CONTAINS
For music (standard singles) and playlists on YouTube click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1955 Sun Schedule <

1955 SESSIONS (1)
January 1 , 1955 to January 31, 1955

Studio Session for Woodrow Adams, Unknown Date 1955 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for James Anderson, Unknown Date 1955 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Red Hadley's Wranglers, Unknown Date 1955 / Meteor Records
Studio Session for Eddie Bond, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Mack Self, Probably 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Malcolm Yelvington, January 12, 1955 / Sun Records

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1955

Consumerism takes off in a big way with the sale of some 7.9 million cars in the United States with 7 out of 10 families now owning a motor car, and new laws were put in place requiring seat belts to be installed on all new cars. The average wages were now $3,851 per year, and the minimum wage was raised to $1.00 per hour. The first McDonalds was erected in 1955 and more fast foods and TV dinners are appearing including fish fingers. The first cans of Coca-Cola are sold up till then it had only been sold in bottles. Rock and Roll music continues to grow in popularity with more idols including Elvis Presley , Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry and The Platters, and young men's fashion matches the times with pink shirts and charcoal grey suits.

Fats Domino plays Alan Freed's sold-out ''Rock 'n' Roll Ball'' in Harlem.

Birth of avany-garde percussionist Hamid Drake in Monroe.

Shreveport country singer Faron Young's ''Live Dast, Love Hard, Die Young'' marks the first of Youngs's five number 1 hits.

Abbeville's Bobby Charles has a hit on Chess Records with the song ''Later Allogator''. Bill Haley and His Comets enjoy a bigger hit with it the same year as ''See You Later, Alligator''.

1955

After being used in the hit film about juvenile delinquency "The Blackboard Jungle", Bill Haley & The Comets "Rock Around The Clock" becomes the first rock record to top the Billboard Pop Charts, holding the number 1 position for two months and remaining in the Top 100 for a then-record 38 weeks. It would be 39 years before that mark was broken.

Crossover records start appearing on the pop charts led by Johnny Ace's posthumous smash "Pledging My Love". Others by Fats Domino, The Moonglows, The Platters and the first hits by Chuck Berry and Little Richard follow.

Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" cracks the Top Five on the Billboard Pop Charts and ushers in descending pentatonic double-stops which becomes the essence of rock guitar.

The increased attention to rhythm and blues has negative impacts as well with The Midnighters facing the toughest scrutiny resulting in their final hits of any kind for four years due to radio blackballing.

Boston follows suit by assembling a record censorship board to prevent dirty rock records from being played on the air.

With censorship prevalent, white cover records still hold the slight edge in radio play but not in sales, with Pat Boone having the biggest impact with his watered down versions of rhythm and blues hits.

Rock and roll music warrants a mention in the year end Encyclopedia Britannica music review, which derogatorily refers to it in racist terms as "jungle music".

JANUARY 1955

Bob Neal takes over Elvis Presley's management from Scotty Moore. Presley is touring at this time with Texas Bill Strenght and The Browns.

1955

Proving that the mid 1950s was a simpler time, scoring a big hit this year was "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett" ("Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier"). Also selling truckloads of singles were the sleep-inducing piano stylings of Roger Williams, and the whole milk vocals of Pat Boone .

1955

Johnny Cash officially joints the Sun rooster in March. His daughter Rosanne Cash is born.

Elvis Presley signs his RCA contract in Sam's office at Sun, on November 21st.

Flip is phased out at the end of the year due to pressure from Max Feirtag's west coast label of the same name.

1955

A Baton Rouge teen-ager with several years of local radio and TV appearances behind her has made some recordings, one of which has already been aired by local disc jockeys. She is 15- year-old Hannah Faye Harger, daughter of the W.L. Hargers and known professionally as Hana Faye. She has made two platters so fast, "It Pays To Be True" and "It's Easy To
Remember", and "Searching" backed by "Oh Why".

Chuck Berry cuts his first rock and roll records, the first ones to have the guitar as the main instrument, and invents the descending pentatonic double-stops (the essence of rock guitar).

Bo Diddley invents the "hambone" rhythm.

The Chordettes and the Chantels are the first girl-groups.

Ray Charles creates "soul" music with "I Got A Woman'', a secular adaptation of an old gospel.

Ace Records is formed by Johnny Vincent in New Orleans, specializing in black music.

The Blackboard Jungle is released featuring Bill Haley and His Comets "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock".

The Everly Brothers make their first studio recordings.

Alan Freed's Rock And Roll Ball" draws huge, half-white audience.

Carl Perkins records "Blue Suede Shoes".

Sales of 45 rpm records finally outsold 78s.

1955

This year, future Sun star Johnny Carroll graduated from high school, the band the Moonlighters included Bill Hennen on piano and Billy Bustin on bass. Lead guitarist Jay Salem from Burleson, Texas was brought in when he came second in a talent contest at which the Moonlighters won first prize.

The Moonlighters never made a dime more than subsistence living even though, in Carroll's words, ''We played any place we possibly could and just tried to get on stage anywhere we could. We'd managed to play in a few shows and got some reviews and credentials even tho' I wasn't recording for anybody. Then I went to a show starring Ferlin Huskey and Hank Snow at the Northside Coliseum in Fort Worth. I got backstage and talked to Ferlin. I told him we were a local band trying to get started and that we'd had write-ups here and there. Ferlin said 'Let me hear a little bit of what you do'. So I got my band which was Bill Hennen and Billy Buntin and Jay who was probably with us then. No drummer, just a hillbilly band. Ferlin heard us and he said 'I tell you what I'm gonna do. There's a lot of important people out there, you go out and do the first 15 minutes of my show'. And we did and that's when this J.G. Tiger came up...''.

J.G. stood for Jack Goldman who added a flamboyant but fictional surname to increase his prestige. He was a big man, 6'4, with a booming Texan diphthong and a black untamed, Santa Claus beard. He chewed on raw garlic and bits of the pungent tuber would lodge in it. He may have been a wrestler at one time. Johnny thought he was pushy but positive. He was impressed by Goldman's patter: ''At the time I thought he was 50 years older then me but it turned out he was only 28 or 29''.

J.G. Tiger took the band of Johnny Carroll, now renamed the Hot Rocks, into Dallas where he owned or had an interest in the Top Ten Recording Studio. ''It was a beautiful looking studio'', remembered Johnny, ''but the sound was horrible. Next door had a bunch of transformers and every tape that came out of that studio had a buzz on it''. The group added a drummer, one Dude Cohn, and made their recording debut at the Top Ten Studio in 1955.

