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1964 SESSIONS (7-12)
July 1, 1964 to December 31, 1964
Studio Session for Billy Adams, September 21, 1964 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Vance Yates, September 23, 1964 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Randy & The Radiants, October 17, 1964 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Allen Smith, 1964 / Statue Records

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


JULY 1964

Knox Phillips married his childhood girlfriend, Betty Mustin, who lived just down the street, at the end of his freshman year. There were more than seven hundreds guests, and while everyone else was throwing rice, Dewey Phillips threw 45s. Knox had been designated as an official Sun Records artist and repertoire man earlier in the year, and with free run of the studio he had been fulfilling his artist and repertoire duties mostly working with a bunch of bands made up of fellow southwestern students. He was also managing several local bands, including a group of six high school students, each from a different high school, called Randy Haspel and the Radiants.
Knox Phillips On The Later Years Of Sun Records

As the 1960s wore on and both Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich departed for the greener climate at Mercury, Sam Phillips gradually lost interest in Sun Records. Much of the day-by-day activity of the label devolved to general manager Bill Fitzgerald and Sam's older son Knox. By the mid-1960s Knox was approaching the business of making records with much the same enthusiasm that his father had shown fifteen years earlier.

''I started off shipping out promo copies. Even though we hadn't had a hit of any size since ''What'd I Say'' we still sampled 3500-4000 disc jockeys, distributors etc. We had a hand cranked stencil machine with all their addresses and one of my first jobs at the new studio was to ship out these samples records. At night they would often cut sessions and I used to keep the log on the tape boxes and so on''.

''Then, while I was at Southwestern (Vocational and Technical College), I started experimenting with the equipment and I just set out to find some artists who would experiment with me. I didn't have a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and most of it was self-taught. I just wanted something really strange because I had been raised on Jerry Lee Lewis sessions and drunk Charlie Rich sessions. I started experimenting with Randy and The Radiants and then ,later, with the Jesters, Jimmy Day and the Nights, Bob Simon and so on''.

''We had a four track machine and then we installed a three track machine because Scotty Moore wanted to be compatible with the studios in Nashville which were all working to three track, in those days. There were also two single track monaural machine in tandem with the multi-track and Sam would always regard what he got on the single track as the mix''.

''The console was arranged like a 'V'. It was very futuristic. I never had much to do with the equipment in Nashville. I know that it was sold along with the studio but we later got some of it back and used it in the Trace Studio that Sam opened with Ray Harris in Tupelo''.

''The basic reason I believe was that Sam wasn't going to gamble the money promoting records any more. He had seen some of his friends go broke, such as the people who ran Vee-Jay, and he became just a little too conservative when the Memphis music industry really took off in the mid-1960s. That's a pity because the independent distribution network was still fairly strong. We would sample each record everywhere and we would test market most of them in a specific area. Bill Fitzgerald would hire independent guys in these markets to promote records – and we still had some records that sold strongly on a regional level. The problem was that there wasn't a commitment of spirit''.

''There wasn't a moment when we said, ÓK, that's the last record we put out on Sun'. I just wanted to get some money behind something and then the Holiday Inn deal came along and that was the tacit end of Sun Records. I thought that if I produced something for Holiday Inn that there would at least become cash behind it''.

''I personally pushed the idea of selling the Sun Records catalogue. I know that Shelby had approached Sam back when he was working for Mercury. I remember that it went so far that Irving Green (Mercury president) came down but nothing ever happened. Sam didn't see it as a major priority. I know that Columbia talked to him, probably because they wanted the Johnny Cash masters, and Jerry Wexler came down from Atlantic. We also talked at some length to Chess. I knew Marshall Chess because he was my generation. I told Sam he should go with Chess. Marshall came down to see us with Eddie Braddock but, once again, it didn't get finalized''.

''I know that Sam had higher offers for Sun Records than Shelby's offer but he knew that Shelby would work the catalogue and would keep the Sun logo alive. I was all in favour of it at first because Shelby was hot in those days. I placed quite a few masters with Shelby immediately after we signed the deal. We produced some great records and those were great times. We had big hits with the Gentrys and that Cliff Jackson record should have been a monster. There were signs that it was going to break and then it just unaccountably died. That could have been a very profitable deal for Shelby and I both but it fell apart unfortunately''.

Knox Phillips interviewed by Colin Escott, December 10, 1987


President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act, the first major U.S. civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

John Coltrane's masterpiece, ''A Love Supreme'', is released.

John Lennon buys a home in Surrey, England, for 20,000 pounds, just months before The Beatles recorded ''I Feel Fine''. Co-written by Lennon, the song becomes a country hit 25 years later for Sweethearts Of The Rodeo.


Hank Cochran and his first wife, Shirler, are divorced.

Jim Reeves holds his final recording session, cutting the ironically titled ''Is It Really Over'' and ''Missing You'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

''The Jimmy Dean Show'' welcomes Jerry Vale, Red Buttons and Molly Bee to its ABC prime-time lineup.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their race, religion, sex, national origin, or the colors of their skin. It also made segregation in public places illegal, enforced the desegregation of schools and addressed unfair and unequal access to voting and voter registration.

The law was considered one of the crowning achievements during the civil rights movement and ended the Jim Crow laws that had legalized segregation in the United States since the end of slavery and the Civil War. While it did not solved the country's racial issues or end prejudice, it was the first step in creating a more fair and equal society.


Glen Campbell and drummer Hal Blaine anchor the house band for a two-day ''Million Dollar Party'' at the Honolulu International Center Arena. On the bill, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Griffin, Jan and Dean, Jody Miller, The Kingsmen and Peter and Gordon.


Roger Miller appears on the NBC series ''The Andy Williams Show'' with Tony Bennett and The Osmonds.


Steve Murray is born. In 1990, he becomes the lead vocalist for the Texas band Perfect Stranger, providing the Clint Black-like voice on their 1995 hit ''You Have The Right To Remain Silent''.

Decca Records released the Loretta Lynn and Ernest Tubb duet ''Mr. And Mrs. Used To Be''.


Buck Owens recorded ''I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)'' at the Capitol Recording Studios in Los Angeles, California.

The Hayley Mills movie ''The Moon Spinners'' opens in U.S. theaters. The picture includes a part for songwriter Terry Gilkyson, author of the Tennessee Ernie Ford hit ''The Call Of The Wild Goose''.


Faron Young recorded ''My Friend On The Right'' at Nashville's Columbia Recording Studios. Among the supporting musicians is Ray Stevens.


Connie Smith recorded ''Once A Day'' during an afternoon at Nashville's RCA Studio B.

JULY 17, 1964 FRIDAY

Frank Sinatra recorded a minor hit, ''Softly, As I Leave You'', in Los Angeles, California. The song is revived by Elvis Presley for the country charts more than a decade later.


Connie Smith makes her Grand Ole Opry debut at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Roger Miller makes his first appearance at number 1 on the Billboard country singles chart with ''Dang Me''.

JULY 20, 1964 MONDAY

Songwriter and producer Glenn Sutton moves from Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee. He becomes the husband and producer for Lynn Anderson, and writes such hits as ''Almost Persuaded'', ''I Don't Wanna Play House'' and ''Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad''.

Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''Together Again''. The song, best known as the "B" side to Owens' number 1 hit, ''My Heart Skips A Beat'' interrupted that song's run at number one on the United States country charts. Steel guitarist Tom Brumley's performance on "Together Again" is considered "one of the finest steel guitar solos in the history of country music" by the Country Music Television staff; it inspired Jerry Garcia to learn the instrument.


Columbia Records released Ray Price's ''Please Talk To My Heart''. Price's version peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. It also reached number 1 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. Freddy Fender also released a cover of the song in 1980. Fender's version peaked at number 82 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.


Ernest Tubb recorded ''Pass The Booze'' during a late-night session at the Columbia Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee.

JULY 26, 1964 SUNDAY

Johnny Cash meets Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, where the Man In Black performs Dylan's ''Don't Think Twice, It's Alright''. At a later hotel party Dylan introduces Cash's to ''It Ain't Me, Babe''.


Banjo player Ron Block is born in California. He joins Alison Kraus and Union Station in 1991, performing on ''When You Say Nothing At All'', plus The Soggy Bottom Boys' ''I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow'' and Vince Gill's ''High Lonesome Sound''.

JULY 31, 1964 FRIDAY
Jim Reeves and his business partner and manager Dean Manuel (also the pianist of Reeves' backing group, the Blue Boys) left Batersville, Arkansas, en route to Nashville in a single-engine Beechcraft Debonair aircraft, with Reeves at the controls. The two had secured a deal on some real estate (Reeves had also unsuccessfully tried to buy property from the LaGrone family in Deadwood, Texas, north of his birthplace of Galloway).

While flying over Brentwood, Tennessee, they encountered a violent thunderstorm. A subsequent investigation showed that the small airplane had become caught in the storm and Reeves suffered spatial disorientation. The singer's widow, Mary Reeves (1929–1999), probably unwittingly started the rumor that he was flying the airplane upside down and assumed he was increasing altitude to clear the storm. However, according to Larry Jordan, author of the 2011 biography, ''Jim Reeves: His Untold Story'', this scenario is refuted by eyewitnesses known to crash investigators who saw the plane overhead immediately before the mishap, and confirmed that Reeves was not upside down. Jordan writes extensively about forensic evidence (including from the long-elusive tower tape and accident report), which suggests that instead of making a right turn to avoid the storm (as he had been advised by the Approach Controller to do), Reeves turned left in an attempt to follow Franklin Road to the airport. In so doing, he flew further into the rain. While preoccupied with trying to re-establish his ground references, Reeves let his airspeed get too low and stalled the aircraft. Relying on his instincts more than his training, evidence suggests he applied full power and pulled back on the yoke before leveling his wings—a fatal, but not uncommon, mistake that induced a stall/spin from which he was too low to recover. Jordan writes that according to the tower tape, Reeves ran into the heavy rain at 4:51 p.m. and crashed only a minute later, at 4:52 p.m.

When the wreckage was found some 42 hours later, it was discovered the airplane's engine and nose were buried in the ground due to the impact of the crash. The crash site was in a wooded area north-northeast of Brentwood approximately at the junction of Baxter Lane and Franklin Pike Circle, just east of Interstate 65, and southwest of Nashville International Airport where Reeves planned to land. Coincidentally, both Reeves and Randy Hughes, the pilot of Patsy Cline's ill-fated airplane, were trained by the same instructor.

On the morning of August 2, 1964, after an intense search by several parties (which included several personal friends of Reeves including Ernest Tubb and Marty Robbins) the bodies of the singer and Dean Manuel were found in the wreckage of the aircraft and, at 1:00 p.m. local time, radio stations across the United States began to announce Reeves' death formally. Thousands of people traveled to pay their last respects at his funeral two days later. The coffin, draped in flowers from fans, was driven through the streets of Nashville and then to Reeves' final resting place near Carthage, Texas.

JULY 31, 1964 FRIDAY

The Osmond Brothers are told during the ''Friday Night Frolics'' they will join the Grand Ole Opry the following weekend. The night is also the final time the ''Frolics'' a Friday night version of the Opry, are held at Nashville's National Life Building.

Jimmy C. Newman recorded the Tom T. Hall-penned ''Back In Circulation''.


Roy Orbison recorded ''Oh, Pretty Woman'' in Fred Foster's Nashville recording studio.

While searching for the wreckage of Jim Reeves\ plane crash in Brentwood, Tennessee, rescue worker Carol Crimmons suffers a heart attack.

