 country hit for Eddie Rabbitt and Juice Newton at the same time it's a pop hit for Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson.

APRIL 24, 1952 THURSDAY

Bing Crosby and guitar player Grady Martin and His Slew Foot Five recorded ''Till The End Of The World''.

APRIL 26, 1952 SATURDAY

Country gospel singer Martha Carson joins the Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Merle Travis and Judy Hayden have a daughter, Cindy Travis.

APRIL 28, 1952 MONDAY

Decca released Webb Pierce's ''That Heart Belongs To Me''.

Keyboard player Chuck Leavel is born in Birmingham, Alabama. A member of The Allman Brothers Band for four years, he plays on several Montgomery Gentry country hits, including ''My Town'', ''Back When I Knew It All'' and ''One In Every Crowd''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SLEEPY JOHN ESTES
AT MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY APRIL 24, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Note that there is no additional instrument on ''Rats In My Kitchen'', so it might date to vocal-guitar session held on April 5. When Sleepy John Estes made his recordings at the Memphis Recording Service he was probably in his early fifties, but his voice was that of a wizened old survivor of the blues.

This topical blues is clearly about the Korean War, although Estes may well originally have written it about World War II. It shows off his unique style to good advantage, and it is interesting to note that he is using an electric guitar. From his very first to his last recordings, Estes employed an anguished delivery in which he would forcefully project the first half of a line or verse, and then breathlessly slur the remainder. Some of Estes noted biting observations can be found here: "Now let's go boys/hold up for your town/if you ever get back home/you'll be on your same old paved ground".

Or the last verse: ''Now if you go to the camp, boy / Hopin' to act rough / They'll put you in that ol' guardhouse / Make you pick up cigarette butts''. As is often the case with Estes, every line repays close listening, but Estes doesn't make it easy.

His longtime sidekick, Hammie Nixon, claimed to be on this session, but Marion Keisker noted that Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp played harmonica.

Eminent harmonica scholar Joe Filisko confirmed that it's not Hammie on harmonica, but it's possible that he's playing the washboard heard on some songs. Keisker's notes indicate that both Peacock and Chess showed an interest in "Registration Day Blues" and "Rats In My Kitchen", but it seems that neither deal was ever finalised.

> REGISTRATION DAY BLUES <
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Tristan Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:08)
Recorded: - April 24, 1952
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30101-A-2 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 1 - CATALYST
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/22 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

> POLICY MAN BLUES (BURIAL INSURANCE BLUES) <
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (3:12)
Recorded: - April 24, 1952
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/23 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-1/9 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Although the sales pitch for an insurance company (!) this track offers the closest glimpse of Estes' pre-War style. According to David Evans the song was a sales for Al Rawls' funeral home in Brownsville, Tennessee. Its original working title was "Burial Insurance Blues", for only $3 you get full benefits - just give up some whiskey money every week, and they bring you home with a sheet over your face, you'll be all set. Whoopie! Its easy to see why Sam Phillips sought to capture Estes on record, as this is indeed exceptionally pure blues music.

Bo Carter's ''Policy Man'' calls on the insurance man to pay out so he can sustain his gambling, while Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson's ''Insurance Blues'' is almost a coda to Estes' song in that it spells out the perils of not keeping up with your payments. At this stage Sam Phillips could not have foreseen the early 1960s Folk Boom, which led to the resurrection of Estes and many other old timers: at the time Sam recorded these sides he must have though that Estes/ back-country blues was on the very verge of extinction. (The take used here is different to that used on the original Sun Blues Box).

> RATS IN MY KITCHEN <
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:05)
Recorded: - April 24, 1952
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Charly 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/24 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

The rats are so mean in Sleepy John's kitchen that he needs a mountain cat! When Estes cut these sides he was only 48 years old - yet his voice conjures up the image of a wizened old blues survivor in his 1970s. In fact, when compared with his early 1940s Bluebird sides, one is left with the impression that the intervening decade had not been kind to Estes - or perhaps his chops had just become a little rusty. Recorded at the same session as its companion sides here, the harp player would appear to have sat this track out.

Estes seems to have taken his cue from Blind Lemon Jefferson's 1928 ''Maltese Cat Blues'' which starts, ''Rats is mean in my kitchen, I done lost my Maltese cat''. Beyond that, the song is pure Sleepy John Estes. The last verse, for those who want subtitles, probably goes as follows:

''I'm gonna call a 42 squad car for to protect me in my home (x2) / You know the rats 'stroying my groc', (yodel) work on my D-Con'' (a rat killer). In later years, ''Rats In My Kitchen'' became a part of Sleepy John's campus repertoire. To a generation raised on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, it was an unsettling snapshot of another America.

> RUNNIN' AROUND <
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (3:03)
Recorded: - April 24, 1952
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-2/25 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-1/11 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Estes is not best known for uptempo material, but this track proves he could easily accommodate them into his idiosyncratic style. Estes and washboard/harp-player Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp generate considerable energy between them, and there is some fine interplay between the guitar and harp. Estes' vocal has something of a plaintive feel, which adds to the overall appeal. Structurally, the song is very similar to Estes' pre-War hit, ''Someday Baby'', better known to nearly everyone as ''Worried Life Blues''. (The take 2 used here is different to that used on the original Sun Blues Box).

