CONTAINS
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1955 SESSIONS 8
August 1 , 1955 to August 31, 1955

Studio Session for Jimmy Haggett, August 23, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Smokey Joe Baugh, August 25, 1955 / Sun Records 

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 1955

In August 1955, Columbia Records picked up their option on Sun future recording artist, Onie Wheeler's contract, renewing it at three percent. Onie returned to the studio next year in April 1956, with rock and roll looming large in his thoughts.

AUGUST 1, 1955 MONDAY

The singles, Sun 223 ''Mystery Train'' b/w ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' by Elvis Presley; Sun 224 ''Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing'' b/w ''Gone, Gone, Gone'' by Carl Perkins; Sun 225, ''House Of Sin'' b/w ''Are You Ashamed Of Me'' by Slim Rhodes; Sun 226 ''Ain't That Right'' b/w ''Bring Your Love Back Home To Me'' by Eddie Snow are issued.

Johnny Cash plays the first major concert of his career, opening for Webb Pierce, Wanda Jackson and Elvis Presley at the Mississippi-Alabama Fairgrounds in Tupelo, Mississippi. They work four more cities over the next four days.

The Burt Lancaster western ''The Kentuckian'' debuts in movie theaters. Eddy Arnold's version of the theme, ''The Kentuckian Song'', is already a hit on radio.

AUGUST 2, 1955 THUESDAY

Drummer Jimmy Lowe, from Pirates Of The Mississippi, is born in Atlanta. He plays on the band's lone hit, 1991s ''Feed Jake''.

AUGUST 3, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley's parents are expected to sign a deal in Little Rock making Colonel Tom Parker an advisor to their son, but Presley's mother, Gladys, delays the decision.

AUGUST 4, 1955 THURSDAY

Overton Park Shell ''Country Music Jamboree'' Advertisement by Texas Bill Strength aired on this day.

AUGUST 6, 1955 SATURDAY

Hank Snow, Lefty Frizzell, Eddie Dean, Freddie Hart and The Collins Kids perform the first-ever country concert at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The evening is emceed by Songwriter Joe Nixon.

AUGUST 8, 1955 MONDAY

Drummer Dominic Joseph Fontana appears for the first time as a regular member of Elvis Presley's band at a show at the Mayfair Building in Tyler, Texas.

Decca released Ernest Tubb's ''The Yellow Rose Of Texas''.

AUGUST 9, 1955 TUESDAY

Marty Robbins recorded a version of Chuck Berry's ''Maybelline'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

AUGUST 12, 1955 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley performs a concert at Driller Park in Kilgore, Texas. In the audience is Bob Luman, who is so om-spired that he forsakes traditional country for a future path in rockabilly-tinged country.

AUGUST 13, 1955 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley's ''Baby Let's Play House'' holding steady on the national charts and gaining airplay all over the country and it was number 5 on Billboard's ''Most Played by Jokeys'' country and western list.

MID-AUGUST 1955

It was mid-August before Sam Phillips decided on the format he wanted to establish for the new radio station, but then it was an idea as revolutionary as the original concept for the studio had been, as defiant in its own way of established tradition and something in which he believed just as strongly. Sam was going to establish the first All-Girl radio station in the nation.

Sam could advance any number of good reasons for pursuing this course, and he continued to go over them with his brother-in-law, even though Jimmy Connolly at this point had no formal role in the new venture. Number one, women, Like Negroes, were an underutilized resource, a vast pool of unappreciated talent in a highly competitive world.

Sam wife Becky, took it as a tribute. It was just what they had always talked about, it would serve as a true partnership, it represented a mutual love for the very thing that had first drawn them together. She immediately started making plans for the kind of shows that she would do, for the way she would have to train the other girls. Sam Phillips had never known a better announcer than Becky, from the time he first met her when she was just a seventeen-year-old high school student.

Marion Keisker was just as excited. She took it almost as much as a tribute to her. She would quit her job as assistant program director at WREC, she told Sam, as soon as he was ready to go on the air. ''Don't do that'', he tried to tell her because he needed her at the recording studio, and besides, it would be a mistake to put all her eggs in one basket before the station proved itself. But she was not to be gainsaid. Marion didn't think she'd ever been as excited about anything in her life, even if it meant giving up a guaranteed salary. And besides, she didn't tell Sam this, she was barely able to admit it to herself, she was not going to be left behind.

