CONTAINS
For audio recordings click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1954 Sun Schedule <

1954 SESSIONS (7)
July 1, 1954 to July 31, 1954

Studio Session for Harmonica Frank Floyd, July 1, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Onzie Horne, July 17, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, July 27, 1954 / King Records
Studio Session for Doctor Ross, July 1954 / Sun Records

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 1954

Sun has steadily been increasing its output of country music at the expense of blues and rhythm and blues.

Sun 205 ''The Great Medical Menagerist'' b/w ''Rockin' Chair Daddy'' released by Harmonica Frank indicating the direction in which Sam Phillips' mind is heading. Recorded some three years earlier, it is a hybrid of black and white styles.

Elvis Presley's debut single Sun 209 ''Thatl All Right'' b/w ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' (with Scotty & Bill) is rush-released later in the month following good reaction to local radio play. The disc is promoted in the country music market, though reviewers stress the all-market appeal of the disc. (See 1954 Elvis Presley 2).

JULY 1954

Following his discharge from the Air Force in July 1954 Johnny Cash moved to Memphis and found a job selling electrical appliances for the Home Equipment Company. He was not the greatest salesman and with their first child on the way there was a need to find another job with a better income. He tried to get a job as a radio announcer but was turned down due to his lack of experience. Cash finally enrolled at Keegan School of Broadcasting in Memphis.

In 1954 Cash's brother Roy was working at Automotive Sales Garage on Union Avenue in Memphis. There were two mechanics also working at the garage - Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant. In their spare time and during quiet spells at the garage they would play music together. Knowing his brother's love of music and desire to make it in the music business, Roy introduced them to him.

Luther Perkins was born in Memphis and Marshall Grant in Flatfs, North Carolina. The first time they worked with Cash was at Luther's home on Nathan Street in Memphis. One of the songs they would try was Hank Snow's ''I'm Moving On''. They all played acoustic guitars and hit it off resulting in more informal sessions, although at this point neither Luther nor Marshall were interested in pursuing a musical career. Unhappy with his job as an appliance salesman and determined to make it in the music business, Cash suggested they try different instruments. Luther borrowed an electric guitar and Marshall a stand-up bass, although nobody was sure how to tune it. They were all self-taught musicians and started to play more seriously. There was a fourth member, steel guitar player A. W. 'Red' Kemodle, who would record just once with Cash but was so nervous that he would leave the studio, never to return! He has been quoted as saying, "There was no money in it and there was too much staying up late at night and running around''.

They were sponsored by Cash's boss to play a 15 minute spot on country station KWEM in West Memphis, Arkansas on Saturdays. They had played together for many hours and were progressing well and the next logical step was to make a record. In Memphis at that time there was only one place to go, Sun Records and producer Sam Phillips.

JULY 1, 1954 THURSDAY

Edwin Howard, reporter of the Memphis Press-Scimitar, became the first reporter to interviewed Elvis Presley for his column, "The Front Row". (See 1954 Elvis Presley).

The singles Sun 206 '' ''Cotton Crop Blues'' b/w ''Hold Me In Your Hands'' by James Cotton and Sun 207 ''There Is Love In You'' b/w ''What'll You Do Next'' by The Prisonaires are released.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

If Sam Phillips was after a fusion of black and white music, he'd found it. The problem was that it was the black and white music of the 1920s, if not the 1890s. Sun 205 was delightfully at variance with everything that was selling in 1954, but so, it must be said, was Elvis Presley who trailed Frank by just a few months. Frank used to say this was the first rock and roll record, which, of course, it wasn't, but there's a wonderful drive and contagious energy here that has survived the years well. Sam Phillips maintained that he recorded these titles in 1954 and not 1951 as had once been supposed. Certainly, aural evidence would bear out that Frank returned for another session. The sound quality is markedly improved and Phillips obviously used two tape machines to achieve the slapback effect. A mighty thank-you to Sam Phillips from posterity for preserving Harmonica Frank for us.

