CONTAINS
For audio recordings click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1953 Sun Schedule <

1953 SESSIONS (2)
February 1, 1953 to February 28, 1953

Studio Session for The Prisonaires, Spring 1953 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Lloyd Arnold (McCollought), February 24, 1953 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, February 24, 1953 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Jimmy DeBerry & Walter Horton, February 25, 1953 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, Spring 1953 / Sun 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 - ©

SPRING 1953

The singing group that became the Prisonaires was formed sometimes after 1940, the year that tenor singer Ed Thurman and baritone singer William Stewart were sentenced to join the inmates of the Tennessee State Penitentiary in north east Nashville.

By May 6, 1953, when 17 year old Johnny Bragg was sent there with multiple life sentences for rape. Thurman and Stewart were leading one of several loosely aggregated and nameless singing groups whiling away their time in the Pen.

Bragg was a budding tenor himself but it was a little while before Thurman asked him to join the group, several years before Bragg became the lead tenor, and several more before the group had a name. Bragg later told researcher Bill Millar ''I joined a group back in 1944, and I didn't know too much about background singing at the time but I just went in there and started singing, and the people who had said I didn't know about singing, they said you know everything' …and I became the lead tenor singer. I guess it was just a gift from God''.

Johnny Bragg's biographer, Jay Warner, asserts that Bragg was born on May 6, 1926 though his Penitentiary records said January 18, 1925. Bragg himself once said it was in 1929 and then told Bill Millar ''I was born right here in Nashville on Herman street back in 1932''. He told Colin Escott his birth was never registered and that he used details from a brother's birth certificate. Census date for 1930 lists Bragg as aged four years to his brothers' six and seven years. Johnny's mother had complications with his birth and she died as he was delivered. He told Millar, ''I was born blind and I stayed blind for seven years and they tell me that the doctors used to sit me on top of the tables and I'd sing to the doctors''. He gained a keen appreciation of sound and his interest in singing dates back to that time. He said: ''The first music I believe I ever tried to sing was a song called blue heaven, you know ''My Blue Heaven'' baby made three and Molly and me and so on.. and there was another song called 'What you gonna do when the rent man come around back in the Depression days, you know... The greatest thing that really influenced me to want to do something was the Ink Spots, Bill Kenny... his voice was sweet, kind, you could understand everything he was trying to say''.

Living his early life with relatives, Bragg apparently spent his time alternately doing neighbourly deeds and running and fighting with a local gang. He attended school in north Nashville, just a few blocks from the penitentiary, as far as sixth grade but he told Warner, ''I didn't get much education. I didn't care anything about it. Fr as I'm concerned, eduction wasn't nothing, you know, just a thing called Joe''. Instead, music was his thing, as far as anything constructive was.

Education or not, Johnny Bragg had developed a real interest in composing songs by the time he joined the prison group. He would practice them day and night, memorably singing with a bucket over his head to focus the sound and reduce the voice for others. For some years he stored songs in his head until he was ready to share them with his fellow singers but by early 1950s he would have them written out properly by other inmates such as black trumpeter George Williams. He also spent time with another maturing songwriter, Robert Riley, and it was Riley who collaborated with him on his signature song, ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' was being written in 1953 two events combined to start the improbable sequence of events that unfolded for the not-yet-named prison singing group.

This now comprised Bragg, Thurman, and Stewart along with another tenor, John Drue, and bass singer Marcell Sanders. The first event was the election of Frank Clement as Governor of Tennessee, and the other was a visit to the prison by radio producer Joe Calloway and recording engineer and publisher Red Wortham.

Frank Clement was a reforming Democrat who appointed James Edwards as warden of the Penitentiary with an enlightened plan to connect prisoners with their local community, to encourage rehabilitation as much as punishment, and to improve the prison's image. Clement and Edwards took up their respective jobs in January 1953 and within a few months had invited local radio producer Joe Calloway of WSIX to come into the penitentiary to make a programmed promoting their vision of prison life. One of the things they stage-managed for Calloway was a performance by Bragg and his group in the dining hall. Calloway was duly impressed and arranged to include the group in broadcasts from the prison that showcased the talent of prisoners. He then agreed with the warden that the group would travel under guard to the studio of WSIX in Nashville to give a weekly radio show.