Warner Bros. released ''The Very Best Of The Everly Brothers''.


Two days after the plane crash that claimed their lives, the bodies of Jim Reeves and keyboard player Dean Manuel, plus the mangled plane they were flying in, are finally discovered beneath some trees in Brentwood, Tennessee.


The country Music Foundation registers its charter in the state of Tennessee, paving the way for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''I Don't Care (Just As Long As You Love Me)''. 

Filming concludes for the Elvis Presley movie ''Girl Happy'' in Los Angeles.

Danny Myrick is born in Mississippi. After a role as lead singer for the 1990s band Western Flyer, he earns hits as a co-writer of Craig Morgan's ''International Harvester'', Tim McGraw's ''Truck Yeah'' and Jason Aldean's ''She's Country''.


CBS Evening News shows film of Marines lighting the thatched roofs of the village of Cam Ne, Vietnam with Zippo lighters including critical commentary on the treatment of the villagers.


Twins Peggy and Patsy Lynn are born to Loretta Lynn. They become a duo, The Lynns, as adults, scoring several awards nominations.


Dottie West and The Osborne Brothers join the Grand Ole Opry at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. The Osbornes deliver ''Ruby (Are You Mad)''.


Peter, Paul and Mary perform in New York at the funeral for Andrew Goodman, one of the three civil rights workers brutally murdered the previous month in Mississippi. Peter Yarrow will earn a country hit as the writer of ''Torn Between Two Lovers''.


Columbia Records released the album ''Another Side Of Bob Dylan''. Johnny Cash remakes one of the albums' songs ''It Ain't Me, babe'', later in the month, the first instance of a Dylan song becoming a country hit.

Mick Jagger is found guilty of speeding and driving without insurance in Liverpool, England. In 1969, he co-writes ''Honky Tonk Women'', ranked among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation's ''Heartaches By The Number''.

Tonkin Gulf Resolution (officially, Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408) passed by United States Congress. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of conventional military force in Southeast Asia. By the following year over 200,000 US Troops are involved in the Vietnam war and sustained American bombing raids of North Vietnam, dubbed Operation Rolling Thunder, begin lasting for the next 3 years.


The Music City News, established by Faron Young, celebrates its first anniversary with a pair of figure eight races at the Nashville Speedway. The winners, Willie Nelson and Roy Drusky.


Singer and songwriter Johnny Burnette's unlit fishing boat was struck by an unaware cabin cruiser on Clear Lake, California. The impact threw him off the boat and he drowned. When he received the news, Dorsey Burnette called Paul Burlison, who flew out to comfort him and attend Johnny's funeral. The two men were to keep in touch until Dorsey's death of a heart attack in 1979. Johnny Burnette is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, near his brother, Dorsey and their parents in Ascension, Lot 8276, Space 4. Johnny Burnette with his Rock And Roll Trio in the mid-1950s, he helped define the rockabilly.

Roy Rogers has a nine-hour surgery to repair vertebrae in his back damaged by years of riding his horse, Trigger.


Debbie Lee Rogers, the adopted Korean daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, dies in a Sunday School bus accident in San Clemente, California.

Marty Robbins recorded ''One Of These Days''.


Dean Martin's ''Everybody Loves Somebody'' goes gold. The single is produced by future country executive Jimmy Bowen and features Glen Campbell on guitar.

The Beatles kick off an American tour at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Opening is The Bill Black Combo, but Bill Black is no longer part of the group, but it does feature guitarist Reggie Young, destined to play on hits by Elvis Presley and George Strait.

Pop singer Bobby Vinton, co-writer of the Marty Robbins country hit ''Adios Amigo'' has a son, Robbie Vinton.

AUGUST 22, 1964

The debut single from the Shangri-Las, ''Remember (Walkin' In The Sand)'', enters the charts.

Johnny Cash takes radio programmers to task in an ad in Billboard magazine for not playing ''The Ballad Of Ira Hayes'' asking ''Where are you guts?''. It becomes a point of controversy, creating a movement to have him stripped of CMA membership.


Bobby Bare recorded ''Just To Satisfy You'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. It takes another 18 years for the song to become a hit, for Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.


Johnny Cash and June Carter recorded Bob Dylan's ''It Ain't Me, Babe'' at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

Comedienne Gracie Allen dies of a heart attack at Cedars Of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Her husband, George Burns, continues working in multiple mediums, earning a minor country hit some 15 years later with ''I Wish I Was Eighteen Again''.


One day after Johnny Cash recorded the song ''It Ain't Me, Babe'', Bob Dylan meets The Beatles for the first time in New York. He introduces them to marijuana.


Ernie and Bettye Ashworth have a son, Paul Ashworth.


Anaheim, California, holds groundbreaking ceremonies for Anaheim Stadium, offering a place for cowboy singer Gene Autry's team, the Angels, to play baseball outside Los Angeles. Autry turns the first pile of dirt.

Billy Edd Wheeler recorded ''Ode To The Little Brown Shack Out Back'', a novelty that pays homage to an outhouse.

Bass player Teddy Landau is born. He plays on The Wreckers' ''Leave The Pieces'' and marries one member of the duo, Michelle Branch.

Sun 394 ''Reconsider Baby'' b/w ''Ruby Janes'' by Billy Adams issued


Singer and songwriter Charlie Robison is born in Bandera, Texas. A noted alternative country act, he first finds an audience in the late 1990s. He will also marry and later divorce, Dixie Chick, Emily Erwin.

Kitty Wells recorded ''I'll Repossess My Heart''.

Columbia Records released Carl Smith's ''Lonely Girl''.

Sonny James recorded ''You're The Only World I Know''.

Mercury released the pop hit ''Little Honda'' by The Dondells, featuring guitarist Glen Campbell and drummer Hal Blaine.


Kitty Wells recorded ''You Don't Hear''.

Gene Autry's baseball team, the Los Angeles Angels, announces it is being renamed the California Angels.

Charlie Louvin recorded the Ed Bruce=penned ''See The Big Man Cry''.


Bill Anderson recorded ''Three A.M.''.


''The Best Of The Kingston Trio'' earns a gold album. It include ''Tom Dooley'', the first single to win the Grammy for Best Country and Western Recording.


The Everly Brothers recorded ''Gone Gone Gone'' in Nashville. The song will be revived as a Grammy-winning single by Alison Kraus and Robert Plant in 2007.


The ABC-YV sitcom ''No Time For Sergeants'' makes its prime-time debut, with a minor acting role for Bobby Bare.


Columbia Records released Marty Robbins' ''One Of These Days''.

ABC debuts the dark drama ''Peyton Place''. Tom T. Hall references the series when he writes Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit ''Harper Valley P.T.A''.


ABC-TV's ''Shindig!'' makes its prime-time debut. The weekly music show features guitarist James Burton, Glen Campbell and Leon Russell in the house band. First night highlights include The Everly Brothers teaming with Sam Cooke on ''Lucille''.

Rick Nelson performs ''There's Nothing I Can Say'' on the ABC-TV series ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.


''The Jimmy Dean Shoe'' has its season premiere on ABC-TV, featuring Roger Miller, Johnny Tillotson and comedian Don Adams.


Trisha Yearwood is born in Monticello, Georgia. A powerful vocalist in the vein of her idol Linda Ronstadt, she wins a Grammy for her 1997 recording ''How Do I Live'' and becomes one of the most revered country acts of the 1990s.


Songwriter Bobby Braddock marries Sue Rhodes, and Charlie and Hazel Daniels are married in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Weaned on country but fashioned by rock and roll, Billy Wayne Adams woodshedded around Memphis after   moving there as a sixteen year-old from his native Mississippi. In time he progressed to working with artists   like Carl Perkins and the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, then onto recording under his own name with singles   for Home Of The Blues and Apt. His next stop was at Sun where he settled into a downhome groove and   became hip to adventurous material like the next rhythm and blues standard.

On September 21, 1964, Adams and Yates made their fourth Sun session and the AFM files show the role of   drummer went this time to Al Jackson Jr. Bill Yates's brother, Vance, came in on organ for this session and   Vance and Bill made another session without Billy Adams two days later.
For his featured songs, Billy   Adams drew again upon Lowell Fulson's mid-1950s rhythm and blues hit ''Reconsider Baby'', coupling the   song with another original but not very inspired Adams and Carter song, ''Ruby Jane''.



Both Yates and Adams made two sides that were issued but, strangely, Adams disc, ''Reconsider Baby'', Sun   394, was issued straight away while Yates waited until mid-March the next year for his release. When it   came out, Sun 397 coupled ''Carleen'' with ''Too late To Right My Wrong'', and was credited to ''Gorgeous   Bill'' for reasons lost in the mists of time. Perhaps it was a pet name for Yates used by Carleen herself, the   niece of Hide-A-Away owner Charles Foren. Jesse Carter described how the song came about: ''Bill Yates   was always keen on adapting songs to something else. He was always writing songs, of part of them anyway.   ''Carleen'' was a girl who worked in a night club and when she would walk in he would be singing ''Lucille''   or some such song and he would change it just for her and start hollering ''Carleen''. We turned that one into a  record too. The recording starts with a walking intro taken from the current Roy Orbison hit, ''Oh, Pretty   Woman'', and then diverts as Carter remembered into a Little Richard screamer.
The other side, ''Too Late To Right My Wrong'', has an appealing saxophone sound and a very good vocal to   which Jesse Carter adds passionate but slightly of harmonies. Unissued at the time from this session where   five songs, now included here. ''Two Can Play The Game'' features a stomping rhythm and organ sound of   the Sam The Sham type (Sam had played at the Hide-A-Way with the Adams band the year before) while   ''High On The Hill'' is an instrumental workout for the whole band not unrelated to ''Big M'' and ''Fee Bee''   that were recorded at an Adams session.

In contrast, ''You Seem Like A Stranger To Me'' and ''Tiny Tears'' are   ultra-reflective ballads, the first feeling very close to the gospel music the Yates family were brought up with,   and the second haven a duet voice on the chorus. Finally, ''Recipe For Love'' has the Charlie Rich beat than   would come to the fore in 1965 with Rich's hit, ''Mohair Sam''.
Composer: - Lowell Folson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Arc Music - Tristan Music
Matrix number: - U 350  - Master (2:50)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - September 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single Sun 394-A mono
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-1/27 mono

Except for retreads from the Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis catalogues, material by Bill Adams and Bill   Yates were by this point in 1964 the mainstay of the Sun release schedule. Whether consciously or otherwise,   on his third release, drummer Billy Adams sounded quite a bit like Rosco Gordon. In fact, Adams' reading of   ''Reconsider Baby'' didn't sound all that different from sides Rosco was cutting at the very same time for Vee   Jay. Once again, Adams has borrowed the ubiquitous Tommy Tucker riff for his arrangement of the Lowell  Fulson classic blues tune. This was a long way from Fulson's original version or, for that matter, from Elvis's   well known cover on his 1960 ''Elvis Is Back'' LP. 

