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

1957 SESSIONS 1
January 1, 1957 to January 31, 1957

Studio Session for Rosco Gordon, Unknown Date(s) 1956/1957 / Chess Records
Studio Session for The Miller Sisters, 1956/1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Little Milton, Unknown Date 1957 (1) / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Little Milton, Unknown Date 1957 (2) / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Haggett, Unknown Date Early 1957 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for James Howard Chandler, Probably 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, Probably 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Gwen McEwen, Probably 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for James Wood, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Unknown Artist, 1957 / Sun Records
Home Recordings for Carl Perkins, 1957
Studio Session for Sonny Burgess, 1956/1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Gene Simmons, January 3, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, January 6, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Luke McDaniel, January 1957 / Venus Records
Studio Session for Eddie Bond, January 10, 1957 / Mercury Records
Studio Session for Levester ''Big Lucky'' Carter, January 16, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ed Kirby, January 16, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jack Earls, January 19, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Harold Jenkins (Conway Twitty), January 21, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Narvel Felts, January 23, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Williams, January 25, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Ernie Chaffin, January 29, 1957 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Riley, January 30, 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 - ©

1957

Saw the continued growth of bigger taller tail fins on new cars and more lights, bigger with more powerful engines and an average car sold for $2,749. The Soviet Union launched the first space satellite Sputnik 1. Movies included "Twelve Angry Men" and "The Bridge Over The River Kwai", and TV showed "Perry Mason" and "Maverick" for the first time. The music continued to be rock and roll with artists like "Little Richard". The popular toys were Slinkys and Hula Hoops. The continued growth of the use of credit was shown by the fact that 2/3 of all new cars were bought on credit. Some of the areas that would cause problems later were starting to show South Vietnam is attacked by Viet Cong Guerrillas and Troops are sent to Arkansas to enforce anti segregation laws.

1957 was the peak of the baby Boomers years. Definition of Baby Boomer By United States Government: Demographic birth boom between 1946 and 1964. World War II ends 1946. Hundreds of thousands of servicemen return home hoping to set up home with a loved one. Governments deal with this in differing ways. United States Passes the GI Bill or ( Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944). Provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans. Provided low interest, zero down payment home loans for returning World War II veterans. Provided one year of unemployment compensation for returning World War II veterans. Resulting from these measures tens of thousands of jobs were created for pent up demand in consumer goods, the construction industry, higher education etc. fueling a healthy economy which in turn helped the population to feel confident enough to have families. Great Britain built tens of thousands of low income homes for returning servicemen, increased nationalization and also provided education and unemployment for returning servicemen, this combined with the increased opportunity provided to export goods to the United States created a boom of children and the economy. Most Other Allied countries followed similar routes creating an environment where couples felt the confidence to set up homes and new families, the increased numbers of children helped to fuel the economic growth with even more consumer demand.

Baby Boomers were born following the end of World War II due in part to couples ability to marry and set up some type of home although many were forced for some of the early years to share homes with older family members, The Baby Boom happened in most of the allied countries following the end of World War II and governments are now struggling with the retirement, health and other issues caused by such a large percentage of society requiring support and facilities for this large and important demographic in a short period of time ( Note from webmaster I am one of those Baby Boomers and can see both sides of the equation , I am at an age where I am not as healthy and approaching retirement age which will mean I will in many ways require financial support ( It should be remembered that myself and most of my generation paid taxes and social security for most of our working lives which means we should be getting back what we put in ). From the younger generation they may well see it differently when taxes etc. are forced to increase to pay for the increased number of baby boomers.

Martin Luther King Jr. becomes president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

1957

Dale Hawkins recorded ''Susie Q'' in the studio of Shreveport's KWKH, and Jimmy C. Newman (the C stands for ''Cajun'') from Mamou charts on Billboard's pop, rhythm and blues, and country charts with ''A Fallen Star''.

In the considerable wake of Jerry Lee Lewis, Sun's last major rising star, two things happened. First, even more singers than before turned up at 706 Union Avenue - in person or on mailed-in tapes. Second, because Lewis had shown that the Sun sound could work with piano as well as guitars the onus was now on Sun's producers and session men to find the next big stylistic advance. By early 1957 the nucleus of the famous Sun houseband was in place.

Sam Phillips and Jack Clement had put together a session band based on Billy Riley's Little Green Men - Roland Janes played guitar, Jimmy Wilson played piano, Stan Kesler had switched from steel guitar to electric bass and Jimmy Van Eaton played drums. Increasingly, Martin Willis came in on saxophone and by 1958 Charlie Rich had started to replace Jimmy Wilson while Otis Jett was occasionally heard on drums. Jack Clement rather than Sam Phillips, was increasingly influential in the way songs were produced and recorded and it was Clement who worked with the established country-based artists and the doorstepping hopefuls. The musical director and arranger was Bill Justis. He can be heard on the session tapes coming down onto the studio floor between takes, chiding the musicians and getting them primed for yet another take.

1957

On his final Ed Sullivan appearance Elvis Presley is filmed from the waist up though the screams from the studio audience only makes what the home viewer was missing even more suggestive.

Bill Haley & The Comets tour Europe setting off riots and bringing rock and roll to that continent for the first time.

An Australian tour featuring Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly follows making rock a worldwide phenomenon. Lewis's performance of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" that July on The Steve Allen Show brings rock music more reprimands as Lewis kicks over his piano stool and plays the keyboards with disturbing wild-eyed intensity. The ratings however beat the top-ranked Ed Sullivan Show for the first time that year.

Alan Freed has his short-lived televised rock and roll show canceled when complaints pour in over seeing black teenage singer Frankie Lymon dancing on screen with a white girl.

In the first move to tame down rock and roll by society ABC television launches the national version of a Philadelphia program called "American Bandstand" which winds up promoting the more wholesome side of rock.

On a tour of Australia in the fall, Little Richard sees the Russian satellite "Sputnik" descending to earth and takes it as a sign from God to quit rock and roll and join the ministry.

1957

Lavern Baker begins a tour to start in Australia. She takes out a $125,00 life insurance policy naming Georgia Gibbs as sole beneficiary. In a letter to Gibbs Baker writes that the policy is to provide for her should she be deprived in the event of my untimely death "of the opportunity of copying my songs and arrangements in the future" The letter closes ''Tra La La'' and ''Tweedle Dee'', LaVern Baker.

Chuck Berry releases "School Day" and "Rock And Roll Music".

Golden Age of the teen-idols.

Link Wray's Rumble invents the "fuzz-tone" guitar sound.

Buddy Holly recorded, ''That’ll Be The Day'', at a Norman Petty's New Mexico studio.

Billboard begins the Hot 100 singles chart.

Buddy Holly and Sam Cooke made their first appearances on the same The Ed Sullivan Show.

1957

On one side, the mellow-voiced status quo heavyweights: Perry Como, Pat Boone, and Johnny Mathis. On the other, the fresh-voiced gate crashers: Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers, Sam Cooke, and Chuck Berry. Who's going to win?

1957

"Raunchy" by Bill Justis, goes gold on the new Phillips International subsidiary, the very week that Jerry Lee Lewis does the same with "Great Balls Of Fire".

Jack Kerouac's "On The Road" is published.

Jerry Lee Lewis' cousin and future Sun recording star, Mickey Gilley went to see Bill Quinn at the Gold Star studio in Houston, Texas, and he first appeared on records around 1957. He was on a dozen small labels from Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere before he made a small impact on Stan Lewis' Astra and Paula labels from Shreveport in the mid-1960s. His first disc was literally on a small label, Minor Records, featuring a pretty hesitant-sounding performance called ''Tell Me Why''.

The originally 10-inch EP (RCA 31077) ''Janis and Elvis'' issued. Janis Martin was promoted as the “Female Elvis” (although she had more of Patsy Cline) and RCA South Africa decided to really promote her releasing this double feature which featured alternating Elvis and Janis cuts, four on each side. The Elvis cuts were "Baby Let's Play House", "You're A Heartbreaker", "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone", and "Milkcow Blues Boogie". Janis' contributions were "Ooby-Dooby", "Let's Elope Baby", "One More Year To Go", and "Barefoot Baby". All songs that capture the boy - girl issues from the mid fifties very well, fun to hear these lyrics compared to the explicit lyrics of today's music.

The 1995 bootleg edition of this release featured the additional ''My Boy Elvis''. According to history it was withdrawn the day after its original release on Colonel Tom Parker's instructions: "My boy don't share no record with a woman". Janis disappeared pretty quickly too. By the time she was 16 (she was signed to the label aged 15) she was married and pregnant … that ended a career real quickly in those days.

For Sun recordings on the His Master Voice EP HMV 7EG 8257 ''Good Rockin' Tonight'' by Elvis Presley issued in England.

EARLY 1957

Memphis reporter Bob Johnson wrote in his much-read Press-Scimitar column, ''Since May 1956, Bill Justis' orchestra has been playing a lot of rock and roll teen dances''. It was sometime in this period that Bill was hired, whether by Sam Phillips or Jack Clement, to arrange a session at Sun, and after hearing it, Sam complimented him on his work. Not long afterward he did, and Sam Phillips offered him early of 1957 a job at $90 a week as ''Musical Director'', which meant that mostly did arrangements and soon overdubbing as well, both voices and instruments, which suited Jack Clement's inclination toward novelty numbers and his ambition to expand the Sun sound.

Stan Kesler launches Crystal Records with money from Gene Luchessi and Drew Canale. The label is based at 1719 Poplar Avenue, Memphis. The second release, Don Hosea's ''Everlasting Love'', is covered by Barbara Pittman for Phillips International. The third release, Jimmy Knight's ''Hula Hop'', was recorded earlier by Smokey Joe Baugh for Sun. The fourth release is Jimmy Pritchett's ''That The Way I Feel'', also recorded at Sun.

1957

Charlie Rich and his wife Margaret Ann were living in West Memphis, Arkansas with their three children. Charlie was faming by day and hating every minute of it. Several nights a week he'd drive into Memphis and play a gig at a jazz lounge like the Vapors. It was not just the money they needed: those gigs were mental health for Charlie. Margaret Ann realized something had to change.

''I knew that Elvis Presley had gone to Sam Phillips so I thought maybe Charlie could try this luck there also. I left out three children at home with a baby sitter, crossed the river, and went to Sun''. ''I brought a tape of Charlie that we had made at home. I can't remember which tunes were on it, or whether they were even originals. Charlie wasn't doing much writing back then. That came later''.

Fortunately, it was Bill Justis who greeted Margaret Ann. Both she and Charlie were familiar with Justis. They had met him at gigs as well as parties sponsored by the musicians union. Had Margaret Ann run into Sam Phillips on that first visit, thing might not have gone so well. Than, Charlie Rich is hired as a writer and sideman for Sun Records.

Margaret Ann recalls, ''Bill was very very hip. Truthfully, he was way too hip for Sun. I remember him saying right at the start, 'What do you need me for? You're Rich already'. Justis listened to the demos. He finally gave me some Jerry Lee Lewis records and sent me home with the message that Charlie should come in when he could play that bad''.

''Bill and Charlie got to know each other better after that. They did some gigs together around town. Bill really encouraged Charlie to start writing. Told him that's where the money was. When Sam finally met Charlie, he told him the same thing. Charlie was so sophisticated in his playing but Sam told him he needed material for his artists''.

In recalling Charlie's initation to Sun years later, Sam Phillips was struck by the similarity between Rich and Elvis - not in their music or physical appearance, but in the fact that neither would come right in and ask to be recorded. In both cases, the path was indirect and somewhat tortuous.

Margaret Ann remains vaguely annoyed that Sun didn't want Charlie for what he could do this point, but rather for how he could adapt his playing and writing to their artist roster, which at the point included Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Smith. ''They didn't know what to do with Charlie. They knew they had a very talented musician on their hands, but they had no idea how to use that talent''.

Setting a pattern that would haunt him for munch of his recording career, Charlie followed directions. He went home to ''get bad''. His first efforts were even worse than Bill Justis had envisioned. Songs like ''Little By Little'', ''Rock And Roll Party'', and ''Donna Lee'' are vivid reminders of Charlie's first flirtation with rock and roll. It wasn't a pretty sight. It wasn't simply the age barrier: artists like Carl Perkins and Chuck Berry were turning out credible tunes about teenage angst and hi jinx. Charlie's efforts sounded like an aging uncle desperately trying to sound hip. Both Justis and Sam Phillips shook their heads. Bad is one thing. This was really awful.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR ROSCO GORDON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR CHESS RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE(S)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - ''DO THE BOP'' - B.M.I. 
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-2-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Internet ITunes-2 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS

02 - ''BOP WITH THE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-1-7 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - April 21, 2009 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-21 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS

03 - ''TIRED OF LIVING'' - B.M.I. - 3:30
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-2-4 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - April 21, 2009 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-26 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS

04 - ''IF YOU DON'T LOVE ME BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-2-5 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS
Reissued: - 2006 Charly Records Internet iTunes-6 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS

05 - ''LOVE WITH ME BABY'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30133-1-6 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN PERFORMERS

''If You Don't Love Me Baby'' is an alternate version of ''What You Got On Your Mind'' issued on RPM 365. ''Love With Me Baby'' is probably an alternate version of ''Love For You Baby'' issued on Sun/Flip 227. ''Do The Bop'' was probably recorded in 1956 in connection with the movie ''Rock Baby, Rock It''.