Sam Phillips applied to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for the station's new call letters at the end of August. To match its new identity he had come up with the acronym WHER. At the same time Sam placed a classified ad in Broadcasting Telecasting magazine: ''Wanted: Fresh, friendly, female voice for metropolitan station. Must be versatile, experienced, good looking. Unparalleled opportunity for girl who can quality''.

The underlying pretext was that there was a single position open, and all responses were to be referred to Radio Station WSLC, Tri-State Broadcasting Service, at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. One of the first responses came from a woman named Margie ''Dotty'' Abbott, a former Memphian with an extensive background in radio, music, and theater who was presently assistant station manager at KONI in Phoenix, Arizona.

''Dear Margie'', Sam Phillips wrote back on September 8: ''I received your audition tape and letter this morning. I have given all the material close attention and am very, very well pleased with your qualifications. I believe we have a job here that you would enjoy tremendous and which you could handle capably''.

''We mean to have a falicity that we, and the community, will be proud of. WE are going to handpick our personnel, being as sure as is humanly possible that each person is suited to the job and is extremely versatile and flexible. The job we have in mind for you will be one of responsibility and importance, and you will be called on to do a variety of things, all of which you are apparently well trained and qualified to do. It will also mean that you will have to work hard. As we all intend to do, but believe me, the work will pay off''.

The salary would only be $80 a week to start off with, Sam Phillips wrote, nothing like what she was worth, but they were a new operation, who ''must of necessity proceed with caution insofar as salaries and all expenses are concerned''. But Sam was confident both of her success and the success of the operation, and once they all had their feet on the ground, she could certainly expect more. ''I realize that all the information I am giving you about the new station is somewhat clouded'', Sam continued, ''and I am sorry that this is necessary, but we are keeping our plans a closely guarded secret, as the immediate success of the station will depend to an unusually large degree on the surprise element''. Margie wrote back to accept the job, appending the news that she was going to go back to being ''Dotty'' when she returned to Memphis. The construction on the new station at South Third began almost immediately.

AUGUST 15, 1955 MONDAY

Elvis Presley signs a deal making Colonel Tom Parker a special advisor to Presley and his manager, Bob Neal.

Columbia released Marty Robbins' version of Chuck Berry's ''Maybelline''.

Pete Seeger refuses to name other members of left-wing groups while testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee on Communism in Washington, D.C. Two years later, Seeger's ''Kisses Sweeter Than Wine'' becomes a country hit for Jimmie Rodgers.

AUGUST 16, 1955 TUESDAY

Faron and Hilda Young have a son, Damion Ray Young.

AUGUST 17, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Singer/songwriter Kevin Welch is born in Los Angeles. He pens such hits as Gary Morris' ''Velvet Chains'', Moe Bandy's ''Till I'm Too Old To Die Young'', Don Williams '''Desperately'' and Ricky Skaggs ''Let It Be You''.

AUGUST 18, 1955 THURSDAY

Steve Wilkinson, of The Wilkinsons, is born in Belleville, Ontario. The Canadian family trio, which includes son Tyler and daughter Amanda, enters the national arena with its sentimental 1998 single ''26 Cents''.

AUGUST 20, 1955 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash's "Cry Cry Cry" (Sun 221) is on the Memphis country charts, eventually reaching number one on September 3, beating out such local favorites as Elvis Presley and The Louvins. It even reached the national country charts for one week in November 1955. On the Memphis charts, it is covered the following month by Texas Bill Strenght.

AUGUST 22, 1955 MONDAY

Songwriter/guitarist Tim Buckley is born. He co-writes the Doug Supernaw hit ''Reno''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY HAGGETT (JAMES CLECY)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY AUGUST 23, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

James Clecy Haggett had always been a shadowy figure from the dawn of Sun's golden era. From the scant evident available, it appeared as though Haggett worked on the periphery of the Memphis scene, dropping out of sight as the rockabilly revolution swept everything before it. However, it transpired that Haggett had coped with the new music better than anyone had previously thought.

Any Sun collector can tell you that Sun 236 is one of the label's most elusive singles. In the absence of any information on the artist (not even a Billboard review), collectors hoped and speculated for years that these sides would turn out to be nascent rockabilly treasures. Their hopes were dashed when it was ultimately revealed that Sun 236 was, as they say, a hillbilly weeper. And a fairly conventional one at that.