> RUNNIN' AROUND <
Composer: - John Estes
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (3:04)
Recorded: - April 24, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-9/3 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sleepy John Estes - Vocal and Guitar
Lee ''Tennessee'' Crisp - Harmonica
Possibly Hammie Nixon - Washboard

For Biography of Sleepy John Estes see: > The Sun Biographies <
Sleepy John Estes' 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 CHECKER RECORDS 1952

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: FRIDAY APRIL 25, 1952
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Drummer Willie Nix was a regular sessionman at 706 Union, and like Houston Stokes some six or seven months later, Sam Phillips also recorded him as a vocalist. Phillips later recalled Nix's enthusiasm thus: "Willie was not the subtlest of drummers, I would say, but he drove a session along and he had a feeling for what I wanted to get. He was something of a character, too...".

> TRUCKIN' LITTLE WOMAN < 
Composer: - Willie Nix
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - C 1026 - Master (2:41)
Recorded: - April 25, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Checker Records (S) 78rpm standard single Checker 756-A mono
TRUCKIN' LITTLE WOMAN / JUST ONE MISTAKE
Reissued: - 1974 Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm Chess 6641 125 mono
GENESIS VOLUME 2 - THE BEGINNING OF ROCK - FROM MEMPHIS TO CHICAGO

> JUST ONE MISTAKE <
Composer: - Willie Nix
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Burton Limited
Matrix number: - C 1027 - Master (3:04)
Recorded: - April 25, 1952
Released: - 1952
First appearance: - Checker Records (S) 78rpm standard single Checker 756-B mono
JUST ONE MISTAKE / TRUCKIN' LITTLE WOMAN
Reissued: - 1974 Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm Chess 6641 125 mono
GENESIS VOLUME 2 - THE BEGINNING OF ROCK - FROM MEMPHIS TO CHICAGO

> MIDNIGHT SHOWERS OF RAIN <
Composer: - Lowell Fulson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:59)
Recorded: - April 25, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3-1 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1952

''Midnight Showers Of Rain'' was one of Lowell Folsom more obscure songs, recorded in Oackland around 1946 and leased to Swing Time/Downbeat Records in Los Angeles. It might have been coincidental (but probably wasn't) that B.B. King also recorded ''Midnight Showers Of Rain'' around the same time. King obscured its origins, calling it ''Some Day, Some Where''. Truthfully, Nix wasn't a great vocalist, but he has some fine accompanists compensating for his shortfall, notably Willie Johnson on guitar and Walter Horton on harmonica. ''Midnight Showers of Rain'' was recorded at the session that yielded Nix's Checker single.

Four of the six songs were submitted to Chess Records, this among them, but it wasn't one of the two chosen. On the song itself, Nix leads this slow blues with his customary verve, beautiful supported by Walter Horton, who blows a perfectly-controlled harp solo. Willie Johnson stitches the whole shebang together with some robust guitar work (though giving the impression that he was itching to cut loose), whilst Billy Love's piano provides a sound rhythmic base.

> RIDING IN THE MOONLIGHT <
Composer: - Chester Burnett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:12)
Recorded: - April 25, 1952
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105 mono
SUN YEARS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3-3 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

Howlin' Wolf's first RPM classic is re-interpreted by Willie Nix, and whilst it lacks the tension and menace of Wolf's original is nonetheless interesting. taken at a slower pace and given a softer treatment than Wolf, Nix's vocal lies across the beat and occasionally battles with Willie Johnson's forceful guitar licks. Walter Horton takes a relatively minor role, confining himself to squeaky, high-register work.

> TAKE A LITTLE WALK WITH ME <
Composer: - Robert Lockwood
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:28)
Recorded: - April 25, 1952
Released: - August 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-A-4 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 12 – UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3-4 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

''Take A Little Walk With Me'', this traditional song gets a thunderous updating with a stomping drum beat, wailing harp, and a fiery rhythm. Johnson's guitar chops have a nasty edge to them and add an air of brooding tension to an already gloomy performance.

This song got two g-rounds on Sun. Jimmy DeBerry recorded it as ''Take A Little Chance'', but it's Nix who takes us closer to the song's root, Robert Lockwood's first-ever single for Bluebird in 1941, ''Take A Little Walk With Me''. Coincidentally or not, Walter Horton, who is on this session, recorded Lockwood's B-side, ''Little Boy Blue''. Lockwood's more nuanced performance has Nix beat on every level except energy.

> PRISON BOUND BLUES <
Composer: - Leroy Carr
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Cop Cont - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:40)
Recorded: - April 25, 1952
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - August 1977 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-A-3 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 12 - UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-3-2 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1952

If we didn't know for sure it was Willie Johnson playing the guitar on this session, we would recognize some of the licks he'd played earlier on Howlin' Wolf's sessions. Here, Nix takes a shot at Leroy Carr's 1928 ''Prison Bound Blues'' reportedly inspired by Carr's spell inside for bootlegging. The song must have been a hit because it was revived before World War II (Amos Easton, Josh White, etc.) and after) Robert Nighthawk recorded it for Aristocrat in 1950 although it wasn't issued at the time, Muddy Waters sang it in concert, and Sunnyland Slim recorded it). O n this track the same band - this time at mid-tempo - exhibit an irresistible swing and drive as Johnson floats occasional licks over Love's stomping piano-playing, all under pinned by Nix's solid drumming.

Where or from whom did Nix hear it? There's no way of telling. Again this was submitted to Chess, but refused.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Willie Nix - Vocal and Drums
Walter Horton - Harmonica
Billy Love - Piano
Willie Johnson – Guitar

For Biography 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 - ©

> Pace Up <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©