Calloway did something else, too. He contacted a recording engineer and promoter, Red Wortham. According to Wortham: ''I had a little recording studio at Fourth and Union and it was right around the corner from radio WSIX where the disc jockeys were my friends. A jockey named Joe Calloway stopped by the studio one day in 1953 and wanted me to go to the prison. He said 'we got a group out there that sings real good and I think you need to go and listen to those boys because they're good'. He came actually two or three times and I didn't go. But the third time I went out there with Joe when he was broadcasting a show by prisoners from the stage of the auditorium they had out there. I said to them Í like what you do and I'll come out and record you'. So I went in there with a Magnecord tape machine and we made recordings with the idea to get them out on records''.

For all this, the group needed a name and it was now that ''the prisoners'' became The Prisonaires. Johnny Bragg said that he named them although Red Wortham told me: ''They didn't call themselves the Prisonaires then. I was the one that named them the Prisonaires. They had another name they were using. I can't remember, but it was a name that was already taken. Someone else had that name so we couldn't use that for records. Joe Calloway, he is the man that is responsible for Johnny Bragg and The Prisonaires because if he hadn't taken me out there nobody would have known about them''.

JANUARY 31/ FEBRUARY 1, 1953 SATURDAY/SUNDAY

The 1953 North Sea flood (Dutch: Watersnoodramp, literally "flood disaster") was a major flood caused by a heavy storm that occurred on the night of Saturday, 31 January 1953 and morning of Sunday, 1 February 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland.

A combination of a high spring tide and a severe European windstorm over the North Sea caused a storm tide; the combination of wind, high tide, and low pressure led to a water level of more than 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level in some locations. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding. The Netherlands, a country with 20% of its territory below mean sea level and 50% less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) above sea level and which relies heavily on sea defences, was worst affected, recording 1,836 deaths and widespread property damage. Most of the casualties occurred in the southern province of Zeeland. In England, 307 people were killed in the counties of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex. Nineteen were killed in Scotland. Twenty-eight people were killed in West Flanders, Belgium.

Another more than 230 deaths occurred on water craft along Northern European coasts as well as on ships in deeper waters of the North Sea. The ferry MV Princess Victoria was lost at sea in the North Channel east of Belfastwith 133 fatalities, and many fishing trawlers sank.

Realising that such infrequent events could recur, the Netherlands particularly, and the United Kingdom carried out major studies on strengthening of coastal defences. The Netherlands developed the Delta Works, an extensive system of dams and storm surge barriers. The UK constructed storm surge barriers on the River Thames below London and on the River Hull where it meets the Humber estuary. The North Sea flood of 1953 kills 1,835 people in the southwestern Netherlands.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

A newscaster on Nashville's WSIX, Joe Calloway, was at the Tennessee State Penitentiary when he heard the Prisonaires and arranged for them to perform on the station. He brought them to the attention of producer Red Wortham who taped the group and pitched them to Sam Phillips via their mutual partner, Jim Bulleit. Pat Boone was also on WSIX at the time hosting a Saturday morning show called ''Youth On Parade'' with Joyce Paul.

In a figurative act of revenge for his future cover versions of rhythm and blues songs, the Prisonaires were taped over Boone, who can be heard between songs. The tape made its way to Sam Phillips and was mistakenly used as the master on some early 1970s reissues when the original master couldn't be found.

