CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1957 Sun Schedule <

1957 SESSIONS (8)
August 1, 1957 to August 31, 1957

Studio Session for Johnny Cash, Probably Summer 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, August 4, 1957 (1) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, August 4, 1957 (2) / Sun Records
Studio Session for Dickey Lipscomb (Dickie Lee), August 10, 21
or September 18, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Chaffin, August 11, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, August 14, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Tommy Blake, August 18, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jerry Lee Lewis, August 21, 1957
Studio Session for Bill Justis & Sid Manker, August 22, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Roy Orbison, August 26, 1957 / Je-Wel Records
Studio Session for Cliff Thomas, Ed & Barbara, August 31, 1957 / 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 - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: POSSIBLY SUMMER 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

The titles may not derive from same session or may derive from earlier sessions.

01 - "ROCK ISLAND LINE" - B.M.I. - 2:08
Composer: - Huddie Ledbetter
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Summer 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 112-3 mono
JOHNNY CASH
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-9 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

02 - "WRECK OF THE OLD 97" - B.M.I. - 1:44
Composer: - Fred Jackson Lewey-Charles Noell
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1
Recorded: - Summer 1957
Released: - November 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm LP 1220-10 mono
JOHNNY CASH WITH HIS HOT AND BLUE GUITAR
1963 Sun Records (LP) 33rpm SLP 1270 mono
ALL ABOARD THE BLUE TRAIN WITH JOHNNY CASH
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-10 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

03(1) – "BELSHAZZAR" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Summer 1957
Released: - Sun Unissued

03(2) – "BELSHAZZAR" - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 506 - Master
Overdubbed on some pressings of LP 1275. Undubbed on Sunbox 103.
Recorded: - Summer 1957
Released: - May 1, 1964
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 45rpm standard single > Sun 392-B < mono
BELSHAZZAR / WIDE OPEN ROAD
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-1-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

On this side, "Belshazzar" (misprint on label as ''Belshazah'') had originally been passed over because of its religious leanings. That was just one of several bones of contention between Sam Phillips and Johnny Cash - Sun's unwillingness to give full commercial vent to Cash's spiritual side. Granted, there was one religious tune on Cash's original Sun LP, but "Belshazzar" was just a bit too much. Until the barrel had been scraped virtually clean in 1964, that is. Then it was hurriedly overdubbed with some annoyingly out of tune piano and foisted on the single-buying public. All in all, Cash entered the Sun catalogue a lot more impressively than he left in.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar
Marshall Grant – Bass

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

THE STORY ABOUT ''THE WRECK OF OLD 97'' - Occurred when the engineer, 33 year old Joseph A. ("Steve") Broady, at the controls of engine number 1102, was operating the train at high speed in order to stay on schedule and arrive at Spencer on time (Fast Mail had a reputation for never being late).

Locomotive 1102, a ten wheeler (4-6-0) engine built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, had rolled out of the factory in early 1903, less than a year before the wreck. After the wreck the engine was rebuilt and served for slightly over 32 years before being scrapped on July 9, 1935.

On the day of the accident, Old 97 was behind schedule when it left Washington, DC and was one hour late when it arrived in Monroe, Virginia. When the train arrived in Monroe, it switched train crews and when it left Monroe there were 17 people on board. The train personnel were Joseph Broady (the engineer), John Blair (the conductor), A.C. Clapp (a fireman), John Hodge, (a fireman), and J.S. Moody (the flagman). Also on board were various mail clerks including J.L. Thompson, Scott Chambers, Daniel Flory, Paul Argenbright, Lewis Spies, Frank Brooks, Percival Indermauer, Charles Reames, Jennings Dunlap, Napoleon Maupin, J. H. Thompson, and W. R. Pinckney, an express messenger. When the train pulled into Lynchburg, VA, Wentworth Armistead (a safe locker) boarded the train so at the time of the wreck, there were 18 men on board. Eleven of them died and seven were injured.

At Monroe, Broady was instructed to get the Fast Mail to Spencer, 166 miles distant, on time. The scheduled running time from Monroe to Spencer was four hours, fifteen minutes, an average speed of approximately 39 mph (62.4 km/h). In order to make up the one hour delay, the train's average speed would have to be at least 51 mph (82 km/h). Broady was ordered to maintain speed through Franklin Junction, an intermediate stop normally made during the run.

The route between Monroe and Spencer was rolling terrain and there were numerous danger points due to the combination of grades and tight radius curves. Signs were posted to warn engineers to watch their speed. However, in his quest to stay on time, engineer Broady rapidly descended a heavy grade that ended at the 45-foot high Stillhouse Trestle, which spanned Cherrystone Creek. He was unable to sufficiently reduce speed as he approached the curve leading into the trestle, causing the entire train to derail and plunge into the ravine below. Nine people were killed, including the locomotive crew and a number of clerks in the mail car coupled between the tender and the rest of the train.

The Southern Railway placed blame for the wreck on engineer Broady, disavowing that he had been ordered run as fast as possible to maintain the schedule. The railroad also claimed he descended the grade leading to Stillhouse Trestle at a speed of more than 70 mph (112 km/h). Several eyewitnesses to the wreck, however, stated that the speed was probably around 50 mph (80 km/h). In all likelihood, the railroad was at least partially to blame, as they had a lucrative contract with the U.S. Post Office to haul mail (hence the train's name), the contract including a penalty clause for each minute the train was late into Spencer. It is probably safe to conclude that the engineers piloting the Fast Mail were always under pressure to stay on time so the railroad would not be penalized for late mail delivery.

Southern Railway's Train 97 was in another fatal accident earlier in the year of 1903. On Monday, April 13, Train 97 left Washington, DC at 8 AM en route to New Orleans. As the train approached Lexington, North Carolina it collided with a boulder on the track, causing the train to derail and ditch, killing the engineer and fireman. The locomotive that was pulling the train is unknown. Southern #1102 had yet to be delivered to the railroad at that time.

JULY 30, 1957 TUESDAY

Elvis' second movie and his first in color was the 1957 Paramount film 'Loving You'. Elvis Presley felt more comfortable in the role of Deke Rivers in Loving You than he had as Clint Reno since the role was based on his real-life career experiences. The musical drama opens as Deke - a truck driver with a natural talent for really belting out a song -- teams up with press agent Glenda Markle, played by Lizabeth Scott, in hopes of becoming the next singing sensation. Deke begins his new singing career as the opening act for a down-and-out country-and-western band headed by Glenda's ex-husband.

It soon becomes apparent that the female faction of the audience just can't get enough of Deke either on stage or off. Glenda capitalizes on Deke's sensual appeal by providing him with customized costumes and arranging publicity stunts. Deke is torn between the attraction he feels toward Glenda and the genuine affection he has for the band's lead singer, Susan, played by Dolores Hart in her film debut. When Deke discovers that Glenda has been manipulating him personally and professionally, he becomes confused and runs away. A wiser and more mature Deke returns just in time to perform at a major televised concert, which serves as his introduction to the big time. 'Loving You' was originally titled 'Lonesome Cowboy' and then changed to 'Running Wild'. Ed Sullivan referred to this title when Elvis made his last appearance on his show, January 6, 1957.

Production began on January 21, 1957 and was completed in early March. Finally, 'Loving You', the name of a song Leiber and Stoller wrote for Elvis for the movie, became the title.

'Loving You' premiered in Memphis on July 10, 1957 at the Strand Theater. Elvis didn't go to that showing. Instead, he took his date Anita Wood and his parents to a private midnight screening. The film opened nationally on July 30, 1957 and peaked at number 7 on the Variety National Box Office Survey.

AUGUST 1957

Roy Orbison and Claudette Frady marry in August 1957. Claudette died in a motorcycle accident on June 6, 1966 in Gallatin, Tennessee.

AUGUST 1957

Jerry Lee Lewis was signed as a late addition to the movie "Jamboree", which was to star Fats Domino and Carl Perkins. Originally, Alan freed was to have hosted the movie, but he dropped out in a dispute over publishing royalties that almost certainly took longer to resolve than it took to script and film the movie.

He was replaced by a clutch of DJs from across the country, and even a few from Canada and overseas to ensure the widest possible circulation. The basic premise was to cram as much music as possible into ninety minutes, and in that at least the producers succeeded.

Jerry Lee Lewis had inherited a song from Perkins called "Great Balls Of Fire". The idea had come from a black New York writer, Jack Hammer, who had sold the title to the movie's musical director, Otis Blackwell, in exchange for 50 percent of the composer credit. Lewis labored for two days on "Great Balls Of Fire".

Sam Phillips knew how important it was to find a strong follow-up to a hit record: the complete failure of Carl Perkins' follow-ups to "Blue Suede Shoes" and the relative failure of Johnny cash's immediate follow-ups to "I Walk The Line" convinced Sam Phillips that he must choose the material carefully and hone it to perfection.

AUGUST 2, 1957 FRIDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis appears on the ''Big Beat'' TV show hosted by Alan Freed in New York City.

The fourth episode of ABC-TV's ''The Big Beat'' is also the last for the half-hour music series from New York. The show is hosted by New York disc jockey Alan Freed, who co-wrote ''Sincerely'', set to become a country hit for The Forester Sisters in 1988. This day, Jerry Lee Lewis appear on this ''The Big Beat'' time.

Guitarist Les Dudek is born in Rhode Island. He plays on The Allman Brothers Band's 1972 hit ''Ramblin' Man'', referenced in Rascal Flatts' ''Me And My Gang'', The Eli Young Band's ''Always The Love Songs'' and Brad Paisley's collaboration with Keith Urban, ''Start A Band''.

AUGUST 4, 1957 SUNDAY

The Everly Brothers appear on CBS-TV's ''The Ed Sullivan Show'', singing ''Bye Bye Love'' and ''Wake Up Little Susie'' from New York City.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY AUGUST 4, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

On this session Johnny Cash recorded both "Country Boy" and "Leave That Junk Alone" as demos. Both tracks find Cash accompanied by just his own acoustic guitar and they could be seen as an run-through of material he was considering for inclusion on his forthcoming debut album. You can only wonder why "Leave That Junk Alone" was passed over so many times when Sun were looking for new material to put out after Cash left the label. Despite only being a demo it is a strong song and surprising that Cash never returned to it later in his career.

01 - "COUNTRY BOY" - B.M.I. - 1:46
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Chappell Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 103-3 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-12 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

02 - "LEAVE THAT JUNK ALONE" - B.M.I. - 1:26
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: – Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 1984
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 103-3 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-13 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 – 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: AUGUST 4, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

Johnny Cash was heavily influenced by the music of Jimmie Skinner and he recorded "Doin' My Time" a hot for Skinner back in the late 1940s. Covering two of Cash's favourite themes, trains and prisons, it was an ideal choice of material for him to record. The released version was used as the closing on Cash's only album released by Sun during his time with the label, although they would go on to release a further six albums after he signed with Columbia. In fact "With His Hot And Blue Guitar", released in September 1957, has the distinction of being the first album issued on the Sun Records label.

01(1) - "DOIN' MY TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Jimmie Skinner
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-2-7 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(2) - DOIN' MY TIME" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Jimmie Skinner
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - LP Master
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - November 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm LP 1220-12 mono
JOHNNY CASH WITH HIS HOT AND BLUE GUITAR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-14 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

02(1) - "COUNTRY BOY" - B.M.I. - 1:46
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-2-8 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

At this session Cash turned his attention to recording "Country Boy" with the rest of his band and his earlier work on the song paid off as he turned in a perfect country song that pays tribute to the life of a rural country boy. The alternate version featured here is almost as good as the released version.

