CONTAINS
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1953 SESSIONS (5)
May 1, 1953 to May 31, 1953

Studio Session for Jimmy DeBerry, May 16, 1953 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Joe Hill Louis, May 27-28, 1953 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Walter Horton, May 28, 1953 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Rudy Grayzell, Summer 1953 / Abbott Records
 

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MAY 1, 1953 FRIDAY

Pop singer and producer Glen Ballard is born in Natchez, Mississippi. Known for his work with Alanis Morissette and Wilson Phillips, he also co-writes the George Strait country hit ''You Look So Good In Love''.

MAY 4, 1953 MONDAY

Justin Tubb begins working as a disc jockey on radio station WHIN in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Kathlyn Louise White is born. At age 21, she gives up her crown as Miss Utah to marry Wayne Osmond of The Osmonds.

Capitol releases Faron Young's single ''I Can't Wait (For The Sun To Go Down)'', written by Martha Carson.

MAY 7, 1953 THURSDAY

Songwriter John Jarrard is born in Gainesville, Georgia. He authors such hits as George Strait's ''Blue Clear Sky'', John Anderson's ''Money In The Bank'', Diamond Ris's ''Mirror Mirror'' and Collin Raye's ''My Kind Of Girl''.

MAY 8, 1953 FRIDAY

Billy Burnette is born in Memphis, son of rockabilly figure Dorsey Burnette. Nominated for the Academy of Country Music's Top New Male award in 1986, he becomes a member of Fleetwood Mac for several years and writes Eddy Raven's ''She's Gonna Win Your Heart'' and George Strait's ''River Of Love''.

''Iron Mountain Trail'' appears in theaters, with Rex Allen and his horse, Koko, coming to the aid of the Pony Express.

MAY 8, 1953 FRIDAY

F5 Tornado strikes Waco in Texas leaving 114 dead and 597 injured, The Tornado was one of the many storm disasters for the development of a nationwide severe weather warning system.

MAY 15, 1953 FRIDAY

Jim Reeves receives top billing on The Louisiana Hayride for the first time.

Ricky Nelson and his brother, David, appear on the cover of TV Guide.

MAY 16, 1953 SATURDAY

Pop vocalist Richard Page is born in Keokuk, Iowa. Known for his work with Mr. Mister, he also sings on Anne Murray's ''Now And Forever (You And Me)'' and ''Time Don't Run Out On Me'', plus hits by Juice Newton.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Originating from Gumwood, Arizona, James DeBerry harks right back to the Memphis Jug Band days of 1939, which was when he first recorded for Vocalion and Okeh. His main claim to fame lies in "Easy", a languid instrumental duet with harp wizard Walter Horton that preceded this session by just a matter of weeks.

DeBerry's erratic metre heard here, is matched by a piano that is so wonderfully cranky, it makes the average set of honky tonk keys sound like a Bechstein grand.

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY DEBERRY
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: SATURDAY MAY 16, 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Sam Phillips brought Jimmy DeBerry back into the studio to cut a solo single. For the benefit of younger listeners, party lines weren't sexual hook-up call-in numbers, but a fact of life, especially in rural communities. Two or more telephone subscribers were on the same loop and could hear each other's calls, even though every subscriber had an individual ring tone. Billy Murray satirized them on 1917 Edison cylinder as did Hank Williams on his 1949 hit ''Mind Your Own Business'' (''The woman on our party line's a nosy thing/She picks up her receiver when she knows it's my ring''). Over Mose Vinson's jangly piano, DeBerry lays down a very spare and soulful performance, and it's more effective when Vinson lays out, leaving DeBerry alone. DeBerry had a true blues voice, even it it was more of a pre-War blues voice: mellow and wracked with emotion. We should have heard more from him.