Although not a Sun recording here. Johnny Bragg's vocal on the released version was a little more orotund, but the recordings were otherwise very close, suggesting that the Prisonaires had put their plentiful rehearsal time to very good use, working and reworking every syllable and nuance.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE PRISONAIRES
FOR WSIX RADIO 1953

TENNESSEE STATE PENITENTIARY, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
OR POSSIBLY WSIX RADIO STUDIO, NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE SPRING 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – RED WORTHAM

> JUST WALKIN' IN THE RAIN* (2) <
Composer: - Robert Riley-Johnny Bragg-Buddy Killen
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:50)
Recorded: - Unknown Date Spring 1953
Released: - March 8, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-8/1 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

The first unissued take is one of their earliest, a version of ''Baby Please'' that probably comes from the first tape Red Wortham recorded to tout around the record companies. The song was re-recorded by Sam Phillips with an added bluesiness provided by the electric guitar and drums of Joe Hill Louis and issued as the A-side of the group's first Sun disc. This version we hear retains William Stewart's quieter acoustic guitar backing the softly pleading vocal that prevailed when the song was first conceived by its writer, Robert Riley, and realized by the group. The lead singer here is John Drue who may well have been considered the main vocalist in the group in the days before ''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' became a hit. A different alternative version previously issued by Bear Family has Drue opening with ''Darlin' please''.

''Just Walkin' In The Rain'' was a song Johnny Bragg had written just months earlier with the help of Robert Riley, a more musically organized fellow inmate but not a member of the group. According to Johnny Brag, ''Well, I called myself a singer. I'm not going to say I was a singer. I tried to sing. One day it was raining heavy, and me and Robert Riley was walking to the laundry, and Bob said, 'Johnny, I wonder what the little girls are doing now'. And I said, 'I don't know what the little girls are doing, but we better hurry and get out of this rain'. And I started singing that song. Now Riley was a smart man, I wasn't too smart myself, just had a little talent, and we put some more lyrics to it. In fact, we had a lot of lyrics. I couldn't write mine down, I ain't had no education, see? I just had that talent. Ain't that strange?''.

> BABY PLEASE** (2) <
Composer: - Robert S. Riley
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Warner Chappell Music Limited
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued (2:53)
Recorded: - Unknown Date Spring 1953
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16893-23 mono
THE PRISONAIRES - ONLY BELIEVE

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Bragg - Tenor Vocal*
Ed Thurman - Tenor Vocal
John Drue - Lead Tenor Vocal**
William Stewart - Baritone Vocal and Guitar
Marcell Sanders - Bass Vocal

For Biographies of The Prisonaires see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

FEBRUARY 1, 1953 SUNDAY

Red Foley recorded ''Hot Toddy''.

FEBRUARY 2, 1953 MONDAY

Songwriter Gilbert Becaud has a son, Gaya Becaud, in France. When the boy is six, his father scores a hit as The Everly Brothers recorded ''Let It Be Me''. The song is also a country success for Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry and for Willie Nelson.

FEBRUARY 6, 1953 FRIDAY

Lefty Frizzell recorded ''(Honey, Baby, Hurry) Bring Your Sweet Self Back To Me'' during a late-night session at the Jim Beck Studio in Dallas, Texas.

FEBRUARY 7, 1953 SATURDAY

Marty Robbins debuts on the Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, performing ''Ain't You Ashamed'' and ''Good Night Cincinnati, Good Mornin' Tennessee''.

FEBRUARY 9, 1953 SUNDAY

Decca released T. Texas Tyler's ''Bumming Around'' and Kitty Well's ''Paying For That Back Street Affair''.

FEBRUARY 10, 1953 MONDAY

A judge in Los Angeles approves the reworking of 14-year-old Jimmy Boyd's contract. The decision allows producer Abner Greshler to receive 50% of the boy's recording profits through January 23.

FEBRUARY 12, 1953 THURSDAY

Songwriter Taylor Rhodes is born. He plays drums for the Earl Scruggs Revue for two years in the late-1970s before going on to write pop hits for Aerosmith and Celine Dion.

FEBRUARY 13, 1953 FRIDAY

Hank Snow recorded ''Spanish Fire Ball'' and ''For Now And Always'' at Thomas Productions in Nashville, Tennessee.