''Why Cry'', ''Hearts Of Stones'', ''Sexy Ways'', Crazy Little Mama'' and ''Stingy Thing'' are among the tapes or acetates which survive and the rhythm and blues titles demonstrate how quickly Johnny Carroll and his chums jumped on this stuff. ''Hearts Of Stone'' and ''Sexy Ways'' had been around for a year or two but the Eldorados' ''Crazy Little Mama'' aka ''At My Front Door'', didn't enter the rhythm and blues chart until September 1955.

In the meantime, Johnny Carroll continued playing sock hops, school auditoriums and hillbilly pisspots all over North and West Texas. He often appeared with Mac Curtis but also recalled opening a show for Elvis, Scotty and Bill and Hank Snow. He played the Big D Jamboree when Elvis was there nut thought this Hank Snow bill-topper took place in Waco or Fort Worth. ''Hand hated Elvis with a passion'', he said. ''I can tell you that Hank Snow did not like Elvis at all. He way have liked him later, but I know from being backstage that he really had some vile things to say about Elvis''.

1955

Winston Cogswell had emigrated from the northeast to Memphis. ''I was born in Maine, about two miles from the Canadian border'', he said in 1977. ''I moved to Memphis in 1955. My sister lived there. My brother-in-law's daddy owned a stockyard. First time I went to Memphis I was selling Kirby vacuum cleaners door-to-door. Sold one to Sam Phillips for $285. Then I started Cogswell Livestock Trucking. I went to Sun, met Sam, and he told me that Ray Harris was looking for a guitar player''. By the time Cogswell recorded his own single for Phillips International in 1957, he'd become Wayne Powers.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Woodrow Adams, born on April 9, 1918 in Tchula, Mississippi, Woodrow earned his living driving a tractor in rural Mississippi. Never more than a part-time Delta blues musician, he had learned both harmonica and guitar during childhood with his friend L.C. Green. Their original stringed instrument had been a single strand of wire on the side of a wall, fretted with a bottleneck. Adams learned much by playing along with records and later went on to accompany Robert Nighthawk, Robert Junior Lockwood, Houston Stackhouse and Willie Nix. After Adams moved to Robinsonville in Tunica Country during the 1940s, he followed and accompanied Howlin' Wolf, who became his idol and major influence.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR WOODROW ADAMS
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1955

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

Adams' first session cut for Sun Records in May 1952, resulted in an ultra-obscure release on Checker of which just one copy (listed in the back page auctions of Record Research 40 years ago) is reliably substantiated as existing today. This first record was raw, crudely-translated Delta blues played by three long-term friends. Woodrow plays bottleneck in standard tuning, turning it up loud with Fiddlin' Joe Martin thrashing his drum set and calling encouragements while Sylvester Hayes provides insistent harmonica. ''Pretty Baby Blues'' (Checker 757) was Tommy Johnson via Wolf, while the recent success of Elmore Janes encouraged Adams to launch into the endearingly rough and tumble ''She's Done Come And Gone'' (Checker 757) (See: 1952 Sessions, May 24, 1952).

01 - ''BABY YOU JUST DON'T KNOW'' - B.M.I. - 2:59
Composer: - Leslo-Woodrow Wilson Adams
Publisher: - Meteor Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5033
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5018-A mono
BABY YOU JUST DON'T KNOW / WINE HEAD WOMAN
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-5 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

When Lester Bihari re-opened his doors, Woodrow had another chance to record. ''Wine Headed Woman'' was again from the Wolf tradition, while the reverse echoed Jimmy Reed, who had just hit the charts with his best blues of all time, ''You Don't Have To Go''; artists from Elmore (''So Mean To Me'') to Jimmy McCracklin (''It Ain't Right'') were also influenced by the song. On hand was Adam's old friend Joe Hill Louis, and the ever-present Joe Martin, together with an unknown pianist. This time Woodrow played harmonica, on which he was more proficient, while an unknown but quite fluent electric guitarist joined for ''Baby You Just Don't Know''.

He very effectively starts out with a wonderful interpretation of Elmore James, before contributing excellent fills throughout the performance. The pianist is absent from this side and Louis maintains an insistent rhythm, playing the second guitar in walking bass style for what amounts to a juke joint band gem.

Lester Bihari had big hopes for this record, promoting it a second time in October and it sold healthily. Adams also claimed to have accompanied Joe Hill Louis at a session, it is likely to have been at this same date.

02 - ''WINE HEADED WOMAN'' - B.M.I. - 2:46
Composer: - Leslo-Woodrow Wilson Adams
Publisher: - Meteor Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5032
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5018-B mono
WINE HEADED WOMAN / BABY YOU JUST DON'T KNOW
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-6 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Boogie Blues Blasters
Woodrow Adams – Vocal & Harmonica
Joe Hill Louis - Guitar
Unknown - Guitar & Piano
Fiddlin' Joe Martin – Drums

After this Adams had to wait until 1961 for a Home Of The Blues session with his guitarist stepson, Curtis Allen, together with Fiddlin' Joe Martin. In 1967, researcher David Evans located Adams, still working on a plantation. He recorded both him and Martin, and got their stories. Some of Evans' own words give us a vivid picture: ''Highway 61 ran right by Woodrow Adams' door out in the country near Robinsonville, Mississippi, a town in the Delta that has at one time been the home of such blues greats as Robert Johnson, Son House, Willie Brown, and Howlin' Wolf. Adams is a tall, crane-like man, who hovers over the microphone when he blows harp. I sensed in him a suppressed genius. Among his very few possessions were two battered tape recorders on which he created full ensemble blues by playing a variety on instruments in succession and using primitive overdubbing techniques. Adams is a spontaneous versifier, who likes to remould old blues themes and delivers a spare but very effective and sensitive melodic line in both his singing and instrumental work... Martin contributes the flavour of real juke joint performances with his shouted encouragement and cymbal-pounding drum style''. Woodrow Adams died on August 9, 1988.