Jimmy Haggett drew his inspiration from different wellsprings than those that fed most of his contemporaries at Sun Records. His major influence was Jim Reeves and this is apparent in his phrasing. However, the backing on ''No More'' is pure, unadulterated hillbilly. The guitarist J.L. ''Speedy'' Moody contributes some tasty fills and there is some very pleasant interplay between the steel guitar of Billy Springer and the fiddle of Bernie Gwatney.

The long nights of working together obviously paid dividends here. The real mystery surrounding the song is its origin. Haggett freely admitted that the song was not an original but denied all knowledge of a previous version by Luke McDaniel, recorded for Trumpet Records in 1952. The McDaniel version has some different lyrics and it would be easy to say that whoever gave Haggett this song simply ripped it off from McDaniel. However there is another wrinkle in the story provided by yet another out-take box where an unidentified artist sings McDaniel's lyrics to ''No More''. It is possible that this third version is indeed by McDaniel who may have auditioned at Sun earlier than had been thought.

01 - "NO MORE, NO MORE" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 180 Master 
Recorded: - August 23, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 236-A < mono
NO MORE, NO MORE / THEY CALL OUR LOVE A SIN
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-15 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"When "No More" and "They Call Our Love A Sin'" were recorded", recalled Haggett, "Sam Phillips was also recording Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins. Their records took off like wildfire. Sam had high hopes for my record when it was released but things changed considerably and very fast. I was left behind and those boys took off. Good for them. But, as an entertainer, I had to come up with something and we went back to Sun for another session and I recorded four songs in the new style".

Ironically, the collectors' faith in Jimmy Haggett wasn't misplaced - just premature. Haggett did turn in some steaming rockabilly for Sun, although it didn't see release until the reissue era, and then wrongly attributed at first to Junior Thompson on the Charly Sun compilation called "Rabbit Action" (Sun 1018). Those sides confirm that the artist on Sun 236 was capable of much more than what we have here.

Both this next song and ''No More'' were reportedly given to Haggett by a musician in his band. ''I can't remember his name now'', recalled Haggett. ''I changed a few words and the melody and he said that all he wanted was to get his songs on record. He told me that they were unpublished and he released them to me''. As it happened, these were not especially valuable copyrights. Sun 236 had sold 448 copies a year after release. It was the rockabilly sound of Carl Perkins that pointed the way into the future for Sun Record, and for Jimmy Haggett.

02 - "THEY CALL OUR LOVE A SIN" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 181 Master
Recorded: - August 23, 1955
Released: - December 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 236-B < mono
THEY CALL OUR LOVE A SIN / NO MORE, NO MORE
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-1-16 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

03 - "UNTITLED RELIGIOUS NARRATION''
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 23, 1955

04 - "LIQUOR TO BLAME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissied - Tapes Not Found
Recorded: - August 23, 1955

05 - "FRUITS OF A BROKEN HOME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissied - Tapes Not Found
Recorded: - August 23, 1955

"Jimmy Haggett had a real feel for country music", recalled Sam Phillips, "he was a very smart person, very quick to read and feel a good lyric. I don't think I ever really touched his potential as an artist. He was also a disc jockey on KLCN, Blytheville, Arkansas and KBOA in Kennett, Missouri".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Haggett - Vocal and Acoustic Guitar
J.L. "Speed" Moody - Guitar
Billy Springer - Steel Guitar
J.G. "Gabby" McKinn - Bass
Bernie Gwatney - Fiddle
Euwin "Red" Mansfield – Drums

Jimmy Haggett later recorded for Meteor Records and Vaden Records.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Sam Phillips was a regular visitor at the Cotton Club in West Memphis, Arkansas, primarily because he was entertained by the songs and style of Smokey Joe Baugh. Arriving in Memphis in 1949 from Helena, Arkansas, Joe brought with him a gravelly voice, an unexpurgated approach to lyricism and a liking for the blues.

Sam recorded Joe on at least two occasions as a solo artist, issuing just one single, "The Signifying Monkey", which sold quite well. The problem for Sam Phillips was that Joe was too unreliable for consideration as an artist who could be groomed for stardom. The next time Sam came across anybody like Joe, it would by Jerry Lee Lewis.