Composer: - Lowell Folson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Arc Music - Tristan Music
Matrix number: - None - Nor Originally Issued (2:47)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-27 mono
Adams' arrangement includes a rather tuneless and stinging guitar solo instead of the usual melodic and  bluesy sax break by Russ Carlton. The flipside ''Ruby Jane'' offers very similar fare with a decidedly less  distinguished lyric and vocal performance to grace it. Definitely a B-side.
Composer: - Billy Adams-Jesse Carter
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 351  - Master (2:15)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - September 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single Sun 394-B mono
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-1-28 mono

Composer: - Billy Adams-Jesse Carter
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:24)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17116-25 mono

Which is more than one can say about the flipside. Derivative is too kind a word. The opening instrumental  figure bears much more than a passing similarity to Orbison's ''Oh! Pretty Woman'' (which was still getting  big airplay when this was recorded). If this record had ever received significant airplay, it's also a cinch  ''Lucille'' would have sued ''Carleen''.
Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated - Hara Music
Matrix number: - U 357 X - Master (2:44)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - March 15, 1965
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single Sun 397-A mono
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-2/6 mono

Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated - Hara Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:54)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-26 mono
There's no denying it. Bill Yates' second release for Sun was a damn nice record. In fact, it's hard to imagine  why ''Too Late To Right My Wrong'' didn't catch its of pop or rhythm and blues coin in March of 1965. It's  got that passionale, slightly off-meter harmony vocal that made Sam Cooke's ''Bring It On Home To Me'' a  classic. It's also got some surprisingly mellow sax work (Russ Carlton doing his magic yet again) in a vein  not far removed from Billy Vaughn. All in all, this one had the legs to compete.

Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Mara Music
Matrix number: - U 356 X  - Master (2:38)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - March 15, 1965
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single SUN 397-B mono
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-2/5 mono

Composer: Bill Yates
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number - None - Not Originally Issued (2:44)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-27 mono

Composer: - Charlie Rich
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Correct Music
Matrix number - None - Not Originally Issued (2:20)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-23 mono

Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number - None - Not Originally Issued (2:17)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-24 mono

Composer: - Bill Yates
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number - None - Not Originally Issued (1:39)
Recorded: - September 21, 1964
Released: - June 14, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17277-22 mono

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Bill Yates - Vocal* & Piano
Billy Adams - Vocal**
Vance Yates - Organ
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter – Bass
Probably Jesse Carter or Billy Adams - Vocal Harmony
on ''Too Late To Right My Wrong''
Russ Carlton - Saxophone
Al Jackson - Drums
For Biographies of Bill Yates and Billy Adams see: > The Sun Biographies <
Bill Yates and Billy Adams'Sun recordings can be heard on their playlists from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


Elvis Presley is made a special deputy sheriff of Shelby Country, Tennessee.


Jody Miller guests on ABC's ''Shindig!''. Also appearing Delaney Bramlett, The Righteous Brothers and Johnny Rivers, who sings ''Maybellene'' and ''Memphis''.  Shindig! is an American musical variety series which aired on ABC from September 16, 1964 to January 8, 1966. The show was hosted by Jimmy O'Neill, a disc jockey in Los Angeles at the time who also created the show along with his wife Sharon Sheeley and production executive Art Stolnitz. The original pilot was rejected by ABC and David Sontag, then Executive Producer of ABC, redeveloped and completely redesigned the show. A new pilot with a new cast of artists was shot starring Sam Cooke. That pilot aired as the premiere episode.



On September 21, 1964, Bill Yates was back at Sun for a vocal session led by his brother, Vance. Three songs  were recorded but not issued. They underline what a good singer Vance really was but tunes like ''Lucky Old  Sun'' were probably not what Sun wanted to sell at that time. Vance's nephew, Rusty Yates, remembered: ''My  Uncle Vance played bass and he worked with Bill in Memphis. But when Bill hired Duck Dunn and Steve  Cropper then Vance switched to the B3 organ and he became one of the finest players around on that  instrument. Vance played with the Bill Black Combo and he was a great musician, plus he made some vocal  recordings in his own right, but I guess they weren't issued because he was unmanageable. Sun saw that. He  had a mind of his own''.

Composer: - Harry Beasley Smith-Haven Gillespie
Publisher: - B.M.I. - EMI Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:39)
Recorded: - September 23, 1964
Released: - 2016
First appearance: - Sun Records Internet X5 Music Group-7 mono

Composer: Unknown
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - September 23, 1964

Composer: Unknown
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - September 23, 1964

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Vance Yates - Vocal
Bill Yates - Piano and Organ
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
Al Jackson - Drums
Russ Carlton - Saxophone
For Biography of Vance Yates see: > The Sun Biographies <
Vance Yates' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <


Buck Owens, Molly Bee and comedian Charlie Callas have guests slots on the weekly ABC program ''The Jimmy Dean Show''.


Songwriter Nacio Herb Brown dies in San Francisco. A tailor for Rudolph Valentino and Charlie Chaplin, he co-wrote ''Temptation'', a Bing Crosby success that was parodied successfully in country music by Red Ingle and The Natural Seven.


The Beatles recorded ''I Don't Want To Spoil The Party'', which Rosanne Cash remakes as a 1989 country hit.


The pop group The Newbeats perform ''Bread And Butter'' on the ABC music series ''Shindig!''. Lead singer Larry Henley will become a major country songwriter, penning ''Lizzie And The Rainman'', '''Til I Get It Right'' and ''The Wind Beneath My Wings''.

London released The Rolling Stones' ''12 X 5'' album. It contains ''It's All Over Now'', destined to become a country hit for John Anderson.

Musical guests on ABC-TV's ''The Jimmy Dean Show'' include Roy Drusky and pop singer Vikki Carr.


Roger Miller recorded ''Do-Wacka-Do'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ed Bruce marries Patsy Ann Smithson in Memphis. The couple later writes ''Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys''.


Elvis Presley begins work on the movie ''Tickle Me''

Burl Ives sings ''Funny Way Of Laughin''' during the season premiere of NBC's ''The Bell Telephone Hour''. Also appearing are Bing Crosby and The McGuire Sisters.

Columbia Records released Johnny Cash's ''It Ain't Me, Babe'' featuring vocal support from tour mate June Carter.

Tommy Collins recorded for Capitol Records for the last time, ending a relationship that lasted more than a decade.


Rick Nelson is singing once more on ABC-TV's ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''. He delivers ''Mean Old World''.


Homer and Jethro, Molly Bee and pop star Bobby Vinton are featured on ABC's ''The Jimmy Dean Show''.


Guitarist Gary Bennett is born in Las Vegas, Nevada. He becomes one of two lead singers in BR549, a traditionally-grounded band that grows out of Nashville's lower Broadway in the mid-1990s to become critical favorites and Grammy nominees.

The Beach Boys recorded the definitive version of ''Dance, Dance, Dance'' at the RCA Studio in Hollywood with a crew of musicians that includes guitarist Glen Campbell.


Roy Orbison performs ''Oh, Pretty Woman'' on ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. The episode's entertainment also includes Connie Francis and the Harlem Globetrotters.


Decca Records released Bill Anderson's ''Three A.M.''.


Loretta Lynn recorded ''Blue Kentucky Girl'' and ''Happy Birthday'' at the Columbia Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, during an evening session.

Charlie Watts, the drummer for The Rolling Stones, marries Shirley Ann Arnold. The band goes on to recorded ''Honky Tonk Women'', cited as one of country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

The Everly Brothers sing ''Let It Be Me'' and Roy Orbison adds ''Oh, Pretty Woman'' on the ABC-TV show ''Shindig!''.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize was awarded to him for his efforts in leading the non-violent resistance against racial prejudice and segregation in the United States. King was only 35 years old when he received the prestigious prize, making him the youngest recipient at the time. King was awarded $54,123 of prize money, of which he donated to his cause in furthering the Civil Rights Movement.


Pop songwriter Cole Porter dies in Santa Monica, California, of kidney failure at the age of 73. He is interred in Mount Hope Cemetery in his native Peru, Indiana, between his wife and father. Noted for such classics as ''I Get A Kick Out Of You'', ''Begin The Beguine'' and ''I've Got You Under My Skin''. Porter also wrote ''Don't Fence Me In'', a country hit for Gene Autry.

Ernest Tubb, Roy Clark, Molly Bee and comedian Don Adams hit the small screen on ABC's ''The Jimmy Dean Show''.

Anti-Vietnam war rallies are held in four U.S. cities, police make the 1st arrest under a new Federal draft card-burning law.


Jerry Lee Lewis and Bobby Vinton appear alongside Dick Clark on ABC-TV's ''American Bandstand''.

Studio session for Memphis' beatband, Randy and The Radiants at Sam Phillips Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. At Johnny's urging Knox Phillips went to see them at the Clearpool on Lamar Avenue and was so knocked out he invited them to come into the studio right away. According to Knox, ''They were the first real-deal band that I worked with. I mean, Bob Simon wrote such great songs, and Randy had this unique voice, and their harmonies were terrific. I really thought they were pretty spectacular for a really young band''.
Randy and The Radiants: Above: Randy Haspel (vocals and guitar); Ed Marshall (lead guitar); Mike Gardner (drums). Below: Bob Simon (songwriter and vocals);  Howard T. Calhoun, Jr. (bass and piano);  Bill Slais, Jr. (sax and vocals).

by Randy Haspel, 2007

The door between the control room and the studio at Sam C. Phillips' Memphis Recording Service on  Madison Avenue, home of Sun Records, sprang open and Sam Phillips came bounding through asking  enthusiastically, '' What's that you're playing''? ''It's just a tune from our song list, Mr. Phillips''. We were  just warming up. Sam replied, ''Keep playing that song. I want to get it on tape''.  I had heard this  conversation somewhere before. I answered, ''Mr. Phillips, that song was a big hit just a little over a year  ago''. ''I don't care what it was'', replied the inventor of rock and roll. ''I think it's a hit record''. I cut my eyes  quizzically at my bandmates.
Could Sam possibly believe that six teenagers who grew up in 1950s  Memphis would not know the Elvis legend? We were the spawn of Elvis and knew every detail of his  meteoric rise to glory, including the story of how ''That's Alright Mama'' came to be. But that was 1954, and  this was 1964. was Sam Phillips, a decade later, trying to pull an Elvis on us?

At age 15, and leader of Randy & The Radiants, I wasn't about to second-guess the man who had  discovered not merely Elvis, but Howlin' Wolf and Ike Turner as well. When Sam returned to the console  and announced ''We;re rolling'', we played and sang with all the enthusiasm we could muster, and then  prepared to do it again. But after hearing the playback, Mr Phillips declared, ''It's a hit! I don't need a  another take''. And so, ''The Mountain's High'', made famous by Dick & Dee Dee in 1961, became the first  single on Sun Records by Randy & The Radiants, released December 11, 1964. The flip side was an  original called ''Peek A Boo'', written by my partner and friend Bob Simon. Of course, ''Mountain's High''  was not a hit. When Bob and I first heard the song on the car radio, after I had slammed on the brakes and  our screaming had died down, I turnes to him and said, ''That wasn't very good, was it''? I thought the band  had a crisper tigher sound when we played live, but Sam Phillips recorded us in a way that every instrument  bled into the microphone of every other, and it all sounded so raw. It took me years to understand that  Sam's recording philosophy was to find talented amateurs and attempt to bring out abilities in them that  even they did not know they had.

If Phillips had issued ''Mountain's High'' to gauge the band's popularity, what happened next took him by surprise. A Bob Simon song called ''Walk Softly'', written at age 14, was heard by former Sun artist and producer Bill Justis, whose instrumental ''Raunchy'' had earned Sam a gold record in 1957. Justis recorded Bob's song in Nashville with a singer named Joanne Tauchstone, and the release, on Monument Records' subsidiary Sound Stage Seven, became an instant regional hit. Sam Phillips had to wonder how a song by an artist that he had just signed could have got away. After that, Bob's songs were given priority in our recording sessions.