02(2) - "COUNTRY BOY" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - Sun Unissued

02(3) - "COUNTRY BOY" - B.M.I. - 1:50
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - LP Master
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 112-1 (mono
JOHNNY CASH
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-15 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

03(1) - "IF THE GOOD LORD'S WILLING" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Jerry Reed
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1- Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-11-5 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950-1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-26 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

03(2) - "IF THE GOOD LORD'S WILLING" - B.M.I. - 1:40
Composer: - Jerry Reed
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - EP Master
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 112-2 mono
JOHNNY CASH - COUNTRY BOY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-16 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

03(3) - "IF THE GOOD LORD'S WILLING" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Jerry Reed
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - Sun Unissued

The legendary Hank Williams often ended his live shows with the line "If the good Lord's willing and the creeks don't rise, we'll see y'all again soon", and this was probably the inspiration behind the Jerry Reed composition "If The Good Lord's Willing". Maybe he was thinking of Hank Williams during this session as he turned his attention to the excellent "I Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow". Three false starts are followed by an alternate version of the song.

04(1) - "I HEAR THAT LONESOME WHISTLE BLOW" - B.M.I. - 0:41
Composer: - Hank Williams-Jimmie Davis
Publisher: - Chappell Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - 4x False Starts - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-2-10 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

04(2) - "I HEAR THAT LONESOME WHISTLE BLOW" - B.M.I. - 2"21
Composer: - Hank Williams-Jimmie Davis
Publisher: - Chappell Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-2-11 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

04(3) - "I HEARD THAT LONESOME WHISTLE BLOW" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Hank Williams-Jimmie Davis
Publisher: - Chappell Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - EP Master
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (EP) 45rpm EPA 112-4 mono
JOHNNY CASH - COUNTRY BOY
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-17 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

Johnny Cash recorded his Hank Williams songs in two separate sessions, about a year apart. On this session Cash cut ''I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow'', along with four other non-Williams titles that were destined to appear on Cash's (and the Sun label's) first LP. Sam Phillips engineered and produced the date. It was a happy and productive session. Below include an alternate version to the one that appeared on LP 1220.

04(4) - "I HEARD THAT LONESOME WHISTLE BLOW" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Hank Williams-Jimmie Davis
Publisher: - Chappell Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-11-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: 2019 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17504-17 mono
SUN SHINES ON HANK WILLIAMS

05(1) - "I WAS THERE WHEN IT HAPPENED"* - B.M.I. - 2:14
Composer: - Jimmie Davis-R.D. Fern Jones
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - LP Master
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - November 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm LP 1220-8 mono
JOHNNY CASH WITH HIS HOT AND BLUE GUITAR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-20 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

One of the final track recorded on this day was a song that they had auditioned for Sam Phillips back in 1954 when they were trying to get a deal with the label. "I Was There When It Happened" featured Luther and Marshall providing backing vocals en repeating some phrases in reply to Cash. This version is almost identical to the released version although the backing vocals appear to be more prominent. It was one of the few gospel songs that Cash recorded for Sun and based on this it is a shame that he wasn't given the chance to pursue his desire to record gospel music further.

05(2) - "I WAS THERE WHEN IT HAPPENED"* - B.M.I. - 2:17
Composer: - Jimmie Davis-R.D. Fern Jones
Publisher: - Peer Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-11-6 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-6-27 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

Johnny Cash's reasons for leaving Sun Records in 1958 included prominently among them his inability to record more gospel music. This wonderful track originally appeared on Cash's first LP in 1957, is a very notable exception. Featuring minimalist backing vocals by Luther Perkins and Marcell Grant, Cash performed this tune as part of his traveling show for years after he left Sun. It was one of the few non originals in his repertoire, further suggesting how important this particular song was to Cash.

06 - "REMEMBER ME (I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU)" - B.M.I. - 2:46
Composer: - Stuart Hamblen
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - 3x FS, Complete Take 1 - LP Master
Recorded: - August 4, 1957
Released: - November 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (LP) 33rpm LP 1220-6 mono
JOHNNY CASH WITH HIS HOT AND BLUE GUITAR
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15517-2-19 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE MAN IN BLACK 1954 - 1958

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Johnny Cash - Vocal and Guitar
Luther Perkins - Guitar and Vocal Harmony*
Marshall Grant - Bass and Vocal Harmony*

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 5, 1957

In August 1957, American Bandstand, a new television show broadcast out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, featured local teenagers dancing to the new rock and roll music. The show had just ''gone national'' on the ABC television network on August 5th. With its new young host, Dick Clark, the show aired every day at 3 p.m. for an hour-and-a-half.

Within six months of its national debut, American Bandstand was picked up by 101 stations. Soon there were about 20 million viewers tuning in, half of whom were adult. Fan letters poured in by the tens of thousands. Teenagers came to Philadelphia from wide and far for a chance to dance on the show.

But American Bandstand also became a place where new talent could be seen, as Clark allotted featured spots on each show for new acts to perform their songs. ''Perform'', in this case, is a generous term as the guest or guests typically ''lyp-synced'' or mouthed the words to their pre-recorded songs rather than performing them live. They did, however, appear in person and typically sat with Clark in brief conversation, answering his questions about their music, where they were from, what they were doing next, etc.

During American Bandstand's first national season - which ran a short five months from its August opening - about 200 or so guests appeared. Typically, one or two acts were scheduled for each show. Among notable guests appearing that first season, some making their television debuts, were: Paul Anka, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin, The Del-Vikings, The Diamonds, Buddy Holly, Johnny Mathis, Simon & Garfunkel (''Tom & Jerry''), Andy Williams, Jackie Wilson, and others. Some guests appeared more than once that season, including: Frankie Avalon, The Chordettes, The Everly Brothers, The Four Coins, Bill Haley & the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Mello Kings, and Gene Vincent. A few acts in 1957 launched national and international careers after appearing on Bandstand. Danny & The Juniors, for example, rose quickly to national notice shortly after an early December 1957 Bandstand appearance. Their song, ''At The Hop'', rose to the top of the music charts within weeks of their appearance.

On December 5, 1957, the Diamonds appeared with their song ''The Stroll'', which kicked off a new kind of dance with the kids forming two lines facing each other with several yards of space between them, as dance couples then took turns ''strolling'' down this middle aisle. Non-musical guests would also appear occasionally, as in the case of actor Hugh O'Brian from the ABC-TV series ''The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp''. O'Brian appeared on the October 25, 1957 show. Some guests appeared only once and never emerged as national stars. Among those who appeared in 1957, were artists from an older era of popular music that continued in a period of transition to rock and roll music. A listing of many of those who appeared on American Bandstand during its first national season appears below by show date, and when available, song performed.

In addition to the regular American Bandstand weekday afternoon shows that aired in 1957, there were also a series of prime time American Bandstand TV shows broadcast on Monday evenings in the 7:30-8:00 p.m. time slot. Bill Haley & The Comets, for example, appeared on the prime time show, October 28th, 1957; Mickey & Sylvia appeared there, November 25th, 1957. The prime time shows, 13 in all that year, were much like the daytime show, with a bit more focus on the guests. These shows appeared to be experimental and served to broaden the reach of Bandstand to more viewers who could not see the daytime version. Some of these show dates are also included below. In any case, in 1957, American Bandstand - with its nationally broadcast television dance show and a daily spotlight on new musical talent - was helping to build the gigantic national and international business that would emerge around rock and roll music. (See also: 1956 Sun Sessions 2 / July 7, 1956).

Patsy Cline's self-titled debut album is released.

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''Why Why''.

AUGUST 5, 1957 MONDAY

Elvis Presley registers a number 1 country single in Billboard magazine with ''(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear''.

AUGUST 7, 1957 WEDNESDAY

''My Way'' songwriter Paul Anka makes his national TV debut, appearing on Dick Clark's ''American Bandstand'' on ABC.

AUGUST 10, 1957 SATURDAY

Patsy Cline performs ''Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray'' during ''Ozark Jubilee'' on ABC.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DICKEY LIPSCOMB (DICKIE LEE)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY AUGUST 10, 21, 1957
OR SEPTEMBER 18, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS,
JACK CLEMENT, STAN KESLER

Ever wonder what rockabilly sound like when it meets doo wop? Wonder no more. Singer Dickey Lipscomb in his pre-Patches Sun mode reveals all on these sides.

''It was very spontaneous. You didn't have to watch the clock. In fact, the studio clock never worked. It always had 4:30 on it. When we did our first AFM style session (four songs in three hours) it scared me. When you're creating you shouldn't be tied down to a time schedule. The big thing in Nashville has always been quantity. I'd prefer to use the whole three hours to get one quality single. ''Memories Never Grow Old'' was written by me and Stella Stevens, a movie actress from Memphis. We went to Memphis State at the same time and we double dated once. She had a kid from another marriage and she was going out with this football player. Anyway, the kid kept calling the football player 'Daddy' and he got scared off. Personally, my favorite of the Sun cuts was ''Dreamy Nights''. That was pure Philadelphia''.

01 - ''MEMORIES NEVER GROW OLD" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Dickey Lee-Camp-Staley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 270 - Master
Recorded: - August 10, 1957
Released: - October 12, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 280-A < mono
MEMORIES NEVER GROW OLD / GOOD LOVIN'
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-4 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Dickey's sentiments need to be extended even further, because the coterie of buddies who were rounded up to help fashion this full vocal retread of The Clovers' "Good Lovin", include Allen Reynolds, the producer responsible for Garth Brooks' vast catalogue of global hits.

02 - "GOOD LOVIN'" - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - Kirkland-Taylor-Jesmet
Publisher: - Barnhill Music Corporation - P. Maurice Music
Matrix number: - U 271 - Master
Recorded: - August 10, 1957
Released: - October 12, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 280-B < mono
GOOD LOVIN' / MEMORIES NEVER GROW OLD
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-3 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

More power to Lee and company for even knowing the Clovers' original version of "Good Lovin'" which appeared on Atlantic in 1953. Not surprisingly, the original black version of the tune was much more explicitly sexual; this is, after all, a song about a guy who is just overwhelmed by the boundless sexual energy of his girlfriend. In Lee's version, things are a tad more discreet. Musically speaking, doo-wop and rockabilly are not oil and water, as Buddy Holly was busy proving. In fact, it is Holly's shadow more than the Clovers that hangs over these sides.

Sam Phillips continued to schedule sessions with Dickey Lee and a date early in the following year produced one more Sun single. In January 2002 in Nashville, Dickey Lee had nothing but heartfelt acclaim for the way in which Sun helped prise open music industry doors during his season as an aspiring rockabilly.