FEBRUARY 15, 1953 SUNDAY

Gene Autry joins Bing Crosby and Molly Bee on the Ed Sullivan-hosted CBS variety show ''Toast Of The Town''.

FEBRUARY 17, 1953 TUESDAY

Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper recorded ''Are You Walking And A-Talking For The Lord'' at the Castle Studio in Nashville. It ranks among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

FEBRUARY 18, 1953 WEDNESDAY

Carl Smith recorded ''Orchids Mean Goodbye'', ''Do I Liked It?'', ''Trademark'' and ''Just You Wait 'Til I Get You Alone'' during the afternoon at Nashville's Castle Studio.

FEBRUARY 20, 1953 FRIDAY

Columbia released Marty Robbins' ''I Couldn't Keep From Crying''.

FEBRUARY 21, 1953 SATURDAY

Autry Inman recorded ''But That's All Right''.

The late Hank Williams registers a number 1 country single in Billboard with ''Kaw-Liga''.

FEBRUARY 22, 1953 SUNDAY

A benefit concert in Louisville raises $9,000 for Bill Monroe who broke 19 bones in a January car accident. Among the artists on the bill, Ernest Tubb, Hank Snow, Red Foley, Lew Childre, Carl Smith and Mother Maybelle Carter and The Carter Sisters.

FEBRUARY 23, 1953 MONDAY

Decca released Red Foley's ''Hot Toddy'' and Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''No Help Wanted''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

A raw December wind sent an icy chill through the tall, lean young man who stared longingly at the mandolin in the display window of the music store. Just a few more dollars saved from odd jobs and sacrificed lunches and that fine instrument would be his. He pulled his collar closer about his throat and turned wistfully homeward. The year was 1950, the place was Memphis, Tennessee and the young man was Lloyd Arnold McCollough. At this point Lloyd had a lifetime ahead of him and he could imagine the possibilities that a mandolin could bring. Twenty years later the pressure of a touring musician had begun to take it’s toll. But, let’s not go ahead of time, the story of Lloyd Arnold, who became a pioneer of early Memphis music, began many years earlier.

Lloyd Arnold McCollough, born in Memphis, Tennessee on June 25, 1935, was the youngest child of John and Clemmie McCollough. He suffered from meningitis as a child, but recovered. During high school he wanted to become a professional baseball player, but was also interested in music, and Hank Williams, Sr. was his idol. He learned to play the mandolin he received for Christmas in 1951 and decided to become a musician.

With his brother Jimmy (bass), his niece Geneva (vocals), Curley Raney (fiddle) and a friend named Grady (steel guitar), he founded his first band, the Drifting Hillbillies. McCollough and his group appeared on Saturday Night Jamboree, a barn dance show in Memphis on WHBQ, and soon became members. Backstage he met a young Elvis Presley.

McCollough also appeared on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour and played at events in Memphis. His brother Jimmy married and left the group, and was replaced first by Buddy Holly (not the well-known Buddy Holly and then by Bobby Howard).

In 1954, he graduated from high school and married in the summer of that year. The marriage did not last long. In Booneville, Mississippi, he bought a record store and became a business partner of Charles Bolton. Their new record label released the group's debut single, "Watch That Girl'' b/w ''Oh Darling''. Hayden Thompson and Johnny Burnette recorded their first titles on the same label.

After several unreleased recordings, he published his second single on Meteor Records in January 1956. In the following years McCollough recorded for many different labels, including Republic, Starday, and Memphisk. In 1963, he released a single under the name of Lloyd Arnold. His last session was in 1971. McCoullough's father John died in 1968, two years later his mother followed him. Failing health and years of fighting meningitis he lost the battle on January 10, 1976.

STUDIO SESSION FOR LLOYD ARNOLD (MCCOLLOUGH)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FEBRUARY 24, 1953 TUESDAY
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

During 1953 and 1954 Lloyd and his band recorded several demos and acetates at the newly opened Memphis Recording Service, at 706 Union Avenue. During the nineties thirteen of these acetates were relocated by re-searcher Jim Cole, employed by the University of Memphis.