For Biography of Woodrow Adams see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1955

After service in the army from 1953 until 1955, future Sun icon Kenneth Parchman found a job driving a Wells Fargo truck. Most nights, he played music. He met a young pianist, Jerry Lee Smith. ''Kenny was one of the first bands I worked for'', said Smith. ''I was about fourteen. Kenny heard my play and he came and asked my mother if she'd mind if I played piano for him. I was with Kenny for about six or eight months, then Carl Perkins heard me and asked me to play for him. But Carl came real big with the success of ''Blue Suede Shoes'' and I had to go back playing with Kenney because my mother wouldn't let me go on the road with Carl - that's because my brother was killed in a car accident. The next thing we knew, Carl was a hit and was driving around in a Cadillac, and we still had a Chevrolet. Mother said, 'Next time someone wants you to go, I'll let you go'! After that, Kenny and I worked together for about a year we cut some tapes at Sun''.

Kenny's band comprised George Sykes or R. Willie Stevenson on bass, Bobby Cash or Kenney's brother Ronnie on drums, Jerry Lee Smith on piano, and Kenny on lead guitar. Someone remembered only as Elmo played drums, as well. Smith became better known as Smoochy, a nickname he got from Kenny. The band was playing a date at a local movie theater as a warm-up act, and they were all on stage except Smith, who was making out with a girl in the audience. When he finally got on stage, Kenny introduced him to the audience as Smoochy, and the name stuck. Smith remembers: ''Kenny liked to party and we had a lot of fun together. We played shows all over the place... we used to play on top of old drive-in theatre concession stands. We got up there and did a show with snow on the ground and it was so cold the people couldn't get out of their cars. They listened to us through the drive-in speakers and so at the end of the song, instead of applause we got the horns blowing! We were doing a lot of rockabilly and some of the old hillbilly songs - we'd speed them up and add drums and everything to give them that rockabilly sound''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Despite many research efforts, information on James Anderson is scant. The likelihood of a link to Queen C. Anderson, protege of the Brewster Singers would seem remote. His Meteor record was a less successful affair, although this has nothing to do with Anderson and his Harmoneers excellent performances. Both pieces attest to a powerful singing preacher, but the record is severely marred by very poor guitar and electric bass, even as Anderson carries on regardless; his pianist is proficient but is hampered by Lester's out-of-tune piano. Listening to certain of the guitar licks it becomes pretty apparent that this is Joe Hill Louis fumbling around, while the bassist is equally lost.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR BROTHER JAMES ANDERSON
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1955

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1746 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - PROBABLY LESTER BIHARI

01 - ''LET MY LAST DAYS BE MY BEST'' - B.M.I. - 3:23
Composer: - James Anderson-Leslo
Publisher: - Meteor Music Publishing
Matrix number: - MR 5030
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5020-A mono
LET MY LAST DAYS BE MY BEST / SOMETHING WITHIN ME
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-9 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

02 - ''SOMETHING WITHIN ME'' - B.M.I. - 3:35
Composer: - Lucie Canpbell
Publisher: - Screen-Gems-EMI Music Limited
Matrix number: - MR 5031
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 78rpm Meteor 5020-B mono
SOMETHING WITHIN ME / LAT MY LAST DAYS BE MY BEST
Reissued: - 2006 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm Ace CDCH2 1090-2-10 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR BLUES, RHYTHM AND BLUES & GOSPEL RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Brother James Anderson - Vocal
The Anderson Harmoneers
Unknown Musicians

Sun Records recorded a 30-song session with Anderson in 1962, one of several such sessions designed to produce a varied LP line for the subsidiary Phillips International label. Knox Phillips produced much of this material, but he could only recall that Anderson came from out of town. There has been speculation that Anderson had links with Chicago, but this seems unlikely. Anderson also cut a single for the Hattiesburg, Mississippi-based label in 1960/1961, which suggests he was based in the South. Sun shelved the LP finally issuing just two of his tracks on a single in 1967.

For Biography of Brother James Anderson see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

EARLY 1955

In early 1955 future Sun recording artist Onie Wheeler got his first taste of the new wave in country music when he was booked on tour with Elvis Presley. As far back as 1952, Onie had been managed by Charlie Terrell who also operated trucking companies from his base in Sikeston. Bob Neal, then managing Elvis Presley, contracted Terrell and placed Onie Wheeler on tours in the Spring of 1955 booked through Colonel Tom Parker and Hank Snow's Jamboree Attractions. Neal also assumed Onie's management for a while.

Onie Wheeler left his band, the Nelson brothers back in Sikeston area. After he returned, they picked up where they had left off with no hard feelings on anyone's part. In fact, the Nelsons were glad to see him back; their attendances were dropping off without him. Once again, Charlie Terrell took over as Onie's manager.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

G.D. Red Hadley was from Covington, Tennessee. He spent time in Memphis with his brother in a semiserious attempt to get into the music business in the 1950s. Red was a pianist and Jay, known as Junior. A guitarist. They acquired a Saturday afternoon show on radio WKBH in Covington and in November and December 1952 they recorded for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Nothing was released though plans were laid for the session to be issued by Trumpet Records. Why this did happen is unclear, but Sam Phillips' recollection was this, ''Red was a guy I hoped I could get a hit on. He would come in and sound real good, but he wouldn't apply himself consistently. He had it'. He could have made a great record''. Songwriter Bill Cantrell agreed: ''Red Hadley was a really good artist. But there was a lot of contention between him and his brother. It was hard to get them to work efficiently together''.

Session Published for Historical Reasons

STUDIO SESSION FOR RED HADLEY'S WRANGLERS
FOR METEOR RECORDS 1954

METEOR RECORDING STUDIO
1794 CHELSEA AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
METEOR SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - LES BIHARI

01 - ''BROTHER, THAT'S ALL'' - B.M.I. - 2:11
Composer: - G.D. Hadley-Les Bihari
Publisher: - Meteor Music Publishing
Matrix number: - Unknown
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 45rpm Meteor 5017-A mono
BROTHER, THAT'S ALL / RING OUT THOSE BELLS
Reissued: - 2003 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2 885-1-3 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR ROCKABILLY & HILLBILLY RECORDINGS

Sometimes in 1955, the Hadleys were working in West Memphis, Arkansas, and decided to give Meteor a try. They produced an impressive honky tonk disc, ''Brother, That's All''. The instrumental ''Ring Out Those Bells'' was based on folk music tunes with a little bit of ''Dixie'' thrown in. On the session the brothers were supported by Roy Cooper, guitar, and Harold Buskirk, bass, both then working with Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell. This style was already just about past its day when the group hit the Meteor studio and it does not appear to have sold well.

The recorded sound breaks up somewhat more than usual on this disc, underlining the fragile state of Meteor's recording equipment or the used of cheap or recycled tape. It was the Hadley brothers' misfortune to have been in at the early stage of Sun as well, and to be recorded there on very primitive paper-backed tape.