03 - "INTERVIEW DICKEY LEE" - B.M.I. - 1:05
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-10 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

04 - ''MEMORIES NEVER GROW OLD" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Dickey Lee-Camp-Staley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 21, 1957

05 - "GOOD LOVIN'" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Kirkland-Taylor-Jesmet
Publisher: - Barnhill Music Corporation - P. Maurice Music
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 21, 1957

06 - "FOOL, FOOL, FOOL'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Dickey Lee-Allen Reynolds
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 21, 1957

07 - ''MEMORIES NEVER GROW OLD" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Dickey Lee-Camp-Staley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - September 18, 1957

08 - "GOOD LOVIN'" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Kirkland-Taylor-Jesmet
Publisher: - Barnhill Music Corporation - P. Maurice Music
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - September 18, 1957

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Dickey Lee - Vocal and Guitar
Allen Reynolds - Guitar
Marvin Pepper - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Vocal Chorus
Bill Talmadge, Eddie Well, Daved Moore,
J.L. Jerden, David Glenn, Allen Reynolds

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ERNIE CHAFFIN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY AUGUST 11, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL JUSTIS

Ernie Chaffin remained an unapologetic country singer at a time when Sun was renowned as a breeding ground for rockabilly. He felt the pressure to conform, and even took some halting steps in that direction, as tracks like "Linda" reveal. But ultimately, he was as country as they came. If you want to know how he really felt about rockabilly, just listen to his fleeting attempts to discuss in the taped interview that appears below. The results couldn't be more revealing. Both times Chaffin attempts to say the word 'rockabilly' he stumbles over it. Hell, he could no more say it than sing it.

01 – "LINDA" - B.M.I. - 2:13
Composer: - Ernie Chaffin
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 11, 1957
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charlie Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30128-B-2 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 13 - ROCKABILLY SUNDOWN
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-5-10 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

On "Linda", this one probably drags Ernie closer to rockabilly than anything in his entire Sun catalogue. When interviewed in the mid-1980s, he had no memory of having recorded it. As you'll hear him say on an interview, he knew it was him, but the whole thing was blotted from memory. We don't even know who wrote the song at this point. It's not a bad track, although it is clear that the band (especially the lead guitar player) was a lot more comfortable with being assertive and bluesy than Ernie was. The guitar work really bristles and we'd love to assign credit where it's due. Unfortunately, we're stuck having to guess after all these years. Best candidate: Sid Manker.

02(1) - "I'LL WALK ALONE" - B.M.I. - 1:01
Composer: - Jules Stein-Sammy Cahn
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Incomplete Take Fast Version - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 11, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-10-20 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

"I'll Walk Alone" is a mystery. There are multiple takes in the vault and Ernie remembered they had really nailed one here. In fact, he was surprised it never was released. This version usually seen as the master (although that label is somewhat arbitrary where unissued material is involved), as well as a stunning fragment from a much bluesier alternative version below. Too bad it was never completed. In either case, there's an interesting tension between Ernie's rather bland vocal style and the edgy performance of the band. This title has been credited to Jules Styne and Sammy Cahn, but further research reveals that this "I'll Walk Alone" is not the standard recorded, for example, by Dinah Shore in 1944. So... another mystery. Same title, different song.

03 - "INTERVIEW WITH ERNIE CHAFFIN" - B.M.I. - 8:22
Recorded: - 2005
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-28 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Unknown Musicians
Other Details Unknown

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 11, 1957 SUNDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis sings ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'' in his second appearance on NBC-TV's ''The Steve Allen Show''. His record ''Whole Lot'' Sun 267 exploded, just as Jud Phillips had predicted it would, almost immediately bringing the label's overall record sales back to its previous peak of close to a million singles a quarter, a level Sun had not come close to achieving since ''Blue Suede Shoes'' had dominated the charts more than a year earlier. This is the only time Allen would ever beat The Ed Sullivan Show.
AUGUST 1957

By this time, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash had been approached by Don Law from Columbia Records, who proposed that both artists move to Columbia. Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash are playing the Town Hall Party TV Show in Los Angeles this month.

It is probably at this time that Columbia Records Approaches both artists. It is likely that Perkins negotiated the termination on his contract at Sun, whereas Cash was forced to fulfill his Sun contract which was due to expire in the summer of 1958.

Sam Phillips launches the Phillips International label, to be run in conjunction with Sun. He has already stopped using the Flip label. The first five PI releases come on September 23: PI 3516 by Buddy Blake (''You Pass Me By''), PI 3517 by Hayden Thompson (''Love My Baby''), PI 3518 by Barbara Pittman (''Two Young Fools In Love''), PI 3519 by Bill Justis and His Orchestra (''Raunchy''), and PI 3520 by Johnny Carroll (''That's The Way I Love'').

AUGUST 12, 1957 MONDAY

Gene Vincent makes a rare television appearance on American Bandstand.

Decca released Patsy Cline's ''Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray''.

Columbia released Gene Sullivan's lone solo hit ''Please Pass The Biscuits''.

AUGUST 13, 1957 TUESDAY

Rusty Draper appears on the CBS variety series ''The Spike Jones Show''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SESSION FILED WEDNESDAY AUGUST 14, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

OVERDUBBED SUN SESSION: AUGUST 14, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - "MY BABE" - B.M.I. - 2:02
Composer: - Willie Dixon-Walter Jacobs
Publisher: - Arc Music
Matrix number: - None - Mistitled "My Baby".
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30115-A-1 mono
SUN THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 8 - SUN ROCKS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-23 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

02 - "SWEET MISERY" - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - 1974
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat BLP 200-4 mono
WE WANNA BOOGIE
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-29-1-25 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03(1) - "MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT" - A.S.C.A.P. - 1:39
Composer: - Clarence Williams
Publisher: - Pickwick Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1027 mono
SONNY BURGESS & THE PACERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-27 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03(2) - "MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT"* - A.S.C.A.P. - 1:54
Composer: - Clarence Williams
Publisher: - Pickwick Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - 2019
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17504-3 mono
SUN SHINES ON HANK WILLIAMS

If you're used to the issued version, when Burgess shouts ''Aw, get goin''' it is Clement's acoustic guitar that responds. Indeed, it is dispiriting to learn that an unreleased outtake features Burgess shouting his encouragement to an empty sky. Clements's solos were overdubbed. The earlier alternate takes is almost startlingly sparse. It features an electric guitar where Jack Clement's acoustic guitar solos appear on the single. It also reveals an intensity missing altogether from the original single with its overdubbed vocal chorus.

03(3) - "MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:16
Composer: - Clarence Williams
Publisher: - Pickwick Music
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-24 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

For Sonny Burgess' third single, Burgess revived Clarence Williams' jazz hokum novelty "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It" which dated back to the 1920s. Hank Williams had made the song his own, though, and it was probably Williams' version that Sonny Burgess remembered. Sonny was the closest approximation of black rhythm and blues on the market, and, in a swift kick of irony, he suffered the fate of the rhythm and blues singer: he was covered by a white pop act, in this instance Ricky Nelson. Sonny's version was released in December 1957; Ricky recorded his in January 1958 and reached number 18 on the Billboard charts. Burgess did not even have the satisfaction of having written the song - thereby seeing some composer royalties.

04 - "WHAT'CHA GONNA DO"* - B.M.I. - 1:55
Composer: - Aghmet Nugetre
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 14, 1957
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-26 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Jack Clement - Acoustic Guitar*
Johnny Ray Hubbard - Bass
Kern Kennedy - Piano
Jack Nance - Drums

Overdubbed Session

03(3) - "MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT" - A.S.C.A.P. - 2:17
Composer: - Clarence Williams
Publisher: - Pickwick Music
Matrix number: - U 280 - Master
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - December 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 285-A < mono
MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT / SWEET MISERY
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-13 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Best known by Hank Williams, "Bucket" was taken for such a fine rockabilly ride by Sunny Burgess that fledgling rocker Ricky Nelson rushed out and recorded a cover version which revealed all his limitations as a Sun wannabee. Burgess' version is an even better record than many of us realized at the time. Discovery years later of the original undubbed track pointed out two things: first, an even more powerful and driving performance had been buried under the overdubbed chorus; second, this overdub had not been done to a poor, unwilling Sonny. He was a willing participant in the process, as we hear him shout "yeh, get going's" to 16 bars of empty space awaiting Jack Clement's overdubbed guitar solo.

02(3) - "SWEET MISERY" - B.M.I. - 2:09
Composer: - Jack Clement
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 281 - Master
Recorded: - August 14, 1957
Released: - December 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 285-B < mono
SWEET MISERY / MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-1-14 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

Probably the less said about "Sweet Misery" the better. Having established their presence on "Teenage Queen", the shrieking Gene Lowery singers were beginning to establish their dreaded presence on Sun overdub sessions under Jack Clement's aegis. Commercially speaking, it was probably a move in the right direction, but arrangements like this were beginning to undermine the musical purity and quirky tension that had drawn fans and critics to those yellow Sun record in the first place.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Clement - Acoustic Guitar
Stan Kesler - Background Vocals
Dianne Stephens - Vocal
Carolyn Gray - Vocal
Don Carter - Vocal
Lee Holt - Vocal
Bill Abbott - Vocal
Asa Wilkerson - Vocal

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 1957

Sonny Burgess record ''Ain't Got A Thing'', released in January 1957, died on the vine. Burgess was disappointed, but there was worse in store. For his third single, Burgess revived the old jazz hokum novelty ''My Bucket's Got A Hole In It'' that Hank Williams had made him own in 1949. Burgess's record was further proof that he was among the closet white approximations of black rhythm and blues on the market, and so, in a swift kick of irony, he suffered the fate of the rhythm and blues singer: he was covered by a white pop act, Ricky Nelson. Burgess didn't even have the consolation of having written the song, thereby seeing some composer royalties from Nelson' version.

By this point, the Pacers started to disintegrate. The two unmarried members, drummer Russ Smith and guitarist Joe Lewis, were let go. Jack Nance left in 1958. Smith joined Jerry Lee Lewis's touring combo, while Lewis and Nance joined Conway Twitty's band (Nance would later co-write ''It's Only Make Believe'' with Twitty). Burgess tried later to secure a record deal on the West Coast without success, and returned to cut one last single for Phillips International before joining Nance and Lewis in Twitty's road band. By the late 1960s, Sonny Burgess had come to the conclusion that he would never be able to sustain a living from the music business, and he started another career as a salesman.

The recordings Burgess has made during the thirty years since he left Sun have never captured the magic that he sparked there. He often sound anonymous and lukewarm, two qualities that never come to mind when listening to his Sun output. Sam Phillips knew how to capture the booming and assertive quality of Burgess's vocals, and his years recording the blues gave him a feel for the dirty tone of Burgess's guitar and the Pacers' thunderous bottom end.

AUGUST 15, 1957 THURSDAY

"That's Right" b/w ''Forever Yours'' (Sun 274) by Carl Perkins and "I'm Lonesome" b/w ''Laughin' And Jokin''' (Sun 275) by Ernie Chaffin are released, along with Sun 276, Edwin Bruce ''Rock Boppin' Baby'' b/w ''More Than Yesterday'' released.

A Nashville judge refuses to issue an injunction that would keep Brenda Lee from singing outside of ''The Ozark Jubilee''. It effectively marks the 12-year-old transfer from Springfield, Missouri to Nashville.

The Everly Brothers recorded ''Wake Up Little Susie'' at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

AUGUST 16, 1957 FRIDAY

Buddy Holly play New York for the first time at the Apollo Theater.

Ricky Nelson recorded the pop single ''Be-Bop Baby'', his first hit in a new recording contract with Imperial Records.

The Everly Brothers recorded ''Should We Tell Him'' in RCA's temporary Nashville studios at the Methodist Television, Radio and Film Commission on McGavock Street.

''True Love Ways'' songwriter Buddy Holly makes an unlikely appearance at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. The lineup also features Clyde McPhatter.

AUGUST 1957

The primal yawp of rockabilly circa 1956 was a thing of the past by the time Sam Phillips began planning his new studio in 1958. Phillips appeared to be boldly embracing the future with a bigger studio equipment for multi-track, but he never truly came to love fuller productions, written arrangements, or pop sensibility. And then, in March 1959, he missed the two guys who understood all of those, Bill Justis and Jack Clement.