> PARTY LINE BLUES <
Composer: - Jimmy DeBerry
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (3:06)
Recorded: - May 16, 1953
Released: - August 1977
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30127-A-1 mono
THE ROOTS OF ROCK – VOLUME 12 – UNION AVENUE BREAKDOWN
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-5/5 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

> TAKE A LITTLE CHANCE <
Composer: - Jimmy DeBerry-Sam Burns
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 73 - Master (2:17)
Recorded: - May 16, 1953
Released: - June 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 185-A mono
TAKE A LITTLE CHANCE / TIME HAS MADE A CHANCE
Sun 185 bluesy item with an appealing sound, slow and infectious beat.
Lyric has some novelty value. Jimmy DeBerry does right well
with the vocal on this reminiscent ditty.
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/19 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

This standout cut, was a primitive twelve-bar blues, although DeBerry's acoustic guitar and foot tapping provide a surprisingly full sound and lifted note-for-note from a 1941 Robert Jr. Lockwood recording of the same name, was a simple invitation to an ex-girlfriend to rekindle the passion, that Sam Phillips characterizes as "one of the real classic recordings of the blues. It was so basic, yet it had such feel to it".

On the face of it, Jimmy DeBerry does not deserve the obscure status into which he seems to have been consigned. his entire recorded studio output was restricted to two pre-War singles for Vocalion and OKeh, together with his two Sun singles - a meagre output for someone possessed of such obvious talent. This side showcases his abilities as a superbly expressive vocalist: however, it also serves to demonstrate his biggest problem, i.e. one of timing - which is further exacerbated by some asthmatic-sounding groans during the solo.

The song, credited to DeBerry and Sam Phillips (under the name of Sam Burns), the song was based quite closely on Robert Lockwood's 1941 recording of ''Take A Little Walk With Me'', itself based on ''Sweet Home Chicago''.

> TIME HAS MADE A CHANCE <
Composer: - Jimmy DeBerry-Sam Burns
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 74 - Master (2:41)
Recorded: - May 16, 1953
Released: - June 1953
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 185-B mono
TIME HAS MADE A CHANCE / TAKE A LITTLE CHANCE
Deep southern blues gets a sincere chanting delivery by Jimmy DeBerry
to the accompaniment of typical guitar arrangement.
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-1/20 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

The fuller instrumentation suggests that this song may have been the plug side but it is markedly inferior to its flipside. This is arguably the least affecting and sloppiest of DeBerry's recordings for Sam Phillips. Here DeBerry with pianist Mose Vinson, for these two fine examples of country blues as heard in and around Memphis into the 1950s. Drum support was provided somewhat oddly by one Raymond Jones who appears to have been a white man who led a small combo on some unissued Sun pop recordings from the same era. DeBerry's timing problems have become so pronounced that it is difficult to appreciate the track on its own terms.

Here Jimmy played crude electric guitar, and Sam Phillips recorded the piano from Mose Vinson so, that it sounded like the kind of honky-tonk upright you might hear if you wandered into your local barroom. Just as they completed the second chorus and were about to launch into a tinny piano solo, there was the shrill sound of the telephone ringing in the outer office. Far from taking this as a deterrent, well, who knows exactly what went on in Sam's mind, whether he somehow or other made a thematic connection between the interruption of the telephone and the song's message, or to Sam's ears the phone's ring was simply in tune with the band. You know, we think just let Sam tell it. But remember, that phone remained a part of the record for all eternity.

According to Sam, ''I love perfect imperfection, I really do, and that's not just some cute saying, that's a fact. Perfect? That's the devil. Who in this world would want to be perfect? They should strike the damn thing out of the language of the human race. You think I was going to throw that cut away for one of them good ones that didn't have a telephone ringing in the middle of it? Hell, no, that's what was happening. That was real. You know how much it would cost to make a noise like that as a sound effect, by pushing a button? And that ain't the real thing. People want the real thing. There's too much powder and rouge around. You know, I'm a crazy guy when it comes to sound''.

Phillips felt that it should have been a hit, although he probably underestimated the sophistication of the rhythm and blues market in 1953. Yet again one understand his point; the compelling drive of the recording more than compensates for the obvious technical deficiencies, including a wobbly beat and some asthmatic wheezing during the guitar break. The stark primitivism of Horton's "Easy" and DeBerry's work reflected Sam Phillips' personal taste as much as anything.