The Radiants came to Sun Records through a circuitous route. For Bob and me, this was already our third attempt at assembling a band. We began singing together in 1958 when I was 10 and Bob was nine, and as soon as our fingers were strong enough to hold a metal string against a fretboard, we started playing guitar. Bob grew up a block from my family's house in East Memphis, and we had much in common. Other than attending the same school, we both had older sisters who loved to dance and used their little brothers to practice the latest steps. Rhythm and blues had taken over as teen music in segregated Memphis, thanks to the legendary disc jockey Rufus Thomas and Dewey Phillips. radio station WDIA 1070 featured rhythm and blues late in the afternoon, after the gospel programs were over, with Rufus', ''The World's Oldest Teenager'', at the microphone. But WDIA went off the air at sunset, so their entire listenership, black and white, tuned to pop station WHBQ to hear Dewey's manic program, Red, Hot & Blue, mixing gospel with doo wop, and rock and roll, all accompanied by his repid-fire, country boy drawl. When Dewey introduced Elvis to the world, hundreds of young Memphis boys ran out to find guitars. At first, Bob and I played songs at each other, like a tennis match, until the day when, while we were singing the Skip & Flip versions of ''Cherry Pie'', Bob broke into spontaneous high harmony and it stopped me cold. ''Where'd you learn to do that''? I asked. Bob replied, ''I didn't learn it. I just hear it''. Being older, I instructed, ''Keep Doing it''.

Entering Junior High, we formed a group called the Casuals, but became victims of our own success. As our popularity grew, my school grades dropped, until my parents insisted I leave the band, as Bob had done several months earlier. Back-up singer David Fleischman moved up front and the group became Flash & The Memphis Casuals, whose 1966 single, ''Uptight Tonight'', is the title track of a recent Big Beat garage band anthology. I never considered the Radiants to be a garage band. We were a living room band that started in 1962 when Bob and i and Gregg Grinspan became a vocal trio in search of a group. Gregg found Howard Calhoun in class, who had a band called the Embers, named after a popular local restaurant. As ''The Embers'', featuring the Radiants'', Bob, Gregg, and I came out in matching yellow shirts and did dance routines, before we gathered around the microphone to sing. We settled on the radiants after the first few gigs, several years before the Chicago vocal group with the same name came to prominence. Our song list consisted many of rhythm and blues hits by Hank Ballard, James Brown and the Drifters.

There were only a handful of teen bands in Memphis, but the two best were Tommy Burk and the Counts, and the LeSabres. These two groups represented the division in loyalties within Memphis' teen culture. The Counts were a tightly rehearsed band, with two horn players and harmony vocals. They wore matching blazers with their own specially designed crest on the pocket, to add an air of nobility. The LeSabres were wilder; they wore leather jackets and retained the oily Elvis hairstyle with the ducktail in the back, but were equally as entertaining. The LeSabres' crowd were working class kids, greasers and hoods; the Counts' fans were generally Ivy kids (for Ivy League) with Money to spend on clothes. The Radiants didn't want to be like Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps; we wanted to be like the Counts. We began to play school dances, churches, YMCA's and backyard parties. By 1963, after the usual personnel changes, our line-up was fixed. I sang lead and played rhythm guitar. Bob also sang lead, wrote songs, and arranged harmonies. Howard Calhoun and Mike Gardner played bass and drums respectively. Bill Slais Jr played sax and sang back up, and Ed Marshall played lead guitar. We had other singers, including Tony Rossini, a Sun recording artist in hos own right who had left another outfit just to come and sing with us.

The Radiants were still considered up and comers, but we were perfectly placed for the events of early 1964. I had first seen a picture of the Beatles in Life magazine after their 1963 Royal Command Performance but didn't give it another thought until I heard ''I want To Hold Your Hand'' on the car radio. I drove directly to the record store, but they only had the single. When ''Meet The Beatles'' was released a week later, I got the early tip and listened to it over and over with fellow Radiants and other mesmerized friends. Once we saw the lads on Ed Sullivan, it was all over. This was the realization of what we aspired to; a self-contained band who played their own instruments, sang all the vocals and recorded their own songs. No one had to tell us as musicians that the Beatles were going to be the next big thing. At our next rehearsal, Mike loosened up his trap cymbal and played with the slashing motion used by Ringo, and Ed tightened his guitar strap and wore it higher like George. I sang the John songs and Bob sang the Paul songs, while Howard deciphered their chord changes on piano.

Bob Simon had been a precocious songwriting talent since he was 12. His first attempts were folk songs, but he soon showed a gift for melody and structure. The first rock and roll song he played for me was too good to be anyone's first song, and I actually accused him of plagiarism. The tune, ''True And Sweet'', had a chord structure similar to Major Lance's ''Monkey Time'', only Bob wrote his song a year earlier than Curtis Mayfield. I became his biggest songwriting fan. Bob was so accomplished and dedicated that I never considered trying to write a song of my own until the ripe old age of 19. The Beatles gave Bob focus and direction and sent him into overdrive.

After the Fabs' breakthrough, and the accompanying British Invasion, the Memphis music scene exploded with new venues for teen dances. Every skating rink and department store was looking for bands with youth appeal. The Radiants were already professionals, but when we added a half-dozen Beatle songs to our set lists, our bookings grew too numerous for us to handle. We had begun to play a series of Saturday night dances in a hot gymnasium at a local YMCA, a popular gathering spot for kids from all over the city, sponsored by a small radio station in nearby Millington, Tennessee. The station's staff included Dewey Phillips, in the decline of his career, as well as John Dougherty, an unassuming young man closer to our age, whose on air name was Johnny Dark. As the crowds continued to grow, we asked John if he would be interested in managing us. We had never had a manager and he had never managed but, almost immediately, our bookings skyrocketed, as did our asking price.

John also booked us at college fraternities, who up until that time had lived on a steady diet of southern soul bands like Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts. It was rarity for sophisticated college men to hire high school students to play, but if they wanted the new music, we had it. We set up for Sigma Nu at Ivy-walled Southwestern College in Memphis, and after our first set, John approached with a blond-haired fraternity man in a white -V-necked tennis sweater, looking like he had just stepped out of Gentleman's Quarterly. Introduced as Knox Phillips, he extended his hand warmly. ''You guys are great'', he opined. ''Johnny's been talking about you, and we wondered if you'd be interested in coming down to the recording studio and playing for my father''? We had no idea that a portion of Johnny's high school years were spent living in the Phillips family home as a surrogate brother to Sam's two sons, Knox and Jerry.

The next Sunday afternoon found us at Phillips Memphis Recording Service, and though this modern facility had been there since the late 1950s, it was still referred to as the ''new studio''. Sam greeted us in the lounge wearing a Ban-Lon shirt and a yachtsman's cap, and was gracious and charming. He told us Knox had raved about us and that he was excited to hear us, making us feel at home while simultaneously applying a little pressure to live up to those reviews. We hauled in the equipment and, after a few songs, Mr Phillips offered a five-year contract with Sun Records. Knox's enthusiasm had sealed the deal and he was going to participate, for the first time, in observing his father's production techniques, and to learn to work the console soundboard that looked like the cockpit of a giant airliner. The contract required both our parents' permission and signatures, since we were underage. After we had all joined the local musicians union, the Radiants did the session that produced our first record.

For a while, the band's name alternated between the Radiants and Randy & The Radiants, a moniker that was beginning to stick. Although I wasn't promoting a name change for the sake of my ego, I didn't object very much either. Sam made it official when he printed it on the label with the yellow rising sun. He felt it made us sound like the first wave of British bands: Gerry and The Pacemakers, Freddie and The Dreamers. It also avoided confusion with the Chicago Radiants, but added more with Randy & The Rainbows. For years since, I have had to explain that I was not the guy that sang, ''Denise''.

Dewey Phillips himself first played out record on the radio station in Millington, and tough it didn't sell many copies, it was a beginning. We lip-synched the record on disc jockey George Klein's Saturday afternoon television show, Talent Party, and when Bob's ''Walk Softly'' began climbing the charts, a columnist named Robert Johnson took a special interest in us, and began writing a series of articles about out adventures. The crowd and the excitement grew, until one afternoon at rehearsal in the late autumn of 1964, John showed up with some news. Memphis had a brand new Coliseum that had never hosted a rock concert, and almost a year after the Beatles had first appeared in the States, no British band had yet played in the city. ''You know the Dave Clark Five have booked at the Coliseum in December''? said John, so calmly that I believed he was just informing us he had used his contacts to get us good seats. Instead, he paused dramatically, ''You guys are opening the show''. Our cheers could be heard down the block.

The concert's start had been changed from evening to afternoon to accommodate all the young fans. It was the Mid-South Coliseum's first experience with the world's second most popular band, and the security was tighter than a presidential visit. The Radiants were locked in our dressing room by noon, four hours before showtime, so we tuned and retuned our guitars and stewed over the fact that we had heard that opening acts in other cities along the Dave Clark Five's tour had been booed. When the announcer finally shouted ''Here's one of Memphis' favourite bands, Randy & The Radiants'', we ascended the back stairs to the stage into a world of flashbulbs and the ''endless scream''. Our hometown was treating us like stars, but we were all back in class the next morning. In that one week in December 1964, our first single was released. Randy & The Radiants became the first rock band to play the Coliseum before 12,500 screaming fans, and I turned 17 years old. Going into 1965, the Radiants were the hottest band in Memphis. We were on television, radio and in both local newspapers, and the Dave Clark Five show put us on the road all over the South. Our jobs took us from West Tennessee into eastern Arkansas and deep into the Mississippi Delta. We were welcomed with equal enthusiasm at high school proms in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduation dances in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Since we only played on weekends, our roadwork made our Memphis appearances into mini events. The band's big news was that Sam Phillips wanted us back in the studio.

Outside the control room, Sam Phillips was always friendly and welcoming, but once the session started, he was all business. If a mistake was made, Phillips began clicking the playback button in the headphones; the signal to begin again. It wasn't uncommon for us to do a song 15 or 20 times, yet have Phillips decide he liked take 2. He pushed me to give the vocals everything I had. Sam didn't pass out compliments idly. The most he would say was, ''That was pretty good. Let's try one more'', but it gave me pleasure to sing an old rhythm and blues phrase that I had worked up, just to see him smile. Both Sam and Knox were now looking for the most commercial sounding tune for our new single. Along with Bob Simon's songs, Sam brought in songs by teenage writers Donna Weiss and Mary Unobsky, and John Monasco, piano player for our favourite local group, Jimmy Day and The Knights. Bob had written another ''I don't trust my girlfriend'' song called ''Truth From My Eyes'', which I particularly liked and upon which I sang the lead. Bob found comfort in composing his most personal thoughts, then allowing me to voice them. Sam Phillips' favoured a Donna Weiss song, ''My Way Of Thinking'', which opened with a variation of the distinctive guitar riff made famous by the Kinks in ''You Really Got Me'', it was the cleanest we had yet sounded, but the band felt uneasy about releasing a song that was so derivative of another groups's style, something that Sam Phillips himself used to always decry as a ''followers mentality''. The band lobbied hard for Bob's song to be the A-side. We didn't believe that Sam had ever heard of the Kinks.