STUDIO SESSION FOR HARMONICA FRANK FLOYD
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: THURSDAY JULY 1, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

"... You see I played rock and roll before I ever heard of Elvis Presley. I saw him in Memphis before he ever made a record with Sam Phillips on North Main in Memphis Tennessee...".
From a letter Frank wrote to Greg Shaw

A part-Cherokee Indian, Frank Floyd came from pure sharecropping stock and as a teenager in the 1920s he entertained carnival crowds with novelty songs, fire-ating and hypnotism. He first showed up at The Memphis Recording Service in 1951 and cut two singles which were leased to Chess Records in Chicago.

After the and of a gig with Eddie Hill, Frank Floyd secured a radio spot in Dyersburg, Tennessee. He was probably still there when Sam Phillips recorded two more sides by him and issued them on his Sun label in July 1954. Some trade papers remarked that he record was a good blend of black and white styles but, barely two weeks later, another Sun record hit the streets that was a stunningly contemporary mix of rhythm and blues and hillbilly music. Elvis Presley had make his debut. Frank's music seemed like an anachronism by comparison and Sam Phillips never contacted him again.

> THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST <
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 124 - Master (3:05)
Recorded: - July 1, 1954
Released: - July 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 205-A mono
THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST / ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3/3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

This talking guitar blues hybrid lies somewhere between Grandpa Jones and W.C. Fields, yet there is a clear hint of the soon-to-be-famous Sun slap back surrounding Floyd's quaint tent-show style of performing.

Here probably a miniature autobiography, it is a catalogue of all the prim and decent people Frank made asses of, and of the jobs his fun cost him The first lines have the perfection of myth: "Ladies and gentlements, cough white dodgers and little rabbit twisters, step right around closely, tell ya all about a wonderful medicine show I use ta work with...".

Was Frank's standard medicine show shtick that he could have performed in his sleep. This kind of humour would have to move to the city before it could think about getting rural. As with any style that was first recorded in the 1920s, its tempting to identify it with the person who first recorded it, and in this case the talking medicine show blues was first recorded by one Chris Bouchillon and subsequently adapted by Robert Lunn, and Frank owes a heavy debt to both.

What is a medical menagerist? Most of us long ago stopped wondering. Frank apparently wrote this song about his days in the Happy Phillipson Medical Show although parts of the song seem to derive from Chris Bouchillon's ''Born In Hard Luck/The Medicine Show'', which apparently sold 90,000 copies in 1927, one of them quite possibly to Frank Floyd. Frank runs through his schtick, throwing a few humorous couplets to get the folks gathered around. Just a few years before Frank recorded this tune, Hank Williams and a galaxy of stars were participating in the Hadacol Caravan and the blackface duo of Jamup & Honey was still on the Opry, so perhaps it is not quite as anachronistic as it seems. In any event, this is a fascinating little glimpse back into a past that none of us will ever experience. The blues may have timeless relevance but ''The Great Medical Menagerist'' is charmingly trapped in a lost world of salves, balms, potions, purgatives, tonics, and cure-alls.

> ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY <
Composer: - Frank Floyd
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 125 - Master (3:01)
Recorded: - July 1, 1954
Released: - July 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 205-B mono
ROCKIN' CHAIR DADDY / THE GREAT MEDICAL MENAGERIST
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3/4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Here he reaches for falsettos, talk to himself, corrects himself, roaring into town: "Rock to Memphis, dance on Main. Up stepped a lady and asked my name. Rockin' chair daddy don't have to work. I told her my name was on the tail of my shirt!".

It is the historical status of the flipside, "Rockin' Chair Daddy" (Sun 205), that caused Frank to wonder if he had in fact invented rock and roll. As Billboard observed, "This side is an unusual mixture of rhythm and blues and country music.

The singer is a country artist, instrumentation is the type used for downhome blues wax". The review went on to lament the "poor recording", a problem no doubt stemming from the fact that Frank Floyd sang with his harp firmly planted in one side of his mouth. He had long since given up attempts at using a conventional rack for his harps, preferring to sing and play with them sticking out of his mouth and, on occasion, his nose. The man was truly an original.

Any hopes that this unusual mixture of rhythm and blues and country music would be developed by Sam Phillips were dashed when another singer, working the same hybrid ground, caught Phillips' attention.