STUDIO SESSION FOR SMOKEY JOE BAUGH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY AUGUST 25, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

"Originally Clyde Leoppard had Smokey Joe Baugh with him and, Joe had a good sound. Vocally he sounded almost black, he had an individual style. We cut an interesting thing on him, the "Signifying Monkey". Surprisingly, though we didn't get rich off it, we did sell a hell of a lot of records. When I say a lot, I mean fifty to sixty thousand, and that was something", recalled Sam Phillips, "Joe also had another novelty thing, "Split Personality". Joe was really the first one that I thought was really going in the direction of the black type feel. Intuitively, I had a great interest in Smokey Joe and Frank Floyd and people like that. This was before Elvis came on the scene".

01(1) - "HULA BOP" - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Bill Taylor
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1021-1 mono
ROCK BOP BOOGIE
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-6 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Smokey Joe version of Stanley Kesler and Bill Taylor's "Hula Bop" was the first Hawaiian bop record, predating Buddy Knox by a couple of years. Sam Phillips didn't like "Hula Bop" enough to issue it, but a year later Jimmy Knight (who, like Smokey Joe), recorded it on Crystal Records.

Surprisingly, this was deemed superfluous to needs when Smokey Joe waxed his maiden recordings at Sun. The idea drew heavely on the song that co-writer Bill Taylor had come up with earlier in the year (which Smokey Joe had played on), "Split Personality" by Clyde Leoppard And The Snearly Ranch Boys. Stan Kesler, the other half of the writing team, realised the moment and cut a version for his own Crystal label by Jimmy Knight, a vocalist who had also worked with the Snearly outfit.

01(2) - "HULA BOP" - B.M.I. - 2:54
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Bill Taylor
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-5 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-26 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

In African-American culture, the tale of "The Signifying Monkey" can be traced back to Yoruba mythology in Nigeria. Basically, the primate in the story is the bad guy whose rumour mongering eventually gets the better of him. Joseph Baugh, from Helena, Arkansas, played piano alongside guitarist Paul Burlison in the Shelby Follin band, before bedding in at Sun as a house musician. He used his Rufus Thomas-voice when relating this sometimes bawdy parable for a Sun single, which was also on Flip.

Smokey Joe Baugh was truly a free spirit. Stories about his wild and wooled ways still abound in the Memphis underground. Sam Phillips enjoyed Baugh's gravely voice, which was the result of a natural condition, rather than a conscious attempt to sound black. This was Baugh's second release, his first was on Flip 502. "The Signifying Monkey" has a long history in black music and is part of the 'dozens', a tradition of trading good natured (and not-so-good-natured) insults. With Johnny Bernero on drums, the record was assured of a fine shuffle rhythm, and it enjoyed some local chart action in 1955 as well.

The story about ''Monkey'', of course Smokey Joe, Stan Kesler, and Bill Taylor can no more take credit for writing this song than anyone else. Its origins are embedded deep in African American myth, as far back as Yoruba folklore according to some sources. One of America's preeminent African American scholars, Henry Louis Gates, wrote a book about literary signifying within black culture titled ''The Signifying Monkey - A Theory Of African American Literary Criticism''.

The question to which we don't have a good answer is where Smokey Joe became acquainted with the potty-mouthed primate. His contribution was to clear it up, although Johnny Bernero remembered that Joe would sing the unexpurgated version from time to time. Once again, the backing is disarmingly simple. Bernero sustains the show with some rock-solid drumming while Buddy Holobaugh works a repeated boogie riff. There had been other attempts to get the ''Monkey'' on record, most recently by the Big Three Trio (featuring Willie Dixon) back in 1946. Cab Calloway and Count Basie covered Dixon song. Joe's version appears to have sold quite well in late 1955, certainly in excess of 25,000 copies, and the song reportedly gained him an invitation to play at the Apollo Theatre in New York, where his white face and blonde hair would have created a stir. Stan Kesler remembered the ''Monkey'', and prevailed upon Sam the Sham to record it for a label he co-owned, XL Records. It was the record before ''Woolly Bully'', but probably sold sufficiently well to incentivise Phillips to re-release this one in 1964.