Tommy Blake was always a wild card. He was the scam artist he sang about on ''Flat Foot Sam'', and an inventive country songwriter, but he was not a great singer. He knew how to make his records personable, and he picked a fabulous lead guitarist in Carl Adams, but, like ''Flat Foot Sam'', he was always in a jam. In exchange for some of the money Blake always needed, Phillips acquired the songwriting and the publishing on ''Story Of A Broken Heart''. Johnny Cash's recordings amply repaid that investment.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

It is hard to think of another artist from Sun's golden era who labored under such obscurity. Considering the fact that Tommy Blake had two, not one singles released on Sun Records, and that neither was particularly wimpy, it is curious that he remains such a nonentity. Both of Tommy Blake's singles (the other is SUN 300) were met with almost no financial or critical success and, other than their rarity, are not even prime collectables. What went wrong here?

Blake worked out of Shreveport on the fringe of the country music business, and joined the Louisiana Hayride in September 1957 - around the time this single was recorded. A few months earlier he had been in town to brush shoulders with Elvis Presley on the latter's return. The details of Blake's rather tragic life and death are recounted in a recent Goldmine article by Colin Escott.

Its true that the lives of few hillbilly singers end in happy retirement, but Blake's ended worse than most when his wife murdered him.

STUDIO SESSION FOR TOMMY BLAKE
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY AUGUST 18, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) - "LORDY HOODY" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Johnny Blake-Eddie Hall-Carl Bailey Adams
Publisher: - Tree Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 18, 1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Bopcat Records (LP) 33rpm Bopcat 400-14 mono
GOIN' BACK TO MEMPHIS

01(2) - "LORDY HOODY" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Johnny Blake-Eddie Hall-Carl Bailey Adams
Publisher: - Tree Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 267 - Master
Recorded: - August 18, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 278-B < mono
LODY HOODY / FLAT FOOT SAM
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-26 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Lordy Hoody" is not a particularly good record. Recorded originally for RCA Victor (under the title "All Night Long") and relegated to the unreleased pile, Blake re-recorded the tune in slightly modified version for Sam Phillips. Ironically, the ballad side RCA Victor did release, an acoustic gem titled "Freedom", remains Blake's best recorded work. For some reason, Phillips or his studio disciples envisioned Blake as a rocker. It may have been a mistake. If you can discern the lyrics to "Lordy Hoody", you find a tale of a square old man who is at best mildly bemused by the young uns' wild music and carrying on.

Not much to get excited about here, except for Carl Adams' stinging Fender guitar work, which pushed the limits of 45rom reproduction and is pretty intense even for rockabilly fans.

02 - "FLAT FOOT SAM" - B.M.I. - 2:01
Composer: - Oscar Clara Wills
Publisher: - Hiphill Music
Matrix number: - U 266 - Master
Recorded: - August 18, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 278-A < mono
FLAT FOOT SAM / LORDY HOODY
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-25 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Tommy Blake's first Sun single "Flat Foot Sam", wasn't one of his songs. A Shreveport-area TV repairman named Oscar Wills (dubbed T.V. Slim by local music honcho Stan Lewis) wrote and first recorded it for the local Cliff Records, a label associated with Ram Records. The song was published by Ram's Hip Hill Music, and sold well enough for Chess Records to take an interest. Chess purchased the Cliff master and issued it on Checker Records before deciding that it was too ragged. They told Slim to re-record it in New Orleans and the new version was issued on their Argo label. It was a measure of Sun president Sam Phillips' faith in it that he issued Blake's version despite the fact that he didn't own the music publishing. In the studio, he paired Blake with session drummer Jimmy M, Van Eaton and a vocal group. For his part, Blake easily related to a song about a scam artist who can't win for losing: "Flat Foot Sam stole a ten dollar bill. Told the judge he did it for a thrill...". ''Flat Foot Sam" sold well enough for Sun to keep the faith.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Tommy Blake - Vocal and Guitar
Carl Bailey Adams - Guitar
Edward "Eddie Hall" Dettenheim - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

The Singing Sons
Elijan Franklin - Vocal Chorus
John Franklin - Vocal Chorus
Andre Mitchell - Vocal Chorus
Johnny Pryor - Vocal Chorus

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

The Tragedy of Tommy Blake
by Shane Hughes

Tommy Blake was one of the more curious characters of the Big Beat era. He was a man with talent, but seemed unable to channel his talent in the right direction. Instead of harvesting the rewards he should have received for his genuine songwriting ability, he burnt too many fingers and rubbed too many people the wrong way.

Bill Millar has said of Blake, "The records of Tommy Blake afford a glimpse of a man of considerable imagination as well as flights of indiscipline". He continued, saying Blake was a "headlong troublemaker" and concluded with the lugubrious summary of his life being "-a psychodrama far cheaper than any he wrote about".

Noted musicologist Colin Escott similarly opined, "Tommy Blake's life was a How-Not- To-Do-It manual", elaborating with the unfavorable retrospection. "He was one of the guys who never really made it but got close enough to know what 'making it' was all about. Close enough to know that he wanted it badly. Some guys can give it a shot, accept that the public doesn't want to buy what they have to sell, then move on, happy that they at least tried. Not Tommy Blake. He couldn't accept the public's verdict with good grace".

Tommy certainly did get close enough to being the success that he strove for. He was handed many opportunities and, when all is said and done, he should have been firmly ensconced on Music Row by the time of his death in 1985. He was his own worst enemy, though, as one of the few people that was ever close to Tommy, guitarist Ed Dettenheim (a.k.a. Eddie Hall), told me ...

Blake had talent. He could have been big but he inevitably did things that set him up for failure. He was without a doubt the best salesman I have ever known. He could talk himself into getting anything he wanted but would invariably keep on selling until the deal was compromised. He knew that but could not seem to help it. My role was often to accompany him and 'punch him' when it was time to end the hype and shut up".

There were just a handful of shining moments in Blake's long and tortuous music career. Those few luminous moments did offer a concise glimpse of Tommy Blake's aspiring talent as a songwriter and proved that he did indeed have a "-considerable imagination-".

Blake's beginnings proved to be a mirror image of the songs he would later write, as his earliest years were far less than auspicious. He was christened Thomas LeVan Givens when born illegitimately on September 14, 1931. His place of birth is speculative. Early research by Jay Orr and Adam Komorowski indicated Tommy's birthplace as Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother is believed t o be from Shreveport. However, more recent findings by Escott and Millar reveal that he was actually born in Dallas, Texas. Apparently, the young Tommy never knew his father and, due to his illicit birth, was never looked upon kindly by his mother. This neglect seemed to instill a waywardness in Tommy's character. As he grew older and matured, he became more of a rounder, a trait that would remain with him for the rest of his life. During these early, formative years his abstinence first reared when he was, according to Escott, supposedly jailed for statutory rape while in his teens. One of Tommy's daughters from his first marriage has since denied this claim and irrefutable proof of Tommy serving time has yet to be been uncovered.

He learned to play guitar and developed a liking for country music while he was still in school. In 1951 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, but never made it past boot camp. During training in North Carolina he lost an eye and later claimed to anyone who would listen that he sustained the injury in Korea. He did play regularly to the other enlisted ranks before his discharge and when he eventually left the Marine Corps he settled in Louisiana, taking up work as a performer and deejay on radio station KTBS in Shreveport. Around 1954 Tommy married for the first time, tying the knot with Betty Jones in Carthage, Texas. Soon after, he moved back to Louisiana, with his new bride in tow. This time he settled in Ruston and found work at station KRUS.

Joining the Ruston station was a major turning point in Tommy's music career. He would meet two other aspiring musicians with similar ideas to his; a chance meeting at an obscure radio station that would present him with his first opportunity to crack the big time. These two young musicians were the gifted guitarist Carl Adams and rhythm guitarist/occasional bass player Ed Dettenheim. The pair had been active at KRUS as session musicians for some time before Tommy found work there, and had first met years before. Carl Bailey Adams was born in Rayville, Louisiana to Monroe Cleveland and Lura Elizabeth Adams on November 7, 1935. He was the last born of ten children, four of whom died at birth. His other siblings included sisters Gladys, Myree, Genny and Vaudie and an older brother Clyde. Carl would mature into a deeply troubled soul, more so than the irreverent Tommy in his later years. His pain stemmed from a traumatic incident that occurred when he was only five years old and would scar him physically and mentally for the remainder of his short life. On October 11, 1941, less than a month before his sixth birthday, his brother Clyde and his sister Gladys' husband, Alton, were planning to go hunting and had asked their father for use of his double barrel shotgun. Monroe retrieved the weapon, laying it on a table in the dining room of their Epps, Louisiana home. Gladys and other members of the family were milling about the kitchen sink, when Gladys heard her father say that he'd laid the gun on the dining room table. When she realized that Carl and her two year old son Charles Alvis were in the dining room, she screamed for her father to get the gun. As she did she saw that Carl had already jammed two fingers into the barrels and her scream had startled him, causing him to jerk his fingers out of the gun. Nobody knew that the safety was off and one shell had been loaded, when Carl's sudden movement forced the shotgun to roll and discharge. Once the initial shock of the blast had subsided, the scene that unfolded was of utter horror. The two fingers Carl had pushed into the gun barrels were blown clean off his left hand. Worse still, his young cousin, who was in the direct line of fire, had been decapitated by the blast. Carl was devastated. He believed he was responsible for his cousin's death and the guilt would always remain with him.

His hand was partially mended by surgery to shape his other fingers into a claw like grip so he could grasp objects and, in an effort to prevent his left hand becoming a handicap, Carl's mother bought him a guitar when he turned twelve. He taught himself to play the instrument and eventually developed a technique whereby he played left-handed, with thumb picks taped to his thumb and banjo picks taped to his little finger and holding the guitar upside down and backwards. Totally unique and very much reminiscent of veteran French jazz picker Django Reinhardt (whose left hand had been mangled by an accidental fire), Carl's style of playing prevented his deformed hand from becoming an impediment, and allowing him to create sounds that completely baffled other players and spurring Ed Dettenheim to describe as his "screaming guitar sound".

Around this time, the pre-pubescent Carl first met future rocker Dale Hawkins while an elementary school student in Mangham, Louisiana. The pair attended the same school and, no doubt, shared similar interests. They struck a lasting relationship, but it would be at least another decade before Carl and Dale would perform together professionally. Carl later graduated to the Louisiana Technical College, where he met the man who would become his closest friend, Ed Dettenheim.

Ed's upbringing was far less traumatic than his friend Carl's. He was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on February 23, 1934 and took to playing drums at around the same time Carl began learning the rudiments of guitar. By the age of 13 he was a guitarist in a teenage band, but confessed he was not entirely proficient as a lead guitarist ...

"I learned to play left handed first and switched to right so I was never that great a lead player. I simply could not move that pick in my right hand fast like flatpickers but I could put harmony and rhythm to anything a picker could play. Filling in the gaps and surrounding whatever melody one might play with supportive sound was why Blake sought me out I suppose and why Adams and I made a unique team".

After meeting Carl at Louisiana Tech, they both gained work as session players at radio station KRUS in Ruston. Not long after, Tommy Blake entered their world.