He was younger than Floyd and better looking. Within several days, Elvis Presley would have his first Sun record on the market. Frank Floyd's Sun single are released on July 1, 1954. Frank Floyd, vocal, guitar and harmonica. Frank Floyd's life deserves a book, or at least a TV movie. His life and struggles are from another time, an era that few Americans remember but most romanticize. He was in his element performing at rural medicine shows or singing on a back porch. Yet, when he turned to Colin Escott and Hank Davis in 1981, and asked us with the innocence of a child, "Is it true? Did I make the first rock and roll record?", it wasn't possible to be quite so dismissive.

Frank Floyd recorded for Sam Phillips on several occasions in 1951, and Phillips leased two (or strictly speaking, two-and-a-half) singles to Chess Records in Chicago. When Floyd recorded for Sun, not many reviewers knew what to make of it.

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

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 1, 1954 THURSDAY

Faron Young marries Hilda Margot Macon, babysitter for his sergeant in the Army.

Sun Records released Harmonica Frank's ''Rockin' Chair Daddy''. The song will be ranked among country's 500 greatest all-time singles in the 2003 Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

JULY 2, 1954 FRIDAY

Guitarist Paul Warmack dies. He was the leader of The Gully Jumpers, a stringband that first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry in 1927, and would continue an Opry association until the 1970s.

Slim Whitman recorded ''Singing Hills'' during a session at the KWKH Studio in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Elvis Presley attends the Memphis funeral for R.W. Blackwood and Bill Lyles, of the gospel quartet The Blackwood Brothers. Blackwood and Lyles died in a plane crash in Alabama two days earlier.

JULY 3, 1954 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash is discharged from the U.S. Air Force at Fort Kilmer, New Jersey.

Elvis Presley's girlfriend, Dixie Locke, with whom he's discussed the possibility of marriage, leaves Memphis for a two-week vacation in Florida. By the time she returns, he's had his first recording session for Sun Records and appeared on the radio.

JULY 4, 1954 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley practices at guitarist Scotty Moore's apartment for the first time, with Moore and bass player Bill Black.

The television game show ''The Kollege Of Musical Knowledge'', formerly hosted by big band figure Kay Kyser, returns on NBC, with Tennessee Ernie Ford hosting. It lasts only two months.

JULY 5, 1954 MONDAY

Elvis Presley recorded Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup's "That's All Right'' (Sun 209) for Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. This record launched Elvis' career and a musical style called Rock And Roll. (See 1954 Elvis Presley).

JULY 6, 1954 TUESDAY

Capitol released Faron Young's ''A Place For Girls Like You''.

JULY 8, 1954 THURSDAY

While Elvis Presley watches ''High Noon'' at the Suzore movie theater, disc jockey Dewey Phillips plays, ''That's All Right'' 14 times in a row on radio WGBQ in Memphis.

JULY 9, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley recorded Bill Monroe's ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' at the Sun Recording Studio in Memphis, Tennessee. (See 1954 Elvis Presley).

JULY 10, 1954 SATURDAY

Songwriter/producer Robert Byrne is born in Detroit, Michigan. Among his credits, Earl Thomas Conley's ''What I'd Say'', Shenandoah's ''Two Dozen Roses'', Ronnie Milsap's ''How Do I Turn You On'' and The Forester Sisters' ''Men''.

JULY 12, 1954 MONDAY

Guitarist Scotty Moore becomes Elvis Presley's first manager.

JULY 13, 1954 TUESDAY

Louise Mandrell is born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Barbara Mandrell's sister collects five solo hits in the 1980s, including ''Save Me'' and ''I'm Not Through Loving You Yet''. She also adds backing vocals on Merle Haggard's ''Always Wanting You''.

Rock musician Billy Falcon is born in Queens, New York. His daughter, Rose Falcon, becomes a country singer/songwriter who co-writes Eric Paslay's ''Friday Night''.

JULY 14, 1954 WEDNESDAY

Webb Pierce recorded ''I'm Gonna Fall Out Of Love With You'' in Nashville at the Tulane Hotel's Castle Studio.

JULY 15, 1954 THURSDAY

Sun 208 ''Right Or Wrong'' b/w ''Why Do I Cry'' by Buddy Cunningham issued.