"When I was leasing to other labels", he said, "those labels wanted me to compromise. They wanted a fuller blues sound that I did. They were selling excitement''. ''I was recording the feel I found in the blues. I wanted to get that gut feel onto record. I realized that it was going to be much more difficult to merchandise than what Atlantic or Specialty, for example, were doing, but I was willing to go with it".

Again, the Burns' who claims half of the composer credits is none other than Phillips, whose wife's maiden name was Burns. In January 1954, DeBerry's contract was up, and Phillips wrote to him in Jackson, Tennessee, saying, ''Even though we have been unsuccessful until now in getting anything on you that has proved to be commercial (from a sales point of view) we still believe we can come up with something''. At that point, DeBerry was owned $12.45 in back royalties, but never, as far as we know, recorded at Sun again. In fact, he made no further recordings, except a comeback session for Steve LaVere.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy DeBerry - Vocal and Guitar
Mose Vinson - Piano
Raymond Jones - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MAY 1953

Sun 182 ''Heaven Or Fire'' b/w ''Tears And Wine'' by Dusty Brooks and His Tones is released. These recordings were provided by Jim Bulleit in Nashville and were the first very few sides that Sun leased from other labels.

According to Billboard, "Word has it that Rufus Thomas Jr., who waxed the smash "Bear C at" for Sun Records, is turning down many a one-nighter so he can remain mike side at his WDIA deejay post". Nevertheless, Rufus did from a touring band of sorts, called the Bearcats. He said, "I worked all over Memphis. We had four of five pieces in the band most times. We did a lot of work after I had "Bear Cat" out".

MAY 16, 1953 SATURDAY

Rosco Gordon's ''We're All Loaded'' b/w ''Tomorrow May Be Too Late'' (RPM 383) released.

Jimmy Dean makes his Grand Ole Opry debut, introduced to the audience at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium by Carl Smith.

MAY 18, 1953 MONDAY

Bonnie Lou recorded ''Tennessee Wig Walk'' in Cincinnati.

Sam Phillips' partner, Jim Bulleit, was thrown into something of a panic. He commissioned a formal comparison study, which only went to prove what Sam had known all along. The two songs ''Hound Dog'' and ''Bear Cat'' were identical. He questioned whether Sam fully understood the business of publishing. He pleaded with Sam to release more product, since ''releasing is the life of this business... Don't let the distributors forget us''. And he constantly asked for money, stressing in one letter, ''I wouldn't nor haven't asked for money unless I needed it. Please understand and let me have the money, please''.

In the end Sam Phillips settled. He knew he was in the wrong, given the new copyright climate, and he had neither the resources nor the inclination to drag out what seemed certain to be a losing battle. Sam Phillips pays Don Robey's Lion Music $1580,80 in settlement of the ''Bear Cat'' case, and gave up all claims to the publishing. The record itself was an unqualified triumph. sales kept climbing, and it eventually reached number 3 on the rhythm and blues charts, not dropping off again till the middle of June. Sam had already had big hits with other labels, but this was the first he had ever had on his own. And even if in the end, for all of the spirit that Rufus Thomas brought to it, there was no denying that it was a ''copy'' tune, and in spite of all the legal and financial trouble it had caused him, nothing could diminish the satisfaction he took, the pride that came with Sun Records' first real breakthrough success.

It caused him to redouble his effort in the studio, to redouble his efforts to get to know the disc jockeys, the distributors, all the people he would need to make a go of it in the business. He was disturbed by what he was beginning to see as Jim Bulleit's lack of good judgment when it came to sizing up people, many of Jim's distributors seemed poor prospects for Sun's type of material, and when they did place orders, it was almost impossible to get some of them to pay, but Sam wasn't sure how much of that could be attributed to Jim's almost permanent state of impecuniousness. In any case he was not to be deterred. He had always thought of the studio as his cathedral. Now he saw it more as a kind of living presence. ''What we had'', he said, ''was a church of the spirit that fed on itself'', a house of worship in which he could express his faith in his own unequivocally private terms.