If Sam Phillips served as a father figure to Elvis, Carl, Jerry Lee, Johnny and the first generation of Memphis rock and rollers, our experience with him was more like working with your actual dad. Knox served as our liaison and a voice between the generations, and thus Sam Agreed to ''Truth From My Eyes'' as our new Sun release, and in Memphis it took off in both popularity and sales, Johnny Dark accepted a disc jockey position in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. We carried on without him as best we could, but found ourselves unable to sufficiently exploit our hit record, other than to play it live. As the radio world revolves, John got a job at Memphis' WMPS AM60, and though he was no longer out manager and it seemed the record had run its course, he gave it a second life. It became the most requested song on WMPS to begin playing it again. Randy & The Radiants appeared to be on the brink of a breakthrough.

But despite the unflagging support of Knox Phillips, Sun still did their promotion the old fashioned way and seemed to be caught off guard by the single's success. Our friends and rivals, the Gentrys, had made a record called ''Keep On Dancing'', the local popularity of which resulted in a major label release and a Top 5 national hit. But Sun was among the last of the old school independents, and Sam had stopped leasing masters back in the 1950s. His brother, Judd Phillips, was as amiable with strangers as Sam was tacitum, and he was pressed back into action to travel to the major cities of the South, both to promote ''Truth From My Eyes'' and to arrange for the first major Randy & The Radiants tour. In the midst of a generational shift, however, and showbiz being what it is, the tour never materialized. We all had more pressing problems.

Bob excluded, the radiants all graduated high school in 1965, the year Selective Service began drafting half a million men to go to Vietnam. Enrolling in college offered a student deferment, and so all the band was going to attend Memphis State University. At 16 and still under the charge of my parents, I was being told that it was time to put away childhood things and leave Memphis for college as had long been planned. When I expressed my desire to stay home and attend Memphis State, i was told, ''Not if you expect us to pay for it''. The Radiants were making good money, but not enough for college tuition, so it was determined that I would leave the band in the fall of 1965 to attend the University in Knoxville, four hundred miles away. We continued to play and record as if nothing was goin' of to change, but come September, I entrusted my Fender Stratocaster to Bob and bid the band farewell. When I left Memphis, we had a number one song, one of the hottest bands in town, and two years to go in a recording contract with Sun Records.

With Bob as lead singer, the Radiants added a second horn player and maintained status as one of the most sought-after bands in the South. When I finally returned home for a Christmas break and went to hear the band, their experience and maturity had made them into an even tigher performing unit, which is a self-deprecating way for me to say they sounded better after I left. Knox Phillips was now recording the band, including some of Bob's most promising commercial songs, and Sam had diverted his attention from the record business to the family-owned radio stations, but there were no further releases. Soon after, Sam Phillips sold Sun Records. And following Bob Simon's high school graduation, he too was sent away to college. The band hung on for a while longer, but when Howard Calhoun, its best musician, quit, that effectively ended the joy-filled, five-year union of the Radiants - at least the first incarnation. But that's another story.

If Sam Phillips felt threatened when the British Invasion reared its ugly - to the established American record biz - head in 1964, he didn't let on. It was business as usual, and rock and roll's original pathfinder continued apace with the rather disparate release schedule that his legendary Sun Records sported in its twilight years. But even if he was blissfully unaware of the Brits' burgeoning omnipotence, Phillips was savy enough that, when it was presented to him by his son Knox in the shape of the Radiants, Sam decided to sign them to Sun.

Memphis has always had an Anglo fetish, exemplified most unambiguously by Alex Chilton's Big Star in the 1970s, but true to the nature of its mixed musical heritage, the city has an interesting and unpredictable take on what the Beatles and their ilk inspired. Randy and The Radiants are an excellent example of this, and most likely the earliest: slightly derivative in form perhaps, but certainly inspired in content. Though the garage rock crowd knows their name for the crunchy chording of ''My Way Of Thinking'', the considerable cache of sessions that Phillips (October 17, 1964), and later Knox (September 16, 1965), recorded reveals the Radiants as several fret-notches above the average teenage combo of the time.

While the expected quotient of frat-band raunch and Anglicised rockabilly are featured - and it is fascinating to hear the band cover Phillips' older copyrights such as ''Boppin' The Blues'' in updated Brit-mode - the true gems in the Radiants' canon are Bob Simon's contemplative originals, with their own mature blend of harmony and soul, akin to that of the best British beat groups such as the Searchers. The searing, inresistible ''Truth From My Eyes'' would have made a great mid-period Hollies single, and ''To Seek And Then Find'', ''Nobody Walks Out On Me'' or ''I Won't Ask Why'' (over two sessions in 1964-65) are so effortlessly Mersey in execution, it's easy to forget the granddaddy of rockabilly is behind the mixing desk. Add the warm, authoritative rasp of Randy Haspel, Memphis' answer to Allan Clark, and one can understand Knox Phillips' excitement in having found o local and commercially-potent interpretation of the Beatle beat.

As Randy relates in his memoir above, the tremendous promise of the Radiants was cut short just as they were hitting their stride. But any group should be proud of what Randy and The Radiants accomplished in what was a relatively brief time together. That Sam Phillips, one of the greats in rock and roll, was the catalyst for their moment in the sun (pun intended) is purely the icing on the cake.
Alec Palao, 2007
It was unheard of for Sun to tread on 'beat group' turf, that is until the arrival of Randy & The Radiants, a sophomore quintet who pre-empted the blue-eyed Memphis soul of The Box Tops. Vocalist Randy Haspel was the most active member of the group, forming Rich Mountain Tower in 1970 (with a quadraphonic  album on Ovation) and in 1997 linking with drummer Mike Gardner for a Randy & The Radiants reunion. He currently hosts his own radio show on WEVL-FM in Memphis.

Here was the first real reflection of changing times in Memphis. Robert Gordon, a chronicler of Memphis in the 1960s and beyond, talks in his book ''It Came From Memphis'' about the cultural upheaval in Memphis that came in the wake of the Beatles. Department stores had promotions of Carnaby Street-styled clothes and hired local musicians to plat British Invasion-styled pop. There was a new crop of bands. To that point, the Radiants had been a teenage rhythm and blues band but they took an entirely new direction after the British Invasion.

''I was sixteen'', Randy Haspel told Robert Gordon. ''My partner Bob Simon had been writing songs since we were kids. When the Beatles hit we already had a band that was up and  working. 
The next time we had rehearsal, people started to assume their roles. Mike Gardner loosened his trap cymbals and started to make those kinda slashing motions Ringo would make. I learned how to rock band and forth like John Lennon''.
The Radiants beat out the Devolles (later the Boxtops), the Scepters and the Gentrys in a locale battle of the bands, and became a big noise in Memphis. Their manager, Johnny Dark, was a friend of Knox Phillips. They played Knox's frat parties, then found themselves at Sun where they were the first band Knox produced.

''First time we met Sam Phillips'', Haspel continued, ''he'd just come in off the lake, he had on a yachtsman's hat, and sat in there and was just as charming as could be. After that it was, 'We'll do anything for you, Mr. Phillips'. Our initial response was a lot more hesitant. We had big plans''. They warmed up with their set list, which included Dick and Dee-Dee's ''Mountain's High''. Sam Phillips came out of the control room. ''What're you doing? He asked. ''Well, we're just warming up, Mister Phillips''. ''Keep playing it'', Phillips told them. ''I like this''. The band looked at each other. ''Mister Phillips, this was a hit just a year or two ago''. Sam didn't care. ''I like it. I want you to do it''.
Bob Simon, co-founder of the Randy & The Radiants, Bob was the bands' original songwriter whose catchy 
sixties songs can be heard on the new anthology, "Memphis Beat: The Sun Recordings 1964-1966''. Bob 
was the only artist signed by Sun Records as a staff songwriter and he continues to work with Knox Phillips 
in writing and publishing. 
Bob wrote "What Am I Gonna Do About You'', a number 1 hit for Reba McIntire, 
and his songs have been recorded by the Impressions, and the HooDoo Rhythm Devils. He was music 
director for the Impressions from 1988-1990.

It's as close as Sun Records ever came to garage music. There's a raw, amateurish edge, and, in its way, the music on both sides of this disc is as energetic and direct as most of the music Sun was recording on Union Avenue ten years earlier. It might not be Sonny Burgess, but it shows that there was still primitive music to be found on Sun in very different musical times. As ''Peek-A-Boo'' makes quite clear, this kind of music – homegrown, raw and melodic – represented America's answer to the British Invasion. Check out Rod Argent's ''She's Not There'' by the Zombies for a direct comparison. How ironic that this should come from the same label whose efforts ten years earlier had helped to shape the British music that now fuelled the likes of the Radiants.

Composer: - Dick St. John
Publisher: - A.S.C.A.P. - Odin Music
Matrix number: - U 353  - Master (2:30)
Recorded: - October 17, 1964
Released: - December 11, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single Sun 395-B mono
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-2/1 mono
Composer: - Bob Simon
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 352 - Master (2:02)
Recorded: - October 17, 1964
Released: - December 11, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single Sun 395-A mono
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-2-1 mono

Composer: - Jerry Leiber-Mike Stoller
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Jerry Leiber Music-Mike Stoller Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:40)
Recorded: - October 17, 1964
Released: - April 30, 2013
First appearance: - X5 Music Group (MP3) Internet Sample-10 mono
Composer: - Hal Davis-Paul Hampton
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Shapiro Bernstein Music
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - October 17, 1964

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Randy Jay Haspel – Vocal & Guitar
Bob Simon - Singer/Songwriter
Ed Marshall –  Lead Guitar
Howard Calhoun – Bass & Keyboard
Mike Gardner – Drums
Bill Slais – Tenor Saxophone and Vocals

Gregg Grinspan, Tony Rossini,
Jimmy Beckemeyer, Otis Glasscock - Backing Vocals
For Biography of The Radiants see: > The Sun Biographies <
The Radiants' Sun recordings can be heard on their playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <
RANDY HASPEL NEVER MET ELVIS, BUT WISHES HE HAD   I love Elvis. Sure, over the years I've made some sardonic remarks, often over a microphone from the  bandstand. But that was in my capacity as an entertainer. Truth be told, if there were no Elvis, there would be   no me. I never would have picked up a guitar or formed a band or have been signed to Sun Records and   produced by Sam Phillips: one of my life's proudest accomplishments.   Like a million other children of the   fifties, I went Elvis crazy as soon as I heard him on the radio. As soon as my fingers were strong enough to   press the strings down on a guitar neck, I started playing. I didn't just want to be like Elvis, I wanted to be   Elvis. 

Those who became Elvis fans after his death, or even after he returned from the army, will never know  the joyous exuberance that accompanied the emergence of the "Hillbilly Cat" or the line of demarcation Elvis  created between the Mouseketeer generation and their parents, who loathed him. After Elvis, nothing was the  same.
I wish I were precocious enough to say I heard Elvis' Sun records on the radio, but I was only 7 at the time. I  do, however, distinctly remember the night in 1956 that Dewey Phillips introduced "Heartbreak Hotel" on his  radio show. I listened to Red, Hot, and Blue every night, even if it meant putting the radio right next to my  ear so my parents couldn't hear. I loved the voice before I saw the singer. Elvis' photograph appeared in the  morning paper with his shirt collar up and his hair formed into a shiny, immaculate pompadour. I had to  inform my big sister that Elvis was a greaser. One night, my sister came home from a teenage party at the  Hotel Chisca in a state of euphoric bliss. Elvis had been at the WHBQ radio studios visiting Dewey, and  when asked by an enthusiastic chaperone, he strolled into the party of giggling girls just to say hello.