During those fun filled days, Lloyd and the Drifting Hillbillies had a great time performing at such places as ''The Old Dominion Barn Dance'', ''The Renfro Valley Barn Dance'', ''Red Foley’s Ozark Jubilee'' and the ''Louisiana Hayride''. In January of 1955 they performed at the ''Hillbilly Festival'' for WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia. In February and March they were in Little Rock, Arkansas at the ''Barnyard Frolic'' and in December they played ''The Big D Jamboree'' in Dallas, Texas. That same year he hosted another weekly radio program, for WBIP in Booneville, Mississippi.

OH, IF I HAD YOU
Composer: - Lloyd McCollough
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Acetate
Recorded: February 24, 1953
Released: - Sun Unissued

YOUR MEAN OLD HEART
Composer: - Lloyd McCollough
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Acetate
Recorded: February 24, 1953
Released: - Sun Unissued

YOU WIN AGAIN
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Acetate
Recorded: February 24, 1953
Released: - Sun Unissued

I'M SORRY NOW
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Acetate
Recorded: February 24, 1953
Released: - Sun Unissued

Name (Or. No. of Instruments)
Lloyd Arnold McCollough – Vocal and Guitar
The Drifting Hillbillies consisted of
Curley Rainey – Fiddle
Geneva McCollough – Vocal and Guitar
Jim McCollough – Upright Bass
Grady – Steel Guitar

For Biographies of Lloyd Arnold McCollough see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The release of Joe Hill Louis under the name Chicago Sunny Boy would not have fooled Sam Phillips for one minute, even if it did baffle researchers years later. Its release in April would mark the beginning of the end of Louis' relationship with Phillips, who had worked hard with him during November and December 1952 to come up with a powerful double-header for the planned Sun relaunch. Louis was another artist caught in the middle of the Modern-Chess wars, as Phillips had sent a coupling to Chess during the previous July, at which point he moved away from his one-man-band format to full-band format.

Modern had at first dug back to earlier recordings, before resorting to recording him in the field for what would be his last release on the label. For his Sun sessions Louis had, like Walter Horton and so many others taken Little Walter's lead and recorded with heavy amplification on the harmonica.

Joe Hill Louis Meteor session in February 1953 returns to a one-man-band format and is the second focal point of his recordings. It was recorded during a Modern trip and not by Lester Bihari himself as has sometimes been speculated. On return to the West Coast on March 18, 1953, very anonymous bass and drums were overdubbed to the four sides slated for release. This addition basically only served to dilute the south. The original undubbed recordings are here.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIOM SESSION FOR JOE HILL LOUIS (CHICAGO SONNY BOY)
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1953

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: TUESDAY FEBRUARY 24, 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

AT THE WOODCHOPPER'S BALL (JACK POT)
Composer: - Woody Herman-Joe Bishop
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Chelsea Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm Polydor 2383-214-B-4 mono
BLUE IN THE MORNING

AT THE WOODCHOPPER'S BALL (JACK POT)
Composer: - Woody Herman-Joe Bishop
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Chelsea Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued (2:05)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 2001
First appearance: - Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-25 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

BOOGIE (ON THE FLOOR)
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Unissued/Tape Lost
Recorded: - February 24, 1953

BOOGIE (TWISTING AND TURNING)
Composer: - Jules Taub-Sam Ling
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:06)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Crown Records (LP) 33rpm Crown CLP 5240 mono
HOWLIN' WOLF SINGS THE BLUES
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-21 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

Exceptionally fine are two further instrumentals (originally logged as ''Boogie'' and ''Boogie No. 2'') which eventually came out on the Howlin' Wolf Crown LP as ''Twisting And Turning'' and ''Backslide Boogie'' respectively. The rock solid ''Twisting And Turning'' has never been on CD and it is a more deliberate and superior take to that original issued as ''On The Floor'' on the rare second Meteor 78. A glance at the discography reveals that the undubbed version of this take no longer exists while ''She Broke Up My Life'' is the correct title for ''She Got Me Walkin''. This title had been assigned to another take of the same song, which now only exists as a fragment due to tape damage.