Contrary to previous accounts, Tommy did not form the Rhythm Rebels. As Ed clearly pointed out, "I didn't 'join' the Rhythm Rebels. Carl and I were the Rhythm Rebels". By this stage the duo had been working together for some time, but hadn't adopted a commercial name as such. When Tommy joined KRUS and befriended Carl and Ed, he convinced them to become his backing band and only on the occasions when providing support to Tommy was the band known as the Rhythm Rebels. Carl and Ed frequently backed other KRUS acts, but not as the Rhythm Rebels. The fourth addition to the group was a drummer by the name of Tom Ruple. A fellow Louisiana native, Ed had known Tom since they had performed in a high school band together. Collectively, the trio was known as the Rhythm Rebels when they hit the road with Tommy, touring mostly around the confines of Shreveport. Ed recalls one of their first gigs in Alexandria, a show that also boasted the prime billing of Johnny Horton, Johnny Cash and Tommy Sands. Sands was minus his own band for the show, so the Rhythm Rebels played behind him. For their efforts, the entire entourage was paid $200, which they were to divide evenly amongst themselves. Hardly the star status Tommy Blake was aspiring to.

By 1955 Tommy and his band were playing further south. Following appearances on The Ruston Hill Country Hoedown and The Big T in Texarkana, the group headed for Dallas and a thirteen week engagement on the Big D Jamboree, topped with a ten month stint on The Grand Prize Jamboree in Houston. This was still the small time, though. Tommy was looking for that elusive break and it came when he and the band were invited to perform on Hoss Logan's famed Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport. Still peddling country sounds, Tommy's perspective soon changed when he witnessed the phenomenon that was Elvis Presley. The Tupelo born singer had been a regular on the Hayride since late the previous year. By the time Tommy and the Rhythm Rebels joined the show's cast, Presley's sound was still fresh and sending larger ripples through the music industry as time progressed. Few were unaffected by his hybrid music, least of all Tommy Blake. He was won over completely by the new beat.

Sold on this new sound, Tommy found it easy to adapt to a repertoire of rock and roll, as did Carl, Ed and Tom. Ed had now switched to bass after a "-twist of fate", as Ed called it, one night on the Hayride. Carl had nurtured his abilities significantly by this time too, as is evident on their first recordings made for A. T. Young's Buddy label in Marshall, Texas. Young had been managing the Marshall Jamboree, aired over station KMHT in Marshall, and had formed his own Buddy label (named after his son Noble 'Buddy' Young) a year or so earlier. He likely became aware of Blake and the Rhythm Rebels following their appearance on Johnny Horton's television show on KLTV in Tyler probably during the early months of '56. Tommy was one of the first acts to record for Young and was followed closely by other equally obscure Texas acts as Lucky Boggs, Jim Hadley, Don Boots and Joe Richie, all of whom cut creditable rockabilly sides for Young's label. Ed recalls that the session may have taken place at the KWKH studios in Shreveport, with Sonny Trammel brought in on steel. Tom Ruple was conspicuously absent from the session that spawned just two titles, the first of which proved a showcase for Carl's deft picking. The tune in question, Tommy's self-penned Koolit, was seminal rockabilly. Carl's simple, yet robust melodic theme was complimented superbly by Ed's propulsive rhythm. However, many may consider Koolit to be the bands
weakest and most contrived effort. In a sense, such criticism is not totally without foundation. Lyrically, the song was pure corn. Regardless, this was the first recorded example of Tommy Blake and the Rhythm Rebels expounding their version of the infantile Big Beat and for this fact alone, Koolit is an important artifact. In contrast, Tommy and the group remained loyal to their country roots for the flipside, If I'm A Fool. Issued as Buddy 107, the release wasn't the hit record that Tommy may have been hoping for. Tommy and the Rhythm Rebels kept up their appearances on the Hayride though, with Carl and Ed even signing to the show as regular session musicians.

When ''Koolit'' failed to set alight the popular music charts, Tommy mustn't have been too perturbed. This was only a minor setback and his desire to make the big time was still strong as is evident in the fact that he was fervently writing songs with Carl and Ed. Nashville was now beckoning. Ed can still recall the day in April 1957 when he, Tommy and Carl decided to head north to Tennessee and peddle their wares to Music Row publishers ...

"I wrote (songs) as did Blake. Together we had material galore. Carl, Blake and I loaded in an old station wagon and headed for Nashville in search of a record deal and some publishing contracts. Webb Pierce owned Cedarwood Publishing Co. He signed for several of our songs as he knew (Johnny) Horton was hot to record a couple. Next day we went over to Tree Publishing and Buddy Killen also wanted our material. He introduced us to Chet at RCA. Chet wanted to sign us on RCA and asked us to return to Nashville a few days later to record 4 songs".

Blake's chance had arrived. Country music kingpin Chet Atkins had shown interest in the material he had written with Carl and Ed and, better yet, he had been offered the opportunity to record for one the country's major record corporations. The group went home, probably overjoyed with the outcome of their foray into Nashville. Four days later they made the return trip north, with Ed behind the wheel ...

"That session still sticks rather clearly in my mind. I was the 'designated driver' on the way from Louisiana to that RCA session. It was around midnight and coming a rainstorm. I ran a stop sign in a little town west of Nashville called Humbolt-never even saw the sign it was so dark and raining so hard. The cops stopped me. We didn't have $10 to pay the speeding ticket. I sat on a desk in the jail while Blake called Chet. Chet had to get up out of bed and go down and wire me $10 so we could be there to cut the session that day. We were all tired and sleepy but we made it somehow".

At two o'clock on the afternoon of April 15, Tommy and his band entered RCA's newly constructed studio B on McGavock Street, where they were joined by a handful of Nashville's finest session men. Carl played lead on the date, with Ed providing support on rhythm. To bolster the rhythm section, Chet brought in Buddy Killen on bass, Farris Coursey on drums and the ubiquitous Floyd Cramer was at the piano stool. The session kicked off with a tune written by the trio of Blake, Adams and Hall (Dettenheim) called Honky Tonk Mind.

From the moment Carl struck the first chords of the introduction it was all too clear that the band had matured as musicians and songwriters and, although the tune harked back to their country roots, was a more convincing effort at recording rockabilly than their earlier Buddy release. The lyrics were superlative and Carl's string bending was nothing short of astounding. Next in the can was the ballad Freedom, a song that Hawkshaw Hawkins, who was now an RCA act, would record twice for the label (his first version was cut on September 11 and remained unissued. His second take on the tune was recorded a year later on September 8 and released as RCA 47-7389). An instrumental worked up for the session by Carl and Ed followed (Mister Hoody), with the session closing on an aggressive note and the first true installment of the Hoody saga, All Night Long (written in the living room of Ed's home). Carl certainly left an indelible impression on Chet with this song. His take off solos pierce the skull and are truly menacing. As always, Ed was filling in the gaps with a solid rhythm. Conversely though, Tommy's vocals seemed too light for the atmosphere created by Carl's riffs. At this stage, the trio was probably still perfecting their sound and may have been finding it difficult to break the shackles tying them to their hillbilly beginnings. Nevertheless, this was a solid session.

Tommy should have started counting the dollars roll in, but this was not to be. He had sold himself out early and burnt his bridge before even reaching it. On his first trip to Nashville with Carl and Ed the previous week, Tommy had offered Honky Tonk Mind to Johnny Horton, who duly recorded it for Columbia on the 11th. When RCA executives heard of Horton's version the situation rapidly deteriorated, particularly when competing music publishers became involved. Tillman Franks, Horton's manager at the time, was more than aware of the ensuing conflagration between RCA and Columbia and decided to rush Horton's version onto the market (Columbia 4-40919) on April 22 under the title of The Woman I Need, with writer credits to himself and a Cedarwood Music employee named Lee Emerson. Not surprisingly, Tommy's version was held back by RCA. Infuriated, he invoked a lawsuit over the composer credits to Horton's version of the song, which he eventually won. His efforts were to no avail, though and recompense for his mistake was not forthcoming. Unwilling to continue an association with the rogue singer, Chet was advised to issue Freedom and Mister Hoody back to back (RCA 47-6925), then nullify his contract.

Success was close enough to touch. Carl and Ed were bitterly disappointed. Tommy had blown it. What had gone wrong? Ever the salesman, Tommy had spread his product too wide and found it difficult to keep control. As a result, he sold himself down the river before he had a chance to strike gold. Ed certainly hit the mark when he said that Tommy would " - invariably keep on selling until the deal was compromised".

Luckily, another chance for Tommy to record and take another shot at fame was enticingly close. With Carl and Ed still in tow, he attended a disc jockey convention a few short months after leaving RCA. Also in attendance at the meeting was renowned Memphis producer Sam Phillips, who Tommy was fortunate enough to meet and chat with. During their conversation, Sam may have inferred an interest in wanting to record Tommy and the Rhythm Rebels as that Summer, the trio traveled to Memphis to solicit a recording date at Sun. Sam consented and the group, bolstered by Sun session drummer Jimmy Van Eaton, cut a brief session. The result was a solid reworking of TV Slim's Clif/Checker label recording of ''Flat Foot Sam'' and a further addition to the Hoody saga with the very raw and unbridled ''Lordy Hoody'' (the term Hoody derived from Who Dey?, itself a bastardization of Who are they?). ''Flat Foot Sam'' proved that Tommy and the Rhythm Rebels now had a firm grasp on rockabilly, while ''Lordy Hoody'' was a perfect showcase for Carl's blistering or "screaming" guitar work. Similarly, Tommy sounded far more comfortable with the new rhythm and blues tinged material. ''Lordy Hoody'' was pure, lowdown rockabilly, rivaling the work of other Sun stalwarts as Jimmy Wages and Ray Harris. Sam noted similar merit in both cuts as he chose to couple them for release on September 14 as Sun 278.

''Flat Foot Sam'' sold reasonably well in regional markets and was Tommy's first real taste of success, no matter how fleeting it may have seemed. Further, the records prosperity may have instilled thoughts of greater fame in Tommy, as he returned to 706 Union early in March 1958 to record a demo session without the backing of Carl and Ed. Of the nine sides he cut at this session, Ballad Of A Broken Heart possessed the greatest potential; a fact realized when Johnny Cash recorded the tune just two months later on May 15 as Story Of A Broken Heart.

Tommy may have prematurely dashed his hopes on the song becoming a hit as Sam waited over two years to release Johnny's version of the song and when he did, he assumed credit as the writer (Tommy may have been experiencing financial difficulty at the time and sold the song to Sam shortly before it was released).

Only two other titles from this session have survived (or, at least, have been located and since released), I Dig You Baby and You Better Believe It. Both songs illustrate Tommy's creative and now tender grasp on the teenage idiom of rock and roll, but proved to be worthy of revival a few weeks later when he recorded his second full band session for Sun on March 16.

Carl and Ed had since parted company with Tommy. The Hayride was beginning to wind down by 1958 and so too was the support that Carl and Ed particularly, had been showing him. Appearing unforlorn over the split, Ed recalled that "the Hayride and personal appearances were still receptive of Blake so Carl and I were still active, but the fire was gone and in our mind Blake had blown it". The pair may have contributed to some of the material that Tommy demoed at Sun in March; however, they were no longer Rhythm Rebels. Leaving the Hayride cast, Ed returned to college (Louisiana State University) to complete a degree in psychiatric social work. He remained active for a time, playing mostly blues on the college circuit and recording behind various acts who breezed through the studios at KWKH. Shortly after parting company with Tommy, Ed cut two sides for Chic Thompson's ill-fated Chic label based in Georgia. He cut the session at RCA's studio B with Hank Garland and Chet Atkins arranging the date. Recording only two songs, the countrified My Baby's Got A Picture For A Daddy and the calypso tinged Little Love Light, he was robbed of a solo release when Chic became embroiled in the Nancy Whiskey affair that followed the stateside success of Freight Train. Ed later graduated from LSU and would go on to work prolifically for the state and as a superintendent for various state institutions for the mentally retarded. He retired in 1986 and says, "I never quit writing or playing. I still write and I still play at least once a week. I never played professionally again after the Hayride closed its doors and I went back to college. I mostly play country, gospel and a bit of bluegrass today. I still play a few sessions now and then when somebody needs my creative efforts, but it's mostly helping others demo their material".