MAY 19, 1953 TUESDAY

Sam Phillips pays white pianist Lucille Van Brocklin (who worked with the Snearly Ranch Boys) and Houston Stokes for an unknown session.

Carl Smith recorded ;;Hey Joe!'' during an evening session at Nashville's Castle Studio.

Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky recorded ''A Dear John Letter'' on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, at the Capitol Studios.

Rose Maddox holds her first recording session as a solo artist, for Columbia.

MAY 20, 1953 WEDNESDAY

Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette star, as the western ''Goldtown Ghost Raiders'' reaches movie theaters.

MAY 21, 1953 THURSDAY

Merle Travis recorded ''Re-Enlistment Blues'' for the movie ''From Here To Eternity'' during an evening session at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood.

MAY 23, 1953 SATURDAY

Jim Reeves makes his Grand Ole Opry debut, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, singing ''Mexican Joe''.

The Davis Sisters, Skeeter Davis and the unrelated Betty Jack Davis recorded ''I Forgot More Than You'll Ever Know''. An auto accident kills Betty Jack in August, making this the only hit record they cut together.

Ruben Tarpley, the father of eight-year-old Brenda Lee, dies from a freak accident, after being hit on the head by a hammer during a construction project in Georgia.

MAY 25, 1953 MONDAY

Guitarist Rich Alves, from Pirates Of The Mississippi, is born in Pleasanton, California. He co-produces and plays on the band's lone hit, 1991's ''Feed Jake''. He also plays on hits by Leon Everette, Mickey Gilley and Bobby Bare.

MAY 26, 1953 TUESDAY

Meridian, Mississippi, dedicates a monument to the late Jimmie Rogers, following a drive engineered by Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb. On hand for the ceremonies are Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, Charlie Monroe, Minnie Pearl and Lefty Frizzell.

MAY 28, 1953 THURSDAY

Unproductive session with Walter Horton.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOE HILL LOUIS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY MAY 27-28, 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Note: Sam Phillips' notebook showed the session on May 28, 1953 with Walter Horton, Joe Hill Louis, Albert Williams, and Pat Hare. It's possible that the Joe Hill Louis session was recorded that day with Pat Hare playing guitar and Joe Hill Louis playing drums. Sun's check register shows food expenses for May 27 and checks made out that day to Walter Horton, Joe Hill Louis, and Albert Williams.

> HYDRAMATIC WOMAN <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:39)
Recorded: - May 27, 1953
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - P-Vine Records (LP) 33rpm PLP 304 mono
THE BE-BOP-BOY
Reissued: - 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956

Louis had previously recorded ''Hydramatic Woman'' as "Automatic Woman", both terms referring to the automatic transmissions found on early 1950s General Motors cars - whilst the song's lyrics consist of a series of clever car / woman metaphors. The solo works is shared by both harmonica (Horton) and Joe's guitar, although this distortion tends to blend the two instruments together.

Joe Hill Louis's ''Hydramatic Woman'' and ''Tiger Man'' are on the same tape as Mose Vinson's recordings, and Louis was noted as being present on Vinson's session, leading us and others to assume that the Louis recordings stemmed from one of the Vinson sessions. On closer examination, this is unlikely. The piano playing is more structured than Vinson's eccentric style, and at the beginning of ''Tiger Man'', Louis says, ''Albert, start it off'', suggesting that it's Albert Williams. Additionally, Rufus Thomas's version of ''Tiger Man'' was on the street when one of Vinson's sessions took place in September 1953, so it would make little sense to reprise it. In many ways, ''Hydramatic Woman'' was a belated ''Rocket 88'' spinoff. Louis's band hits a sweet groove as he places yet another spin on the car-sex metaphor... just when you thought there couldn't be another.