I LOVE MY BABY
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:35)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Polydor Records (LP) 33rpm Polydor 2383-214-B-5 mono
BLUE IN THE MORNING
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-23 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

WESTERN UNION MAN
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Wabash Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:07)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1 970
First appearance: - Kent Records (LP) 33rpm Kent LP 9002-B-2 mono
ANTHOLOGY OF THE BLUES - MEMPHIS BLUES - ARCHIVE SERIES - VOLUME 2
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-22 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

SHE GOT ME WALKIN' (SHE BROKE UP MY LIFE)
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:15)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1995
First appearance: P-Vine Records (CD) 500/200rpm P-Vine PVC 22002 mono
GOTTA BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-26 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

KEEP AWAY FROM MY BABY
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:36)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1995
First appearance: P-Vine Records (CD) 500/200rpm P-Vine PVC 22002 mono
GOTTA BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-24 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

GOOD MORING LITTLE ANGEL
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Georgia Music Corporation
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:38)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Ace Records (LP) 33rpm Ace LP CHA 216 mono
THE FIFTIES - JUKE JOINT BLUES
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-27 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

''Good Morning Little Angel'' is a pretty weak adaption of Sonny Boy's ''School Girl'' but this Meteor session still finds Joe in absolute top form with wonderful cohesion between the instruments. It occupies a unique place in his discography as the only full one-man-band session recorded with amplified harp.

BOOGIE (BACKSLIDE BOOGIE)
Composer: - Jules Taub-Sam Ling
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:00)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - 1962
First appearance: - Crown Records (LP) 33rpm Crown CLP 5240 mono
HOWLIN' WOLF SINGS THE BLUES
Reissued: 2001 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCHD 803-28 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - BOOGIE IN THE PARK

None of the above session was released in its original form at the time. The session below were issued as by Chicago Sunny Boy. MR 5012 omitted the first 12s and faded the track earlier. These version will be included on a forthcoming Ace collection of the original Meteor Blues and Rhythm and Blues singles.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis - Vocal, Guitar, Hi-Hat, Bass Drums, Harmonica
Ford Nelson - Piano

OVERDUB SESSION
UNIVERSAL RECORDERS, LOS ANGELES, MARCH 18, 1953
RECORDED UNDER PSEUDONYM CHICAGO SONNY BOY

JACK POT
Composer: - Woody Herman-Joe Bishop
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Chelsea Music Publishing
Matrix number: - 5012 - Master (2:33)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - April 1953
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm standard single Meteor 5004-A mono
JACK POT / WESTERN UNION MAN
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2-2-10 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

''Jack Pot'' is actually Woody Herman's ''At The Woodchopper's Ball'' and Joe's superb performance was indicated as such on the tape box. Two takes exist with both equally meriting inclusion, but the shorter previously unissued and looser alternate take heard here (see above).

ON THE FLOOR
Composer: - Les Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5013 - Master (2:59)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - April 1953
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm standard single Meteor 5008-A mono
ON THE FLOOR / I LOVE MY BABY
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2-2-16 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

I LOVE MY BABY
Composer: - Les Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5014 - Master (2:38)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - April 1953
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm standard single Meteor 5008-B mono
I LOVE MY BABY / ON THE FLOOR
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2-2-15 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

''Western Union Man''/''Jack Pot'' as by Chicago Sonny Boy was a good seller but would have been of unlikely long-term value to Joe's career. The pseudonym, which even fooled researchers for years, suggests that his contract with the Biharis had by this rime ended.