02 - "THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY" - B.M.I. - 3:15
Composer: - Bill Taylor-Stanley Kesler-Joseph Baugh
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 170 Master
Matrix number: - U 349 - Master May 1964
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - SUN 228 September 15, 1955 / SUN 393 May 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 228-A < mono
THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY / LISTEN TO ME BABY
Reissued: - Flip Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Flip 228-A < mono 
THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY / LISTEN TO ME BABY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

"I remember that "Signifying Monkey" Joe put out", recalled Johnny Bernero. "We got a regular date out at the Millington Naval Base at the time that came out. One night Joe was singing that song during rehearsal and the Chief heard us. Joe was using terrible words but the Chief was half tight and told us that we had to use that song on the bandstand. Smokey said, 'No, man. I can't use that!', but the Chief insisted. Anyway, two weeks later I got a letter from the Commander at the base saying that we were banned because people had complained. I called for a hearing and made a long explanation and, as it ended up, we were banned for three months and Smokey was banned for good. Eventually we brought him back in, though".

Nine years after it was recorded, the old "Signifying Monkey" jumped out in 1964 of his coconut tree one more time. Two factors might have led Sun to dust this of. First, Sam The Sham had recorded it (Sam's record was the one preceding "Woolly Bully", but it was a major local hit); second, it had a prototypical ska beat, and ska was the flavor of the month in the Summer of 1964 thanks to Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop". So, someone at Sun figured it was worth hoisting SUN 228 up the flagpole to see if anyone would salute. As it turns out, few did.

As Sun strove to establish a recognisable identity, Smokey Joe Baugh offered a crucible that was one-part Bill Haley on the into, one-part Elvis in the phrasing department and one-part Bob Wills at the close.

His wide-span octaves on the higher register of the studio Spinet were a key factor too, offering a duplication of what Ike Turner had played on Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" some four years earlier. Unfortunately, his tardiness eventually cost him the gig as Sun's session pianist.

"Listen To Me" is a solid outing in the jump blues mode that did little to dispel the notion that Smokey Joe was black. To underscore the record's appeal in the rhythm and blues market, Sam also issued it on Flip which he briefly reinvented as a rhythm and blues label in 1955 and '56. It eventually appeared again in 1964 when Sam Phillips thought once again that its hour might have come.

There is a wonderful drive to ''Listen To Me''. The little combo works the off-beat for all it's worth, overlaying it with a steady boogie woogie. There are some early Jamaican rhythm and blues and ska records that sound kinda like this. Johnny Bernero and Buddy Holobaugh power the record, and Stan Kesler contributes some tasty work on steel. Bill Taylor can be heard on trumpet from time to time. The lyrics are hardly groundbreaking but, once again, The Snearly Ranch gang reveals a genuine feeling for this type of music. It is a matter for conjecture whether the patrons of the Bel Air lounge or the VFW club knew what a treat were getting when this combo climbed on to the stage. Overlooked in the rush to deify the rockabilly musicians who leaped out of Memphis the following year, this group combined black and white styles with as much verve and enthusiasm as the rockabillies. In many ways, they comprised the best that Memphis had to offer at that point.

03 - "LISTEN TO ME BABY" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Stanley Kesler-Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 171 Master
Matrix number: - U 348 - Master May 1964
Recorded: - August 25, 1955
Released: - SUN 228 September 15, 1955 / SUN 393 May 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 228-B < mono
LISTEN TO ME BABY / THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY
Reissued: - Flip Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Flip 228-B <  mono 
LISTEN TO ME BABY / THE SIGNIFYING MONKEY
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Not surprisingly, times had changed since the Monkey was young. When Baugh's record first hit the stores in September 1955, it was probably sitting next to Elvis Presley's version of "Mystery Train", which had been released the previous month. Carl Perkins was still singing hillbilly music, and copies of Johnny Cash's first record were still around. "Folsom Prison Blues" was months away from release. In fact, Sun was just beginning to take its first halting steps towards rockabilly. Sun releases by black artists like Rosco Gordon, Eddie Snow, Billy Emerson and Little Milton were still available all up and down Beale Street. And despite his blond hair, Smokey Joe's gruff-voiced music fit comfortably within Sun's blues catalogue.

04(1) - "SHE'S A WOMAN"* - B.M.I. - 2:56
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1021-8 mono
ROCK BOP BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318-4 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL VOLUME 2

Joe recorded at least three different version of ''She's A Woman'', a slow and bluesy version, a fast version, and a jazzier version. Take 1 is the bluesy variant and it shows that Joe not only had a blues singer's voice but also had a feeling for the music. Again, Buddy Holobaugh shines in his solo space.