Where I differ with some devoted Elvis aficionados is that I think his earliest recordings, like Sam Cooke's,  were his greatest. I've made a personal "E" mix-disc that I listen to when I'm in need of cheering up, and the  pure joy that exudes from Elvis in songs like "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine" works every time. All the  songs in my mix are from 1955 to 1958. He recorded great songs after that, but instead of working with  genius songwriters like Otis Blackwell or Leiber and Stoller, who wrote his earliest hits, the weaselly  Colonel Parker hooked him into making that series of silly movies where studio hacks and friends of the  Colonel got first crack at Elvis, with tunes like "He's Your Uncle, Not Your Dad'', "Do The Clam," and "No  Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car''.

When Elvis lost his edge, I lost interest in him as a musical influence. He never regained the infectious,  gravel-throated vocal power that made him the King of Rock And Roll. Elvis had the world's greatest set list,  yet in concert he would breeze through his greatest hits in a medley, often mocking the early material as if it  were not consequential. The Colonel cheated us out of the best of Elvis. Rather than making musical  progress with each album, like the Beatles, who idolized him, Elvis regressed with each half-hearted effort to  fulfill his contractual obligations to his record label. It was a sad descent and sadder still to imagine what  might have been.

My great regret was never getting to meet Elvis. I suppose I could have imposed upon someone like George  Klein for an introduction, but that would have been very un-Elvis-like of me. Sam Phillips might have  finagled something, but I came to Sun 10 years after Elvis and Sam didn't exactly pal around with him  anymore. My dentist was Elvis' dentist, but I had to be satisfied with the tales of Elvis' after-hours visits. The  only time I received an offer to go to Graceland was from Dewey Phillips, but Dewey was no longer on good  terms with Elvis, and in an adventure that I recounted in an article for Memphis magazine, poor Dewey was  turned away at the gate, and by proxy so was I.

Even in later years, I might have crashed Elvis' annual Christmas party by tagging along with a musical pal,  but I didn't. There's one thing I always wondered, and it's total vanity on my part. When I was making  records for Sun and having them played on the radio and appearing on George Klein's Talent Party on  Saturday afternoon TV, was Elvis ever aware of our little band? Probably not, but there's no one left to tell  me. As an adult, I tried to write songs for Elvis, but I had no hope of reaching him.

It was puzzling to me why Elvis felt it necessary to seclude himself inside Graceland. In the mid-Seventies,  you'd often see Jerry Lee Lewis out on the town, surrounded by his entourage. Jerry took a liking to a club in  Overton Square called the Hot Air Balloon, where he could be found jamming after hours, and no one ever  bothered him. I thought if Elvis would just get out a little, people in his own hometown would give him a  similar break.

I retained that opinion until one day when I went with my parents to the airport to greet a relative. I was  struck by the appearance of a man walking toward me, and I was certain that he was an old friend whose  name I couldn't recall. He was with a group of happy people, and I was taken by his familiar look and  unusually large facial pores. When I caught up with my mother, she asked cheerfully, "Did you see Elvis?" I  immediately wheeled and sprinted the length of the terminal and through the double doors. He had just  closed the passenger-side door of a white Cadillac when he looked up at me. "Hey, Elvis," I uttered lamely.  He nodded and said, "How you doin' man?" and he was gone. I realized that if even I chased after Elvis like  a teenage girl, perhaps it was wise that he not go out in public after all. With due deference to Jerry Lee, the  thousands of pilgrims who come to Memphis in August, year after year, prove that Elvis was never meant to  be just one of the guys.

Randy Haspel, Memphis Flyer, August 15, 2013

The Beatles recorded ''I Feel Fine'' at Abbey Road in London, England. In 1989, Sweethearts Of The Rodeo's version becomes a country hit.

British rock band The Animals appears on ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', singing ''The House Of The Rising Sun''. In 1981, Dolly Parton revives the song as a country hit.


Decca Records released Warner Mack's ''Sittin' In An All Nite Cafe''.

Tennessee Ernie Ford make a guest appearance on NBC-TV's weekly series ''The Andy Williams Show''.


The Beatles remake Carl Perkins' ''Honey Don't''.

Capitol Records released The Beach Boys' pop hit ''Dance, Dance, Dance'', with a guitar solo by future country star Glen Campbell.

Actress Belle Montrose dies of a heart attack in Hollywood, California. She is the mother of TV personality Steve Allen, who wrote the 1950 crossover hit ''Let's Go On To Church (Next Sunday Morning)'', recorded by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely.

Roy Rogers and Dale Evans appear on the NBC series ''The Andy Williams Show''.


Bobby bare and Skeeter Davis begin two days of recording at RCA Studio B in Nashville for the duets album ''Tunes For Two''. The pair's efforts yield a hit single with ''A Dear John Letter''.

Keyboard player Jerry Dale McFadden is born. He plays frequently with The Mavericks, joining them on a cover of ''Call Me The Breeze'' on the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album ''Skynyrd Frynds''.

The concert film ''The TAMI Show'' is recorded in Santa Monica, California, featuring James Brown, the   Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, and the Supremes.


Glen Campbell, Leon Russell and David Gates are in the house band for ''The T.A.M.I. Show'' at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Acts include The Supremes, Chuck Berry, James Brown, The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and The Miracles.


Grandpa Jones joins Johnny Tillotson and Molly Bee on the ABC-TV series ''The Jimmy Dean Show''.


Roy Orbison's ''Oh, Pretty Woman'' is certified for gold.

Lee and Edna Greenwood have a daughter, Laura Rene Greenwood.


Ray Charles is arrested in Boston for possession of marijuana and heroin, leading him to secure professional help to beat his addiction.

Darryl Worley is born in Savannah, Tennessee. Noted for the strong traditional influence on his music, the lanky singer builds a solid career after his 2000 debut, striking a major chord for patriotism with his 2003 release ''Have You Forgotten''.

RCA Victor released the soundtrack to Elvis Presley's ''Roustabout''. ''Roustabout'' is the twenty-first album by Elvis Presley, released in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 2999, in October 1964. It was a soundtrack to the film of the same name. Recording session took place at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, on March 2 and 3, and April 29, 1964. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top LP's chart. It was certified Gold on May 20, 1988 by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album would be Presley's final soundtrack to reach number one and his last number one album until 1973's ''Aloha From Hawaii: Via Satellite''.

Payments to Presley for each film amounted to between $225,000 to $1,000,000 up front, often half the budget for production, with a 50% share of the profits. These movies were being shot in sometimes as little as three weeks, with the complete scoring and recording of the soundtrack albums taking no more than two weeks. It fell to Freddy Bienstock, the assistant of Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, to ensure that the soundtrack songs fit into the profit equation with the publishing controlled by Elvis Presley Music or Gladys Music, the Hill and Range Publishing companies owned by Presley and Parker. As a result, successful writers such as Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman, Otis Blackwell and Winfield Scott, and Don Robertson lost interest in adhering to the needs of the grind. It was interlocking self-promotion, causing one MGM employee to remark that the movies "didn't need titles. They could be numbered. They would still sell".

Blackwell and Scott in fact submitted a candidate for the title track, "I'm a Roustabout" recorded on March 3, only to find it substituted by a song from a different team of writers. This recording was eventually released by RCA on the 2003 compilation ''2nd To None''. 

Presley and his coterie of top session musicians gamely plowed through all of this, and eleven songs were recorded for the twenty-minute soundtrack LP. Four songs from this album appeared on the 1995 soundtrack compilation, ''The Essential 60s Masters II'', "Roustabout", "Little Egypt'', "Poison Ivy League", and "There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon".

Rick Nelson is heard performing ''Mean Old World'' on ABC-TV's ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.


Brenda Lee earns a standing ovation from Queen Elizabeth II during a Command Performance at the London Palladium.

''Johnny Horton's Greatest Hits'' is certified gold, for years after his death.

Capitol Records released Buck Owens' ''I Don't Care'' album''.

Tally Records released Merle Haggard's single ''(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers''.


Roger Miller recorded ''King Of The Road'' in Nashville, Tennessee.

One year after John F. Kennedy's death vaulted him to the nation's highest office, Lyndon B. Johnson is re-elected president. His years in the position are referred to two dozen years later in The Bellamy Brothers' country hit ''Rebels Without A Clue''.

Following the election, civil rights organizations banded together to push for the passage of legislation that would ensure black voting rights once and for all.


The MGM movie biography of Hank Williams, ''Your Cheatin' Heart'', opens in Montgomery, Alabama, with Hank Williams JR. appearing on the soundtrack. Governor George Wallace declares Hank Williams week.

Glen Campbell performs the Elvis Presley hit ''Ain't That Loving You Baby'' on ABC's ''Shindig!''. Other guests include Gerry and The Pacemakers, Gene Pitney and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, who do ''You've Really Got A Hold On Me''.


Two days after Lyndon Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in the president election, the Country Music Association re-elects Tex Ritter as its president. ''I had another president in mind'', Ritter says, ''but I want you to know I'm mighty thankful''.

Jazz pianist Edwin ''Buddy'' Cole dies in Hollywood of a heart attack. Noted for his work with Nat King Cole, Judy garland and Louis Armstrong, he also appeared on the Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely country hit ''Slipping Around.

''The Jimmy Dean Show'' airs live from Nashville with a salute to the Grand Ole Opry. Guests on the ABC broadcast include Eddy Arnold, Minnie Pearl, Chet Atkins and Flatt and Scruggs.

Tom T. Hall meets ''Truck Drivin' Son-Of-A-Gun'' songwriter Dixie Deen at the BMI Country Songwriter Awards in Nashville. The two will marry in 1968.


Tex Ritter is added to the Country Music Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Loew's Theater in Nashville, Tennessee.

''Your Cheatin' Heart'' makes its Nashville premiere, with George Hamilton portraying the late Hank Williams. Hank Williams Jr. provides the voice of his father for the movie's soundtrack.


The Byrds sign to Columbia Records, recommended by Miles Davis.

Roy Rogers signs a lease to take over the Apple Valley Inn in Victorville, California.


Paramount released the Elvis Presley movie ''Roustabout''. Co-starring Barbara Stanwyck, it features the brief on-screen debut of Raquel Welch.

Hank Williams Jr. and Jody Miller are musical guests on the ABC-TV series ''Shindig!''. The episode also features British pop group Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas covering ''Tennessee Waltz''.


Neil Young writes ''Sugar Mountain'' on his 19th birthday. The song is eventually tabbed in the Country Music Foundation's book ''Heartaches By The Number'' among the 500 greatest country singles of all-time.

Manager Albert Grossman marries Sally Buehler. In attendance is a Grossman client, future Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Bob Dylan.

Willie Nelson holds his inaugural recording session in a new deal with RCA, with Chet Atkins producing at RCA Studio B in Nashville. The first song on the session is Nelson's Christmas title, ''Pretty Paper''.

Songwriter Jerry Kilgore is born in Tillamook, Oregon. He pens John Michael Montgomery's ''Cover You In Kisses'' and ''Tracy Byrd's ''Love Lessons''.


Bass player Mike Bub is born in Los Angeles. He becomes a significant cog in The Del McCoury Band, which wins multiple awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association as Entertainer of the Year.


The British pop duo Peter and Gordon makes its American TV debut on CBS's ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Asher goes on to produce country hits such as ''Blue Bayou'' and ''Love Is A Rose'' for Linda Ronstadt.