In the 1970s, Junior Hadley recorded for Bill Glore's Glo-Lite label, and Red Hadley made a session for Shelby County Records in 1974 backed by Marcus Van Story and Malcolm Yelvington.

02 - ''RING OUT THOSE BELLS'' - B.M.I. - 2:19
Composer: - G.D. Hadley-Les Bihari
Publisher: - Meteor Music Publishing
Matrix number: - Unknown
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1955
Released: - 1955
First appearance: - Meteor Records (S) 45rpm Meteor 5017-B mono
RING OUT THOSE BELLS / BROTHER, THAT'S ALL
Reissued: - 2003 Ace Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDCH2 885-1-4 mono
THE COMPLETE METEOR ROCKABILLY & HILLBILLY RECORDINGS

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
G.D. ''Red'' Hadley - Vocal & Piano
Junior ''Jay'' Hadley - Guitar
Ray Cooper - Guitar-playing
Harold Buskirk - Bass

For Biography of Red Hadley see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

1955

In contrast, local country singer Eddie Bond had all the commitment in the world but Sam Phillips didn't like his voice, even when he coarsened it up on rockers like, ''This Old Heart Of Mine''. Bond had first auditioned at Sun in 1955 and was turned down. He returned in 1958 after the end of his Mercury-Starday pact but, once again, failed to secure a release. He was more successful in 1962 when he recorded two albums' worth of material and actually saw one album released on Phillips International.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Even Eddie Bond admitted that Sam Phillips didn't find his voice good enough. ''I worried Sam to death. I wanted to be on Sun so bad'', he told Charles Raiteri. ''He said my voice was too mediocre. He just didn't believe I was commercial enough for Sun''. Even singing with Mercury Records left Sam Phillips unimpressed. When Bond's Mercury deal was up, he came back to Phillips, and tried out a few more times again without success. In the 1960s, Bond got a sort-of consolation prize when Phillips released an album of Bond singing country gospel tunes, but another album of country standards went unreleased.

If not one of the great singers, Eddie James Bond has been a great opportunist. He has tried to make sense of prevailing trends and find a place for himself within them. If nothing else, Bond was one of the very few Memphis rockabilly singers actually born in the city. The date was July 1, 1944; his parents were Bill and Doshie May Riley Bond. With some money earned in a competition to sell garden seeds. Eddie bought a Gene Autry guitar and began playing around town in 1948 or 1949. He left school in 1950, worked in a furniture factory, and joined the Navy. After serving eighteen months in Honolulu, he returned to Memphis and became a paint salesman.

Auditioning for a band led by Bob Williams, Bond left with Williams' guitarist, Reggie Young. Pianist Jimmy Smith joined from an all-blind band, and John Hughey came in to play steel guitar. Drummer Johnny Fine, who lived with Eddie and his parents, played drums.

STUDIO SESSION FOR EDDIE BOND & THE STOMPERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

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

Eddie Bond and his band made their first stop at Sun Records. ''After I auditioned for him, I said, 'Sam, let me have the tape'', he told Charles Raiteri. ''He said, 'No'. I said, 'What'cha gonna do with it'. He said, 'Destroy it'. He'd erase it and use it again. I don't blame him. That was good business''. And so Bond's first record was released on Ekko around August 1955

4 Unknown titles were recorded.
The original tape boxes were accidentally erased.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Eddie Bond – Vocal & Guitar
Reggie Young – Lead Guitar
John Hughey – Steel Guitar
Johnny Fine – Drums
Jimmy Smith - Piano

For Biography of Eddie Bond see: > The Sun Biographies <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 1955

Howard Seratt left Memphis to settle in West Palm Beach, Florida. He had met and married his wife Miriam there in 1952, and they decided to go back permanently. They had two daughters and Howard gave up music and records and took up watchmaking as a regular career. In 1964 he moved to California. He reports that he still loves country music and plays for his own interest with a country gospel group.

Future Sun recording star Dean Beard briefly attended Tarleton State College before declaring himself for music. He made his first recordings on January 1955 for Fox Records, co-owned by local TV personality, Bill Fox on KTSA in Coleman, Texas.

JANUARY 1955

Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson's ''When It Rains It Pours'' was listed in 'Billboard' as a top seller in New Orleans in January 1955, competing behind Fats Domino's ''Ain't That A Shame'' and ''Bo Diddley'' by Bo Diddley. In the week of 23 April, Rains was still given as the - top tip - in New Orleans. It was probably at this time that Sam Phillips' recording files were altered to remove the Billy Emerson's Clarksdale address and to log Emerson as living at the Foster Hotel on LaSalle Street in New Orleans. He soon crossed that out in favour of 518 Douglas, Cairo, Illinois.

JANUARY 1955

The average price of LPs in the USA is cut to $3.98.

Sam Phillips arranges the launch of his Flip label. It handles country music, although Phillips had considered starting the label a year earlier with Billy Emerson titles. These actually appeared on Sun 194 but with Flip master numbers.

Bud Deckelman's recording of "Daydreamin'" (Meteor 5014) is released as the first country disc on Meteor Records. "Daydreamin'" becomes a manor hit. The song had been taken to Sun Records by writers Claunch and Cantrell but had been turned down by Sam Phillips. Billboard reviews the Meteor version as "a capable rural waxin". A cover version by Jimmy Newman on Dot is a major country chart contender through the summer. Deckelman is snapped up by MGM Records who are still looking for someone to continue in Hank Williams's footsteps.

Malcolm Yelvington's "Drinkin' Wine Spo Dee O Dee"/"Just Rolling Along" (SUN 211) reviewed by Billboard as "a great rhythm oldie sung energetically to a brisk beat. Some juke play should come through".

Hardrock Gunter signs with King Records of Cincinnati, although his first session there had been held three months earlier. He also returns to work as the morning disc jockey on WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia.

JANUARY 1955

In the Army from 1952 until 1955, future Sun artist Glenn Honeycutt was eventually stationed near Valley Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania where he met his first wife, Mary. He Remembered a letter from home telling him that his distant cousin was starting to do well in the entertainment business. In January 1955 Glenn and Mary Honeycutt headed back to Memphis. ''I'm sure life was not great for Mary in those days. Our daughter was born in February 1955 and I was off playing here, there and yonder, never even getting anywhere, just making a little extra money. After I got out of the service I just worked in all kinds of different jobs for three years''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MACK SELF
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

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

"Got You On My Mind", at the time Bear Family released its Ernie Chaffin CD (BCD 16780) we included a vocal/guitar demo of this song that sounded more like Mack Self to us than Ernie Chaffin. Actually, the track had been credited to Chaffin on Bear Family's Sun Country Box (BFX 15211) back in 1986, and the liner notes at the time sound a lot more confident about the singer's identity than we feel listening to the track today.