JULY 17, 1954 SATURDAY

''The Ozark Jubilee'' debuts as an ABC radio show, airing from the Jewell Theater in Springfield, Missouri, with host Red Foley.

Elvis Presley makes his first live appearance since holding his inaugural sessions at the Sun Recording Studio. He sings ''That's All Right'' and ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' during the set at Memphis' Bon Air Club.

The cover of TV Guide features Roy Rogers.

RCA released the two-sided Eddy Arnold hit, ''Hep Cat Baby'' backed with ''This Is The Thanks I Get (For Loving You)''.

US "Operation Wetback" is started to send back to Mexico almost 4 million illegal immigrants.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ONZIE HORNE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JULY 17, 1954
STUDIO HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM C. PHILLIPS

Back in the era when Beale Street was the Midsouth's epicenter of African-American culture, commerce, and, especially, music, perhaps no one was more entrenched and admired than Onzie Horne Sr. He was a teacher, mentor, arranger, musician, businessman, bandleader, and man-on-the-street disc jockey on this famous street for most of his adult life, working with everyone from Ike Turner, Rufus Thomas, and B.B. King to Hi Records legend Willie Mitchell, the extraordinary ''Rat Packer'' Sammy Davis Jr., and Stax Records icon Isaac Hayes.

UNKNOWN TITLES

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Onzie Horne - Vibes & Piano
Unknown Group

Note: Sam Phillips wrote, ''To be worked out for Sun'' in his notebook.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 18, 1954 SUNDAY

Guitarist/vocalist Mark Jones is born in Harlan, Kentucky. In 1989, he joins Exile, contributing to the group's latter-day hits ''Nobody's Talking'' and ''Yet''.

Ricky Skaggs is born in Cordell, Kentucky. centered in bluegrass, he leads a swing toward traditional country in the early 1980s, joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1982 and taking the Country Music Association's Entertainer of the Year in 1985.

JULY 19, 1954 MONDAY

Elvis Presley first Sun single (Sun 209) ''That's All Right'' b/w ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' issued. The record came out officially less than two weeks after the first session and from the start sold like nothing else Sam Phillips ever released. ''Presley's first release on Sun has just hit the market'', read the two-page typed sheet, which called attention to the earlier discovery of B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Little Junior, the Prisonaires, and the Howling Wolf by the company's ''youthful president'', and cited ''reports from key cities indicating that it is slated to be one of the biggest records of the year. Music Sales Company, Memphis distributor for SUN, sold over 4,000 of the disc in the first week''.

JULY 22, 1954 THURSDAY

Merle Travis and Judy Hayden secure mutual restraining orders during divorce proceedings in a Los Angeles courtroom.

JULY 26, 1954 MONDAY

Elvis Presley sign his first official recording contract with Sun Records, calling for eight tracks over the next two years.

Songwriter Mary Beth Anderson is born in Nyack, New York. She writes Gary Stewart's 1976 hit ''Your Place Or Mine''

Sonny James recorded ''She Done Give Her Heart To Me''.

JULY 27, 1954 TUESDAY

The Erroll Garner Trio recorded ''Misty'' at the Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. The song is revived as a banjo-laden country hit two decades later by Ray Stevens.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR KING RECORDS 1954

ROYAL RECORDING STUDIO
1540 BREWSTER AVENUE, CINCINNATI, OHIO
KING SESSION: TUESDAY JULY 27, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BERNIE PERLMAN

ONE MORE HEART
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Lois Music
Matrix number: - K-3820 - Master (2:10)
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1426-A mono
ONE MORE HEART / LIVING IN A HOUSE OF SIN
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-15 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

MONEY BAG WOMAN
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Trio Music
Matrix number: - K-3821 - master (2:24)
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - September 1954
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1380-A mono
MONEY BAG WOMAN / HURTS ME SO
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-10 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Luke McDaniel maintains that his next-to-last King single, ''Money Bag Woman'', was intended as a proto-rockabilly record but someone decided that it needed a Hank Snow-styled rumba beat.