''Hydramatic Woman'' didn't earn a spot on Phillips' release schedule, but another recording by Louis with saxophone appeared in 1954 on Bob Geddins' Big Town Records (slogan ''every one a hit'').

TIGER MAN (KING OF THE JUNGLE)
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis-Sonny Burns
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - with Count-In - Not Originally Issued (3:09)
Recorded: - May 27, 1953
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - P-Vine Records (LP) 33rpm PLP 304 mono
THE BE-BOP-BOY
Reissued: - 1986 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956

Beyond Albert Williams, it's tough to be certain of the identity of Louis's group. Clearly, it's not Louis playing harmonica because we hear it under the vocals. The drum part is simple, but still too complicated for Louis to be playing while he's playing guitar. The harmonica playing is splendid... some of the best we've heard, elevating this recording above Thomas's in many respects. Walter Horton seems to be the likeliest candidate. Louis references ''Bear Cat'' in the lyrics, so this was probably recorded in May 1953, after ''Bear Cat'' was a hit before Thomas's ''Tiger Man'' session. Beyond that, we know little for sure.

According Mose Vinson, he was adamant that this wasn't cut at his session, and it's sufficiently odd that he would have probably remembered it. Audibly, it seems to hang with ''Tiger Man'' and ''Hydramatic Woman''. Certainly, it's on the same tape. We could be hearing Louis's drummer performing the narration and percussion, but it could as easily be a shoe shine boy they brought in off the street to do his rap. There's just one take, suggesting that Phillips wanted to take it no further.

> SHINE BOY <
Composer: - Joe Hill Louis
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:24)
Recorded: - May 27, 1953
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 105 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-26 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Joe Hill Louis - Guitar and Guitar
Walter Horton - Harmonica
Albert Williams – Piano
Unknown – Drums

For Biography of Joe Hill Louis see: > The Sun Biographies <
Joe Hill Louis' 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 WALTER HORTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1953

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY MAY 28, 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

UNKNOWN TITLES
Recorded: - May 28, 1953
Released: - Sun Unissued - Tape lost

> WALTER'S INSTRUMENTAL <
Composer: - Walter Horton
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:52)
Recorded: - May 28, 1953
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sunbox 105* mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1956
Reissued: - 1992 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15524-20 mono
JOE HILL LOUIS - THE BE-BOP BOY

"Walter's Instrumental" is possibly from this session. Only the Bear Family and the Redita LP utilize an original first generation acetate disc. The source for the others is a tape, on which two unsuccessful attempts to add echo via playback of an original acetate were made.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Walter Horton - Vocal and Harmonica
Albert Williams - Piano
Pat Hare - Guitar
Joe Hill Louis - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MAY 29, 1953 FRIDAY

Columbia released Carl Smith's two-sided hit, ''Trademark'' backed by ''Do I Like It?''.

Sir Edmund Hillary, an explorer from New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, become the first people to successfully climb to the summit of Mount Everest in May of 1953. The pair stayed at the summit for about fifteen minutes before they had to begin their descent due to low oxygen. Before Hillary and Norgay accomplished the feat several other mountaineers had attempted to reach the summit of the highest mountain but had never been successful and many had even perished in the attempt.

MAY 30, 1953 SATURDAY

Fourteen-year-old Jimmy Boyd gets chased by a 2,000-pound bull during the Al Tansor Rodeo at Memorial Auditorium in Canton, Ohio. He escapes harm by dashing into the dressing room.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR RUDY GRAYZELL
FOR ABBOTT RECORDS 1953

KWKH STUDIO, 327 TEXAS, SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA
ABBOTT SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE SUMMER 1953
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER – FABOR ROBISON
RECORDING ENGINEER – BOB SULLIVAN

At five feet, six inches, Rudy Grayzell might be smaller than most, but he's larger than life. Did he go to Doug Sahm's school, telling the teacher that he was his uncle so that he could pull him out for road trips. Did he hang out with Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and other luminaries as often as he says? Did he and Roy Orbison coin the word rockabilly in a Bossier City hotel? Did he sing ''Ducktail'' naked in a cemetery for a bunch of drunken girls? Were he and Link Davis chased by a ten-foot alligator in Lake Charles, Louisiana? Was he really making love to a woman in a trailer when a tornado hit, throwing him onto the woman's mother? And what about the hermaphrodite and the five wives? You won't find better stories anywhere in rock and roll. You won't find more electric music either.