Although the song was stored at Sun on an Ernie Chaffin tape reel, repeated listening suggested that Mack Self was the vocalist. On a phone conversation with Mack prior to the Chaffin release in 2005 and played the song over the phone.

Neither Mack nor his wife, Hazel, were convinced the song was his, although neither of them sounded as sure about it as we hoped they would. Hazel said she had never heard Mack sing it, but they met in 1958 (or late 1957) and by then the song could have been written, demoed and pushed aside.

Mack Self commented that he had been listening to "Got You On My Mind" on the Chaffin disc and it was starting to sound more and more familiar to him.

"Those words are coming to me real easy", he commented. "Everybody I play it for says it's me. Some of them say 'You were young on there'. But they all say it's me". "Is there enough of a chance that it's you to include it on here". We asked him. "You've gotta decide". "Slap it on there", Mack replied.

01 - "GOT YOU ON MY MIND" - B.M.I. - 1:47
Composer: - Mack Self
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-8-14 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16519-22 mono
MACK SELF - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Note: Session credited to Ernie Chaffin.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Mack Self - Vocal and Guitar

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 - ©

MACK SELF HIS OWN WORDS - Mack Self was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1998. As Mack, himself, would tell you, that probably has as much to do with his association with the legendary Sun label as it does any strong leaning on his part toward pure rockabilly. Strictly speaking, Mack never was a rocker. At least not in the sense that Sun label-mates Billy Riley and Sonny Burgess were. Riley and Burgess, by the way, shared more than a label affiliation with Mack; all three men hail from Arkansas. The similarities, however, pretty much stop at the state line. Unlike Riley and Burgess, Mack Self was and is pure country. Sun label owner Sam Phillips, to his enormous credit, allowed Mack to be just what he was.

Three of the four tracks issued by Mack on the original Sun and Phillips International labels wore unabashed country songs during a period when Sun was dominated by southern wildmen. The releases adjacent to Mack's ''Easy To Love'' (Sun 273) include Ray Harris's ''Greenback Dollar'' (Sun 272) and Carl Perkins' ''That's Right'' (Sun 274). Billy Riley's ''Red Hot'' (Sun 277) came along two months later, and Jerry Lee's ''Great Balls Of Fire'' (Sun 281) barely a month after that.

The same was true of Mack's ''Mad At You'', issued on Phillips International 3548. Adjoining releases on the label included Charly Rich's ''Rebound'', Carl Mann's ''Rockin' Love'' and Sonny Burgess' ''Sadie's Back In Town''. All in all, Mack's ''pure as country water'' offerings were surrounded by some pretty hard-edged rockin' company.

Even Mack's uptempo songs like ''Mad At You'' contained down home lyrics like "My cows gone dry/The hens won't lay''. His ''Going Crazy'' - a track that never saw light in the 1950s - offers lines like "You got me barkin' like a dog/ rootin' like a hog/ skinning saplings/ eatin' paw paws''. It doesn't get much more country than that.

For all his back-country charm, Mack Self remains beloved by rockabilly fans and collectors. This is pretty easy to understand. Years of Sun archaeology has unearthed undeniable rockabilly gems by Mack like ''Vibrate'' and ''Lovin' Memories''. Although they were never released during the 1950s, these tracks provide strong credentials for Mack's Hall of Fame status. At a personal level, Mack Self is a man who, as Johnny Cash sang, "was there when it happened''. Self's sessions included players like Roland Janes, Stan Kesler, Jimmy Van Eaton, Johnny Bernero, W. S. ''Fluke'' Holland, Billy Riley and Martin Willis. The man in the control room hitting the record button was either Jack Clement or Sam Phillips. The bottom line is that Mack's name appears on nearly a dozen tape boxes full of songs recorded at what he calls "that little ole rinky dink studio" in Memphis. He's the real deal. In fact, it's good to remind ourselves that Sam Phillips auditioned both Mack Self and Harold Jenkins a.k.a Conway Twitty, an Arkansas running buddy of Mack's - at just about the same time. Phillips passed on Twitty and decided to work with Mack.

At the least, Mack Self is a survivor. Settling into a comfortable chair, Mack begins to summarize his life. ''I'm Mack Self. I was born in 1930. I'll be 77 years old the 22nd day of May. My daddy was a farmer and he played the fiddle. My mother played the guitar and they got me started. After that I taught myself. The first performing I did was at a street dance in Barton, Arkansas. I was about 15 years old and I sang two Hank Williams songs. I went up there with a guy named Henry Henderson. He told me about the dance and we decided to go. We stopped at a little ''grab all'' grocery store out in the country and Henry got us something to drink. I took a shot of it and said, 'That's good. What is it?' He said, 'That's Bobcat wine'. I never drank nothing before that and I really still don't drink. But when I got up there I was feelin' pretty good. It woke me up a little bit. Made my nerves get right, you know?''.

''They had a good band, at that dance. John Hughey (Conway Twittys steel guitarist) might have been playing with them. I'm not sure but I know they had a good steel man. I finished my songs and folks went crazy. I thought. 'Man! I m gonna try this a while''!. "I went in the Army around 1948 and I was 19 when I got out. After that I started playing with David Jackson and the Arkansas Cotton Choppers. We had a radio program on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. Harold Jenkins was with that band too, and so was John Hughey. I also had a show on KXJK in Forrest City. Arkansas. We started around 1952. I sang with a band called Johnny Farmer and the Farm Hands. Charlie Rich was playing up there at that time or a little later. He was from a little old town, just a wide place in the road up above Forrest City''.

''I wrote a song called ''Easy To Love'' and I sang it on the radio. Brother Hal Webber was a disc jockey at KXJK at the time. We'd tape a week's worth of shows on Monday night and he'd broadcast them over the next week or so. I taped ''Easy To Love'' and he got in touch with me, said 'That's a good song! You need to do something with this.' Hal knew about Sam Phillips because he had heard those first records by Elvis. Nobody knew what to make of those records at the time. But he said, 'You ought to take this song up to that record company in Memphis.