04(2) - "SHE'S A WOMAN"* - B.M.I. 2:06
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - October 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30116-A3 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 9 - MORE REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-6 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-27 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

04(3) - "SHE'S A WOMAN"* - B.M.I.
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - Sun Unissued

''The Midnight Ride Of Paul Revere'' is a really funny reworking of the old Paul Revere legend. The tag line ''listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere'' derived from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem. The rest seems to be a Stan and Bill original. Their church mouse verse is especially funny. It's similar in spirit, if not content, to the storytelling style of ''The Signifying Monkey''. Joe unfurls his Louis Armstrong growl, the result, some people say, of a throat injury. There is a very full sound here considering the backing only consists of Johnny Bernero on drums and Buddy Holobaugh on guitar with someone drumming their fingernails on something to simulate hoof beats.

05 - "THE MIDNIGHT RIDE OF PAUL REVERE"* - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Smokey Joe Baugh
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm SUN 1021-7 mono
ROCK BOP BOOGIE
Reissued: - November 1986 Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2-287 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

06 - "ONLY YOU''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955

07 - "TELL IT LIKE IT IS (TO GET ALONG WITH ME)''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably August 1955

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Smokey Joe Baugh - Vocal and Piano
Johnny Bernero - Drums
Buddy Holobaugh - Guitar
Jan Ledbetter - Bass*
Clyde Leoppard - Drums
Bill Taylor - Trumpet
Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar

Drummer Johnny Bernero has given an indication of Joe Baugh's character in a conversation with Colin Escott: "Smokey was the type of fella that would give you the shirt off his back but he was totally undependable. I remember that Stanley Kesler, Buddy Holobaugh and me had a job in Mississippi one Saturday. We all met out on Lamar Avenue so that we could ride together. Anyway, Smokey didn't show. We waited until the last minute, then we left. It turned out that Smokey had gone to the Cotton Carnival and had gotten so intrigued by the snake show that he'd hired on with them as a snake handler".

"Smokey and I also had a regular gig at the Nightlight Club. Just the two of us. He had that natural sounding gravelly voice so I bought these Louis Armstrong albums and got him to learn some of the songs. We went over real well and our gig got extended and eventually we bought in a sax man, Johnny Cannon. Sooner or later, though, it was inevitable that Joe wouldn't show and one night he just wasn't there and that was when Ted Enlow came back to town and he joined us that night and stayed with us".

"I heard that Smokey was dead but then in August two or three years back I found that he was back in town. He was looking for work and he was staying with a lady called Dottie Rush. Dottie's mother was an invalid and she needed a car to take her mother to the hospital. Anyway, Smokey got a gig one Saturday night and the next Sunday morning Dottie called me and said, 'John, have you see Smokey"'. He played last night, came in at 2 o'clock, I heard him fumbling around in the kitchen then I heard the door slam and he hasn't come back'. He'd just taken her car and gone. He's just that kind of guy but when he comes back it seems as though you just can't get mad at him".

"I remember one time that Sam Phillips said to him, 'Smokey, if you'd just settle down be rational and dependable, you'd go places. And I'll help you'. Smokey tried but then he'd take some pills or something and be out of it for a while. He's always been that way".

For Biography of Smokey Joe Baugh see: > The Sun Biographies <
Smokey Joe Baugh's Sun/Flip recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

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AUGUST 26, 1955 FRIDAY

Songwriter Bob Miller dies in Nyack, New York. He authored Ernest Tubb's ''Driftwood On The River''.

The western picture ''Apache Ambush'' opens, with Tex Ritter in a minor role. The movie is banned in Finland.

AUGUST 27, 1955 SATURDAY

George Jones recorded ''Why Baby Why'' and ''What Am I Worth'' at the Goldstar Recording Studio in Houston.

Webb Pierce introduces ''Love, Love, Love'' during performance on The Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport.

AUGUST 29, 1955 MONDAY

Capitol released Jean Shepard's two-sided single, ''Beautiful Lies'' and the flip side ''I Thought Of You''.

Judy Garland, with an orchestra conducted by Jack Cathcart, records the track "Carolina In The Morning", for her Capitol Records album "Miss Show Business", at Capitol Records' Melrose Avenue Studios in Hollywood, California.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©