HURTS ME SO
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Lois Music
Matrix number: - K-3822 - Master (2:28)
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - September 1954
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1380-B mono
HURTS ME SO / MONEY BAG WOMAN
Reissued: 2008 Stomper Time (CD) 500/200rpm Stomper STCD 24-29 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL – MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

LIVING IN A HOUSE OF SIN
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Lois Music
Matrix number: - K-3823 - Master (2:35)
Recorded: - July 27, 1954
Released: - February 1955
First appearance: - King Records (S) 78rpm standard single King 1426-B mono
LIVING IN A HOUSE OF SIN / ONE MORE HEART
Reissued: - 1996 Hydra Records (LP) 33rpm Hydra BLK 7715-21 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - DADDY-O-ROCK

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel - Vocal & Guitar
Floyd Robinson - Lead Guitar
Noel Boggs - Guitar
Louis Innis - Bass
Ernie Newton - Fiddle
Freddie Landon - Drums

In 1954, Luke McDaniel started working regular guest shots on the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, Louisiana, and it was there that he met Elvis Presley.

For Biography of Luke McDaniel see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 28, 1954 WEDNESDAY

Randy Cornor is born in Houston, Texas. He gains the only hit of his career with his 1974 release of an Eddy Raven song, ''Sometimes I Talk In My Sleep''.

JULY 29, 1954 THURSDAY

Pete Cassell dies in Key West, Florida. Reaching his peak in the 1940s on a barn dance at Atlanta radio station WSB, the blind singer was a forerunner of such smooth vocalists as Jim Reeves, George Morgan and Eddy Arnold.

JULY 30, 1954 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley makes his first advertised concert appearance, playing with Slim Whitman, Billy Walker and The Louvin Brothers at the Overton Park Shell in Memphis, Tennessee.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

While back in Memphis, Doctor Ross formed a new group to work on WDIA again, Doctor Ross and the Interns, sponsored not entirely appropriately by Camel cigarettes. The Interns were Barber Parker on drums and guitarist Tom ''Slamhammer'' Troy, both of whom Ross had known since they'd played in Clarksdale with Willie Love's Three Aces. The Aces continued under Parker's leadership as the Silver Kings when Love fell ill and died in 1953. The Interns also included another guitarist, David Freeman, who Ross called Little Davey. It is not known whether Freeman was with the group in July 1954 when Ross and the Interns appeared at 706 Union Avenue to make a follow-up to Ross's well-received first Sun disc. The group certainly featured Troy and Parker on ''The Boogie Disease'' and ''Jukebox Boogie'', along with three other titles.

STUDIO SESSION FOR DOCTOR ROSS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JULY 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

The use of "Doctor" along with "Professor" and "Deacon", as authoritative musical designations, was common practice during the formative years of rhythm and blues. Isiah Ross became Doctor Ross every time he took his one-man band on the road, although on this occasion he added guitar and drums for the stomping "Boogie Disease". Unfortunately, further delights were not to be had as he departed from Sun, concerned that his royalties were being used to promote Elvis Presley.

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:28)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/6 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:48)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/7 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:28)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/18 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 136 Take 4 - Master (2:31) 
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 212-A mono
THE BOOGIE DISEASE / JUKEBOX BOOGIE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3/17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

The good doctor is in fine form on his second Sun single. "The Boogie Disease" opens with Troy's effective but understated guitar figures and Parker's laid back drumming and features a humorous and spirited vocal from Ross. Some of his lyrics are truly memorable. The man was not just spinning out cliches. "Gonna boogie for the doctor, gonna boogie for the nurse / Gonna keep on boogieing till they throw me in the hearse... I ain't gonna get well/ I'm gonna keep on boogieing... I may get better, but I'll never get well". Ross claims that he can only get better; he can't get well. In truth, it is hard to imagine him getting better than this. This is post-war country blues at its finest. Ross' guitar work, especially during the main riff and solos has an undeniable rockabilly edge to it, a feature that has not gone unnoticed by collectors over the years. As usual, the ending cries out for a studio fade, and Sam Phillips refuses to oblige. He forces this tight little combo to end cold, which yields exactly the kind of chaos one might expect. No matter; this is a splendid entry in Sun's blues years.