06 - ''NINETEEN YEARS'' - B.M.I. - 2:46
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - October 1993
First appearance: - Six Week Smile Internet iTunes-13 mono
ROSCO GORDON - JUST A LITTLE BIT
Reissued: - June 23, 2009 Burning Fire Internet i-Tunes-26 mono
ROSCO GORDON - ESSENTIAL MASTERS

07 - ''HEY, HEY GIRL'' - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Oririginally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records Internet iTunes-10 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS
Reissued: May 15, 2012 Sun Records Internet iTunes-8 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SUN RECORDS RECORDING ARTIST

08 - ''SHE'S MY BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Reissued: - April 21, 2009 JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-13 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS

09 - ''GOT ME A HORSE AND A WAGON''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

10 - ''I DON'T LIKE IT'' - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records Internet iTunes-9 mono
ROSCO GORDON - SELECTED HITS
Reissued: - September 3, 2010 License Music Internet iTunes-11 mono
ROSCO GORDON - THE LEGENDARY SUN CLASSICS

11 - ''MEAN WOMEN'' - B.M.I. - 2:03
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - April 21, 2009
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-13 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS
Reissued: - 2009 Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes-22 mono
ROSCO GORDON - PIANO BLUES ON FIRE

12 - ''DON'T TAKE IT OUT ON ME'' - B.M.I. - 3:00
Composer: - Rosco Gordon
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - April 21, 2009
First appearance: - JSP Records (CD) 500/200rpm B001TKKAFK-13 mono
LET'S GET HIGH - THE MAN ABOUT MUSIC FROM MEMPHIS
Reissued: - 2009 Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes-22 mono
ROSCO GORDON - PIANO BLUES ON FIRE

13 - ''SHE WANT'S EVERYBODY BUT ME'' - B.M.I.
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

14 - ''IF YOU WANT YOUR WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)
Released: - May 1, 2009
First appearance: - Goldenlane Records Internet iTunes-32 mono
ROSCO GORDON - PIANO BLUES ON FIRE
Reissued: - October 1993 Six Week Smile Internet iTunes-30 mono
ROSCO GORDON - JUST A LITTLE BIT

15 - ''YOU'VE BEEN CHEATIN' ON ME''
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

16 - ''UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL'' (1)
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

17 - ''UNTITLED INSTRUMENTAL'' (2)
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Unknown Date(s)

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Rosco Gordon - Vocal & Piano
Unknown Musicians

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE MILLER SISTERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956
SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1956/1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01(1) - "GOT YOU ON MY MIND" - B.M.I. - 2:58
Composer: - Howard Biggs-Joe Thomas
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Long Version - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30117-A-6 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 10 - SUN COUNTRY
Reissued: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-2-22 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Although neither Millie not Jo were aware of it, ''Got You On My Mind'' had been a sizeable rhythm and blues hit in 1951 by John Greer. In fact, the song has since become something of a standard with barely a decade passing that doesn't see a handful of cover versions or revival attempts. Greer's own version was redolent of Ivory Joe Hunter's style; an easy lilting melody, repeating itself through a 12-bar blues progression and lending itself easily to two-part harmony. Interestingly, when the Millers recorded it, they omitted the song's 8-bar middle segment and a piano-led instrumental break of Jimmy Wilson was substituted for the song's release. Arguably, the song didn't really need a release and the version we hear has not been weakened by its exclusion. Whether the Millers' non-release arrangement represented a conscious decision on somebody's part, or a collective lapse of memory in the studio is another musical question that the passing years have rendered unanswerable.

01(2) - "GOT YOU ON MY MIND" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Howard Biggs-Joe Thomas
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Short Version - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-12 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-7 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1959 - 1959

Gene Simmons' recording of ''Chains Of Love'' involves a connection to another Tupelo act who recorded for Sun, the Miller Sisters. Working the same small southern venues, Gene crossed paths many times with the Miller Sisters. In fact, he and Mildred went out together for a time. Gene was still working with the Miller Sisters beyond their affiliation with Sun. In January 1960 they appeared as backup singers on a Hi session that produced Gene's (Unreleased) track ''For No Apparent Reason''. The Millers recorded Gene's song ''Chains Of Love'' on this one of their final session for Sun, although it has found its way into release during the past half a century of Sun archaeology. Gene, himself, recorded at least two versions of the tittle during his visits to the Sun studio as well. (Although the song is credited to Gene, Carl Simmons recalls it being ''an old country song that we just kind of worked up''.)

02(1) - "CHAINS OF LOVE" - B.M.I. - 2:15
Composer: - Gene Simmons
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30104-A-6 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 4 - COTTON CITY COUNTRY
Reissued: - August 2002 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-1-12 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

''Chains Of Love'' is not, of course, the old Big Joe Turner hit but rather a composition from the pen of Gene Simmons. At that point, Simmons (who also hailed from Tupelo) was trying to get a recording career off the ground. He had a number of songs at Sun during 1956 but none of them were released until 1958. In fact, his version of this song was unreleased until 1986. The Millers' version probably dates from 1957 and features a blend of old and new. Stan Kesler brought in his trusty steel guitar for the occasion but the drums and boogie-piano licks point unerringly into the future. The results are a little ragged in place but quite pleasant. The girls sound comfortable at this tempo but the material was probably not strong enough to merit much more work.

02(2) - "CHAINS OF LOVE'' - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - Gene Simmons
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-6-13 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-4-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1959 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Elsie Jo Miller - Duet Vocal
Mildred Wages - Duet Vocal
Roland Janes - Guitar
Stan Kesler - Bass & Steel Guitar
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums

For Biography of The Miller Sisters see: > The Sun Biographies <
The Miller Sisters' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Session on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LITTLE MILTON
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1957

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957 (1)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

Rufus Thomas introduced Little Milton to Meteor Records. It's important to note that the recordings of these artists are important documents of their music in transition at a bleak point in Memphis blues recording history. ''Let's Boogie Baby'' was the best-seller among this cache of records and firmly points the way to Milton's classic Bobbin sessions that began in St. Louis in late 1958. Born September 7, 1934 in the small Delta town of Inverness, Mississippi, Milton Campbell grew up in Greenville, where he met future associate Oliver Sain. His first recordings were for Sun Records, the outcome of Ike Turner's appointment to an A&R position at the end of 1953, which changed the course of that label for some months. Milton was young and enthusiastic. He loved to take his favourite hit tunes and simply add new words to them, while thrashing out on his guitar for all he was worth, almost outdoing Pat Hare on occasion. With Ike at the piano stool, the first result was ''Begging My Baby'' a direct powerful steal from Domino's ''Going To The River'' with fabulous rolling piano intro. His other early sides all mimicked B.B. King's hits: ''Somebody Told Me'' in primitive fashion copied ''Woke Up This Morning'' and ''Alone And Blues'' was a clone to ''You Know I Love You''. ''If You Love Me Baby'' was Milton's take on the Elmore James-inspired ''Please Love Me'' for which he turned his guitar up ran an unprecedented level.

His early 1954 sessions gravited more towards straight blues and an ever-increasing ferocity in his guitar work. Many great recordings survived and have finally been made available, but at the time he had to wait a year for the release of his best Sun single, ''Looking For My Baby'' / ''Homesick For My Baby'' which eventually appeared in mid-1955.

01 - ''LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT'' - B.M.I. - 2:48
Composer: - Milton Campbell
Publisher: - Tristan Music Limited
Matrix number: - MR 5066
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5040-A mono
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT / LET'S BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-21 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

By this time Milton had formed his Playmates Of Rhythm. It's apparent that Milton had matured and we catch him in fine form for ''Let's Boogie Baby'' and ''Love At First Sight''. The poor balance is very apparent with the opening of this number, where the guitar comes in almost inaudibly, after which the band's answer comes in with full force. However, musically the performers are fine. Several musicians who would become a mainstay at Bobbin make their appearance with Milton for this date. With Oliver Sain on alto sax, the rest of the sax section is made up of C.W. Tate and Lawrence Taylor, both of whom had been present on Milton's Sun recordings, plus Leon Bennett, piano; Willie Dotson, bass and Jerry Walker, drums.

02 - ''LET'S BOOGIE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 3:14
Composer: - Milton Campbell
Publisher: - Tristan Music Limited
Matrix number: - MR 5067
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5040-B mono
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT / LET'S BOOGIE BABY
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-22 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Little' Milton Campbell - Vocal & Guitar
Playmates of Rhythm consisting of
Oliver Sain - Alt Saxophone
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Tenor Saxophone
Leon Bennett - Piano
Willie Dotson - Bass
Jerry Walker - Drums

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LITTLE MILTON
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1957

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957 (2)
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

Uninspired and unsuccessful remake of SUN 194 with new lyrics. Probably different session but same musicians as Meteor 5040.

01 – ''LET MY BABY BE'' - B.M.I. - 2:55
Composer: - Milton Campbell-Leslo
Publisher: - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5076
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5045-A mono
LET MY BABY BE / OOH! MY LITTLE BABY
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-25 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Meteor 5045 is exceptionally rare, probably because Lester Bihari closed the doors at this point and the record was only briefly in print. In the light of the previous release, it is a puzzling record; it is clearly from another session. One can only assume that Milton was seeking a more pop-orientated approach. It is devoid of guitar and actually reaches back to rework his first Sun record with ''Begging My Baby'' becoming ''Let My Baby Be'' while ''Ooh! My Little Baby'' was very close to ''Somebody Told Me''. The sound is quite sterile and Milton's sounds uncomfortable and subdued. Followed the move to St. Louis, Milton, together with Oliver Sain, Willie Dotson, Jerry Walker, and other musicians, cut a demo with local disc jockey Bob Lyons.

02 - ''OOH! MY LITTLE BABY'' - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Milton Campbell-Leslo
Publisher: - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5077
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5045-B mono
OOH! MY LITTLE BABY / LET MY BABY BE
Reissued: 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-26 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Little Milton Campbell - Vocal & Guitar
Playmates of Rhythm consisting of
Oliver Sain - Alt Saxophone
C.W. Tate - Tenor Saxophone
Lawrence Taylor - Tenor Saxophone
Leon Bennett - Piano
Willie Dotson - Bass
Jerry Walker – Drums

When a deal with Mercury failed, the Bobbin label was born and ''I'm A Lonely Man'' went on to sell at least 60,000 copies. Milton became a staple of the label with many good sellers, until links with Chess ultimately culminated with 1965s ''We're Gonna Make It'', which hit number 1 rhythm and blues. From then, success continued as he joined Stax Records in the early 1970s, followed by a few slower years before a mutually satisfying and successful relationship with Malaco Records. Little Milton Campbell died on August 4, 2005 in Memphis where he had been hospitalised after a stroke.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY HAGGETT
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1957

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1794 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE EARLY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - QUINTON CLAUNCH
AND/OR BILL CANTRELL

James Clecy Haggett was born on December 2, 1928 in Granite City, Illinois and played music as a kid performer, before becoming a bandleader and then a disc jockey on Missouri stations in Poplar Bluff, Farmington, and Kennett. He played nightclubs with his band, the Ozark Mountain Boys.

In 1955, Haggett booked Bud Deckelman into some shows in the Kennett area and Deckelman put him in tough with Sam Phillips. Haggett's ''No More'' broke Phillips' usual rule not to record straight-ahead country, but Haggett had been voted DJ Of The Year at the 1955 Disc Jockey Convention in Nashville and so his record had a head start. It did not sell particularly well, though, and Haggett went back to Sun to record a session of rudimentary rockabilly, though the session was not issued until the 1980s. ''The music was changing and I was being left behind people like Carl Perkins'', Haggett told Colin Escott. ''But I was an entertainer and I had to come up with something. I never felt comfortable with rockabilly. I never thought I could do it justice''.

In the summer of 1956, Haggett and his band played several shows with Meteor label artists, including Bud Deckelman, Brad Suggs and Wayne McGinnis. Apparently, Lester asked him to record for Meteor then, but he declined in the hope of further Sun releases. By 1957, Haggett was working at KWYN, Arkansas when he received another visit from Bud Deckelman who again suggested he set up a session at Meteor next time. In the early spring of 1957 Haggett worked up some new songs, wrote out the arrangements and headed to Memphis. He remembered, ''I drove to the session with the car windows open, and all the new material blew out of the window. When we got to Meteor I had to work up a couple of things right there in the studio. I just scratched them down and that was what the guys played. It was just pitiful''.

01 - ''TELL HER TRUE'' - B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - James Haggett
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - MR 5072
Recorded: - Unknown Date Early 1957
Released: - April 1957
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 45rpm Meteor 5043-A mono
TELL HER TRUE / GONNA SHUT YOU OFF BABY
Reissued: - 2003 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2 885-2-11 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR ROCKABILLY & HILLBILLY RECORDINGS

In fact, ''Gonna Shut You Off Baby'' turned out to be a very good, bluesy record reminiscent of Skeets McDonald, though with a slightly muddy sound. Maybe dome of the lack of rehearsal showed too. Haggett took virtually a talking vocal while he played acoustic guitar. Johnny Bernero on drums, Lee Adkins on guitar, Jimmy Smith on piano, and ''Frenchy'' played saxophone. ''We called it 'Frenchy and his plastic sax', his sound was so distinctive'', remembered Ronald Smith. ''I used to organise bands for Eddie Bond, and Frenchy played with us for a time. He had a particular sound and style. He was from New Orleans, so we called him Frenchy''. Lester Bihari remembered him in 1981: ''Oh, listen, we had a feller that worked down the street for a pipe and supply company that used to come into my place. He was the damnedest saxophone player you ever saw in your life. He was a young kid, about 19 years old, and we had a kind of a deal. He would get on saxophone about an hour before the session and he'd blow himself out and I'd present him those tapes to use as demos, And then he was so mellowed down that he would accompany these country and western artists, you know, no cost to me''.

On ''Tell Her True'', steel guitarist Kenny Herman joins the group while Frenchy again provides the echoey sax that underlines the vocal parts. Apart from the sax, this is a mainstream country record of the period. Lester Bihari employed the name the daydreamers again on the record label, but this band appears to have had nothing whatever to do with Bud Deckelman or his hit song.

Lester Bihari issued the single straight away in April 1957, and it was reviewed in May. It did not do well, and Lester did not follow up on it. Haggett continued to be a disc jockey more than a singer. He moved to KLCN, Blytheville and from there his band recorded again in 1957 for Fernwood Records in Memphis, backing vocalist Buford Peak who Haggett used on live shows in preference to himself. In 1958 they recorded for Caprock, followed by Vaden and K-Ark in the next few years.

By 1963 Haggett was the disc jockey on WELS in Pontotoc, Mississippi and in 1966 he bought a radio station in Piedmont, Missouri. Haggett died there on January 30, 2000.

02 - ''GONNA SHUT YOU OFF BABY'' - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - James Haggett
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - MR 5073
Recorded: - Unknown Date Early 1957
Released: - April 1957
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 45rpm Meteor 5043-B mono
GONNA SHUT YOU OFF BABY / TELL HER TRUE
Reissued: - 2003 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2 885-2-12 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR ROCKABILLY & HILLBILLY RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
James Clecy Haggett - Vocal & Guitar
Lee Adkins - Guitar
Jimmy Smith - Piano
Frenchy - Tenor Saxophone
Kenneth Herman - Steel Guitar
Johnny Bernero - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JAMES HOWARD CHANDLER
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE AND YEAR
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - "GOLDEN BAND" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Howard Chandler
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date And Year
Released: - 1996
First appearance: Charly Records (CD 500/200rpm CPCD 8181-28 mono
SUN HILLBILLY

Howard Chandler mailed a tape of his song "Wampus Cat" to Sun Records from his home at 1171 Central Avenue, Memphis. Presumably this was before he issued it on his own Wampus Records. The two versions aren't quite the same; the version mailed to Sun Records is a little more rural and slightly shorter. The Wampus cats were the Conway, Arkansas high school football team, but the name had additional meaning in Memphis because radio station WMPS called itself the "Wampus" station (detail hounds will know that when Bill Justis originally titled "Tuff", he called it "Cattywampus").