Bobby Bare sees Waylon Jennings perform at J.D.s in Phoenix, Arizona, owned by J.D. Musil.  The next day, on his way to Las Vegas, Bare calls Chet Atkins and urges him to sign Jennings to RCA.

Decca Records released Loretta Lynn's ''Happy Birthday'', and Kitty Wells' ''I'll Repossess My Heart''.


One day after he saw Waylon Jennings perform at J.D.s in Phoenix, Arizona, Bobby bare calls Chet Atkins, while headed to Las Vegas, and urges him to sign Jennings to RCA. Atkins doesn't pursue it until Duane Eddy places a similar call a few weeks later.


Connie Smith recorded ''Then And Only Then'' at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Everly Brothers perform ''Bye Bye Love'' and ''All I Have To Do Is Dream'' during ''Shindig!'' on ABC-TV.


McGuin, Hillman and Crosby rename their band as The Byrds. The group becomes an important link in the growth of country-rock, particularly through the 1968 album ''Sweetheart Of The Rodeo''.


Filming comes to a conclusion for the Elvis Presley movie ''Tickle Me'' in Los Angeles, California.


Rick Nelson performs ''Happy Guy'' on ABC-TV's ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.

The Harden Trio signs with Columbia Records.


Mel Tillis and Red Foley find songwriter Marijohn Wilkin, co-writer of ''The Long Black Veil'', barely conscious at her rural Tennessee home. Wilkin had attempted to commit suicide with sleeping pills and aspirin.

Johnny cash makes a guest appearance on ABC-TV's ''The Jimmy Dean Show'', alongside Floyd Cramer, Norm Crosby and Molly Bee.

Capitol Records released The Beatles ''I Feel Fine''. The song is remade nearly 25 years later as a country hit by Sweethearts Of The Rodeo.

Between 15,000 and 25,000 anti-war demonstrators rally at the White House during an SDS-organized March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam. Gallup Polls show the American Public Support Changes from over 52% support for war to 49%.


Willie Nelson makes his Grand Ole Opry debut at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Connie Smith's debut single, ''Once A Day'' attains the number 1 position on the Billboard country singles chart.

The Boston Patriots claim Ole Miss quarterback Jim Weatherly in the 12th round of the American Football League draft. Weatherly will write the Glen Campbell country hit ''A Lady Like You''.

The Mariner 4 spacecraft is launched with the mission of photographing and studying the atmosphere of Mars. The Mariner 4 spacecraft reached Mars in July of 1965 and was the first successful mission to reach the red planet as well as the first to provide images of another planet from deep space. There were a total of twenty-one black and white photos that Mariner 4 relayed back to Earth. The spacecraft stopped communicating with NASA in October of 1965 when its antenna was no longer pointing in the correct position. The Mariner 4 space probe resumed communications in 1967 but was deactivated at the end of that year.


Warner Mack is injured in a snow-related car accident near Princeton, Indiana.

Sun SLP 1275 ''The Original Sun Sound'' by Johnny Cash issued.
Joan Baez acts as the spokesman for 600 people in an antiwar demonstration in San Francisco.


Buck Owens recorded ''I've Got A Tiger By The Tail'' and ''Cryin' Time'' in an afternoon session at the Capitol Recording Studios in Hollywood, California.

One month after their anniversary, Merle and Betty Lou Travis are separated. Their divorce is finalized six months later.

Darryl Ellis Gatlin is born in Norfolk, Virginia. He's the older half of Darryl and Don Ellis, who score a recording contract with Epic Records in the 1990s, gaining a nomination from the Country Music Association in 1993 for Vocal Duo of the Year.


Beatles drummer Ringo Starr enters a London hospital to have his tonsils removed. More than 25 years later, he receives a Grammy nomination in the country field for a recording of ''Act Naturally'' with Buck Owens.


Bobby and Jeannie Bare are married. Songwriter Hank Cochran serves as best man.

''Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer'' makes its TV debut on NBC. The Christmas special features sometimes-country singer Burl Ives as narrator. In the role he sings ''A Holly Jolly Christmas''.

Faron Young and Charlie Rich are featured performers for the week's installment of ''The Jimmy Dean Show'' on ABC-TV.


The Grand Ole Opry dismisses 11 members for inadequate attendance, George Morgan, Billy Grammer, Johnny Wright, Ferlin Husky, Justin Tubb, Don Gibson, Faron Young, Stonewall Jackson, Kitty Wells, The Jordanaires and Ray Price.


Andy Griffith and The Dillards perform ''Stay A Little Longer'' during an episode of the CBS sitcom ''The Andy Griffith Show''.


Webb Pierce recorded ''Here I An Drunk Again''. The song waits a dozen years to become a hit when it's is recorded by Moe Bandy.

Rick Nelson perform ''Yesterday's Love'' on ABC-TV series ''The Adventures Of Ozzie and Harriet''.

Sam Cooke died at the age of 33 at the Hacienda Motel, at 9137 South Figueroa Street, in Los Angeles, California. Answering separate reports of a shooting and of a kidnapping at the motel, police found Cooke's body, clad only in a sports jacket and shoes but no shirt, pants or underwear. He had sustained a gunshot wound to the chest, which was later determined to have pierced his heart. The motel's manager, Bertha Franklin, said she had shot Cooke in self-defense after he broke into her office residence and attacked her. Her account was immediately questioned and disputed by acquaintances.

The official police record states that Franklin fatally shot Cooke, who had checked in earlier that evening. Franklin claimed that Cooke had broken into the manager's office-apartment in a rage, wearing nothing but a shoe and a sports coat, demanding to know the whereabouts of a woman who had accompanied him to the hotel. Franklin said the woman was not in the office and that she told Cooke this, but the enraged Cooke did not believe her and violently grabbed her, demanding again to know the woman's whereabouts. According to Franklin, she grappled with Cooke, the two of them fell to the floor, and she then got up and ran to retrieve her gun. She said she then fired at Cooke in self-defense because she feared for her life. Cooke was struck once in the torso. According to Franklin, he exclaimed, "Lady, you shot me", before mounting a last charge at her. She said she beat him over his head with a broomstick before he finally fell, mortally wounded by the gunshot.

The motel's owner, Evelyn Carr, claimed that she had been on the telephone with Franklin at the time of the incident. Carr claimed to have overheard Cooke's intrusion and the ensuing conflict and gunshot. She called the police to request that officers go to the motel, telling them she believed a shooting had occurred. A coroner's inquest was convened to investigate the incident. The woman who had accompanied Cooke to the motel was identified as Elisa Boyer, who had also called the police that night shortly before Carr had. Boyer had called from a telephone booth near the motel, telling them she had just escaped being kidnapped.

Boyer told the police that she had first met Cooke earlier that night and had spent the evening in his company. She claimed that after they left a local nightclub together, she had repeatedly requested that he take her home, but he instead took her against her will to the Hacienda Motel. She claimed that once in one of the motel's rooms, Cooke physically forced her onto the bed, and that she was certain he was going to rape her. According to Boyer, when Cooke stepped into the bathroom for a moment, she quickly grabbed her clothes and ran from the room. She claimed that in her haste, she had also scooped up most of Cooke's clothing by mistake. She said she ran first to the manager's office and knocked on the door seeking help. However, she said that the manager took too long in responding, so, fearing Cooke would soon be coming after her, she fled from the motel before the manager ever opened the door. She said she then put her clothing back on, hid Cooke's clothing, went to a telephone booth, and called police.

Boyer's story is the only account of what happened between her and Cooke that night; however, her story has long been called into question. Inconsistencies between her version of events and details reported by other witnesses, as well as circumstantial evidence, suggest that Boyer may have gone willingly to the motel with Cooke, then slipped out of the room with his clothing in order to rob him, rather than to escape an attempted rape.

However, questions about Boyer's role were beyond the scope of the inquest, the purpose of which was only to establish the circumstances of Franklin's role in the shooting. Boyer's leaving the motel room with almost all of Cooke's clothing, and the fact that tests showed Cooke was inebriated at the time, provided a plausible explanation to the inquest jurors for Cooke's bizarre behavior and state of dress. In addition, because Carr's testimony corroborated Franklin's version of events, and because both Boyer and Franklin later passed lie detector tests, the coroner's jury ultimately accepted Franklin's explanation and returned a verdict of justifiable homicide. With that verdict, authorities officially closed the case on Cooke's death.

Some of Cooke's family and supporters, however, have rejected Boyer's version of events, as well as those given by Franklin and Carr. They believe that there was a conspiracy to murder Cooke and that the murder took place in some manner entirely different from the three official accounts.

Singer Etta James viewed Cooke's body before his funeral and questioned the accuracy of the official version of events. She wrote that the injuries she observed were well beyond the official account of Cooke having fought Franklin alone. James wrote that Cooke was so badly beaten that his head was nearly separated from his shoulders, his hands were broken and crushed, and his nose mangled.[56] Some people speculated that Cooke's manager, Allen Klein, might have had a role in his death. Klein owned Tracey Limited, which ultimately owned all rights to Cooke's recordings. Two of his songs are later remade as country hits, ''Bring It On Home To Me'' by Mickey Gilley, and ''Good Times'' by Dan Seals.

Ferlin Husky and Teresa Brewer are featured in ''The Jimmy Dean Show'' on ABC-TV.

Through the 1960's former Sun artist Mack Allen Smith continued to make his own style of rocking delta 
sounds. Between 1963 and 1965 he was on Statue records covering popular favourites like ''Such A Night'' 
and ''Only Make Believe'' and engaging hybrid material like ''Rag Mama''.
These recordings were made at the emerging Fame Studio of Rick Hall in Muscle Shoals, Alabama were recordings for Mariteen and Cynthia Records. Then came several years of recordings at Lyn-Lou studios in Memphis in partnership with producer Larry Rogers, for Delta Sound and other labels owned by Mack himself. The Lyn-Lou sessions continued with the rocking blues theme but also made an increasing number of country records. 
Stand-out recordings from that period include ''Mean Old Frisco'', ''Dog Tired Of Cattin' Around'', ''Tulsa Time'' and ''I'm Not Drunking''.
And talking of drinking Mack Allen and the Flames maintained a heavy schedule playing night clubs. He 
developed a lifestyle he later fictionalized in a book, ''Honky Tonk Addict''. Through most of the 1970's he 
owned his own Town and Country Nightclub in Greenwood, Mississippi.

In 1977 Mack Allen wrote and recorded a country song called ''If I Could Only Get One Hit''. It was covered 
on Plantation Records by James O Gwynn, a man who'd had his hits twenty years earlier. Unfortunately 
Mack's own hits never came.

By the mid-1970's Mack Allen was on Ace records in Jackson and he ended his recording career with 
Memphis sessions for Grape and QMC Records, the latter produced by Quinton Claunch. Mack made a 
number of unreleased recordings in the 1980s and 1990s including songs, he wrote himself. As a writer Mack 
has also penned a novel, some children's stories and an autobiography, ''Looking Back One Last Time''. The 
autobiography coves not only Mack s music, but his day jobs as an accountant, video store owner, 
government auditor and insurance agent, his marriage to Lois in 1960 and the fact that he's now a great 
grandparent. It tells bow he hung up his rock and roll shoes and quit performing in 1984 so he could be 
around to see his son's football games, and how he fought cancer for much of the last ten years.
Session Published for Historical Reasons



Composer: - Jimmy Gilreath
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: None - Master (2:32)
Recorded: Unknown Date 1964
Released: 1964
First appearance: Statue Records (S) 45rpm standard single Statue 606-A mono
Reissued: - 2010 Redita Records (CD) 500/200rpm Redita RDTCD-150-6 mono

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Allen Smith – Vocal
Murry Moorman – Lead Guitar
Barry Smith – Bass
Hardin Browning – Piano
Bill Bole – Trumpet
Terry Jenkins – Trumpet
Buddy Millett - Drums
Hershel Wiggington Singers – Vocal Chorus
Jimmy Gilreath – Harmony Vocals
For Biography of Mack Allen Smith see: > The Sun Biographies <


In December 1964 Rufus Thomas was playing the Flamingo Club in London and the Kilburn  State Ballroom, safe in the knowledge that he had a radio job to go back to. He credits WDIAs  program director, David James Mattis, for this: ''He let me go out on Saturdays and Friday  nights and make air told me to go, and when I came back I would always have my job there  waiting for me''.