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 5 - Not Originally Issued (2:29)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (CD) 500/200rpm Arhoolie CD 371 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/11 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

Whether Ross ever had a specific disease in mind is unknown but in later years after ''The Boogie Disease'' was recorded by the Flamin' Groovies and other rock bands it became hailed as the finest song written about sexual-related disease, based on the line, ''gimme one of them penicillin shots''. On January 5, 1955 Billboard hailed the disc cautiously saying ''backing is on the primitive side... the good doctor chants of the title affliction with gay spirit... good side for Southern jukes''. The magazine found in his review ''Jukebox Boogie'' to be ''an infectious instrumental that will please dancers''.

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 6 - Not Originally Issued (2;34)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/24 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> THE BOOGIE DISEASE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 7 - Not Originally Issued (2:34)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/25 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> DOCTOR ROSS BOOGIE < 
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 8 - Not Originally Issued (2:22)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm SUN CD 27 mono
MEMPHIS HARMONICA 1951 - 1954
Reissued: June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-18 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Of the three original unissued sides from the session ''Doctor Ross Boogie'' is a hard-driving rhythm tune with vocal interjections straight from the Doctor Ross patent. It differs from the song of the same name Ross recorded in 1951 through the attacking drumming of Parker. As before, Ross shines on harmonica.

''Downtown Boogie'' is a slower Ross patent and has interesting lyrics with Ross telling his gal she can have anything in the store.

> DOWNTOWN BOOGIE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:23)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Release: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/3 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> DOWNTOWN BOOGIE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:21)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Release: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1012 mono
BLUES AND TROUBLE - VOLUME 2
Reissued: - June 14, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16939-19 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

> JUKEBOX BOOGIE (MEMPHIS BOOGIE) <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:41)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1989
First appearance: Rounder Records (LP) 33rpm Rounder SS 29 mono
SUN RECORDS HARMONICA CLASSICS
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/8 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> JUKEBOX BOOGIE (MEMPHIS BLUES) <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:49)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1972
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (LP) 33rpm Arhoolie 1065 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - HIS FIRST RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2013 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/22 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

The title of the flipside suggests a throwaway instrumental jam. While technically true, "Jukebox Boogie" also manages to be a rather melodic and engaging outing. Lots of reverb keeps things tense and involving despite obvious limitations in both format and number of musicians.

> JUKEBOX BOOGIE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 137 Take 3 - Master (2:31)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Title is misspelled on Sun label.
Released: - November 10, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 212-B mono
JUKEBOX BOOGIE / THE BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3/18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

''Feel So Sad'', is in the same musical grooves as ''Downtown Boogie'' but the lyric is a version of ''Feelin' Good'', a song just released on Sun by Little Junior and his Blue Flames. Little Junior Parker was beginning to get a good reaction to the song, itself based on John Lee Hooker's half spoken boogies, and it may be that Ross had hurriedly written a song to take the story on one step further. Parker himself would soon record ''Feel So Bad'' and Sam Phillips had several other artists attempt variants of the song.

> FEEL SO SAD < 
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - False Start - Incomplete (2:21)
Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/2 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> FEEL SO SAD <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:33)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/3 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> FEEL SO SAD <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:34)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (CD) 500/200rpm Arhoolie CD 371 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 2014 Arhoolie Internet iTunes MP3-19 mono
BOOGIE DISEASE

> FEEL SO SAD <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Not Originally Issued (2:33)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/22 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

> INDUSTRIAL AVENUE BOOGIE <
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (4:25)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Arhoolie Records (CD) 500/200rpm Arhoolie CD 371 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - BOOGIE DISEASE
Reissued: - 2014 Arhoolie Internet iTunes MP3-21 mono
BOOGIE DISEASE

Tracks 7(1,2,3) Probably Recorded 1955-1958, Bristow Bryant Studio, Flint, Michigan
Producer - Isaiah Ross

INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued (3:04)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954 (Probably Flint)
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-1/13 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Alibri Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (4:05)
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954 (Probably Flint)
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/5 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

INDUSTRIAL BOOGIE
Composer: - Isaiah Ross
Publisher: - B.M.I - Alibri Music (3:59)
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date July 1954 (Probably Flint)
Released: - 2013
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm JSP4239-2/16 mono
DOCTOR ROSS - THE MEMPHIS CUTS 1953 - 1956

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Isaiah Ross - Vocal, Guitar and Harmonica
Tom Troy - Guitar
Roosevelt ''Barber'' Parker - Drums

Note: Doctor Ross recorded other versions of these songs at this session.