When the Rhythm Rebels dissolved, Carl found work with his old school friend Dale Hawkins. He had joined Dale's band well before Tommy cut his demo session for Sun in March 1958. Some time during the latter half of 1957, Carl headed to Fort Worth, Texas with Dale to record at Clifford Herring's studio. When listening to the results of this impromptu session, it's no wonder that Dale wanted Carl for his band. The high energy take of Tarheel Slim's Number Nine Train is consummate rockabilly. So too was Carl's instrumental work out Daredevil, which luckily still survives on acetate. Carl then followed Dale to Chicago and was featured on a handful of his Checker cuts recorded late that year including Baby Baby (Checker 876), Tornado (Checker 892) and Little Pig (flip of Tornado). Kenny Paulsen was working with Dale by this time as well, and he remembers Carl and Kenny forming a formidable pair on stage, " - when I had Kenny and Carl at the same time, we'd kill 'em! Just knock 'em out! You talk about skinnin' it, boy!" A brief stint with Janis Joplin followed in the mid sixties.

Not long after, Carl was gone, a victim of prescription drugs. The final years of his life were hell. Playing long hours and too many gigs eventually took a toll on Carl's health. He became addicted to over-the-counter drugs and on more than one occasion sort help (he had checked himself into the Central Louisiana State Hospital late in '61), to no avail. Doctors told him that it was not illegal to use such drugs and admitting him to hospital for rehabilitation would prove costly. Finally, on the day before his death, Carl called his mother from El Paso desperately pleading for help. He told her that doctors in El Paso wouldn't admit him for rehabilitation. He managed to find the funds to purchase a bus ticket to Bakersfield, California where his mother and sister Vaudie were residing at the time. The people who bought the ticket for him had inadvertently purchased a ticket for Long Beach and not Bakersfield. Carl took it anyway and was met in Long Beach by Vaudie. She was an operating room nurse and immediately recognized the symptoms of kidney failure in her younger brother. She drove him directly to hospital (where, ironically, his mother had been recently admitted for pneumonia) and was whisked into surgery. He didn't pull through and died from the effects of kidney failure on February 25, 1965. Carl was only thirty and at his peak.

Tom Ruple, the unknown third of the Rhythm Rebels, still resides in Louisiana and maintains contact with Ed. He worked as a drummer at a club in Texarkana for quite some time after the Rhythm Rebels folded. According to Ed, he is now involved with a group playing Christian music, but his tenor singing voice is very much intact.

With the Rhythm Rebels gone, Tommy utilized Sam Phillips' prime house musicians in Roland Janes, Sid Manker, Stan Kesler, Jimmy Van Eaton and Jimmy Wilson for his March 16 Sun session. Also, Ed Bruce, who had recorded a handful of dates for Sun since March the previous year, was added to the lineup on second guitar. Sweetie Pie* and the reworked I Dig You Baby were the strongest cuts from this session, and sensing that the songs may have had some teen appeal, Sam coupled them for release in June (Sun 300). Two other cuts from this session, a revised version of You Better Believe It and an adaptation of Ray Smith's Shake Around, remained in the can.

Tommy's second outing on Sun was far more polished than his first, in spite of Roland Janes' presence on the record. The arrangements were certainly memorable, although Sweetie Pie and I Dig You Baby lacked the hard edge of ''Lordy Hoody'', due primarily to the noticeable absence of Carl Adams. Tommy's busy take on Shake Around was the only tune from the March 16 session that possessed the same primitive nature as ''Lordy Hoody'' and ''Flat Foot Sam''. It seems that Tommy's direction was beginning to change and, judging by the poor sales of I Dig You Baby, he was heading the wrong way. The records lack of success was a clear indication that Tommy Blake's talents did not lie in writing and arranging pop songs, so he countervailed his contract with Sam Phillips and the hallowed Sun diskery and immersed himself in the country music field.

Before leaving Sun, Tommy may have bequeathed Sam his Marine Corps pal, Jonas B. Ross (otherwise known as Jerry or Gene). Late in 1958 or possibly early the following year, Jerry supposedly submitted two demos to Sun, neither of which Sam saw fit to release. An enigmatic figure, Tommy probably met Jerry while the two were enlisted in the Marine Corps and both were based in Shreveport around the time that Tommy cut his second Sun session. While working as head bell hop at the Captain Shreve Hotel, Jerry seems to have struck a tentative songwriting partnership with Tommy shortly before the latter's contract with RCA expired in '57. This speculative claim is based on the fact that Jerry co-inked I Dig You Baby with Tommy, while both names appear erroneously as the credited writers of Sweetie Pie, a song that Dale Hawkins first recorded in Chicago for Checker late in '57, at least three months prior to Tommy's version hitting the market. Jerry's demos of Everybody's Trying To Kiss My Baby and Little One that he submitted to Sun under the name of Gene Ross, offer only sparse evidence as to the true nature of the partnership the two shared, as the former title is the only demo since located and bares no indication of the writers responsible for the tune. The sole clue that solidifies the affirmation of a partnership between the pair is a seven-inch record that Jerry cut in 1959 for the Shreveport based Murco label owned by Dick Martin and Harding Desmarais (could this be Dee Marais' real name?). The top-side of the Murco single, Everybody's Tryin' (as by Jerry Ross on Murco 1016), is identical in every aspect to the earlier Sun version and credits Thomas Givens and Jonah Ross as the writers. As Givens was Tommy's given surname, it is fairly clear that the two singers did, for at least a year or so, work together as songwriters. The flip of Jerry's Murco disc, Small Little Girl, may be a reworking of his still missing Sun demo Little One.

Jerry wrote at least two other songs with Tommy, including Alright and a tune that Tommy would record for Bragg in 1964 as Van Givens, titled You And I (Betty Givens was also credited as part composer). Little else is known of Ross though, aside from a few records that appeared under the name of Gene Ross in 1958 on Herald (the Al Silver owned label?), Indie and Spry (a re-issue of the Indie disc) and one final release on Time in 1962. There may exist unissued recordings by Jerry in the KWKH tape library too. Ed Dettenheim is sure that he backed Jerry on two titles recorded at the station's studio, probably around the time he and Carl parted company with Tommy. With Carl Adams on lead, Jerry cut a rendition of Shadow My Baby (possibly the Glenn Barber song?) and a tune composed by Ed, Mr. Blues. Ed's memory of the session is faint, "It was a low down blues (Mr. Blues) with Carl playing awesome string bending walking stuff. He cut a couple more songs but I don't remember what they were".

Still longing for that hit record and minus a record label, and even his own band, Tommy returned to Shreveport. He supposedly worked for a time as a deejay on KWKH before befriending a rising young talent in the country music field, Carl Belew, and forming a far more lucrative songwriting partnership with him than his previous collaboration with Jerry Ross. Carl had already hit pay dirt by the time he met Tommy. He was still riding high on Johnnie and Jack's hit RCA recording of his Stop The World (And Let Me Off) (RCA 7137), which had peaked at number seven on Billboard's country charts in February 1958. He had also been a regular on the Louisiana Hayride since 1957 and appeared on the television networked Ozark Jubilee in 1958. Carl knew what success felt like.

Born in Salina, Oklahoma on April 21, 1931, Carl was given his first guitar at the age of thirteen. By his fifteenth birthday he had found work in the construction field as a plumber, a vocation that saw him regularly traversing the mid-west. Carl frequently visited California, where he met Kenny Sowder, a small-time entrepreneur who would eventually become his manager. His first recordings appeared on the 4 Star custom imprint, Sowder. Further sides were issued on 4 Star proper, while Carl was simultaneously performing on the Town Hall Party in Compton and the Cliffie Stone Show in Los Angeles in 1956. Two years later, he had left the Louisiana Hayride, joining the celebrated Grand Ole Opry and signing with Decca. Around twelve months later his path crossed with Tommy Blake's when Tommy pitched his banal Cool Gator Shoes (or Cool Alligator) to Carl. Reminiscent of his earliest attempts to pen rock and roll, Tommy had written the song while recording sporadically at Dee Marais' studio in Shreveport in 1958. Carl liked the song and cut his version for Decca at Owen Bradley's studio in Nashville during the first week of June 1959. Only two months before, he had scored a major coup when his recording of Am I That Easy To Forget became a Billboard hit, spawning innumerable cover versions by the likes of Debbie Reynolds (number 25 Pop), Englebert Humperdinck, Skeeter Davis, Jim Reeves, Orion, Don Gibson and Leon Russell. Trying to cash in on Carl's good fortune, Tommy misleadingly claimed to be the song's co-writer. Posterity proved otherwise. Tommy was clearly aware of Carl's success. His growing fame is what Tommy had been striving for himself and he may have thought that associating and working with a fresh and vivacious talent as Carl could relegate him the prosperity he had been searching for the past few years. Conversely, Carl must have seen something in Tommy that told him the budding songwriter had talent, as the duo's prolific partnership lasted into the coming decade.

Before the year was out, Tommy took one final shot at cutting a rocker. Still based in Shreveport and recording under the auspices of Dee Marais, Tommy waxed the superlative Folding Money on Marais' own Recco label (Recco 1006). Acquired deviously a few years earlier in Dallas, Tommy's F-olding Money was a Summertime Blues structured tune possessing an infectious, rhythmic boogie beat evocative of his best recordings for RCA and Sun. In contrast, the version Carl Belew recorded at his Cool Gator Shoes Decca date is moderately more sublime and remained unissued until recently. Interestingly, both recordings of the song credit Tommy, Carl and the pseudonymous W. S. Stevenson (4 Star's Bill McCall in disguise) as the writers. A popular Texan country duo was the true genius behind F-olding Money, but Tommy claimed it as his creation, much like he 'adapted' Dale Hawkins' Sweetie Pie as his own. Regardless, F-olding Money and its western themed flip, The Hanging Judge, sold poorly and Tommy was short-changed again.

The game was not over for Tommy yet, though. Working with Carl was bringing out the best in him. While Carl continued making hit records for Decca into the new decade, Tommy was busy putting ink to paper and rolling out one quality tune after another. The reward eventually arrived in 1961 when Darrell Edwards expressed interest in a song the pair had written titled Tender Years. Both Carl and Tommy could have cashed in on a superb deal, if Tommy had only played his cards right. In need of money, he sold the song to Darrell who wasted no time in pitching Tender Years to his pal George Jones. George was quick to cut the tune for Mercury (Mercury 71804) under the supervision of 'Pappy' Daily, and saw a number one country hit with it in 1961. To add to the hurt, James O'Gwynn and Reggie Lucas recorded the song, turning it into an enticing future nest egg for Darrell Edwards.