Despite the fact that Chandler's records commanded quite large sums at one time, little is known about him except that he went on to record for other small labels like Marble Hill, which he apparently co-owned with John and Margie Cook. He continued to live on Central Avenue until his death some years ago (1989).

02 - "WAMPUS CAT" - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Howard Chandler
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date And Year
Released: - March 5, 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-1 mono
UNISSUED MASTERS
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-16 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Howard Chandler - Vocal
Unknown Musicians

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS PROBABLY 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE PROBABLY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

"Lovin' Memories" (aka "Three Time Loser") is the other of Mack's two sax-assisted records at Sun. It's not as country as most of his other tracks and comes closer to the structure and feel of pure rockabilly than just about anything but "Vibrate". Because there are so many takes of it, and so many that sound genuinely different from each other, we are digging in pretty deeply here with full takes and two false starts. The latter are particular fun for those who enjoy being a fly on the wall at a 706 Union Avenue session.

01(1) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 1:04
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-5 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

This take breaks down after just over a minute and we can hear someone (perhaps sax man Martin Willis) say "That was indirectly my fault". An interesting comment for a venue where guys don't usually discuss indirectly causality. Leave it to the philosophers, you might say. Then again, Martin Willis went on to earn a PhD degree.

01(2) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-6 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(3) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 1:12
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - False Start - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-15 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

On this false start, lasting almost the identical amount of time, there's a big empty space where none should be. That sounds like Mack reporting, "I thought you were gonna pick some". For the record, at the actual session there were two additional false starts occurring between these two, and three more immediately following the second one we present here. For whatever reason, "Lovin' Memories" posed considerable difficulties for the boys from Arkansas. Since the song was never released as a single, it's hard to know which two of the three takes we present were alternates, but we can point out that on one, Martin Willis is a bit more inspired on his saxophone.

On the other, the guitar player starts to rock up a storm with a pretty stinging guitar break. The session log list the picker as Roland Janes, although we're not convinced it wasn't Therlow Brown.

01(4) - "LOVIN' MEMORIES" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date Probably 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-16 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar
Al Hopson - Lead Guitar
Sid Manker - Rhythm Guitar
Will Hopson - Bass
Jimmie Lott - Drums
Martin Willis - Saxophone

For Biography of Mack Self see: > The Sun Biographies <
Mack Self'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 GWEN MCEWEN
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERIVE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

01 - "STEADY FREDDIE" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - Gwen McEwen
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-10 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Barbara Pittman recalls, "Gwen was my closest friend in the whole world. I met her when I was still a teenager. She took under her wing and we stayed very close right until the time of her death from cancer several years ago. She was a fantastically talented person but, like so many Memphis women, she just fell between the cracks. Gwen was best known as a comedienne. She appeared all over, traveled for many years with Pappy Graves, made movies. She never made a career for herself in music, although she was a really good singer. She had worked as a jazz singer before she took up comedy.

Gwen wrote a lot of songs, often with her husband Tiny. She used to make demos of Sun, which is probably those tapes that is found. The guitar behind her was probably either Tiny or her son, Gary. Gary had a career of his own. His group The Hombres had a hit record ("Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out, 1967)". Gary is now a minister in a small town outside of Nashville.

02 - "WE'LL HAVE A BALL" - B.M.I. - 0:59
Composer: - Gwen McEwen
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Demo - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - August 2002
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16609-5-20 mono
MEMPHIS BELLES - THE WOMEN OF SUN RECORDS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Gwen McEwen - Vocal & Guitar

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

James Wood made a demo tape in Houston, Mississippi and brought it to Sun Records in 1957. He and his and were sophomores in Satillo, Mississippi at the time, and they were playing in the Tupelo area with Jimmy Wages. They'd started as Big Joe Turner fans, and were playing rhythm and blues for dances some time before rock and roll erupted.

The band was in and out of Memphis for several years. Someone at one of the Memphis stations took an interest in them, and they dropped off tapes at Sun and Hi Records and recorded at Pepper studios, but never quite landed a deal.

John Gassaway played piano on some of the Jimmy Wages sides at Sun Records, then quit the line-up in 1960 to go to the Medical School at Ole Miss. His brother worked with James Wood for a while, and Wood got a record out on Kid Glove Records, "Bo Diddley, Nothing Takes The Place Of You", around 1967. James Wood went into the business end of the music business, working for the local Liberty/UA distributor and then for Warner Brothers Records in Nashville and Atlanta. James Wood eventually returned to Tupelo-Saltillo and opened a photo shop.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JAMES WOOD
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - "GONNA GIVE A PARTY" – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - James Wood
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-12 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-15 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

02 - "LOCK YOU IN MY HEART" – B.M.I. - 1:59
Composer: - James Wood
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-13 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL - VOLUME 2

03 - "HEY MISTER BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - James Wood
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1988
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1036-10 mono
MORE SUNDOWN ROCKERS
Reissued: - 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8318 mono
SUN ROCK 'N' ROLL - VOLUME 2

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
James Wood - Vocal and Guitar
John Gassaway - Piano
Virgil Hutchinson - Guitar
Bozie Hutchinson - Bass
Billy Farrar - Drums

For Biography of James Wood see: > The Sun Biographies <
James Wood'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 UNKNOWN ARTIST
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS PROBABLY 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

These guys aren't the tightest or slickest band in the south, but there's something engaging about this little tape fragment that appears unannounced and uncredited in the middle of a Sun out-take box. Who were they? Its anybody's guess, its obviously a man having fun with the high end of his Stratocaster in ways that - in better hands - have provided the high points to some rockabilly records. If someone told you this was a garage tape Roy Orbison made when he was 15 years old, you'd probably believe it. After all, the beginning isn't that far from the opening to "Go! Go! Go!". It even sounds a bit like that wild picker on Dick Penner's "Cindy Lou". If this guitarist kept practicing, there's no telling who he might turn into.

01 - "SNAKE DANCE" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - August 2000
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16405-12 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 17

02 - "LOVE SO TENDERLY" - B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Charly Records (MP3) Internet Sample mono
EARL RAY'S LOVE SO TENDERLY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Unknown Artist
Unknown Musicians

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

There is every indication that Carl Perkins recorded some of this tracks at home, perhaps to test or demonstrate his home tape recorder. His young children can be heard in the background of various points, and of course, there was never any intention of releasing this little jam session

HOME DEMO & CLUB RECORDINGS FOR CARL PERKINS

SESSION: PROBABLY 1956-1957 UNKNOWN LOCATIONS
REEL TO REEL WECOR RECORDING
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN

01 - "YOUR TRUE LOVE" - B.M.I. - 0:26
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Fragment 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/1957
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-4-1 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

02 - "PINK PEDAL PUSHERS" - B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Carlin Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - March 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-13 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

03 - "LISTEN TO THE MOCKINGBIRD" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Richard Milburn-Septimus Winner
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-8 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-19 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''LISTEN TO THE MOCKINGBIRD''

For years title was mis-identified as ''Redwing''. It isn't. Right genus, wrong species. This is an entirely different song called ''Listen To The Mockingbird''. It has an extensive history (worthy of its own page on Wikipedia) and goes back to the mid-19th century. In fact, it was popular during the Civil War and was reportedly a favorite of Abe Lincoln.

It's hard to now exactly which version Carl heard, but it was hard not to cross paths with one of them. The melody appeared as background music to ''Looney Tunes'' cartoons and was adapted as the Three Stooges theme song. Davy Crockett plays it on the fiddle in the landmark film ''The Alamo''. Recordings were made in the 1950s by pianist Del Wood (who Carl's biography mis-identifies as Dale Wood), Louis Armstrong, Arthur 'Guitar Boogie' Smith and (with new lyrics) Louis Prima and Keely Smith. And let us not forget Sons Of The Pioneers who had their own version 20 years earlier (BCD 16194). In short this traditional melody was hard to miss. The tune in the chorus shows up in ''With A Little Bit Of Luck'' from my Fair Fair Lady. Even Chet Atkins recorded a version with Arthur Fiedler & the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1963.

04 - "THE WAY THAT YOU'RE LIVING (IS BREAKING MY HEART)" - B.M.I. - 3:04
Composer: - Jimmy Swan
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-16 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-2--20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

''THE WAY THAT YOU'RE LIVING''
(Is Breaking My Heart)

This home tape recording by Carl is based on his recollection of a Jimmy Swan record from 1956 (MGM 12348). Carl rearranges Swan's verses and adds some new lyrics of his own. The truth is, as good as Swan's original is (you can hear it on BCD 15758), Carl's version is better. At least his stark, acoustic performance is. The recording itself leaves a lot to be desired, which should surprise nobody. Carl Perkins' son Stan Perkins, who was a toddler when many of these home recordings were made, remembers his father sitting in front of the microphone of his tape recorder and picking and singing his heart out.

''My daddy bought that tape recorder about same he hot his first Cadillac in March or April 1956. It was about the best home tape recorder you could get at the time, but that we probably none too good. He had it set up in the den, right near the piano, just off from the kitchen''.

''Our mother used to tell me and my brother to be quiet 'cause daddy's singing in the other room. But we were kids. You can hear us playing in the kitchen behind him''

W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland also recalls the home tape recorder located in the denn. ''I can close my eyes and picture it as clearly as I can see anything in this room. He was living in a house over on Park Street in Jackson. In the den of the house, on a little table, I can see that recorder sitting there. It was a Wecor, one of those old reel to reel machines''.

If you had told young Stan Perkins that his youthful squeals would be digitally mastered and heard by a generation of his daddy's fans half a century later, it might have triggered some confusion. Today, he understands it perfectly. ''I'm proud of my daddy music'', he says, ''although I never thought those recordings would be part of what people still listen to''.

05 - "OLD SPINNING WHEEL" - B.M.I. - 1:28
Composer: - Billy Hill
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - 1990
First appearance: Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-12-20 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''THE OLD SPINNING WHEEL''

This song was written In 1933 by Billy Hill. It was quickly recorded by, among many others, Paul Whiteman, Fred Waring, Bing Crosby, the Boswell Sisters, and Frances Langford. It was later recorded by Slim Whitman in 1961 (BCD 16214), and as an instrumental duet by Chet Atkins and Hank Snow (BCD 15714 and BCD 15476). Not surprisingly as things have gone in this boxed set, the Ink Spots also performed it on the radio in 1935. (Songwriter Billy Hill, by the way, also wrote ''The Last Roundup''. ''In The Chapel In The Moonlight'' ''Glory Of Love'', and under the name George Brown, ''That's When Your Heartaches Begin'').

This little minute-and-a-half home recording again shows Carl's admiration for Chet Atkins' guitar style. Carl almost certainly heard Atkins perform the song when RCA released a single (RCA 47-5995) in 1954 featuring the Atkins/Hank Snow duet. It's a pretty song prettily played by both Atkins and Carl, and the fluent guitar picking serves to complement the simple tune rather than to obscure or complicate it. The song and Carl's approach to it were apparently special to him – he performed it again in much this style as a member of Johnny Cash's band at the 1968 Folsom Prison concert 9finally released in 2008 on the Sony Legacy complete edition of that concert).

06 - "POOR PEOPLE OF PARIS" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Billy Hill
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - April 27, 2012
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5-16 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

''POOR PEOPLE OF PARIS''

This recording owes its origin to the home tape recorder in the Perkins family den and remained squirreled away on a 5-inch reel until very recently. Undoubtedly, Carl would have been surprised to find it issued – for the first time – over half a century later for fans, collectors and historians.

It is another of Carl's informal sitting-at-home recreations of a Chet Atkins performance. Chet's record (RCA 47-6366; it appears on BCD 16539) came out in December 1955. It is clearly the model for Carl's work here - not only does Carl pick like Chet, he changes keys a few times mid-song like Chet. Recording at home left the taping process vulnerable to some technological problems that you can hear easily in this track. Carl plays the song passably well, though there are some rough spots that more rehearsal could have ironed out if this had been for public distribution. Carl surely liked out these Atkins-like-arrangement.

The song soon became hugely popular. In March 1956, Les Baxter s orchestral instrumental version of ''Poor People Of Paris'' reached number on Billboard' and stayed there for six weeks. Several more recordings of song made it into Billboard' Top 100 during that stretch and Chet's now 'old' record even made it to number 52. Also that same year, Winifred Atwell's ragtime piano version went to top of the charts in the United Kingdom. This song was very big, and Chet proves to have been a little ahead of to curve with his late-1955 release.

The song title on Chet s record is ''Poor People Of Paris (Jean's Song) and there's a story in that. The tune was written by Marguerite Monnot, a noted composer of both classical and popular music in France. She wrote several songs collaboratively with Edith Piaf, and wrote others (with a variety of lyricists) that Piaf made popular. One of those was ''La Goualante de Pauvre Jean'' (roughly ''the ballad of poor John''), a big hit for Piaf in 1954. But when, it came time to make an English version, the U.S. publisher phoned Jack Lawrence (the lyricists, abut whom we'll say more shortly) and said it was called ''Pauvre Jean de Paris''. Lawrence misheard ''pauvre Jean'' as ''pauvregens'' (poor people). He started writing the lyric, and we wind up with an old song with a new title. Chet's record lists both titles - something related to the original French and the new English one.

Taking us even further from Carl Perkins, for a moment, Jack Lawrence, who wrote the English-language lyrics for the song, also wrote year ''Yes My Darling Daughter'' (Dinah Shore's first record), ''All Or Nothing At All'' (Frank Sinatra's first hit record as a solo performer rather than a big-band singer), and (the reason we
go on about Lawrence here), ''If I Didn't Care'' - the first hit for the Ink Spots who show up often in these liner notes as a mayor influence in Carl's musical life.

07 - "TAKE BACK MY LOVE" - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Original Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-15 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5-18 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

''TAKE BACK MY LOVE''

Just when you think you know Carl Perkins' music, along comes something like this. If the track hadn't been sitting squarely in the middle of a Perkins reel, we might have had some trouble identifying the singer.

''Take Back My Love'' is three and a half minutes of acoustic guitar-based drama. Sure, it's got that edge of sloppiness that most home demos have, but it's also a hell of a performance. The vocal is adventurous; the chords are tense and jazz-influenced, and that bolero rhythm anticipates Roy Orbison's ''Running Scared'' by a good five years.

The real question is what might have prompted this excursion into a style far removed from Carl's usual niche. We can thank of two possibilities. The first is Clyde McPhatter's ''Treasure Of Love'', which hit the charts In May, 1956 and was hard to miss in the summer of that year. In case you've forgotten, McPhatler's record features an acoustic guitar and an incessant bolero rhythm. If that wasn't enough in the way of musical influence, consider Elvis's first album which hit the stores in April, l 956 and sold a cool 300,000 copies during its initial chart run. We know Carl had a copy because the LP featured his composition ''Blue Suede Shoes''. But the song in question wasn't Carl's, it was Don Robertson lovely ballad ''I'm Counting On You''. Like ''Treasure Of Love'', the release to ''I'm Counting On You'' had a strong bolero rhythm performed by the backup vocal trio, adding a distinctive touch to the arrangement surrounding Elvis.