The exact date of this ''Boogie Disease'' session was never recorded but the month of July may be corroborated by stories Doctor Ross told about meeting Elvis Presley who had just made his first record there early that month of July 1954. Doctor Ross talked to interviewer David J. Boyd about ''meeting Presley in the Sun studio'' and this reinforced by the fact that the five takes Ross made of ''The Boogie Disease'' were recorded over a Presley session, with just some session chatter and a version of ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky'' remaining underneath. Ross said, ''I met Elvis at Sun, Presley and two more white boys. He come up and needed some money and Sam said, 'I ain't got no money and I'm working... I got Dr. Ross and the Interns here'. Elvis says, 'Hey, I know Dr. Ross. I hear him on the radio every day'. So Phillips asks 'Can you tell which one is Dr. Ross, do all that singing'? They say, 'that's him, talking about barber, and Phillips say 'No that there's Dr. Ross'. They say, 'what that little old man? I thought he weighed about 240 pounds, bout 6 foot tall'. I said 'I weight 140 pounds that's all I ever weighed''.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JULY 1954

After the July session, Ross's contract was renewed on September 2 and ''The Boogie Disease'' was issued on November 10, 1954. It is not known whether Phillips was pleased to learn that almost as soon as Ross recorded ''The Boogie Disease'' he decided to take off again to find work in the North.

By the time ''The Boogie Disease'' hit the streets, Ross was married again (to Beatrice, this time apparently a second cousin of Willie Love) and that month they settled in Flint, Michigan. The contact address Ross had given Sam Phillips in 1951, care of his father on rural Route 1, in Dundee, Mississippi, was crossed through in Phillips' notebook and replaced with one on East 12th Street in Flint and soon by another at Witherbee Street there.

Ross later told interviewers he had started work at General Motors in Flint on December 22. He remained there all his working life, letting music take second place. Ross said Phillips had hated to lose him and that Sam had reminded him about artists like Jackie Brenston who had previously headed north or west, but returned home broke. Ross countered that he had better sense and was intending to get a job and ride out his Sun contract. Years later he told the Flint Journal, ''I came to Flint in 1954 on a honeymoon, and I kinda took a likin' to General Motors. Flint was in boom-time and money was growing on trees''.

UNKNOWN DATE SUMMER 1954

In the summer of 1954, soon after he joined Sun Records, Elvis Presley entered the Music Box Night Club (Hideaway) located at Commerce Street in Nashville, looking for a job. Roy Hall, owner of the club recalls, "I was drunk that night, I didn't feel like playing piano, so I told him to get up there and start doing whatever in hell it was that he did. I fired him after just one song that night. He wasn't no damn good".

It is an interesting story but doubtful, since Elvis Presley was living and working in Memphis at the time. It seems to be popular among rockers who didn't make it big to claim they fired Elvis Presley from their acts or clubs. Singer Eddie Dean also claimed to have fired Elvis Presley. There is one segment of Hall's story that might be credible - that he gave Jerry Lee Lewis a job at his club in 1956, and it was there that Lewis first learned Hall's song "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". Jerry and Hall were more like-minded and they had the musical bond of the piano. ''I hired him for fifteen dollars a night'', Hall told Toshes. He kept Lewis on for several weeks apparently, playing while the club was open illegally after hours. ''He'd play that damn piano from one in the morning until daylight. WE did a lot of duets together too. He was still a teenager, and everybody figured that when we got musted he'd be the one that the cops let go; so everybody gave him their watches and jewellery to hold for them case the cops came. We got hit one night; he must'a had fifteen wristwatches on his arms. Sure enough he was the only one didn't get searched''.

JULY/AUGUST 1954

Unknown date, studio session with Doctor Ross at Sun Records, Memphis, Tennessee. Session details unknown.

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© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©