Charlie Walker, a San Antonio disc jockey and recordings star landed Rudy Grayzell a spot on KMAC in San Antonio, selling Pear Beer. The omens were good: Ernest Tubb got his start on KMAC selling beer. Because Walker was a disc jockey, he had the ear of the guys at the record labels and when he told them that they should sign an artist, they often did.

There are two accounts of how Rudy Grayzell ended up on Abbott Records. In the first, Walker called the boss of Abbott Records, Fabor Robison, who split his time between Shreveport, Louisiana and Hollywood, California.

Fabor was in Shreveport part of the time because two of his top acts, Johnny Horton and Jim Reeves, were based there on the Louisiana Hayride, and he was in California because his labels were based there. ''Fabor and Jim Reeves drove down from Shreveport to San Antonio, and that's where I recorded my first session. We did it at KWKH after the station went off the air''.

Rudy was acquired right around the time that Robison bought out his partner, drug store owner Sid Abbott, to assume full control of Abbott (the date of the transaction was August 7, 1953 and the amount was $4575, for those interested). But Fabor had another quasi partner, Sylvester Cross at American Music in Los Angeles. Both versions of events come from Rudy, and the second version he said that he sent out publishing demos to every music Publisher, and American Music replied, so it's possible that Sylvester Cross sent Robison to check out Grayzell. Either way, Rudy Grayzell was an Abbott recording artist as of mid-1953.

The big record throughout the fall of 1952 and the spring of 1953 was Slim Willet's ''Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes''. Very unlike any other country record to that point, it had an Hispanic rhythm and odd meter. Rudy's first recording for Abbott, ''Looking At The Moon And Wishing On A Star'', had the same rhythm and tempo as Willet's oddball record, and Rudy tore into it with more lungpower than finesse. ''This is a ranchero which Grayzell really belts'', noted Billboard. ''Watch it and watch him. This could happen''. It was issued under the name Grayzell at Fabor's insistence. Figuring that the country market wasn't ready to find another name. Rudy's great, great grandmother was a German immigrant whose name was anglicized to Grayzell, and he has been Rudy Grayzell (almost) ever since. ''Looking At The Moon'' didn't chart, but probably sold quite well because Skeets McDonald covered it for Capitol and Charline Arthur for RCA. Rudy's version was issued in England on London Records, albeit in November 1954.

LOOKING AT THE MOON AND WISHING ON A STAR
Composer: - Rudy Grazell
Publisher: - B.M.I. - American Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 145 A - Master (2:53)
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1953
Released: - September 19, 1953
First appearance: Abbott Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Abbott 145-A mono
LOOKING AT THE MOON AND WISHING ON A STAR /
THE HEART THAT ONCE WASINE
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837-28 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD

THE HEART THAT ONCE WAS MINE
Composer: - Rudy Grazell-Austin Moody
Publisher: - B.M.I. - American Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - 145 B - Master (2:40)
Recorded: - Unknown Date Summer 1953
Released: - September 19, 1953
First appearance: Abbott Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Abbott 145-B mono
THE HEART THAT ONCE WAS MINE /
LOOKING AT THE MOON AND WISHING ON A STAR
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16837-27 mono
RUDY GRAZELL - LET'S GET WILD

Name (or. No. Of Instruments)
Rudy Grayzell – Vocal & Rhythm Guitar (Possibly)
Tommy Bishop – Guitar
James Clayton ''Jimmy'' Day – Steel Guitar
Don Davis or Kenny Hill – Bass
Kenneth ''Little Red'' Hayes – Fiddle
Floyd Cramer - Piano

For Biography of Rudy Grayzell see: > The Sun Biographies <

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