''Its unclear at this point whether Webber or Johnny Farmer carried the tapes to Sun, and whether it was Bill Cantrell or Sam Phillips who first heard them. In any case, the folks at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis were impressed. Mack recalls hearing that Sam played the tape and said 'Who's this boy singing this song right here?' and they told him. So Sam said, 'You tell him to come on up here'.

''So we went up to Sun. I carried Jimmy Evans and Thurlow Brown with me. Jimmy was a lifelong friend. We go back to the David Jackson band. Jimmy played doghouse bass. You know, one of them big standup basses. Jimmy was Conway Twitty's first bass man and also played for Ronnie Hawkins. Thurlow picked guitar on all my Sun records. A fine, fine picker. I met him when I was playing a talent show up in Helena. People started saying to me, 'You hear that guy picking over yonder? I walked back and he was playing ''Sugarfoot Rag'', just eating it up. I asked him his name and said, You want to play?'. He said, 'I ain't got a guitar', I told him, Well get you a guitar'. Thurlow played with me for years. He died in 1975. Sam said, How many songs you got?' I said., Just them two right there'. He said, 'What the hell you mean coming up here with just two songs? I said, 'That's all it takes to make a record. He said, Come on, boy. Lets go get some coffee'.

''Anyway, we came back to Sun later on with more stuff and cut it all in that little studio up there. I came back home and just forgot about it. Just kept playing my dances locally. Just messing around and writing songs. Then in 1957 I got a call from Jack Clement. He said. 'Mack, come on up here. They're going to release y'all s record'. So we drove up and Jack carried us over to Plastic Products and gave us ten records each. I think it was.

"I came on back home and we started playing around promoting the record. We played up in Memphis quite a bit and they had me playing clubs. That's no way to promote a record, though. You got to have radio exposure. I did appear on shows like Wink Martindale and Dewey Phillips. But there really wasn't any promotion. They wanted me to go on the Louisiana Haynde. They weren't going to pay us but $15 apiece to go down there and sing a couple of songs. From where I live its a pretty good drive and it seemed kind of stupid to me. But I know some of those boys from Sun made the trip, like Elvis, Warren Smith, Johnny Cash. I just decided not to go. I was working full time at the time. I'd stay up all night then, go in and punch a clock at 7 or 8 in the morning. I worked 10 or 12 hours a day''.

Mack acknowledges that Sam Phillips was not releasing much pure country music at the time. "Me and Ernie Chaffin was pretty much it. Sam was balking at a lot of it. It had to be pretty strong or he wouldn't fool with it. Guys like me and Ernie Chaffin... We didn't know what a contract was. But you learn. Eventually you learn. I was just messing around, having fun''.

Mack has long ago come to terms with the fates of the music business. Like other artists before and after him, he didn't always feel treated right by Sun and Sam. Being a secondary artist meant that he was unlikely to benefit from Sun's meagre promotional energies.

Having your latest release shipped in the same package with a disc by Jerry Lee Lewis or Johnny Cash usually meant being consigned to the No Play list. As Mack told Sun historian Martin Hawkins, '' At Sun Records, the stars' pink Cadillacs would be parked up front on Union Avenue. Out back would be the beat up Fords and pickup trucks of the country boys trying to make it''.

Sometime around 1960 or 1961 Mack decided, ''that Sam wasn't going to do anything for me''. He moved on to the Zone label and has recorded for a number of small, independent labels since, including a number of self-produced projects.

Looking back at his career, Mack holds few regrets. The lack of a hit record? ''I didn't worry about that kind of stuff back then. It's not till you get older that you start thinking about what you might could have done. Or would have done. I didn't do too bad, though. I tried to write good songs. My wife tells me I ain't never wrote a bad one'' (laughs).

''I never did try to big time' nobody,. I just never did do that. I went to the seventh grade in school. That's as far as I ever got. I educated myself by reading Stop signs and billboards. I learned to draw blueprints. If I had gone through high school, I might have done a little better. But I also might have been a better drunk, You never know''.

Hazel observes, "Mack wrote some good songs. They deserved to be hits. But he never pushed himself. He never got out there and did personal appearances. That's the only reason he never made it. But we've had a good life together. You never know how it would have been if he had made it. Sometimes the worst thing can happen to you is to have a hit record''.

Mack has always maintained a job in the non-music world. 'I did sheet metal work when I got out of the army. I started my own business and I made a living doing it until I retired in 1990. We'd build cotton gins, heating and air conditioning units and stuff like that. I had about five trucks and at one time I worked ten men. After retired. I got to playing again. I'm enjoying it and I've started writing again. I got a little studio out there. I just write my songs and go out there and set down and sing. I've never really left it'. I had some great guys played with me over the years''.

Mack and Hazel Self are approaching 50 years of marriage. They have ten grandchildren and one great grandson. That doesn't include the children and grandchildren from his first marriage. Mack can barely keep track of all his progeny and readily turns to Hazel for the details. "That's a mess of them," he gleefully concludes. ''You see why I have that studio out back?", he asks, laughing.

In June, 2007, Mack was looking forward to his first European concert tour and, in fact, his first trip to Europe . "I've loved airplanes all my life. Years ago, we lived in an old farmhouse right in the middle of a cotton patch. We picked cotton and pulled that sack. My momma, she'd pick 300 pounds of cotton a day. I was about seven years old and one day I got my little wagon and went to town hunting scrap iron. People were giving me little pieces of iron and 'sold it and made a dollar and a half. Man I was rich! The first thing I went looking for was a model airplane with a rubber band for the propeller, just mad out of balsa wood''.

"So I bought it and went home and my momma said, 'You mean to tell me you wasted that money on that little airplane when we ain't got enough food in the house to feed a cat!' She whupped my ass, son, till it burned! I ain't never forgot that!

The lesson stuck - sort of. Mack made no more childhood trips to collect scrap iron to buy model planes. But some twenty years later, he went and got his pilot's license so he could fly real ones. "If I don't like the way that pilot's flying the plane over to Europe, I may just go up there and take it over'', he laughed.

Mack recalled that he had gone back to 706 Union Avenue for the filming of a documentary on the 50th anniversary of Sun Records. Standing there taking in the scene, Mack spotted Sam Phillips. He went over to Billy Swan, another guest at the filming, to confirm Sam's identity.