Between Elvis and Clyde, Carl had plenty of inspiration when it came to composing ''Take Back My Love''. In truth, Carl's entry into the bolero sweepstakes was not among his best work. The problem lies with its lyrics, which are rather self-piteous. If Carl ever played this one for Sam, it would probably have been nixed fast.

08 - "SILVER BELL" - B.M.I. - 1:33
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Public Domain
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-2-15 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-12-20 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''SILVER BELL''

This track has eluded identification for decades but we thank we now know what it is. This is Carl, sitting around at home with his brother Clayton in front of the tape recorder, having just recorded ''Old Spanning Wheel'' in the style of the 1955 Chet Atkins/Hank Snow duet release. And now they're just improvising with whatever half-remembered melodies come to mind.

It's likely at some point that one of those musical ideas might come from the flip side of that Atkins/Snow record Carl admired so much. It was called ''Silver Bell''. It's quite possible that Carl didn't know ''Silver Bell'' nearly as well as he knew ''Old Spinning Wheel'' and so he reconstructed what he could and improvised the rest. The result Is a song that has a lot in common with ''Silver Bell'', but is not identical to it. Certainly that would help it elude identification over the years since this is not a complete version of any known song. Yet, all you have to do is flip ''Spinning Wheel'' over and the similarities to this piece are quite clear.

''Silver Bell', the actual song that Chet and Hank recorded, has a nice pedigree. The music was written by Percy Wenrich (with words by Edward Madden) in 1 911 - that's one century ago as we write this. Wenrich was one of the early 20th century's more successful tunesmiths. He was also responsible for the music of such big and stillfamiliar hits as ''Moonlight Bay'', and ''When You Wore A Tulip'' and ;;I Wore A Big Red Rose''. Hank Snow was apparently a big Percy Wenrich fan; he recorded another Wenrich megahit, ''Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet'' (BCD 15488).

09 - "SOMEBODY TELL ME" - B.M.I. - 4:20
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - March 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-16 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

''SOMEBODY TELL ME''

When Adam Komorowski included this track on 1997s ''The Unissued Carl Perkins'', he rightly observed that the quality of this track was 'pretty dire' and acknowledged it was ''for complements only''. Suffice it to say that it's taken some engineering know-how to get it even tills good, which begins to suggest how bad the original was. It is plainly not a Sun recording. In fact it is a matter of some speculation as to where or under what conditions this track was cut. Although it has been suggested that Carl occasionally brought his home tape recorder to club dates, W.S. ''Fluke'' Holland maintains that was not the case. He does recall the band, drums included, setting up in the living room and performing into the little single mike home recorder. Predictably, the results were none too professional. In any case, they do give us a glimpse of the Perkins Brothers band sometime around 1956. The band's earlier country sound is all but gone here.

The truth is, this isn't a bad song, whether written by Carl or borrowed from another source. The discography accompanying BCD l 5494 credits it to Carl, but that may have simply been a matter of default. It's got some clever lyrics and a good stop rhythm. You've got to wonder - if this truly was Carl's compositions why not bong it to a session at some point?

''DRINK UP AND GO HOME''

Here's another one of those home recordings of marginal quality. We can tell you where the song came from: Freddie Hart wrote and recorded it in 1956. In some ways, this version is actually better than his - the three part harmony on the chorus is an improvement. But there's an odd lyric change here that doesn't help things. Hart sings (and wrote) ''I'm fresh out of prison/six years in the pen''. That works well and rhymes with ''friend'' in the next line. For some reason Carl's recording changes the word to ''can''. Although ''can'' is occasionally used as slang for ''prison'', it doesn't scan as well in this song.

But by far the bigger problem, however, is the identity of the lead singer. It's hard to imagine the vocal is by Carl. Our money is on brother Jay.

It's best to view this track as an inferior quality documentary of what the Brothers sounded like at their neighborhood honky tonk some time in 1956. As for the sound quality, it's probably no worse that what you would have heard from the rest room if you excused yourself in the middle of a set.

10 - "DRINK UP AND GO HOME"** - B.M.I. - 3:37
Composer: - Freddie Hart
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Vocal James Buck Perkins - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - March 1983
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 101 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN YEARS
Reissued: - 1990 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-12 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS

11 - "DOWN BY THE RIVERSIDE" - B.M.I. - 1:24
Composer: - Public Domain
Publisher: - Charly Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15494-2-20 mono
THE CLASSIC CARL PERKINS
Reissued: April 27, 2012 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17240-5-25 mono
CARL PERKINS - THE SUN ERA OUTTAKES

10 - ''BREALIN' MY HEART"* - B.M.I.
Composer: - Carl Perkins
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - 1956/57
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-3-17 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Carl Perkins - Vocal and Guitar
Valda Perkins - Vocal*
James Buck Perkins - Rhythm Guitar**
Lloyd Clayton Perkins - Bass
W.S. "Fluke" Holland - Drums

For Biography of Carl Perkins. See: > The Sun Biographies <
Carl Perkins' 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 SONNY BURGESS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956/1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1956/1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT
AND/OR SAM C. PHILLIPS

Few folks within the company realized what a commercial clarion call for rock and roll lovers there was, tucked away on the flipside of Sonny Burgess' second Sun single. Judging by their sense of urgency the players knew differently, and with Kern Kennedy as the focal point at the studio upright they created a track that truly motors along.

A note inside the tape box indicate that "Ain't Gonna Do It"- 1, "Fanny Brown" and Daddy Blues" were recorded at the same session.

01 – "RESTLESS" - B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Mitt C. Addington
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 238 Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - January 24, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 263-B < mono
RESTLESS / AIN'T GOT A THING
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-3-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Restless" was Sonny Burgess his first stab at a balled. The lyrics were written by Mitt Addington, a consulting pyschologist in Memphis who had demo'd a number of songs at Sun over the years - and even had two cut by Big Memphis Marainey, and another by RCA artist Wade Ray. Jack Clement handed Sonny a little sheet of paper with Addington's lyrics, and Sonny Burgess set them to music, for which he thought he would receive a fifty percent share of the song, a share that never materialised. The record died on the vines, and Burgess was disappointed - but there was worse in store.

Perhaps there was even greater sales potential on the lilting flipside "Restless". Sonny Burgess' whistling, the subdued and effective male chorus, and a rolling tempo might have made for big crossover sales, but nothing materialized. Burgess would take two more shots at fame and fortune on the Sun label, but this defeat was dispiriting for everyone involved.

02 - "AIN'T GOT A THING" - B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Jack H. Clement-Sonny A. Burgess
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 239 Master
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - January 24, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 263-A < mono
AIN'T GOT A THING / RESTLESS
Reissued - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-3-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Sonny Burgess still rocked on "Ain't Got A Thing", although not at the frenetic pace of his previous outing. In addition, the track featured a clever, not to mention intelligible lyric. The key modelation during the instrumental break lets Burgess soar during the final verse.

03(1) - "DADDY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30147-4 mono
SUN SOUNDS SPECIAL - RAUNCHY ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-14 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

03(2) - "DADDY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 3:07
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-11 mono
SONNY BUIRGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959
Reissued: - 2005 Emusic Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 10932977-25 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

03(3) - "DADDY BLUES" - B.M.I. - 3:05
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 2005
First appearance: - Emusic Records (CD) 500/200rpm Sun 10932977-26 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS

04 - "AIN'T GONNA DO IT" - B.M.I. - 2:57
Composer: - Dave Bartholomew-Pearl King
Publisher: - EMI Music Publishing
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Mistitled "Goin' Home"* - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 028* mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 4 - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-13 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Sonny Burgess believed that his second record, "Ain't Got A Thing", would break through. The lyrics had the anarchic throwaway humor of Chuck Berry and Louis Jordan: "I got a check, but it won't cash. I hot a woman, ain't got no class". It was catchy and melodic, featuring a nicely worked up modulation during the break, but all to no avail. Sonny Burgess later thought it might have flopped because it was a little too fast for dancing.

05(1) - "FANNIE BROWN" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Roy Brown
Publisher: - Len Friedman Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 - Mistitled "Sally Brown"* - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1973
First appearance: - Phonogram Records (LP) 33rpm 6467 028 mono
SUN ROCKABILLYS - VOLUME 4 - PUT YOUR CAT CLOTHES ON
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-15 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

05(2) - "FANNIE BROWN" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Roy Brown
Publisher: - Len Friedman Music
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1991
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-12 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959
Reissued: - 2013 Railroad Records Internet iTunes MP3-12 mono
SONNY BURGESS - ROCK WITH ME VOLUME 1

06 – "YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Sonny Burgess
Publisher: - Charly Music - Fuse Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956/57
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30136-11 mono
SONNY BURGESS – THE LEGENDARY SUN PEWRFORMERS
Reissued: - 1991 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15525-1-16 mono
SONNY BURGESS - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1959

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Sonny Burgess - Vocal and Guitar
Joe Lewis - Guitar
Johnny Ray Hubberd - Bass
Russell Smith - Drums
Ray Kern Kennedy - Piano
Jack Nance - Trumpet
Band Chorus

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 1957

Sun star Billy Riley hit the road. For the most part, the band concentrated on the South. With everyone but Riley attired in green suits ("pool table material", asserts Riley), they were quite a sight. "We were wild. We were crazy", said Riley, eyes gleaming, "but I think most of my antics were trying to hide the fact that I was scared to death on stage''.

''On stage in the 1950s I never saw anybody. My eyes were shut. I couldn't look at the audience. They should have given me courage - they were screaming and shouting and tearing my clothes off. That band was the best. We had everything".

Surprisingly, whenthe band played club dates, Billy Riley concentrated mostly on covers of current hits by Fats Domino, Little Richard and Elvis Presley. In fact, Riley claims that until he toured England in the mid-970s, he had only played "Flying Saucer" a handful of times. "I was ashamed of my songs", he says today.

JANUARY 1957

Johnny Cash appears on the Jackie Gleason network TV show. Cash's "I Walk The Line" had been voted Best Seller in country and western for 1956. His "Train In Love" is already climbing to number 2 on the Country charts.

Future (1959) Sun recording artist, Mack Allen Smith, in January 1957, Mack Allen joined the Marines and left for a two-year tour of duty in California. After three months of boot camp at San Diego, Mack Allen was transferred to Camp Pendleton at Ocean Side, California, where he was stationed until completion of his tour of duty in January 1959. While in the Marines, Mack Allen sang some weekends at the USO Club in Ocean Side, California. He also sang with a Black band at the Figure-Eight Club in Los Angeles.

JANUARY 1957

If Luke McDaniel hadn't been so hard-assed, he might have seen a record on Sun, but he wasn't as naive as most of those crossing Phillips' threshold, and wasn't putting up with Phillips' way of doing business. McDaniel feel for the new music was so on-the-money, you'd never guess he'd made a clutch of stone hillbilly singles dating back to 1952. Nearly every one of the songs McDaniel left at Sun would have slotted perfectly into Sun's late 1956 release schedule, but they had a await the archivists.

EARLY 1957

Carl Perkins had started off on an equal footing with Elvis Presley. They had both played for pennies off the back of a truck on Bob Neal's forays into the Mid-South and they had both shot up the charts with heir 'mongrel music'. However, by 1957 Carl Perkins was competing with Bill Haley to become rock and roll's first casualty. He had sold one million copies of "Blue Suede Shoes" and then slipped into almost total obscurity. Elvis Presley went on to sell 12.5 million singles and 2.75 million albums in 1956.

Castin around for scapegoats, Carl Perkins would occasionally blame the automobile accident or Sam Phillips, but the truth was that Perkins was essentially a folk artist in the broadest sense of the term. His country roots ran too deep for him to stand a chance at sustained success in the pop charts. It was simply impossible to take the country out of Carl Perkins - but that same hillbilly edge has enabled his music to weather the years with aplomb.

EARLY 1957

Sonny Burgess maintains that the original Pacers were the hottest working band in the vicinity. He maintains that the only acts who dwarfed them on-stage were Elvis Presley and the Collins Kids. "You can't upstage kids", says Sonny. "Tougher's appearing with dogs. We had a real good show, boy. Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee had nothing on us back then - visually or musically. We could go all night long - we'd sometimes play one song full blast for an hour an the end of the night".

JANUARY 1, 1957 TUESDAY

Starday Records officially becomes an affiliate of Mercury. The association lasts a mere 19 months.

Capitol released Faron Young's first album, ''Sweethearts Or Strangers''.

JANUARY 2, 1957 WEDNESDAY

A discouraged and overworked Patsy Cline writes to fan club president Treva Miller with thoughts of retirement: ''Sometimes I believe if I was out of debt, I'd just stop singing all together. I've never been so sick of singing in my life''.

JANUARY 3, 1956 THURSDAY

Brenda Lee recorded her first country hit, ''One Step At A Time'', at the Pythian Studios in New York.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR GENE SIMMONS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY JANUARY 3, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
OR JACK CLEMENT OR STAN KESLER

What a wonderful way for Sun to wind up its release schedule in the 200 series. SUN 299 was a throwback in every sense of the word. Originally recorded January 3, 1957, the record was scheduled for release with SUN 255 and 256. For some reason, it was held back. A year and a half later, a well lubricated Sam Phillips found himself at Hi Records party along with Gene Simmons. He announced, "Gene Simmons was the most patient man I ever had under contract". After extolling Simmons' virtues as a human being as well as a rockabilly singer, Phillips reportedly went back to the studio and replayed the results of that early 1957 session. He liked what he heard and called Simmons in Tupelo to come to Memphis to sign some contracts.

It is also quite possible that while at that very same party, Phillips learned that some material cut by Simmons for Hi Records ("Going Back To Memphis") had just been leased to the Checker label. Not wanting to be undercut by his own discovery, Sam Phillips may have felt persuaded to get his own Simmons product on the market in case the Checker record hit it big.

Whatever the reason, Phillips arguably chose the best of what Simmons had left in the can at Sun. While these sides are an utter delights to fans of raw bluesy southern rockabilly, they stood utterly no chance of success in any segment of the record business in the fall of 1958. But, like the best records Sun ever released, these two titles by Gene Simmons have an undeniable and timeless energy about them that continuet to render them as lovable as they are uncommercial.