WESTERN UNION MAN
Composer: - John Lee Williamson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Wabash Music
Matrix number: - MR 5015 - Master (3:08)
Recorded: - February 24, 1953
Released: - April 1953
First appearance: - Modern Records (S) 78rpm standard single Meteor 5004-B mono
WESTERN UNION MAN / JACK POT
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2-2-9 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Additional Drums and Bass Overdubbed

Joe Hill Louis returned to Sun a couple of moths later to cut scintillating versions of his two most commercial songs, ''Tiger Man'' and ''Hydramatic Woman'' with a band including Walter Horton on harmonica but no release at the time resulted.

For Biographies of Joe Hill Louis see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY DEBERRY & WALTER HORTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 25, 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Jimmy and Walter recorded three numbers, including an instrumental. For his part, Sam Phillips had mastered tape delay to create reverb, and the increment of tape delay seems to increase in tandem with the intensity of Horton's performance. Shimmering blue perfection. Truly a masterpiece. as well as the first known Sun release be to pressed on both 78 and 45rpm. Sam Phillips was high on this release, judging by his check register. two days after this session, he was running off dubs to send out to disc jockeys. It seems that he hand-delivered a bud to Eddie Teamer at WHHM because he charged back the cigarettes he gave Teamer. On March 2, he mailed out another four dubs in advance of finished copies.

< EASY <
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 61 - Master (2:56)
Recorded: - February 25, 1953
Released: - March 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 180-A mono
EASY / BEFORE LONG
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

One of the most erroneously-titled performance of all time. Walter Horton demonstrates total control here as he climbs the harp's register to blow a harsh passage as the tune's bridge, whilst Jimmy Dewberry tidies up behind him and throws in the occasional fill. In places the harmonica sounds more like a sax, belying the cheapness of the harp Walter is playing - but what impress most are the perfect timing and the sheer breadth of his musical ideas. No matter how many times you hear this one it still possesses the power to take the breath away - and like all true masterpieces, there is a poise and sense of rightness to each and every contributory element. Truly a masterpiece.

> BEFORE LONG <
Composer: - Jimmy Dewberry
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 62 - Master (2:55)
Recorded: - February 25, 1953
Released: - March 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 180-B mono
BEFORE LONG / EASY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/10 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Although credited to "Jimmy & Walter", the latter must have been taking five when this side was cut. In fact, this track serves to refute Sam Phillips' assertion (made to musicologist David Evans) that he never got a good cut out of Jimmy DeBerry. Perhaps Phillips thought he heard something in a demo or audition session that DeBerry never quite recaptured - but surely the blues comes no pure than this marvelous recording. Without prompting, Marion Keisker remembered these lines thirty years after DeBerry had sung them: "Woman I love dead and in her grave/woman I hate, I see her everyday". If ever one needed evidence that the blues was indeed folk poetry, they need look no further than this (mind you, its probably worth adding that Big Joe Williams had used several of the same lyrics years earlier in "Meet Me In The Bottom"). The recording is spare, but DeBerry's performance is masterful: it is a beautifully poised country blues, vocal and guitar meshing perfectly with rudimentary support from Houston Stokes on drums. Not a note or vocal inflection is wasted.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Harmonica
Jimmy DeBerry - Vocal and Guitar - 1
Houston Stokes - Drums

Horton was fronted one dollar to buy a harmonica and was paid another three dollars for the session; Jimmy DeBerry was given two dollars, Houston Stokes five together with another seventy-five cents to haul his drums home in a cab.

With the minimal and often shaky support of DeBerry, Horton played the same theme five times, with mounting intensity. By the fourth chorus, he was playing with such ferocity that his harmonica sounded like a tenor saxophone.

Sam Phillips' virtuosity with tape delay echo was rarely used to better advantage; he made three instruments sounds as full as an orchestra. Any other instrument would have been redundant. Sam Phillips saw promise in Horton's guitarist, Jimmy DeBerry, who had done some recordings before the War. "Before Long" the flip side of "Easy", was DeBerry feature. It showcase his laconic delivery and barely proficient playing. Like Jimmy Reed, however, who never rose above bare proficiency, DeBerry...