By this stage of Tommy's life a firm pattern was beginning to emerge. He had already cheated himself of the benefits that Johnny Horton had reaped with the success of Honky Tonk Mind. Now, he'd cheated himself again with Tender Years and the bitterness was growing stronger. Booze offered some solace, but the frustration would always linger. He was determined to succeed and his partnership with Carl Belew continued for a few more years. Tommy cut a few more records himself, as well. After waxing a disc for Chancellor in 1960 (coupling two tunes co-inked by Belew), he signed with the west coast based 4 Star label, recording one disc for the company in 1961 (Back Door To Heaven b/w I Try Harder, 4 Star 1765). Released under the moniker of Van Givens, his 4 Star disc aired little better than any of his previous efforts. Records followed on Bragg, Musicor and Paula through to 1967, but it was now painfully obvious that Tommy's time had passed and there would be no more chances.

He persevered. Feverishly writing songs on his own and occasionally with others (particularly Clyde Pitts Jr. and Carl Belew's son, Bobby), he maintained contact with the Nashville establishment, hoping that the elusive hit would soon arrive. Stonewall Jackson's 1967 chart topping Columbia recording of the Blake/Belew composition Stamp Out Loneliness (Columbia 43966, number 5 Billboard) ensured the royalty cheques, however minimal, were still arriving. However, to help further support his family, Tommy found work as a carpenter during the early seventies. His alcoholism was getting worse, though and in 1972 he suffered a heart attack. Colin Escott claims Tommy and his family was living in Carthage, Texas at this time and in 1976, he moved to Nashville. Whether Betty and any of his six children followed is another matter. He'd sworn off the booze after his heart attack in '72, but he wasn't completely reformed. In his work, Tattooed On Their Tongues, Escott vividly depicted how Tommy had reached his lowest ebb, "Like a dice player, Blake was looking for the win so high and wild that he would never need to roll again. This time nobody wanted to listen, though, and Blake ended up in Georgia without Betty. There he met Samantha, and they moved to Shreveport". Escott's portrayal of Tommy's supposed self-destruction should not be taken too literally. According to Sondra Hall, a close friend of Tommy's second wife 'Samantha' (her real name was actually Luvenia Carter), the newly wedded couple lived briefly in Tyler, Texas before moving to Bossier City, not far from Shreveport. While Tommy had resumed his alcoholism, he wasn't the drug abuser that Escott depicted him as. Further, Tommy was no wife-beater and tried to be the model husband to his wife, "Samantha was treated like a queen. Van (Tommy) received a military disability pension along with royalty payments, but Samantha was never satisfied with the money he brought in".

While he may have felt some resentment for not seeing the success he so desperately wanted, he wasn't dwelling over his failures either. Sondra continues, "He was writing and home-recording song after song. He was in contact with performers, notably Ray Stevens and happier than he had been in years". She went on to outline how she had three ninety minute cassettes of songs Tommy had written and primitively recorded in a one month period! Escott's claims of Tommy's demise are completely unfounded, too. He stressed how Tommy was virtually a wreck from alcohol and drug abuse, in addition to his total depression. He also presented the assumption that Tommy's behavior towards Samantha is what caused his death. Sondra disagrees and recollects the events of that fateful Christmas Eve in 1985 ...

"Samantha had been to the grocery market that afternoon - buying food with illegally applied for food stamps. Ursula and Tamara, her daughters went with her. Van was at home with her cousin Dale and they were playing music and maybe even talking about the "truckstop" tape of nasty lyrics Van had taped & sold to buy Christmas for his family. He (had) bought Sam a pair of diamond earrings. Sam & the girls returned home, not to a trailer park, but a beautiful 4-bedroom Florida style home with master suite opening to a patio. Van was drinking beer with Dale. Neither of the men would help with the groceries and this pissed Sam off. Dale left, and Sam began to argue with Van. She slammed out of the kitchen, went into the garage, where she had her office-unlocked the door, got her pistol, went out the garage door across the patio, entered the master bedroom, got the bullets and loaded the gun and went back to the garage. She called Van out there and he approached her with his hands behind his back. He asked her Not to be mad and reminded her it was Christmas Eve. He held out a small jewelers Box to her and said, 'These are for you'. She shot him. One time-thru the heart. He was dead before he hit the garage floor".

Samantha was never indicted for murdering her husband. Why the charges against her were dropped may never be known either. As Sondra observed, Tommy was "-happier than he had been in years". What spurred Samantha to cut him down and end his life so coldly? From all accounts, Samantha (she had assumed the moniker and Social Security number of her oldest daughter to avoid paying debts) seemed shadier than Tommy had ever been. Maybe she had a sinister motive for wanting to kill her husband. Surely, such a minor grievance wouldn't be sufficient reason for murder? The truth will probably remain a mystery. As for Tommy, he was cheated for the last time. Samantha made sure of that.

After thirty years of chasing his ambitions, Tommy failed to achieve what he wanted so badly - to write a - number one country hit that he could spend his retirement reaping the benefits from. He had enough chances, let them slip away at the last moment, then stood by and watched as others benefited from the prosperity that should have been his. He may not have always been legitimate in his business dealings, but he did have the desire to succeed and genuine talent. Similarly, he could have easily become the star he envisioned, but he always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and never knew when to keep his mouth shut.

Whatever is said about Tommy's integrity is no longer relevant, as the standard of his music can never been altered. Nor can it really be faulted. He was a talented songwriter. His own recordings illustrated that and, thankfully, he wrote and recorded enough quality material for his name to remain in the limelight long after his passing. In hindsight, maybe Tommy did finally achieve his ultimate goal.

ACKNOWLEGDEMENTS

The author expresses sincere thanks and appreciation to Ed Dettenheim and Sandy Lee for their tireless assistance. Without their invaluable recollections, the life of Tommy Blake (and many of the other players involved in Tommy's story) could not be fully told. Gratitude is also extended to the following people for their help, Tapio Vaisenan, Sondra Hall, Terria Givens Allen, Dale Hawkins, Brian Poole, Dave Penny, Dave Sax, Frank Frantik, Cees Klop, Johan Lofstedt, Joe Wajgel, Dick Grant, Michel Proost and Alasdair Blaazer.

AUGUST 19, 1957 MONDAY

Jerry Lee Lewis performs ''Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On'' on Dick Clark's ABC-TV show ''American Bandstand''. The episode also features an appearance by future country producer Jimmy Bowen.

''Prime Time Country'' host Gary Chapman is born in DeLeon, Texas. A Christian singer, he writes T.G. Sheppard's hit ''Finally'' and Kenny Rogers' ''I Prefer The Moonlight'' and becomes the first husband of Amy Grant.

Decca released Kitty Wells ''(I'll Always Be Your) Fraulein''.

AUGUST 21, 1957 WEDNESDAY

The USSR Launches the first Intercontinental ballistic missile. On October 4, The USSR launches the First artificial satellite Sputnik 1. November 3rd The USSR launches the Second artificial satellite Sputnik 2 carrying the First animal in space (a dog named Laika). On January 31, 1958, the United States launches the first US satellite Explorer 1. Over the next few years the USSR and The United States continued to advance the technology, but the crowning glory of this period of history has to be the successful landing of a man on the moon by the United States on July 20th 1969 when Neil Alden Armstrong becomes the first person to set foot on the Moon. Sputnik 1 is often quoted as the beginning of the Space Race, but in all truthfulness the Space Race began in Germany in World War II, and following the defeat of Germany, American, Soviet and British governments all gained access to the V-2's technical designs and the German scientists responsible for creating the Guided missile rocket technology ( Used in World War II, V-1 flying bomb nicknamed the Doodlebug and the V-2 rocket which was a single stage ballistic missile used against Great Britain ) The technology provided the beginnings of mans quest for space exploration.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JERRY LEE LEWIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

1(2) - "YOU WIN AGAIN" (2) - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Hank Williams
Publisher: - Acuff-Rose Music Publishing - Hiriam Music
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-27 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

On what was probably the same date Jerry Lee revisited ''It All Depends (Who Will Buy The Wine)'', a more commanding example which was already ''in the can'' pending its overdubbing with a vocal chorus and unveiling on his first LP. This rather inconsistent recording, unreleased until now, suffers from some of the failings that are manifest on the several takes of ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget''; it appears as though those involved couldn't quite get to grips with either song on this occasion.(*)

2(2) - "IT ALL DEPENDS'' (2) - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Billy Mize
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Undubbed Master
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-3-30 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Several takes of ''I Forgot To Remember To Forget'' were attempted during this August 1957 session, though none of them are totally successful, with Jerry and he band attempting to find the right key, rhythm and tempo. All takes remained unissued until at least the 1980s. Far superior is the February 1961 version, recorded in Nashville at the same session that produced the hit versions of ''What’d I Say'' and ''Cold Cold Heart''. Surprisingly this wasn’t released until 1974, via Charly's ''Rare Jerry Lee Lewis Volume 2'' compilation. Incidentally, this has never been issued in true stereo on CD, though it was available on the Sun International ''Roots'' LP in 1981, but not the CD reissue!

3(1) - "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - 4 False Starts
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-A2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-3-31 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(2) - "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Chatter - Unknown Take
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 102-4-A2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-3-32 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(3) - "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Unknown Take
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-8-15 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-3-33 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(4) - "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - March 1987
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD Charly 70-19 mono
RARE AND ROCKIN'
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-3-34 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(5) - "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" (1) - B.M.I. - 0:31
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-3-35 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

3(6) - "I FORGOT TO REMEMBER TO FORGET" (1) - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Charlie Feathers-Stanley Kesler
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - April 1993
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/22rpm Sunbox 4-4-2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE ULTIMATE - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-26 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963

''I Forgot To Remember To Forget" is a country song written by Stan Kesler and Charlie Feathers. It was recorded at Sun Studio on July 11, 1955, by Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and Johnny Bernero on drums, and released on August 20, 1955, along with "Mystery Train" (Sun 223).

It was rereleased by RCA Victor (47-6357) in December 1955. Moore's guitar had a Nashville steel guitar sound, and Black played a clip-clop rhythm. Elvis sang a brooding vocal. This is the closest the trio came to a traditional country song while at Sun.

The song reached the Billboard national country music chart number 1 position on February 25, 1956 on the Billboard Country &Western Best Sellers in Stores chart, and remained there at number 1 for 2 weeks, and spent 5 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Country &Western Most Played in Juke Boxes chart. The record reached number 4 on the Billboard Most Played by Jockeys chart. It was the first recording to make Elvis Presley a national known country music star. The song remained on the country charts for 39 weeks. The flip side of this release, "Mystery Train", peaked at the number 11 position on the national Billboard Country Chart.

Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song on August 21, 1957 and on February 9, 1961. Composer Charlie Feathers has also recorded it. The Beatles covered this song once for the BBC radio show, ''From Us To You'', on 1 May 1964, which was included on the Live at the BBC compilation in 1994. Johnny Cash covered and released this song in 1959 on the Sun LP ''Greatest!'' and on the album The Survivors Live in 1981. Chuck Jackson, Ral Donner, Robert Gordon, Johnny Hallyday, The Deighton Family, Hicksville Bombers, and Wanda Jackson recorded this song as well. Chris Isaak also covered this song on his 2011 album, Beyond the Sun.

The song is referenced in the Modest Mouse song "A Different City", on their 2000 album The Moon & Antarctica. The name of this song also appears as a quest in the video game Fallout: New Vegas where the Courier and Boone defend a small settlement from a full-scale attack while dealing with Boone's regret over a massacre that took place at that same settlement.