01(1) - "DRINKIN' WINE" - B.M.I.
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2554 - Alternate Take 1 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957

01(2) - "DRINKIN' WINE" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2554 - Alternate Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30123-12 mono
THE BEST OF SUN ROCKABILLY – VOLUME 1
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-3 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

The A-side of Gene's only Sun release was "Drinkin' Wine". This, too, is an interesting story. The song began life as "Drinkin' Scotch" but within several takes Scotch had morphed into Wine. Gene jokingly suggested that Sam's taste in beverages might have had something to do with it. Carl suggests, "Wine was a gentler image and they may have been concerned about radio play in those days". That may be closer to the truth, but the sentiment seems laughable now. Even when you remove the scotch in favor of a chilled class of Chardonnay, you're still stuck with a guy drinking bourbon while he's "sipping along slow on my bottle of brew". Now to mention the threat of violence against his two-timing woman. All in all, it's a delicious slice of southern lowlife that wasn't going to become a mainstream hit even if the scotch had been phased out.

01(3) - "DRINKIN' WINE" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 214 - 2555 Master
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - April 9, 1958
This single was released around 1958 when Connie Francis's "Who's Sorry Now",
the Chordettes' "Lollipop" and Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star"
were in the Top 10.
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 299-A < mono
DRINKIN' WINE / I DONE TOLD YOU
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-17 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

SUN 299 was originally scheduled for release with SUN 255 and 256, but was held back for 18 moths.

Not a lot of rockabilly records begin with a walking bass solo. The most famous is of course Elvis Presley's "My Baby Left Me", but that little bass run by Bill Black follows a couple of bars of solo drum work. On "Drinkin' Wine", Jessie Carter's bass run is the very first thing we hear. "That was my idea", Jessie recalls. "The first time I did that, Sam didn't seem to like it too much. The problem is, my old bass had those cat gut strings on it. Sam came walking out of the control room and said 'Them old strings ain't no good". He was right. But once I changed them and got some decent strings on the bass. Sam liked the idea just fine".

After changing Scotch to Wine, Phillips was still not happy with the result and brought in drummer Jimmy Van Eaton. The change in sound is telling, especially when Van Eaton decided or was told to play through the stops. As originally conceived by Gene, this was a stop-rhythm talking blues. It sure didn't end up that way. Surprisingly, at the end of "Drinkin' Wine", a piano can be suddenly heard in the mix. Has it been there along? Aural evidence suggests not, but when the dust clears during those final drumbeats, there is the unmistakable sound of a piano. Session logs are imprecise but Carl Simmons remembers recording several sessions with Charlie Rich present on piano. However, Rich had not yet joined the scene in January 1957, when this session is suggested to have occurred. In any case, "Drinkin' Wine" is a hell of a special record. A very southern 12-bar talking blues about a guy who's been done wrong by his woman and is getting drunker by the minute and thinking about killing her. On the other hand, it's a showcase for some fine, fine musicianship and unbridled energy in an era when such expression was quickly becoming verboten.

The record should have hit the streets in January 1957, when it was recorded, not in April 1958 when it finally did. The reasons for the delay are unimportant. What matters is that what little chance for success it might have had were now all but gone.

There weren't a lot of talking blues records issued by Sun, and certainly not by a white man in 1958. What might have been some down-home backporch music was turned by Gene Simmons and his band into something quite unusual. Carl Simmons was a fine picker and his guitar work is highlighted on the disc. However, it's the drumming, most likely by session man Jimmy Van Eaton, that lands the record here. ''After all this time I'm about 70% sure that's me playing on there. I know that's not my usual style but I was pretty adaptable and that song required something different''.

Jimmy Van Eaton works the hi-hat and snare during the verses and, following some deft two-bar drum rolls, switches to backbeat for the chorus and guitar solos. It's not clear how else Jimmy (or any drummer) could have approached ''Drinkin' Wine''. Something had to distinguish the recitation from the chorus, and whatever playing you did under the spoken verses had to be tasty yet unobtrusive.

An enduring mystery surrounds the odd fade-out after the seemingly final bass drum and cymbal crash. During the fade we hear a series of drumbeats and repeated piano notes that lead nowhere. We assumed that this may have been either a rehearsal or an outtake that nobody expected to use. But there's another possibility, suggested by Van Eaton, himself, during a recent listening session. ''That sounds like a bit of reverb that just went on too long; like the drum and piano just got caught up in that slap-back echo'' It's an intriguing idea even if it suggests some sloppy editing when it came time to master the original tape.

True to his credo, Sam Phillips found something in the ''feel'' of this track that overrode the need for technical perfection, and so he chose to release it as is. Actually, subsequent reissues have often rushed the fade so that the odd-sounding piano/drum extras were barely noticrable. Pity. The original single release with Van Eaton's drum beats to nowhere sounding crisp and clear were our favorite version.

Between late 1955 and early 1957 Gene Simmons and his brother Carl (lead guitar) and bass player Jesse Carter were frequent visitors at 706 Union Avenue. They arrived, they spent the day in the studio laying down tracks, and they drove back down to Tupelo. Over and over, and they had nothing to show for it.

When Gene finally decided to try his luck at Hi Records and enjoyed some success in 1958, it was time for Sam to go through the mountain of tape boxes with Gene Simmon's name written on them. At a Hi Records party, well lubricated as ever, Sam announced that Gene was ''the most patient man I've ever worked with'' and released ''I Done Told You'' backed with ''Drinkin' Wine''.

The guitar playing on this side is highly unusual, to say the least. For one thing, the whole record is like a time warp. If it had been released in a timely manner (not nearly two years later) it would have appeared around the time of ''Dixie Fried'' and ''We Wanna Boogie''. So sitting there among the slightly more polished early 300 Sun number series, it sounds a bit raw. And this comes at a time when the pop music industry was starting to slick itself up and leave any hint of redneck menace behind. The lyric here, with references to a hard drinking jilted lover carrying a gun were commercial suicide. But Sam saw it as the best of what he had in the can and, besides, he liked how it sounded.

The verses are done as a talking blues and there aren't many of those on Sun. But mostly it's the guitar playing on the solos that draws attention. Carl Simmons is a good picker. He uses interesting chord inversions and jazz-based sequences. He pushes the simple chord changes. This could have easily been a three-chord record but in Carl's hand, it isn't. Just listen to the first four bars of the first solo. A lesser player could have just hammered away in that I-chord before he ever thought of the next chord change. Carl has already been through five chords. And when he gets to the IV-chord (A in the key of E) he's turned it into a minor chord! Whose idea was that? Unlike many Sun recordings that feature a second guitar break, Gene turns things around here and plays an entirely different solo. The man was bursting with ideas.

02(1) - "I DONE TOLD YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 215 - 2556 Master
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - April 9, 1958
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 299-B < mono
I DONE TOLD YOU / DRINKIN' WINE
Reissued: - 1996 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15803-2-18 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 3

02(2) - "I DONE TOLD YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2557 - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-7-6 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-2 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

02(3) - "I DONE TOLD YOU" – B.M.I. - 1:22
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 Breakdown – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-21 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

03(1) - "CRAZY WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2558 - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-10 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

03(2) - "CRAZY WOMAN" – B.M.I. - 2:10
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2559 - Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-7-7 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-24 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

Sometime around 1956 things changed quite dramatically. It may have been a combination of events, but the most obvious catalyst is Carl wrapping his mandolin around a telephone pole and buying himself an electric guitar. Carl made the transition from mandolin to guitar in record time, and he didn't just become competent. He became great. "I always did like playing chords. A lot of guys back then were soloing with single notes or two note runs. I really liked the sound of chords", recalled guitar player Carl Simmons. There is no record of what Sam might have said the first time he heard Carl cut loose with one of those inspired guitar breaks on tracks like "Crazy Woman" or "Drinkin' Wine", but it is hard to imagine that Phillips was not deeply impressed. He knew he had something by the tail if he could just tame it.

If the amount of tape he invested in titles like "Crazy Woman" is any indication, Phillips really believed he was dealing with the contender. "Did we record that at Sun?" Yeah', I tell Jessie Carter. "About twenty takes". "Wooo! Man, man, man. We sure did a lot of recording there" he replies. It's true. There really are close to 20 takes and false starts of "Crazy Woman" and when and for whatever reason they gave up on it, its godchild "I Done Told You" became the focus of their attention.

04 - "I DON'T LOVE YOU BABY" – B.M.I. - 1:54
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2560 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm CFM 504 (10) mono
ALL NIGHT ROCK
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-1 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

"I Don't Love You Baby" is one of the stronger and more polished unissued titles in the Gene Simmons Sun catalogue. The song is driven by a tense and insistent guitar figure that is not unlike the sound on the classic Sun blues "I Feel So Worried" by Sammy Lewis (SUN 218). Hayden Thompson worked the same grounds in his 1956 recording of "Love My Baby" (PI 3517).

05 - "RED HEN HOP" - B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Ira and Charlie Louvin
Publisher: - Acuff Rose Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - August 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-30 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

We're also unsure who recorded "Red Hen Hop", (similar to an Ira and Charlie Louvin song first recorded by Geoerge McCormick), although a comparison with Gene Simmons' recording of "Crazy Woman" and "I Don't Love You Baby" suggests that it might come from yet another unmarked Gene Simmons tape box.

06(1) - "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" – B.M.I. - 2:23
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2561 - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1025-13 mono
HOT FLOP AND FLY
Reissued: - February 18, 1998 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8317 mono
ESSENTIAL SUN ROCKABILLIES - VOLUME 5

"Money, Money, Money" stood a more realistic chance of success in the marketplace, circa the mid to late 1950s. Once again featuring a vocal chorus by Jessie and Carl, the song owes an obvious debt to Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" (issued on Chess Records in Fall 1956).

06(2) - "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" – B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2562 - Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 106-7-9 mono
SUN RECORDS – THE ROCKING YEARS
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-14 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE

06(3) - "MONEY, MONEY, MONEY" – B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Eugene Morris Simmons
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - 2562 - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 3, 1957
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-22 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS - THE CHAINS IN LOVE

By now, Sam Phillips had decided to supplement the little trio's sound to include a young Jimmy M. Van Eaton on drums. The songs takes on new life with the addition of the drummer but brother Carl's guitar work is really the highlight. His first 12-bar break really deserves attention. It could have been non-memorable bluesy filler. That's all the songs required. But instead we get some pretty heady stuff, and not just for a converted mandolin player. It goes by really quickly, but listen to those first four bars. There is simply nothing like them in all the guitar solos on all the Sun rockabilly records ever released. Carl's words, "I really like playing chords" loom large here. What follows for the balance of the solo is a run of single notes that remove any cues about whether this songs is in a major or minor key. It isn't until the end of the 12-bar break that the songs gathers its mooring again and anchors itself in a major key. If you're a musician, you understand what I'm talking about. If you're not, you can probably feel the impact of this solos, although the words you use to describe it may be a bit less technical. Even the second guitar solo, far more conventional in structure, involves some chord inversions that are more than a cut above the ordinary.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Gene Simmons - Vocal
Carl Simmons - Guitar
Jesse Carter - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Unknown – Piano

As "Jumpin'" Gene Simmons, he progressed to nudging the US Top 10 in time of Halloween celebrations of 1964 with "Haunted House".

1 - "INTERVIEW GENE SIMMONS" – 2:18
Released: - 2002
First appearance: - Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-8-7 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

Gene Simmons could wear a pompadour along with the best of them - indeed his credentials for assuming a role in the fraternity of Delta rockabilly were spot on. "I Done Told You" epitomises his unmistakable Mississippi patois, which hadn't altered one bit when we spoke at the time of his British debut in the fall of 1987. Backwoods to a tee, and with a wry smile on his face, the earnestly recalled the route taken from Tupelo home, in his quest for the glamour of Sun in Memphis.

2 - "INTERVIEW GENE SIMMONS" – B.M.I. - 9:55
Released: - 2007
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16758-33 mono
GENE SIMMONS - THE SUN YEARS

This interview features excerpts from a July, 2006 telephone conversation between Gene Simmons and producer Hank Davis. Since it turned out to be the last interview ever done with Gene, we've included some of these informal moments in which Gene recalled his life in the music business.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 4, 1957 FRIDAY

Patty Loveless is born in Elkhorn City, Kentucky. A didtant cousin of Loretta Lynn, Loveless' pure, powerful style leads to membership in the Grand Ole Opry and 1996 recognition from the Country Music Association as Female Vocalist of the Year.

The Memphis draft board gives Elvis Presley a pre-induction physical examination, which he passes.

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's ''Too Much'' backed with ''Playing For Keeps'' (RCA Victor 47-6800)

Fats Domino recorded ''I'm Walkin''' at the J&M Studio in New Orleans, Within months, Ricky Nelson launches a singing career with his version of the song.

JANUARY 5, 1957 SATURDAY

Patsy Cline shows up late for her weekly TV appearance on Jimmy Dean's ''Town And Country Jamboree'' in Washington, D.C. Dean fires her.

Kenny Parchman and his band returned to Sun for a second session. They laid down the first version of Kenny's self-penned ''Treat Me Right'' and a second version of ''Love Crazy Baby''. Still no release. There were several more sessions in 1957, either to cut new songs or rework earlier ones. Most of the songs Kenny recorded at Sun were his own compositions but one tune was not.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SUNDAY JANUARY 6, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT

The problems began for Luke McDaniel when the sessions ended. McDaniel expected to get AFM scale for the sessions but Phillips didn't work that way. He regarded the sessions as demos. He paid the backup musicians on an hourly basis (usually $2.00 per hour) and would not file the session with the AFM unless the results were destined for release. Upon release, Phillips would log a session with AFM members so that the titles could be cleared. McDaniel was probably expecting approximately $80 if not $160 as session leader and was told by Phillips that he was getting nothing unless the records were released. ''When I came out of the studio Sam Phillips was there and I was expecting to get paid for the session's'', he told Derek Glenister. ''I needed the money! Sam looked at me and said, 'We don't pay any pf the artists for the sessions. We take care of the musicians and then it's taken out of any money that is due to you''. I said, 'What do you mean you don't pay 'em? We're entitled to union scale'. That made me mad and Sam knew it. We just didn't see eye-to-eye at all and I let him know. And Sam let me know! He said, 'Well, if we can't come to an agreement then we just won't put the record out'. And that was that''. And so Luke McDaniel's affiliation with Sun Records ended on the sidewalk outside 706 Union. McDaniel was bitterly disappointed because he had broken his contract with Mel Mallory to sign Sun. The sidewalk outside Sun was the place to be in 1956 or 1957, but only if you were walking in, not if you were walking away pissed off. He went later on to record the hillbilly classic "You're Still On My Mind" for Venus Records.

01 - ""MY BABY DON'T ROCK" - B.M.I. - 1:57
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 6, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1025-6 mono
HOT FLOP AND FLY
Reissued: - 1999 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16311-1 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 16

"My Baby Don't Rock" sounds like a Sonny Burgess track with Martin Willis' sax to the fore and a firecraker solo from Roland Janes. "High High High" is another high class song in the best traditions of Sun.