...had an ear for haunting couplets and an element charm that transcended his technical limitations. Some of this glimmered through on "Before Long": "Woman I love dead and in her grave, woman I hate, I see her every day".

Before Long's more immediate forebear, though, was Tony Hollins' 1951 Decca recording of ''I'll Get A Break''. Hollins was a barber in Clarksdale and later in Chicago whose ''Crawlin' King Snake'' was an influential recording from ten years earlier when he also made ''Married Woman Blues'', another song the the ''before long'' refrain. None of this subtle or not-so-subtle plagiarism devalues BeBerry's record. It's spartan, even for 1953, but the performance is masterful. He crafted a beautiful poised country blues, vocal and guitar meshing perfectly with rudimentary support from Houston Stokes on drums. Not a note or vocal inflection in wasted; no other instrument is required.

For Biography of Jimmy DeBerry see: > The Sun Biographies <
Jimmy DeBerry 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 JOE HILL LOUIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SPRING 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Joe Hill Louis had been the session guitarist on "Bear Cat" and its success naturally him to think up a new angle on the song. He probably saw his new song as a hit for himself, making two recordings of "Tiger Man" around May 1953, a demo with unknown piano and drums and a more finished version with Albert Williams playing piano and Walter Horton on harmonica along with an unknown drummer. Louis carries the first version on guitar and sings in a restrained manner. He breaks out much more on the second version his vocal is more to the while the others carry the instrumental lead. Louis second version is here for comparison with the tour de force Rufus Thomas recorded just a few weeks later.

> TIGER MAN (KING OF THE JUNGLE) <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis-Sonny Burns (Pseudonym Sam Phillips)
Burns is the maiden name of Phillips wife, Becky (Rebecca)
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued (2:56)
Recorded: - Spring 1953
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - 1969 P-Vine Records (LP) 33rpm PLP 304 mono
THE BE-BOP-BOY
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-13 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

> TIGER MAN (KING OF THE JUNGLE) <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis-Sonny Burns (Pseudonym Sam Phillips)
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - With Count-In - Not Originally Issued (3:14)
Recorded: - Spring 1953
Released: - 1 992
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-22 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY
Reissued: - 2008 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16695-20 mono
RUFUS THOMAS – THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis - Vocal and Guitar
Albert Williams - Piano
Walter Horton - Harmonica
Willie Nix – Drums

Joe returned to Sun a couple of months later to cut scintillating versions of his two most commercial songs - ''Tiger Man'' and ''Hydramatic Woman'' with a band including Walter Horton on harmonica but no release at the time resulted.

A mystery version of the latter song by Louis with a full rhythm and blues band was eventually released by 4-Star on their Big Town subsidiary in 1954. Clearly taken from an old acetate, it is very likely an earlier version sent by Phillips to Don Pierce at 4-Star during the time of their earlier dealings. All that would follow during Joe's tragically short life would be two chaotic 1953 sessions held at a radio station with George Lawson's band for Henry Stone's Rockin' label - followed by an unissued session for Johnny Vincent the next year. Later on, there was a strange record on Vendor (taken from a radio broadcast) and a very rocking 1957 record on House Of Sound, which proved that Joe Hill Louis's talent was still intact for the talented producer who could capture it - just as Sam Phillips had done.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

FEBRUARY 25, 1953 WEDNESDAY

''Old Overland Trail'' appears in movie theaters, featuring Rex Allen, Slim Pickens and The Republic Rhythm Riders, including Woodwind player Darol Rice. Also in the cast future ''Star Trek'' actor Leonard Nimoy.

Pop singer Juanita Curiel is born. She joins the trio Hot, whose 1977 hit ''Angel In Your Arms'' is covered by Barbara Mandrell for a 1985 country single.

FEBRUARY 27, 1953 FRIDAY

Ernest Tubb and Red Foley recorded ''No Help Wanted #2'' in the afternoon at the Tulane Hotel's Castle Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jimmy Heap recorded ''Release Me'' in Texas.

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© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©