''I walked up to him and said, 'Sam, how you doing?' He looked at me and had no idea who I was. I said, 'Mack Self.' He said, Well Ill be dogged and gave me a big hug. I wanted to hit him. I guess that's what I should have done, (laughs). But I know that none of that stuff would have ever happened if it hadn't been for him''.

That observation may be true, and Mack also knows today that he was among the more fortunate country boys who never made it big. He saw his name on two of those original Sun (and Phillips International) labels. All told, the eight or nine titles he recorded multiple takes of during Sun's Golden Era have benefited from 30+ years of musical archaeology. Every time he picks up his custom-made guitar with ''Easy To Love'' inlaid on the neck, he knows he's a somebody. Like many Sun alumni, Mack has experienced the attention and respect of people he never expected to meet. Today the grandchildren of people who first enjoyed his records know his name. His reputation is assured.

Wiley Laverne ''Mack'' Self, of West Helena, Arkansas passed away on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at his home of the age of 81. Mack is buried at the Caldwell Family Cemetery in Aubrey, Arkansas.

Interview with Mack Self, July 2005 by Hank Davis

JANUARY 1, 1955 SATURDAY

Colonel Tom Parker became the manager of Hank Snow, one of the Grand Ole Opry's most popular members and another RCA Victor recording artist. Snow, nicknamed "The Singing Ranger" was Canadian by birth, although he had lived in the States for years. When Parker took over Snow's affairs, he combined Jamboree Attractions under the banner of Hank Snow Enterprises.

As a result of this quest for proper management, on January 1, 1955, Elvis Presley finally signed a contract with Bob Neal, who, as noted earlier, had been "auditioning" for the role for several months already. The details of this management deal had actually been worked out a few months earlier, and the well-publicized signing with Neal was designed more to promote Elvis' third single, "Milkcow Blues Boogie" and "You're A Heartbreaker", than anything else. Neal will receive 15% of all his earnings, plus 10% for promotional expenses.

British conglomerate EMI takes a controlling interest in Capitol Records, whose roster has included, or will include, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and Buck Owens, among others.

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs move to Nashville to make regular appearance on WSM's radio and television stations and the Grand Ole Opry.

Jim Reeves rings in the new year with American soldiers in Stuttgart, Germany, during a USO tour of Europe.

JANUARY 2, 1855 SUNDAY

Columbia Records presents Gene Autry a plaque honoring his 25-year association with the label during the singer's ''Melody Ranch'' on CBS Radio.

JANUARY 3, 1955 MONDAY

Jim Reeves' 18-day USO tour of Europe comes to an end.

Bass player Corky Holbrook is born in Ashland, Kentucky. He plays on Billy Ray Cyrus' hit, including ''Achy Breaky Heart'', ''Could've Been Me'' and ''Some Gave All''.

Capitol released Tommy Collins' ''Untied''.

JANUARY 4, 1955 TUESDAY

Kathy Forester, of The Forester Sisters, is born in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. The Foresters emerge as a rare all-female harmony group in 1985, and the quartet scores 15 hits in the next six years.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's daytime TV show begins airing on NBC.

JANUARY 6, 1955 THURSDAY

Ray Acuff ends a one-month USO tour of Alaska, in which he crossed the Arctic Circle while performing for American Soldiers.

Judy Bailey is born in Winchester, Kentucky. She appears as a duet vocalist on Moe Bandy's 1980 hit ''Following The Feeling''.

Red Sovine and Goldie Hill recorded ''Are You Mine'' at the Castle Studio in Nashville.

JANUARY 8, 1955 SATURDAY

Sun 213 ''Look To Jesus'' b/w ''Every Night'' by The Jones Brothers is issued. It is the only black gospel recording to appear on Sun during the 1950s apart from the Prisonaires, although Sam Phillips has also released a country gospel disc by Howard Seratt (Sun 198)

The business in any case seemed to be leaving him, Sam Phillips felt like he was losing ground every day. He hadn't put out t he singles, Sun 214 an intricately constructed new blues ''Move Baby Love'' b/w ''When It Rains It Pours'' by Billy Emerson and "Milkcow Blues Boogie" backed with "You're A Heartbreaker" (Sun 215) by Elvis Presley. But with neither the means nor the manpower to marked a new release effectively, and with none of the back catalogue selling except for Elvis' first record (which continued to enjoy exceptional success), Sam Phillips came up with a stopgap solution. rather than continue to press records with uncertain prospects of commercial success and try to distribute them on a nationale scale, Sam returned to an idea that had first occurred to him the previous year, an ''audition'' label called Flip Records, on which he could release variously hillbilly artists that Quinton Claunch and Bill Cantrell were working with, but strictly to a local marked. This would mean, according to his own interpretation, that he would not have to pay union rates, shipping, or anything but local pressing costs because he would simply be test-marketing the records in Memphis.

JANUARY 9, 1955 SUNDAY

Jim Reeves makes his national television debut on CBS-TV's ''Toast Of The Town''. The variety show is later renamed ''The Ed Sullivan Show''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR MALCOLM YELVINGTON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 12, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Malcolm Yelvington was well placed to see it all. He started recording at Sun in October 1954, and his last sessions were held almost exactly three years later. In October 1954 Phillips was scuffling, selling a few Presley records and getting paid in blues returns. In October 1957 he had two records in the national Top Ten and a couple of others bubbling under. Yelvington reflected the changing musical values of that tiny studio, despite the fact that he only saw two releases during those three years.

In many ways he was the John Wayne of rockabilly. A big man with a big heart, Malcolm Yelvington was more than just a performer, he was part of the very fabric of Southern culture. Such seniority (he was thirty-six when Sam Phillips invited him on board) reflected a diverse musical upbringing than encompassed the many fruits of western swing. "Yakety Yak" was all set to go when the first Presley rumblings began to happen, and with the master languishing, Malcolm alighted at Meteor Records where a recut resulted.

01(1) - "YAKETY YAK" - B.M.I. - 2:36
Composer: - Reece Fleming-Gordon Mashburn
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 12, 1955
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16757-8 mono
MALCOM YELVINGTON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Up to this point, Reece Fleming had been the Star Rhythm Boys' main songwriter and musical director, but he took less of a role in the band through 1955 and 1956 as the band gradually broke up. He did remain involved in recordings while the band, eager to record more of their large repertoire, pressed Sam Phillips for a second Sun release. Early 1955 they cut master versions of "Yakety Yak", a band favourite written by Reece Fleming and guitarist Gordon Mashburn, with a clever lyric.