02 - "HIGH HIGH HIGH" - B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 6, 1957
Released: - October 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30116-B4 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 9 - MORE REBEL ROCKABILLY
Reissued: - 2008 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 24-13 mono
MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Four boppers and a ballad are put down live, all in one or two takes with the Sun house band, including guitarist Roland Janes, saxophonist Martin Willis, and drummer Jimmy Van Eaton. There's the amazing aforesaid "High, High, High'' and, the best of the bunch, perhaps, "My Baby Don't Rock'', defined by Luke's hair-raising yells and squeals, Willis's wailing sax, and a frantic guitar solo from Janes. The country-tinged "That's What I Tell My Heart'', sees a change of pace; an exquisite ballad, it shows there's more than one side to McDaniel at Sun.

When the session is over, Luke goes over to Sam. "Can I get my union fee?", he asks. Sam shakes his head. He doesn't pay union fees. Sparks fly, and the songs are put in the can, where they remain. Luke McDaniel's career at Sun Records was over just as it was beginning.

03 - "THAT'S WHAT I TELL MY HEART - 1" - B.M.I. - 3:06
Composer: - Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 6, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1030 mono
ROCKIN' ROLLIN' COUNTRY STYLE
Reissued: - 2008 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 24-19 mono
MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke Jefferson McDaniel - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Martin Willis - Saxophone
Marvin Pepper - Bass
Jimmy M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano

At the ''Four Walls'' session in February 1957, Jim Reeves recorded a song that Luke McDaniel had recorded for King in 1954, ''Honey Won't You Please Come Home'', but Reeves banished it to an album.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

After the breakdown with Sun, a very frustrated Luke McDaniel carried on with his night club, radio and TV work along with working on the Grand Ole Opry Big Tent Show in 1957, with artists like the Everly Brother, Jimmie C. Newman and Bill Monroe. The Everly's had just released "Bye Bye Love" and it was this promotional tour that propelled them to stardom, despite competition from Webb Pierce, who covered the song.

Tired of touring, Luke went home and formed Venus Records with a friend, John Russell. Only one single was issued but a very significant one in that "You're Still On My Mind"/''Homeward Mule'' would come to be regarded as a country standard with a significant cover by George Jones.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR LUKE MCDANIEL
FOR VENUS RECORDS 1957

BARLEY'S RECORDING STUDIO
219 SOUTH CRAFT HIGHWAY, MOBILE, ALABAMA
VENUS SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - UNKNOWN

01 – ''YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND'' - B.M.I. - 2:40
Composer: Luke McDaniel-Cecil Smith
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Venus Records (S) 45rpm standard single Venus 667-A mono
YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND / HOMEWARD MULE
Reissued: - 2008 Stomper Time Records (CD) 500/200rpm STCD 24-34 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - MISSISSIPPI HONKY TONK ROCKABILLY MAN

McDaniel next venture into record business marked a sweet return to the bar-rooms. He recorded ''You're Still On My Mind'' and released it on Venus Records, a label he co-owned with John Russell in Prichard, Alabama. In may 1959, Big Howdy Records in Bogalusa reissued it coupled with ''Switch Blade Sam''. The publishing on ''You're Still On My Mind'' was assigned to Big Howdy's bayou State Music, but Starday crash-printed its Starday Publishing logo over the top. The reason for Starday's interest was that their franchise act, George Jones, recorded it in 1960, transforming it into a honky tonk classic. In Jones' wake, it has been recorded by Johnny Paycheck, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, the Byrds, and others. Still recording as Jeff Daniels, McDaniel issued a single on Astro Records coupling Carl Perkins' ''Foxy Dan'' with a song that Lillian McMurry had written or bought from McDaniel, ''Some Day You'll Remember''.

02 – ''HOMEWARD MULE'' - B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: Luke McDaniel
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Venus Records (S) 45rpm standard single Venus 667-B mono
HOMEWARD MULE / YOU'RE STILL ON MY MIND
Reissued: - Hydra Records (LP) 33rpm Hydra BLK 7715-13 mono
LUKE MCDANIEL - DADDY-O-ROCK

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Luke McDaniel - Vocal & Guitar
Dusty Harrell - Lead Guitar
Henry Bostick - Piano
Cecil Smith - Bass
Frank Stucky - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 6, 1957 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley makes his final appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show", singing seven songs, ''Hound Dog'', ''Love Me Tender'', ''When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again'', ''Heartbreak Hotel'', ''Peace In The Valley'', ''Too Much'' and ''Don't Be Cruel''. He is photographed from the waist up.

JANUARY 7, 1957 MONDAY

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''You Can't Hurt Me Anymore''.

Songwriter/producer Carson Chamberlain is born. He plays steel guitar in Keith Whitley's band, writes George Strait's ''The Best Day'' and Alan Jackson's ''Love;s Got A Hold On You'', and produced hits for Billy Currington and Easton Corbin.

On this day, Johnny Cash's ''I Walk The Line'' sold 750,000 copies, the Memphis Press-Scimitar reported in a half-page story as, ''the magic door swings open for still another young Memphis singer''. Cash seemed poised for the same kind of mass crossover success that Elvis had achieved over the past twelve months, wrote Bob Johnson.

JANUARY 8, 1957 TUESDAY

As Elvis Presley celebrates his 22nd birthday at home, the Army announces that he has passed his pre-induction physical exam.

Bill Haley and His Comets begin first overseas tour in New Castle, Australia.

JANUARY 9, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Richard A. Clark Jr. is born in Philadelphia. Better known as RAC, he succeeds his father, Dick Clark, as a producer of the Academy of Country Music awards.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE BOND
FOR MERCURY RECORDS 1957

GOLDSTAR RECORDING STUDIO
3104 TELEPHONE ROAD, HOUSTON, TEXAS
MERCURY SESSION: THURSDAY JANUARY 10, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PAPPY DALLY

As Bond's natural inclination was towards country, his next two sessions for Mercury focused more on country material than the previous two studio forays. With the then current tie-up of Mercury and Starday, Pappy Daily of the latter company was at the helm. Daily was then steering George Jones through his initial success period, so was well placed to watch over Eddie Bond's Houston sessions which were held at the Goldstar recording studio. The material was supplied by Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell, Darrell Edwards, and Roger Miller, as well as Eddie Bond himself; ''You're Part Of Me'' was tagged with ''They Say We're Too Young'', ''Lovin' You, Lovin' You'' teamed up with ''Hershey Bar'' and ''Backslidin''' ended up being the final Mercury release when backed by ''Love, Love, Love''. ''One Step Close To You'' was held over until 1960, when it was used on a collection featuring Louisiana Hayride stars, leaving ''King On Your Throne'' to make its debut on Zu Zazz Z 2005. The fourteen Mercury titles represent the essence of rockabilly and authentic fifties country music.

01 – ''YOU'RE PART OF ME'' – B.M.I. - 2:21
Composer: - D. Scaife-G. Scaife
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14714
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Mercury Records (S) 45rpm Mercury 71067-A mono
YOU'RE PART OF ME / THEY SAY WE'RE TOO YOUNG
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-11 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

02 – ''KING ON YOUR THRONE'' – B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - Gladys Bond
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14715 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Zu Zazz Records (CD) 500/200rpm Zu 2005 mono
MEMPHIS SATURDAY NIGHT
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-12 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

03 – ''THEY SAY WE'RE TOO YOUNG'' – B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14716
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - 1957
First appearance: - Mercury Records (S) 45rpm Mercury 71067-B mono
THEY SAY WE'RE TOO YOUNG / YOU'RE PART OF ME
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-13 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

04 – ''BACKSLIDIN''' – B.M.I. - 2:38
Composer: - Quinton Claunch-Bill Cantrell
Publisher: - Starrite Music
Matrix number: - YW 14717
Recorded: - January 10, 1957
Released: - November 14, 1957
First appearance: - Mercury Records (S) 45rpm Mercury 71237-B mono
BACKSLIDIN' / LOVE, LOVE, LOVE
Reissued: 1993 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15708-1-14 mono
EDDIE BOND – ROCKIN' DADDY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Bond - Vocal & Guitar
Phil Baugh - Lead Guitar
Hal Harris - Rhythm Guitar
Herb Remington - Steel Guitar, Bass,
Unknown - Drums,
Link Davis - Fiddle
Doc Lewis - Piano

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 11, 1957 FRIDAY

Elvis Presley arrives in Los Angeles via train to begin filming his second movie, ''Loving You''.

JANUARY 12, 1957 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''All Shook Up'' and ''Tell Me Why'' at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper join the Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

JANUARY 14, 1957 MONDAY

Elvis Presley consults with the makeup artist a week before filming starts for ''Loving You'' and decides to dye his hair black. It's a change that remains throughout his life.

Capitol released Hank Thompson's ''Rockin' In The Congo''.

Drummer Steve Jordan is born in New York. Known for his work with Keith Richards, John Mayer, Don Henley and Sheryl Crow, he handless the kit for Cam's debut country single, ''My Mistake''.

JANUARY 15, 1957 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''Party'' at Hollywood's Radio Recorders for the ''Loving You'' soundtrack. Wanda Jackson will recorded the definitive version of the song, which becomes a hit for her in 1960 under the title ''Let's Have A Party''.

JANUARY 16, 1957 WEDNESDAY

Little Richard recorded the rhythm and blues hit ''Lucille'' in Washington, D.C. Twenty years later, Waylon Jennings recorded a country version of the songs.

Johnny Cash makes his first network TV appearance, on CBS' ''The Jackie Gleason Show'', where he sings, ''I Walk The Line''. Also appearing on the broadcast, Johnny Horton and Marty Robbins.

Studio session with Big Lucky Carter and Ed "Prince Gabe" Kirby at Sun Records, Memphis, Tennessee.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BIG LUCKY CARTER & ED KIRBY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION 1: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 16, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – CHARLES UNDERWOOD
AND/OR SAM PHILLIPS

Levester Carter's recording is a throwback to the early 1950s era of jump blues and illustrates exactly the style from which soul emerged.

This track: Not really blues, not really doo-wop, and not really rock and roll, but an appealing blend of all three. Add a touch of barrelhouse. Carter and his cousin, Ed Kirby, in company with pianist Lindberg Nelson had a group that tried to stay abreast of what was happening... hence another of their songs ''Diggin' The Calypso''. With a sad touch of irony, they called themselves the Millionaires; other times, they were the Rhythmaires. From extant tapes, it seems as if they recorded three sessions at Sun in 1957. This song comes from the first session, according to the date in the tape box. The last, in July that year, earned them fifteen dollars a piece, but none of the sessions earned them a release.

01 – ''GONNA BREAK THAT LOCK*'' - B.M.I. - 2:04
Composer: - Levester Carter
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Nor Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 16, 1957
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30106-A-5 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 6 - SUNSET SOUL
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-8-16 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

Doo wop on Sun? Although the archives have yielded some unissued treasures (by the Vel-Tones, Ed Kirby and Hunki Dori, to name a few).

More songs were recorded.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Levester Carter - Vocal* & Possibly Guitar
Ed Kirby - Vocal** & Saxophone
Lindberg Nelson - Piano
Clarence Beaton - Electric Bass
Charles Ballard - Drums

For Biographies of  Big ''Lucky'' Carter see > The Sun Biographies <
Big ''Lucky'' Carter's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Jack Earls said they could have cut more for Phillips, but Warren Gregory had a habit of missing appointments. After the June 1956 session, Earls didn't reappear until January 1957 when he cut ''Take Me To That Place''. Earls wrote the song after driving a truck route that passed the grounds of the West Tennessee mental hospital just outside Bolivar. ''I saw the people walking around the grounds, down there'', said Earls, who was moved by the sight. His curiosity about the inmates inspired him to write lyrics about someone whose lover was living behind the gates of an institution based in an unknown or unknowable locale.

It was ten years ago,
when they took my baby from me
It was ten years ago,
when they took my baby from me
They took her to a place,
somewhere down in Tennessee
Take me to that place,
where my baby stays
Take me to that place,
where my baby stays
I wanna be there when I'm old
I wanna be there
when my hair is turning gray

Although the music rocked, this was not a typical rock and roll song. Perhaps one could call it a country blues, for Earls vocal sounds like he is living the heart-rending frustration depicted in the rather dark song lyrics. If Johnny Cash had the ability to sing rock and roll in 1957, instead of a decade later, he might have made a similar recording. Gregory's funky, hypnotic guitar lick, suggestive of the repetitive thoughts the insane have been known to suffer, suited the song. The addition of an unknown piano pounder brought the arrangement current with 1957 rock trends. Earls said it might have been Billy Lee Riley, but a closer listen to the left hand's clever boogie raised the possibility that Jerry Lee Lewis may have worked the session. It could have been Jerry Lee, ''cause he was there (at Sun) by then, or it might have been Billy Lee Riley, ''cause he could play anything'', said Earls. "I don't remember". (I f Johnny Black was still working with the Rock and Roll Trio, then Riley might have played bass at the session.)

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACK EARLS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY JANUARY 19, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - SAM C. PHILLIPS AND/OR STAN KESLER
RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

It was Jack Earls last Sun session when he was trying to interest Sam Phillips in potential follow-ups to "Slow Down". A solitary single ensued, whilst the esoteric "Take Me To That Place" represents the conclusion of his efforts.

This final session from Jack Earls for Sun Records, included 2 takes of "Take Me To That Place". "That was written while I was driving for the Bambi Pie Company. I used to drive by this home for retarded and crazy folk and you could see them walking around. This was out in Bolivar, Tennessee. We worked on the song for a while but it never came out on Sun".

01(1) - "TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE" – B.M.I. - 2:16
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1024-4 mono
HOT SOUTHERN BOPPERS
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-18 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

"Take Me To That Place" was inspired by a chronic care home for the mentally infirm on Jack's rounds for the Bambi Pie Company.

01(2) - "TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE" – B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2
Recorded: - January 19, 1957
Released: - 1996 - Not Originally Issued
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8197-17 mono
JACK EARLS - HEY SLIM, LET'S BOP! - HIS COMPLETE SUN RECORDINGS
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-3 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

01(3) - "TAKE ME TO THAT PLACE" – B.M.I. - 2:33
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 19, 1957
Released: - 2010
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-25 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jack Earls - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy M. Van Eaton or Johnny Bernero - Drums
Warren Gregory - Guitar
Billy Riley - Bass
Jerry Lee Lewis - Piano

Jack Earls said Sun producer Jack Clement visited the band at the Palms Club several times after January 1957, but failed to convince them to return to the studio. Earls was invited to record at Meteor Records. His buddy Charlie Feathers had his first rockin' release on Meteor (''Tongue-Tied Jill'' b/w ''Get With It''), and Bud Deckelman, another friend, had a country hit with ''Daydreamin'''. One visit to the studio convinced Earls to look elsewhere. ''It was a horrible-looking place: dirty floor, egg crates hanging down all over the walls'', he said. Then Johnny Black got in touch with a representative of King Records (the label Feathers signed with after Meteor). "Johnny got the man down from Cincinnati. When he got there, me and Danny and Johnny showed up, but Warren didn't even show up for the audition''. Later on, an independent agent offered to send Earls' song demos to contacts in Nashville, but Earls didn't follow through. "Back then, I was afraid that somebody was gonna steal my songs''.