THE STORY ABOUT ''OOBY DOOBY'' – In February 1955, Wade Moore and Dick Penner composed "Ooby Dooby", in fifteen minutes on the roof of the frat house, but nothing happened even when Roy Orbison recorded the song. That demo was sent to Don Law, a Columbia Records representative, in vain with "Hey, Miss Fanny" as B-side. However, Roy Orbison and The Teens Kings keep faith on the song and they will often perform it on stage. Soon Weldon Rodgers, himself a great singer, wanted to set a up session in Norman Petty's studio in December 1955. "Ooby Dooby" b/w "Tryin' to Get to You" was issued on JE-WEL 101.

That label was named from the first letters Jean Olivier (daughter of Weldon's label associate) and Weldon. The record was manufactured in Phoenix, Arizona and, in spite of good sales, Roy Orbison was still lookin' around for fame and fortune on a major label.

At last, Roy's demo record came between the hands of Sid King and The Five Strings who recorded the song for Columbia, on 5th March 1956. The session in Dallas and worked fine. One month earlier, as the same band had covered Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes". Sam Phillips should have watching for them next record. In spite of the JE-WEL contract, Sam Phillips took on Roy and his band. A battle followed in court and the JE-WEL contract was cancelled as not signed by Roy's folks because he was still underage. The JE-WEL records had to be released from the records shops too. That's now a real rare record often gets bootlegged. So be aware if you are looking for one vintage copy.

On March 27, 1956, a Roy Orbison's session was at 706 Union Avenue. Sam Phillips was disappointed by the result and gave a phone call to Weldon Rogers in order to buy the JEWEL master. Weldon asked for a so high price than Sam Phillips issued what he got on the Sun 242. In June 1956, "Ooby Dooby" climbed to number 59 in Billboard's Hot 100 and quickly sold over 500.000 copies. Some covers followed, the better being recorded by rockabilly Queen Janis Martin for RCA records. The "Ooby Dooby" success led Sam Phillips to sign Dick Penner and Wade Moore on his label.

4(1) - "OOBY DOOBY" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Wade Moore-Dick R. Penner
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - July 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm 6467 029-A3 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - ROCKIN' AND FREE
Reissued: - September 1989 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15420-2-25 mono
CLASSIC JERRY LEE LEWIS - THE DEFINITIVE SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1963A

Around this time Jerry Lee Lewis twice romped through Ray Orbison's ''Ooby Dooby'', on the first run suggesting, some half-a-minute in, that you might ''wiggle all night'' while in the second the warning was ''you'll be jumping all night''; the reference to shaking like a rattlesnake, immediately following the solo in the first cut, didn't make it into the successor.(*)

4(2) - "OOBY DOOBY" (1) - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Wade Moore-Dick R. Penner
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - August 21, 1957 - Not Originally Issued
Released: - January 1974
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm NY-6-A6 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS - COLLECTORS EDITION
Reissued: - October 2015 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17254-4-2 mono
JERRY LEE LEWIS AT SUN RECORDS THE COLLECTED WORKS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jerry Lee Lewis - Vocal and Piano
Roland Janes - Guitar
Unknown - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILL JUSTIS & SID MANKER
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY AUGUST 22, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL JUSTIS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

Not wanting to lose the momentum of "Raunchy", Sam Phillips was quick to issue yet another follow-up after "College Man" did its kamikaze imitation. This one was closer to what the doctor ordered. It didn't really make anybody rich, but it did re-establish some credibility for the label and the artist.

01 - "THE STRANGER" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 314 – Master - Roger Fakes and The Spinners
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single > PI 3522-B < mono
THE STRANGER / COLLEGE MAN
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-14 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

In truth, nobody had a clue how to follow-up the unexpected hit record of "Raunchy". Whatever the formula might have been, this wasn't it. Who in their right mind believed any disc jockey, especially those looking for successor to "Raunchy", would have gotten beyond the first four bars of "The Stranger"? Maybe Justis' moody 1940s alto work might have intrigued some, but that choral work and the whistling would have put an end to any serious attention.

02 - "COLLEGE MAN"* - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 313 - Master
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Released: - February 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single > PI 3522-A < mono
COLLEGE MAN / THE STRANGER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-13 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

"College Man" was clearly the side earmarked for spins, but it, too, has lost the feel and intensity of the original. Some of the same ingredients are here (Otis Jett's drumming is a standout), but the tune lacks the musical originality of "Raunchy". Worse yet, that stinging guitar break after Justis' sax solo is just awful. Two bars of that kind of strident playing might have had some impact, but to ride it this long simply enters the realm of fingernails on a chalkboard. What is most damning is that Justis' vision of a "college man" seems to have come from watching reruns of 1940s musicals with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. Thirty year old adults were dressing up and acting like their fantasy of college kids. Campus life in 1957 had very little to do with the image painted by Bill Justis on this record. Not surprisingly, this two-sided miscalculation crashed and burned so quickly that another "follow-up" was issued barely a month later in 1958.

03(1) - ''WILD RICE'' – B.M.I.- 2:01
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 319 - Master
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single > PI 3525-A < mono
WILD RICE / SCROUNGIE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

On this recording, "Wild Rice", plows different ground. It comes much closer to the 1940s (even 1930s) big band era that was close to Justis' heart. This tune is inspired, if not lifted, very carefully mind you, from Ralph Flanagan's 1953 pop hit "Hot Toddy".

03(2) - ''WILD RICE'' – B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Bill Justis
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take with Count-In
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-12-4 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - RAUNCHY
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sampler-1 mono
BILL JUSTIS - SELECTED HITS

04(1) - ''SCROUNGIE (VILLE)'' - B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - Bill Justis-Sid Manker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - P 320 - Master
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Released: - March 1958
First appearance: - Phillips International (S) 78/45rpm standard single > PI 3525-B < mono
SCROUNGIE / WILD RICE
Reissued: - 1998 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15805-3-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 5

For one thing, after "Raunchy" we expected a title like "Scroungie". And we expected a straight ahead rocker featuring some weird country-rockabilly-sounding guitar mixed with slightly flighty, barely in-tune sax breaks. In many ways, Bill Justis was the first guy to take his sax to a country hoedown.

04(2) - ''SCROUNGIE (VILLE)'' - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Bill Justis-Sid Manker
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 22, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-12-6 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS - RAUNCHY
Reissued: - May 27, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-8-19 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Bill Justis - Tenor Saxophone
Sidney Manker - Guitar
Sid Lapworth - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Jamieson Bryant - Saxophone
Bill Riley - Vocals*
Band Chorus

For Biographies of Bill Justis and Sid Manker see: > The Sun Biographies <
Bill Justis and Sid Manker's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YoutTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 22, 1957 THURSDAY

Holly Dunn is born in San Antonio, Texas. The 1987 winner of the Country Music Association's Horizon Award, the singer/songwriter emerges on MTM Records for a short run as a hitmaker, earning membership in the Grand Ole Opry in 1989.

Alternate-country singer/songwriter Duane Jarvis is born in Astoria, Oregon. Among his efforts is ''Still I Long For Your Kiss'', a song Lucinda Williams covers for the soundtrack to ''The Horse Whisperer''.

AUGUST 23, 1957 FRIDAY

Buddy Holly and the Crickets guest on Alan Freed's ABC-TV show.

AUGUST 26, 1957 MONDAY

Buddy Holly and the Crickets appear on American Bandstand.

Liberty Records sends its new recording artist Eddie Cochran out to Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis.

Universal Pictures announces the signings of Fats Domino, the Dell Vikings and the Diamonds to do cameos for the rock and roll picture "The Big Beat".

Decca released Bobby Helms' ''My Special Angel''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

This was a session for Norman Petty
The session is published on the Sun vaults priority has been given to historic content.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROY ORBISON
AT NORMAN PETTY RECORDING STUDIO FOR JE-WEL RECORDS 1957

NORMAN PETTY STUDIO, CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO
206 NORTH MAIN STREET, CLOVIS, NEW MEXICO
JE-WEL SESSION: MONDAY AUGUST 26, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - NORMAN PETTY

01 - "A TRUE LOVE GOODBYE" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Roy Orbison-Norman Petty
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - August 26, 1957
Released: - 1974
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 6467 028-15 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 3
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-2-20 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

02 - "AN EMPTY CUP" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Roy Orbison-Norman Petty
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 26, 1957
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Je-Wel Records (LP) 33rpm Je-Wel 13011/12 mono
ROY ORBISON - HILLBILLY ROCK
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-3-21 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 – 1966

03 - "CAT CALLED DOMINO" - B.M.I. - 2:06
Composer: - Roy Orbison-Norman Petty
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably August 26, 1957
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Je-Wel Records (LP) 33rpm Je-Wel 13011/12 mono
ROY ORBISON - HILLBILLY ROCK
Reissued: - 2001 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16423-2-22 mono
ROY ORBISON - ORBISON 1955 - 1966

Roy had seen stardom fade as fast as it had come. If he was to go out rocking, it would have been better to release ''Cat Called Domino'' A moody, atmospheric rocker, ''Domino'' probably wouldn't have been a hit, but was arguably the finest recording Roy made at Sun?.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Teen Kings consisted of
Roy Orbison - Vocal and Guitar
Johnnie Wilson - Guitar
James Morrow - Electric Mandolin
Jack Kennelly - Bass
Billy Pat Ellis – Drums

For Biography of Roy Orbison see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 27, 1957 TUESDAY

Bill Anderson writes ''City Lights'' on the roof of the Hotel Andrew Jackson in Commerce, Georgia.

AUGUST 30, 1957 FRIDAY

Buck Owens holds his inaugural recording session for Capitol Records at the label's studio in Los Angeles.

The Maddox Brothers and Rose conduct their final recording session at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.

AUGUST 31, 1957 SATURDAY

After 25 years in the same location, WSL' ''National Barn Dance'' emanates from Chicago's Eighth Street Theater for the last time. The show lasts three more years.

Roy Clark marries Barbara Joyce Rupard.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR CLIFF THOMAS, ED & BARBARA
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY AUGUST 31, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - BILL JUSTIS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

UNKNOWN TITLES

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Cliff Thomas - Vocal & Guitar
Ed Thomas - Vocal & Piano
Barbara Thomas - Vocal
Stan Kesler - Bass
Otis Jett - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

AUGUST 31, 1957 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins playing on the Los Angeles TV/Radio show ''Town Hall Party''. Backstage, they were approached by Columbia's debonair expatriate Englishman, Don Law, who inquired whether either artist would be interested in singing with Columbia at the expiration of their contracts with Sun Records.

The meeting had been set up by Bob Neal through California booking agent Stew Carnall when the two of them played the Town Hall Party equivalent of the Louisiana Hayride, (with a three-hour live television broadcast every Saturday night). They met with Law later that night at the home of Town Hall stars Lorrie and Larry Collins, the seventeen- and fourteen-year-old sister-and-brother act billed as the Collins Kids. Stew Carnall, who had become a half partner with Bob Neal in Johnny Cash's management contract and would marry Lorrie Collins at the beginning of the new year, seems to have been the catalyst, though there is little question that Neal saw this as an opportunity to move up in the world of television and movie entertainment with his principal client, Johnny Cash, leaving Memphis and a meddlesome partnership with Sam Phillips far behind.

Both said they would, but Carl Perkins still had a year. The discussions proceeded surreptitiously, and Johnny Cash eventually signed a Columbia contract on November 1, 1957, to commence August 1, 1958.

Blissfully unaware of this, Sam Phillips prepared Cash's - and Sun's first album, launching it in November at the annual Disc Jockeys Convention in Nashville. At the same function two years earlier, Sam Phillips had been so desperately short of money that he had put his prize asset, Elvis Presley's contract, on the auction block.

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