''I could go on tour, and when I came back I knew everything was all right.  Without David James just probably I would never have gotten where I got''.
Rufus played increasingly to white and mixed audiences and, despite his deep roots in Beale  Street and his sceticism about the way black artists were disadvantaged. he genuinely was  happy to tell Peter Guralnick: ''College audiences are the greatest audiences in the world
must have played every fraternity house there was in the South. When we played Ole Miss  they'd send the girls home at midnight, and then we'd tell nasty jokes and all that stuff. Oh  man, we used to have some good times down there in Oxford''. He told Neil Slaven in 1996,  ''When I'm onstage and I look out there at that audience, I don't see colour. I see people  packet in a place, there to see me. There is not a greater satisfaction in the world''.  However, he added, ''There is no telling how far I could have gone, had I been a white boy.  I've always said that. I'm not bitter, I want you to know, but it does bother you''.

Rufus continued on Memphis radio with WDIA, then WLOK, and then WDIA again into the  1990s. He became the keeper of the blues flame, but he was open to other music. "I played  it all on my show. My family and I were raised on the Grand Ole Opry. Every Saturday night  we'd run home to catch the Opry on the radio. So you can understand why I played Elvis  Presley and I was the only black jock in the city that was playing the Beatles and Rolling  Stones when they came out''. Rufus appeared in various movies, from ''Wattstax'' in 1973 to  ''Great Balls Of Fire'' in 1989 and ''Only The Strong Survive'', a D. A. Pennebaker film about  rhythm and blues musicians. Pennebaker said: ''You knew he was an old person, but he acted  like a 16 year old. He was always full of funny takes on things and he always gave the  impression he was a goofball. But when he talked about the music, you realized he knew a  lot''.

''His pipes remain as convincing as the rusty hinges on an old barn door, said a reviewer  when Rufus appeared in London in 1986, and those pipes continued to make make records.  After Stax, Rufus was with u number of labels including Alligator in the 1980s and High  Stacks in the 1990s.

At age 81, in 1998, Rufus had triple bypass heart surgery and was fitted with a pacemaker.  His publicist at High Stacks Records said: ''When he went back in for tests before Christmas,  he was so full of energy that hospitalizing him was like putting a rabbit in a box. The other  patients have the benefit of his great smile and his constant jokes."

Rufus continued to contribute to life and music in Memphis for another three years, enjoying  his loves of baseball, ice cream, and black music, and embodying the philosophies he had  dispensed to interviewers over the years. He had told Neil Slaven, "You stop when you get  old - and who's old? I've been to the school of hard knocks for all these years and that's  where it comes from - Sidewalk University''. He told Louis Cantor, ''I've always worked  several jobs to try to make ends meet. And every time I think I've got my ends to meet,  somebody comes up and moves the ends''. Talking of his music, he told Roger St. Pierr: "My  stuff has got to be simple, direct. I figure that if you can whistle, dance, sing, , hum, pop  your fingers, it's just got to be a bigger hit.'

Thinking about his life as a black entertainer whose career developed beyond what he might  have imagined , but at the same time feeling constricted by his colour, Rufus conceded. "I've  gained quite a bit of popularity, and when I die people are going to know about me. This is  fine. But they could know about me a little better. I know I make good music. Good music  that everybody likes."

Around Thanksgiving time in 2001, Rufus Thomas was hospitalized again and he died on 15  December in St Francis Hospital in Memphis, aged 84. National newspapers marked the  passing of the self-dubbed "World's Oldest Teenager," and the 'New York Times' called Rufus  ''the jovial patriarch of Memphis soul", Towards the end of his life, Rufus had become the  official ''Ambassador To Beale Street''. Stax biographies talked about his flawless timing and  innate skill in connecting to all people, his dedication to the craft of entertaining, his ability  to put people at ease, and how he helped others. Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist spoke  about Rufus as an ambassador of unity: "He taught us not to see the world in black or white  but in shades of blues''. Memphis renamed Hernando Street as Rufus Thomas Boulevard, and  he had his own car parking space near the site of the old Palace Theater. City mayor Willie  Herenton described how he got the space: ''I had lunch with Rufus at a local cafe. And you  know he had an ego, and he came to me and said, you the mayor; well I need a parking  space'. So we got him his space''.

Rufus no doubt enjoyed the mischief of making the mayor jump through hoops. ''You gotta  have fun in life'', he once said. "Music to me is fun. You see me and you'll see how much fun I  have with it. More, I'll bet, than anybody else''.

Burl Ives host an episode of ''The Hollywood Palace'', lacing the ABC show with performances of ''Blue Tail Fly'', ''Wayfaring Stranger'', ''The Big Rock Candy Mountain'', ''Funny Way Of Laughin''' and ''A Little Bitty Tear''.


Pianist Matt Rollings is born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He wins the Academy of Country Music's award for Top Keyboard player six straight years in the 1990s, while supporting George Strait, Shania Twain and Trisha Yearwood, among others.

Glenn Yarbrough recorded the pop hit ''baby The Rain Must Fall'', the title track to a Steve McQueen movie, in Hollywood. The session features David Gates as the orchestra conductor and Glen Campbell on guitar.

The United States Supreme Court made its decision on the Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States court case. The motel had been refusing to allow African-American patrons to stay there and was subsequently charged with violating Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title II of the Civil Rights Act made racial discrimination illegal in places that offered public accommodation if it affected commerce. The court upheld the Title II Commerce Clause as constitutional and declared that places of public accommodation did not have a right to pick and choose guests as they pleased without regulation because of the involvement in commerce.


The Harden Trio holds its first recording session for Columbia Records.

Les Paul and Mary Ford are granted a divorce in Hackensack, New Jersey.


''The Jimmy Dean Show'' takes an unusual turn, airing with no country guests, The ABC program features Count Basie, Sammy Davis Jr. and Charles Boyet.


Comedian Cledus T. Judd is born in Crowe Springs, Georgia. He begins his recording career in the 1990s with musical satires, turning David Ball's ''Thinkin' Problem'' into ''Stinkin' Problem'' and remaking Tim McGrawá ''Indian Outlaw'' as ''Indian In-Laws''.
''Bring It On Home To Me'' songwriter Sam Cooke is buried.  The first funeral service for Cooke was held at A. R. Leak Funeral Home in Chicago; 200,000 fans lined up for more than four city blocks to view his body. Afterward, his body was flown back to Los Angeles for a second service, at the Mount Sinai Baptist Church on December 19, which included a much-heralded performance of "The Angels Keep Watching Over Me" by Ray Charles, who stood in for grief-stricken Bessie Griffin. Cooke was interred in the Garden of Honor, Lot 5728, Space 1, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Two singles and an album were released in the month after his death. One of the singles, "Shake", reached the top ten of both the pop and rhythm and blues charts. "A Change Is Gonna Come", considered a classic of civil rights–era protest music. It was a top 40 pop hit and a top ten rhythm and blues hit. The album, also titled ''Shake'', reached the number one spot for rhythm and blues albums. After Cooke's death, his widow, Barbara, married Bobby Womack. Cooke's daughter, Linda, later married Womack's brother, Cecil. Bertha Franklin said she received numerous death threats after shooting Cooke. She left her position at the Hacienda Motel and did not publicly disclose where she had moved. After being cleared by the coroner's jury, she sued Cooke's estate, citing physical injuries and mental anguish suffered as a result of Cooke's attack. Her lawsuit sought US $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Barbara Womack countersued Franklin on behalf of the estate, seeking $7,000 in damages to cover Cooke's funeral expenses. Elisa Boyer provided testimony in support of Franklin in the case. In 1967, a jury ruled in favor of Franklin on both counts, awarding her $30,000 in damages.


Tulsa defeats Mississippi, 14-7, at the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston, Texas. Ole Miss quarterback Jim Weatherly completes 16 0f 24 passes in a losing effort. Weatherly goes on to write ''Neither One Of Us'', ''Someone Else's Star'' and ''A Lady Like You''.


Johnny Cash recorded ''Orange Blossom Special'' in Nashville at the Columbia Recording Studio.

The Derry Down opens in Winter Haven, Florida, with a concert by Gram Parsons and his band, The Shilos. The club was established by Parsons' stepfather specifically to showcase his talents.


Roy Acuff begins a 10-day USO (United Service Organization) tour of West Germany to perform for American troops.

The James Bond movie ''Goldfinger'' opens in New York City. The film leaves an imprint on the lyrics of Sammy Kershaw's 1991 country hit, ''Cadillac Style''.


The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson has a nervous breakdown during a plane trip to Houston. As a result, Glen Campbell is asked to play bass with the band on the road, a role he handless for the next four months.

Vocalist Eddie Vedder is born in Evanston, Illinois. He comes to national prominence as the frontman for Seattle alternative-rock band Pearl Jam, namechecked in Lonestar's 1996 country hit, ''No News''.
END 1964/EARLY 1965

Former Sun alumnus Edwin Bruce recorded for Sonic and API Records in 1964 and 1965, it was clear that  his career in pop music was over before it got off the ground. The Beatles had changed everything, and Ed  was thinking of getting out of the business altogether when Charlie Louvin scored a top five country hit with  Edwin's ''See The Big Man Cry''. Its success earned him another shot on RCA.

Ed married for the first time in Memphis. His son by that marriage, Trey Bruce, became a successful country  songwriter and producer. Ed met his second wife, Patsy, during his first year in Nashville when they both  lived in the apartment building. They married in October 1964, and by the time they returned to Nashville  they had a one year-old daughter, Ginny. Later, Patsy took over Ed's management. Back on RCA, Ed cut the  Southern gothic ''Walker's Woods'' and finally had a hit under his own name. He paid the bills working with  the Marijohn Wilkin Singers on WSM-TV and the ''Bobby Lord Show''. He did background vocals on  commercials, and, as of July 1969, he joined Pete Sayers on WSM-TV's ''Morning Show''. A year or two  later, Ed and Patsy bought a restaurant in the Biltmore Hotel on Nashville's Eight Avenue. Commercials were Ed's mainstay for years, though. He sang and narrated spots for over one hundred sponsors. ''People in  Nashville used to laugh at us'', he said, ''but they quit laughing when they found out how much money was in  it''.

The RCA deal was followed by a stint with Monument and then a four-year lay-off from recording. When Ed  came back it was with United Artists, Epic, and then MCA. Waylon 'n' Willie hit number 1 with his Urban  Cowboys anthem ''Mamas, Don't Let Your babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys'', and in 1981 he finally had his  own first number 1 hit as a singer with ''You're The Best Break This Old Heart Ever Had. In 1984, Ed quit  MCA and went back to RCA for the second time, or third if you count the one-off single in 1961.

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