For Biographies of  Jack Earls see > The Sun Biographies <
Jack Earls' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 20, 1957 SUNDAY

Willie Nelson has a daughter, Susie Nelson. In 1987, she writes a biography of her father, ''Heart Worn Memories''.

Sonny James performs ''Young Love'' on CBS-TV-s ''The Ed Sullivan Show''. Also appearing is rhythm and blues singer Ivory Joe Hunter, who renders ''Since I Met You Baby'', which James will cover a dozen years later.

JANUARY 21, 1956 MONDAY

Waylon Jennings' first son, Terry, is born.

Patsy Cline nets first price on the weekly CBS-TV show ''Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts'' with her performance of ''Walkin' After Midnight''.

Decca released Bobby helms' first hit, ''Fraulein''.

Capitol released Ferlin Husky's ''Gone'', and The Louvin Brothers' ''Don't Laught''.

1957

While still hanging around Sun, Harold Jenkins (Conway Twitty) management was taken over by Don Seat. In the big band are, Seat had been a pianist (tutored he said by Count Basie). Later, he became an agent (Seat says a partner) with General Artists Corporation (GAC), one of the largest artist management companies in the United States. He worked with Johnnie Ray, Nat King Cole, Desi Arnaz, and many others. Twitty said that he got a letter from Seat, who'd been told him by someone who'd served with him in Japan. ''Seat wanted to know if I was doing this new rock and roll music that was happened down around Memphis'', Twitty said later. ''I wrote back and told him I was. He wrote back and asked for a demo tape, so I sent him a copy of two or three things I had done at Sun. A couple of weeks later I got a letter back saying that he could get me a contract with any label I wanted. I said, I want to go with Sun'. He said, 'No, not Sun. They're just a small label'''. Completely untrue, insisted Seat. He'd known Sam Phillips from the time when there had been plans to move Elvis from Sun to Columbia Records. He said he went to Memphis with Columbia's cheque for $25,000 in his pocket, and ''as soon as I saw Sam Phillips' face, I knew we didn't have a deal''. Seat said he was on his way back from another visit to Memphis when he met someone in Cincinnati who had a letter from Twitty in which Twitty said that he had written some songs for Elvis. Seat flew to Memphis, driving on to Helena to meet Twitty. This, he said, was around the time that Twitty was getting married for the second time, in other words October 1956. Seat sent him a tape recorder. A tape arrived from Twitty, and, in Seat;s account, he took it to Bob Shad, Mercury Records' New York head of A&R, and landed a contract. Around the same time, Harold Jenkins became Conway Twitty (needless to add, Seat and Twitty couldn't agree on how that came about, either).

The other members of Conway Twitty's band, the Rockhousers heard on these songs went their separate ways. Jimmy Luke Paulman went to Canada, first with Twitty and then Ronnie Hawkins. After a dispute over a girlfriend, Hawkins banished Paulman to Arkansas vowing that he would never work in Canada again. Hawkins' band, of course, became The Band, and drummer Levon Helm said that the character Luke in their song ''The Weight'' was based on Paulman. Bill Harris quit the line-up soon after Seat took over and became a merchandising manager for Quaker Foods. He later bought a large chunk of shares in Conway Twitty Enterprises. Billy Weis was too young to go to Canada and worked as a session drummer around Memphis. Many years later, he wrote a book, ''Rock-a-Billy''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR HAROLD JENKINS (CONWAY TWITTY)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERIVE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY JANUARY 21, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM PHILLIPS

Its hard to know how many of Conway Twitty's tapes were recycled at Sun Records. Certainly very few remain, and if Sam Phillips really had the machine switched on hour and hour, week after week then most of the tapes were recorded over. Sam Phillips seemed to think that "Born To Sing The Blues" held the most promise. There are several versions of it remaining. Twitty is almost audibly trying to get out from under his debt to Elvis Presley, and not entirely succeeding.

01(1) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Unknown Take – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-6 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(2) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES – B.M.I. – 2:23
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-16 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(3) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-17 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(4) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-18 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

01(5) - "BORN TO SING THE BLUES" – B.M.I. – 2:20
Composer: - Conway Twitty
Publisher: - Sun Entertainment Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 21, 1957
Released: - 1997
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16112-1-19 mono
CONWAY TWITTY - THE ROCK AND ROLL YEARS 1956 - 1964

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Harold Jenkins - Vocal and Guitar
Jimmy Ray Paulman - Guitar
Bill Harris or Jimmy Evans - Bass
Billy Weir - Drums
Unknown - Piano

Years later, after Twitty became successful, Twitty met Sam Phillips again. "I know you were disappointed that we didn't release a song on you", Phillips told him. Twitty said that he really wanted to be on Sun when the label was hot, so Phillips invited him to look in at Sun the next time he was in Memphis, and they'd listen to the old tapes. Twitty took him up on the offer and was amazed that they were so much worse than be remembered. ''I never really did write the right song at Sun, although there were times when I thought I had'', he said. ''I really felt that Sam Phillips didn't treat me right - that I had something to offer that he didn't see, but I found out I was wrong. Sam said, ''I knew you had something or I wouldn't have spent as much money as I did recording you all these hours, week after week but it just didn't come together for you and I''. The spark of originality wasn't there. The striking similarity of the alternate takes alone showed a dearth of creativity. Twitty was so in thrall of Elvis Presley that virtually all of his vocal mannerisms were caricatures of Presley. Perhaps the most affecting performance he left behind is the demo ''Just In Time'' when the rockabilly vocal tics fall by the wayside for a few precious moments and we hear a beautiful phrased and executed hillbilly ballad.

Returning to Nashville from Branson, Missouri, Conway Twitty took ill from a ruptured aneurysm in his stomach and died in Springfield, Missouri on June 5, 1993.

For Biographies of Harold Jenkins see > The Sun Biographies <
Harold Jenkins' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 21/22, 1957 MONDAY/TUESDAY

Elvis Presley begins shooting his second movie, and his first in color, 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 #7 on the Varierty National Box Office Survey.

NARVEL FELTS: HIS OWN WORDS ABOUT SUN RECORDS - ''On my Sun recordings Jack Clement was the producer. We went in with the band, the first time was in January 1957 when we did five songs, then we came back for another session in April. I had felt like there were three sessions, but the Sun session book doesn't confirm that''.

''They say that the following session was in early April of 1957 and it would probably have been the one that produced ''My Babe''. I remember at the first session Roy Orbison was in the control room with Jack Clement. Conway Twitty was still Harold Jenkins and had a chair pulled up by my microphone in the studio listening to me''.

''I had met Jerry Lee Lewis at Taylor's cafe next door that morning, and Johnny Cash came in at the front office and watched us for a little while that day.

I remember that at the session when I recorded ''My Baby'', I said the line, ''when she's hot, there ain't no coolin''', I remember Jack Clement and Roy Orbison had their heads popping around, looking at each other kind of in surprise when I said that, like it was a sort of shocking line at that time''.

''After I'd finished the last session at Sun, Jack Clement said ''well think we've got a record here. It may take about a year to get around to releasing it because we've got so many in front of you''. At the session when Conway Twitty was also there, Roy Orbison called Conway and myself off in a corner, and said, ''Boys, if I were you, I would look elsewhere for a label. That's what I'm going to do when my contract's up, because Sam's not interested in me, he's not interested in you, he's not even interested in Perkins. He's only interested in Cash and this new kids, Jerry Lee Lewis''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

On the strength of an audition for Sun producer Jack Clement, Narvel Felts and his guitar-player, Leon Barnett, returned to their native Missouri and rounded up a full blown band. Six months later they were back in Memphis where a half dozen sides found their way onto a reel of stock studio tape, from which "Did You Tell Me" is derived. A further offensive in the spring of 1957 proved fruitless, so Narvel would have to wait until Mercury came a-calling before he'd make his debut on record.

There were strange parallels between Narvel Felts early career and Conway Twitty's earlier career. They both began recordings at Sun Records but never saw a release on the label. They then migrated to Mercury and MGM, were managed by Don Seat, worked long stints in Ontario, and eventually found success in the country music. There are also a million differences between Narvel and Twitty they're dollars, and Twitty made them.

STUDIO SESSION FOR NARVEL FELTS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERIVE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 23, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

01 - "DID YOU TELL ME (YOU DON'T CARE)" – B.M.I. - 2:22
Composer: - Narvel Felts
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 510 mono
ROCKABILLY FEVER
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-1 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

02 - "LONESOME FEELING" - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - J.N. Calvin Richardson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originalle Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-14 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-7 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

Jack Clement, who engineered Narvel's sessions, promised to release something in a year or so, but Roy Orbison, who was also at the session, told Narvel to look elsewhere. A month after his second Sun session, he was on Mercury Records.

The full story of his early career has been told in the notes of his second Sun session in 1957. The story of his post-MGM career is taken up on "Memphis Days" a compact disc of recordings for Roland Janes's labels, and on "Drift Away" - The Best Of Narvel Felts 1973-1979".

03 - "LONELY RIVER" – B.M.I. - 2:07
Composer: - Gene Autry-Fred Rose-Ray Whitley
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-12 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-8 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

04 - "FOOLISH THOUGHTS" – B.M.I. - 1:38
Composer: - Leon Barnett-Jerry Tuttle
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-13 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-5 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

05 - "CRY BABY CRY" – B.M.I. - 1:51
Composer: - Narvel Felts-L.V. Bryant
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: – None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 23, 1957
Released: - March 5, 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8137-11 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16220-3 mono
DID YOU TELL ME

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Narvel Felts - Vocal and Guitar
Leon Barnett - Guitar
J.W. Grubbs - Bass
Bob Taylor - Drums
Jerry Tuttle - Steel Guitar and Saxophone

For Biographies of Narvel Felts see > The Sun Biographies <
Narvel Felts' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 23, 1956 MONDAY

The singles Sun 260, Billy Riley's ''Flying Saucer Rock And Roll'' b/w ''I Want You Baby''. The record is ranked in 2003 among country's 500 greatest singles of all-time in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number. Sun Records also released, double-sided "Matchbox" b/w ''Your True Love'' (Sun 261) by Carl Perkins is released along with "Feelin' Low" b/w ''Lonesome For My Baby'' (Sun 262) by Ernie Chaffin. Billboard says of Chaffin: "Sun Records may have another bit time artist. He warbles well in the earthy Presley groove with plenty of feeling. Interesting phrasing and spontaneous sounding vitality".

Gerald Cline files for divorce from Patsy Cline.

JANUARY 24, 1956 THURSDAY

The singles, Sun 263, Sonny Burgess ''Ain't Got A Thing'' b/w ''Restless''; Sun 264, Glenn Honeycutt ''I'll Be Around'' b/w ''I'll Wait Forever''; Sun 265, Roy Orbison ''Sweet And Easy To Love'' b/w ''Devil Doll'' are released.

Mel Tillis has his first recording session for Columbia Records. It yields his first single, ''Honky Tonk Song''.

Ivory Joe Hunter recorded ''Empty Arms'' in New York. Fourteen years later, Sonny James released his own version a s a country hit.

Elvis Presley recorded ''(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear'' at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, California

JANUARY 25, 1957 FRIDAY

Marty Robbins starts an overnight session at the Columbia Studio in New York that yields three singles, ''Please Don't Blame Me'', ''Teen-Age Dream'' and ''A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Jim Williams recorded two groups of sessions that could almost be different guys. First time at Sun in 1956, Williams was in a Freddie Bell showroom rock and roll groove. His band, the Dixielanders, played society functions, as if you couldn't tell. Back again in January, May and June 1957 with the Little Green Men, he finally recorded two sides that Phillips liked enough to release. One released cut, ''Please Don't Cry Over Me'', bore a striking similarity to Elvis Presley's version of ''How Do You Think I Feel'', but didn't sell sufficient copies to get lawyers excited. Williams had dual careers in music and aviation. At the time of his Sun recordings he was living in Little Rock, Arkansas, and recorded there for Foster Johnson's Dub International Records in 1958, but was last heard in St. Louis.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY WILLIAMS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: FRIDAY JANUARY 25, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR STAN KESLER

01 - "TOMORROW" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Jimmy Williams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 25, 1957
Released: - May 29, 2013
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17313-3-26 mono
THE SUN ROCK BOX 1954 - 1959

02 - "PLEASE DON'T CRY OVER ME" - B.M.I. - 2:39
Composer: - Jimmy Williams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 236 Master
Recorded: - January 25, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 270-A < mono
PLEASE DON'T CRY OVER ME / THAT DEPENDS ON YOU
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-9 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

For some reason Jimmy Williams has never grabbed his share of mythic status given most minor Sun artists. Perhaps the vocal gimmick on "Please Don't Cry Over Me" was enough to alienate most Sun fans, who wanted a bit more bite to their music. But that doesn't explain why the flipside hasn't become more of a collectable item.

03 - "THAT DEPENDS ON YOU" - B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Jimmy Williams
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 237 Master
Recorded: - January 25, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 270-B < mono
THAT DEPENDS ON YOU / PLEASE DON'T CRY OVER ME
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-10 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"That Depends On You" offers a lot to love. The song is bluesy and surprisingly melodic, despite its conventional 12-bar structure. A deeper look at the melody reveals that Williams has borrowed liberally from "I Almost Lost My Mind", marking the second time Ivory Joe Hunter's classic has been co-opted by a Sun artist. The first was Walter Horton's instrumental gem, "Easy". Jimmy Williams voice may be thinner than most rockabillies, but there is an undeniable tension and broodiness to this side that might have won Williams more fans, if not commercial success.

Quite apart from the vocal, the instrumental work on this quiet; understated side is to kill for. Roland Janes' guitar and J.M. Van Eaton's drumming are thoroughly engaging, even in their minimal roles. In fact, the Little Green Men turned a throwaway B-side into an undiscovered Sun treasure.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Williams - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Marvin Pepper - Bass
James M. Van Eaton – Drums
Jerry Smith - Piano

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 25, 1957 FRIDAY

Little Richard and his ten piece band play for a week at the Apollo Theater in New York.

JANUARY 28, 1957 MONDAY

Stonewall Jackson recorded ''Don't Be Angry'' during his first recording session for Columbia Records, although it takes another seven years before a second recording of the song becomes a hit. On hand to observe: Ernest Tubb.

Decca released Brenda Lee's first country hit, ''One Step At A Time''.

JANUARY 29, 1957 TUESDAY

Irlene Mandrell is born in Corpus Christi, Texas. The youngest member of the Mandrell family, the drumming sister gains prominence through the TV show ''Barbara Mandrell and The Mandrell Sisters''.

Porter Wagoner recorded ''I Thought I Heard You Call My Name'' in an afternoon session at RCA's Nashville studios on McGavock Street.

© - 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: TUESDAY JANUARY 29, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMENT & BILL JUSTIS

In the mid-summer of 1957, Sun released a most unexpected trio of country records: Mack Self's "Everyday", Carl Perkins' "Forever Yours", and this recording, the most beautiful and haunting of all. This is without doubt Ernie Chaffin's two-sided masterpiece.

After listening to Chaffin's first Sun outing (SUN 262), it was hard it imagine that room remained for improvement. But Chaffin has bettered his best here. And, true to logic, he never approached this standard again, at Sun or elsewhere.

01(1) - "I'M LONESOME" – B.M.I. - 2:43
Composer: - Murphy ''Pee Wee'' Maddux
Publisher: - Singing River Music
Matrix number: - U 260 Master
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - August 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 275-A < mono
I'M LONESOME / LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN'
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Once again, the success of this record is built upon the unusual 1 - flatted 7 chords sequence and Chaffin and company (and what a company!) deftly mine these changes for all they're worth. As we learn, they are worth a lot, at both dirge-like and mid-tempos. The first 8 bars of "I'm Lonesome" are particularly powerful. The instrumental intro has an almost dreamlike quality; it is literally difficult to become oriented and know what key the song is in. Chaffin's voice is a sheer delight here. What a fine country singer the man was! And not since Luther Perkins adorned Cash's best work has there been such a simple solo on a Sun record. Only this single note picking is done on a steel guitar! And finally, there's the fade. Not many Sun records feature studio fades, but this is the best ever. The simple instrumental work as those slide back and forth is a moment to cherish.

It is not clear what marketplace this record was originally slated for but, categories be dammed, this is one of the undeniable gems in the entire Sun catalogue.

Once again, these brief glimpses of what two Sun masterpieces sounded like as works-in-progress are revealing. The differences were sometimes subtle, but they're worth listening for. Sam had reasons to select the takes for release that he did.

01(2) - "I'M LONESOME" – B.M.I. - 2:41
Composer: - Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-17 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

The verses of "I'm Lonesome" alternate between the 1-chord and a flatted-3 (between D and F). The first four bars are particularly powerful. The instrumental intro, shuttling between a 1- and flatted-7 chord (D and C), has an almost dreamlike quality; it is difficult to become oriented and know what key the song will be in. Chaffin's voice is a sheer delight. What a fine country singer the man was!. And not since Luther Perkins adorned Cash's best work has there been such a simple solo on a Sun record. Such was the influence of Luther Perkins/Johnny Cash at Sun. In Luther's case, solo like this were a matter of necessity. Here, the single-note picking is done by a steel player (Ernie Harvey) who was as technically proficient as anyone in Nashville. And finally, there's the fade ("End it cold", Sam used to say). But this is the best ever. The simple instrumental work as those two chords slide back and forth is a moment to cherish. Two alternate takes reveal the evolution of this song.

On alternate 1, Ernie's phrasing of the title is notably different. The second alternate is much closer to the issued take. We can once again hear that Ernie Harvey made each take an adventure. His harmonic fills on the steel during Ernie's final wordless chant are quite striking and utterly missing from the issued version of "I'm Lonesome".

01(3) - "I'M LONESOME" – B.M.I. - 2:47
Composer: - Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 2 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-26 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

02(1) - "LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN'" – B.M.I. - 2:05
Composer: - Murphy ''Pee Wee'' Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 261 Master
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - August 15, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 275-B < mono
LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN' / I'M LONESOME
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

"Laughin' And Jokin'" repeats the 1-flatted 7 sequence used on "Lonesome For My Baby" and Chaffin and company deftly mine these simple changes for all they're worth. Only a 46-sec fragment remains of an alternate take of "Laughin' And Jokin'", but it couldn't be more revealing. The entire feel of this performance is different from the released version. This is basically a western swing dance record that would have been at home on the stage of Sy's Place in Biloxi, Mississippi. The difference is not subtle and is most obvious in Ernie's vocal and Harvey's steel. If Ernie Chaffin had recorded this song at Hickory, it might have sounded very much like this. At Sun, takes like this were discarded or recorded over.

02(2) - "LAUGHIN' AND JOKIN'" – B.M.I. - 0:46
Composer: - Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 1 – Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 29, 1957
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16780-18 mono
ERNIE CHAFFIN - THE SUN YEARS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Ernie Chaffin - Vocal and Guitar
Murphy "Pee Wee" Maddux - Acoustic Guitar
Ernie Harvey - Steel Guitar
Leo Ladner – Bass

For Biographies 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 - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY RILEY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1957

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 30, 1957
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Riley returned to the studio to start work on a rockabilly version of an old Sun copyright, Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "Red Hot". As always, the rhythm section, featuring Roland Janes and drummer James M. Van Eaton, played with teletathic cohesion. Win, lose, or draw, Riley always had one of the hottest working bands in the Mid-South. By the end of 1957, "Red Hot" had sold only thirty-seven thousand copies, and Riley was furious.

Billy Riley's third instance in the studio represents one of the last times when Jerry Lee Lewis would muster as a sideman.

This incandescent recording reading of Billy "The Kid" Emerson's "Red Hot" based on a cheerleaders' chant, "Our team is red hot..."). It was the closest Riley came to scoring a hit in the 1950s. The band was essentially the same, except that Jimmy Wilson had become the permanent pianist and Johnny "Ace" Cannon had been added on saxophone. The song was suggested by Sam Phillips (the fact that he owned the publishing probably accounted for some of his enthusiasm). The original version had appeared on Sun Records in June 1955.

Billy Riley is absolutely frantic. Whether his gal is "red hot" or not becomes a matter of life and death. He sounds as though he is pushing the recording needle well into the red as he does permanent demage to his larynx. "That's what the song needed - and that's what I gave it", Riley asserted.

James M. Van Eaton and Jimmy Wilson are extremely prominent, the former nearly maniacal, continually walloping the backbeat and thundering through bars three and four of each verse, creating a much heightened sense of tension. All the instruments are pushing, playing slightly ahead of the beat. The song actually has a relatively complex structure as Emerson mixes 6/4 and 4/4 bars in the chorus. Riley smiles, "That's what makes it happen. Most bands get it wrong". The whole song verged on hedonistic, almost violent chaos but Billy Riley and his band had crafted a truly definitive rockabilly performance.

01(1) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 265 Take 9 Master
Featured Overdub Handclaps
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 277-A < mono
RED HOT / PEARLY LEE
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-23 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

If there were even a little justice in the record business, this song would have been a massive hit, thereby establishing the international stardom of Billy Riley. But as we all know there is no justice and the disc enjoyed what can best be described as moderate sales. Riley, on the other hand, cemented his relationship with Sun fans and rockabilly collectors, while slipping further into the obscurity that continues to dog his career to the present day.

Sam Phillips got his eternal wish here: one of his white rockers updated an rhythm and blues tune from the early days of his publishing catalogue. Billy Emerson couldn't have been all that disturbed as well to see his tune (which he, in turn, had cribbed from a schoolyard cheer) turned into a rock and roll anthem that would continue to generate royalties to the present day. Riley's treatment is an utter joy: his Little Richard voice is framed by some of the finest 12 bar solos in the Sun catalogue, including a romper by pianist, Jimmy Wilson. According to Riley, they could not get everything properly miked to cut it in one shot. "Red Hot" looked set to become Riley's meal ticket. Alan Freed jumped on the record and Freed apparently wanted him for a package show with Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry.

Meanwhile, Jerry Lee Lewis had cut "Great Balls Of Fire", which was released just as "Red Hot" was breaking. According to Riley, Sam Phillips told him to come off the road and start working on an album. Phillips then convinced Freed to take Lewis on the tour in place of Riley.

01(2) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-7 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1960
Reissued: - 2011 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

The Little Green Men were real close to nailing it on the above track. But there are still differences, and its fun to hear all those subtle changes in vocal intonation or phrasing, and instrumental chops. Admittedly, it is a bit of a disappointment to hear Riley sing "Sleeps in the kitchen with her feet out the door". Feets was so much classier. Guys like Roland and Jerry Lee never really played it the same way twice and that works to our benefit 43 years later which, incredibly is how long its been since this track was recorded.

Listening to a tape full of "Red Hot" outtakes reveals that the original 45 was overdubbed - which was something you'd never have expected. Of course, Sun's idea of overdubbing in 1957 didn't mean sweetening with strings and voices. Rather, it was a bunch of wild men gathered around a mike-enunciating the immortal words "Your gal ain't doodley squat".

01(3) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:29
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 4 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(4) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 5 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(5) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 6 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(6) - "RED HOT" – B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 7 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

''RED HOT''

Red Hot is as close to a national hit as Billy Riley ever came. Fans and historians will tell you that it should have come a lot closer. The sad fact is that younger rockabilly fans are more likely to have heard Robert Gordon's versions of the song, the first of which was released about 20 years after Riley's. At least we can say without fear of contradiction that Robert Gordon, like any good student of vintage rockabilly, was listening to Billy Riley. And we can add that Link Wray and Danny Garton, Gordon's sidemen, did their share of listening to Roland Janes, Sun's unsung guitar hero.

Gordon wasn't the only rock n roll hero who cut his musical teeth on Red Hot. In 1992 when Billy Riley was enjoying something of a comeback (a European tour, a new record), there was a memorable moment at Carter Memorial Auditorium in Little Rock, Arkansas. On September 8, Bob Dylans tour took him to that city. Dylan stopped his performance mid-concert and called Billy Riley up onto the stage. Dylan took Riley's hand and told the audience, ''this man is my hero''. The two singers then performed ''Red Hot'' together.

Most Billy Riley fans know that he did not write ''Red Hot''. That honor belongs to Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson, one of Sun's early rhythm and blues artists. Undoubtedly, Sam Phillips - who owned the copyright - introduced Emerson's version ''Red Hot'' (released on Sun 219) to Riley during one of their meetings. It's like the idea took root in Riley's mind and morphed into the rave-up that even surfaced in September, 1957. Even that development, as we shall see in a moment, was anything but straight-forward or instantaneous. Riley's version of ''Red Hot'' is decidedly different from Emerson's original, which itself was based on a schoolyard cheer ("Our team is Red Hot / Your team ain't doodly squat'). At the leas energy level Riley brings to the proceedings leaves Emerson in the dust. This is not to cast Billy Emerson in a bad light. His early sides for Sun have a place on any self-respecting "Roots Of Soul" compilation.

The differences between Riley's and Emerson's versions of ''Red Hot'' are almost startling. To begin with, Billy Emerson's record has the rough, unfinished feel of some of the Riley alternate takes. There were only two years between Emerson and Riley, although you'd be tempted to guess that as much as much as a decade had passed. What makes Emerson's version sound so rough? First, Emerson blows some of the lyrics, confusing whether its lovin' or money she's got a lot of there's the matter of the response "Your gal ain't doodley squat."Both Riley and Emerson use it, but only Riley's version was overdubbed to give a full onmike choral effect. On Emerson's, the response sounds like what it was: one off-mike voice shouting from across the room.

But the biggest difference between Emerson and Riley is in the lyrics. You might notice, for example, that Emerson's gal is five feet tall ("she's a little bitty mama'), whereas Riley's is 6'4". The lady has grown more than a foot between the two records. But there's an even bigger difference. When his band responds "Your gal ain't doodley squat," Billy Emerson immediately replies, "Yes she is!" He's telling them and us, "My gal is Red Hot. You guys are wrong!" That's a pretty important piece of the picture. The singer brags on his girlfriend. The band tells him he's wrong, and the singer comes right back to say, ''No I'm not!" But Riley lets the putdown stand. He doesn't get the last word. The final verdict is that his girl is not Red Hot. Or at least there's a group of folks out there who disagree with him.

Here seven alternate takes of ''Red Hot'' (excluding She's My Baby). Bear Family's 'That'll Flat Git It, Volume 17' (BCD 16405) also contains an alternate take of ''Red Hot'', the one we refer to here as Alternate Take 6. There is one additional alternate take available on The Classic Recordings 1956-1960, BCD 15444, Disc 2, track 7 that we have also elected to use.

This version (labeled Alternate Take 1 here) is worth including despite the duplication. It has perhaps the most country feel of any of the ''Red Hot'' takes Riley left behind. Part of that is the slightly slower tempo. But also listen to Roland's guitar breaks, particularly the second one. Keep reminding yourself that this is a rock n roll record. You sure couldn't tell from that guitar solo.

This alternate also showcases the unique sound Jimmy Van Eaton got on his snare drum, sounding like something tuned between a snare and a tom tom.

Van Eaton used the old drummer's trick of taping a wallet to his snare in order to deaden the sound. Thirdly, the timing irregularities that Riley took some pride in during subsequent interviews, loom larger than life here in the absence of an overdubbed chorus. And by the way, Riley has confirmed on numerous occasions that the piano player here, as on ''Pearly Lee'', was Jimmy Wilson.

There is also some controversy over the opening lyric. Admittedly, Riley sometimes sounds like a star graduate of the Jimmy Reed School of Diction. That doesn't help matters. But is he really singing 'My girl is red hot''? We can grant him some latitude with "Mah girl...". But some of these lines sound curiously like "Bop girl is red hot''. After a half a century, we'll probably never know for sure.

01(7) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 8 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

01(8) - "RED HOT" – B.M.I. - 2:31
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Alternate Take 9 - Not Originally issued
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17122-2 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE OUTTAKES

02(1) - "PEARLY LEE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Billy Riley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Undubbed Master Without Overdubbed Chorus And Handclaps
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15444-2-6 mono
BILLY RILEY - THE CLASSIC SUN RECORDINGS 1956 - 1960

02(2) - "PEARLY LEE" - B.M.I. - 2:35
Composer: - Billy Riley
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 265 Master
Featured Overdub Handclaps
Recorded: - January 30, 1957
"Pearly Lee" meanwhile, was furnished with handclaps and a chorus overdub to
arrive at the kind of gloss normally lavished on a A-side.
That distinction went to "Red Hot"
Released: - September 14, 1957
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 277-A < mono
PEARLY LEE / RED HOT
Reissued: - 1995 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-24 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 2

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Billy Riley - Vocal and Guitar
Roland Janes - Guitar
Marvin Pepper - Bass
James M. Van Eaton - Drums
Jimmy Wilson - Piano
John "Ace" Cannon – Saxophone
Band Chorus - Off mic

For Biographies of Billy Riley see > The Sun Biographies <
Billy Riley's Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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

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