For some reasons, Phillips chose not to release this, or anything by Yelvington, during 1955. Despairing of another release on Sun, and despite being still under contract, Yelvington took the song to Phillips' competitor, Les Bihari, at Meteor who released a version of ''Yakety Yak'' pseudonymously. The Sun version features an appealing blend of hillbilly and western swing, not far removed from the sound of ''Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee''. The rhythm is driving and the steel solos plentiful and deftly placed.

01(2) - "YAKETY YAK" - B.M.I. - 2:37
Composer: - Reece Fleming-Gordon Mashburn
Publisher: - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 12, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-11 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3-2 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

02(1) - "WAY DOWN BLUES (I'VE GOT THE BLUES)" - B.M.I. - 2:34
Composer: - Reece Fleming
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 12, 1955
Released: - 2006
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16757-7 mono
MALCOLM YELVINGTON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

The atmospheric of "Blues In The Bottom Of My Shoes", which Fleming had adapted from one of his 1930s recordings. Sam Phillips remained preoccupied with Presley, though, and the second Star Rhythm Boys disc never materialized.

02(2) - "WAY DOWN BLUES (I'VE GOT THE BLUES)" - B.M.I. - 2:30
Composer: - Reece Fleming
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - January 12, 1955
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-4-13 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3-3 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

There is a delightful old-timey sing-along quality to ''Way Down Blues''. It was a fair distance from anything that Phillips was selling in 1955. In fact a fair distance from anything that was selling in 1955, which is probably why it had to wait almost thirty years for release. The western swing feel predominates and there is some strong vocal harmony. The song was reportedly written by Reece Fleming in 1952, five years or so after his duo act with Respers Townsend had ceased recording. And that sounds entirely plausible. According to Yelvington, Reece Fleeming originally titled the song ''Blues In The Bottom Of My Shows''.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Malcolm Yelvington - Vocal and Guitar
Gordon Mashburn - Guitar
Miles "Bubba" Winn - Steel Guitar
Jake Ryles - Bass
Reece Fleming – Piano

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 15, 1955 SATURDAY

Kitty Wells recorded ''Makin' Believe'' and ''I'd Rather Stay Home'' at the Bradley Studio on Hillsboro Road in Nashville.

Bob and Betty Wills have their fourth child, a daughter named Cindy Wills.

Colonel Tom Parker attends the Louisiana Hayride at Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium, watching Elvis Presley for probably the first time. Within weeks, Parker is attempting to sign Presley to a management contract.

JANUARY 17, 1955 MONDAY

Singer/songwriter Steve Early is born at the Army hospital in Fort Monroe, Virginia. His gritty 1986 album ''Guitar Town'' subsequently becomes an influential signpost for the alternative country movement.

''Town And Country Time'', produced by country music promoter Connie B. Gay, debuts on WMAL-TV in Washington, D.C. The daily half-hour show is hosted by Jimmy Dean. The cast includes George Hamilton IV and, in short order, Ray Clark.

JANUARY 17, 1955 MONDAY

Elvis Presley play in Booneville, Mississippi, at Community College. Also on the show were Jim Ed and Maxime Brown. "Elvis played in Booneville when he just had a couple of records out on Sun," Hayden Thompson remembers, probably describing a show that has been traced to January 17, 1955. 'I stood out back and chatted with him a while. I was a sixteen year old talking to a nineteen year old. There wasn't a single person in that alleyway except him and me and he had that pink Cadillac which just knocked me out.

I'd been playing on radio and little dances, but this was somebody I could really relate to. Earlier, he had played a thirty-minute set at the radio station with Scotty and Bill, and I stood right there in the studio, which was maybe twenty by twenty. while this happened''. A life-changing experience or what?

JANUARY 17, 1955 MONDAY

The USS Nautilus submarine was put to sea for the first time on. The USS Nautilus was the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. It was authorized for construction in 1951 by the United States Congress and commissioned into service for the United States Navy while it neared completion in 1954. As it made its first real voyage in January of 1955, Commander Eugene Wilkinson relayed the historic message of “Underway On Nuclear Power.” The USS Nautilus continued operating until it was decommissioned in March of 1980 and during its time in service it impressively broke many submarine records and completed several important research and naval missions.

JANUARY 21, 1955 FRIDAY

Carl Smith recorded ''Wait A Little Longer Please, Jesus'' during an evening session at Nashville's Castle Studio.

JANUARY 22, 1955 SATURDAY

Porter Wagoner makes his Grand Ole Opry debut, at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

''Ozark Jubilee'', featuring Red Foley as host, makes its prime-time debut on ABC-TV. It becomes a significant vehicle for Webb Pierce, Porter Wagoner, Wanda Jackson and Norma Jean, among others. Its theme song, Foley's ''Sugarfoot Rag''.

JANUARY 24, 1955 MONDAY

Bob Wills holds his first recording session in a new contract with Decca Records.

Tennessee Ernie Ford makes the last of three guest appearance on ''I Love Lucy'', in which he plays hick relative Uncle Ernie.

Ira Hayes dies after a night of drinking in Bapchule, Arizona. One of the men who raised the flag on Mt. Suribach at Iwo Jima, he struggled with his fame after the war, his story inspiring the Johnny Cash hit ''The Ballad Of Ira Hayes''.

Decca released Justin Tubb's ''I Gotta Go Get My Baby''.

Capitol released Hank Thompson's double-sided single, ''If Lovin' You Is Wrongs'' and the flip side ''Annie Over''.

JANUARY 26, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Faron Young recorded ''Live fast, Love Hard, Die Young'' and ''Forgive Me, Dear'' in Nashville in his first session since ending two years of military service.

JANUARY 27, 1955 THURSDAY

Cheryl White, of The Whites, is born in Wichita Falls, Texas. The family trio earns bluegrass-influenced hits with ''Hangin' Around'', ''You Put The Blue In Me'' and ''Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling''. They join the Grand Ole Opry in 1984.

Rhythm guitarist Richard Young, of The Kentucky HeadHunters, is born in Glasgow, Kentucky. The rock-influenced band wins the Country Music Association's Vocal Group of the Year honor in 1990 and 1991.

Ferlin Husky recorded ''I'll Baby Sit With You''.

JANUARY 28, 1955 FRIDAY

Sam Phillips wrote a letter to his brother Jud, ''I have just received your letter, and it apparently is not clear to you yet that Sun's liabilities are three times the assets and that I have been making every effort possible to keep it out of bankruptcy. As you well know, we have had only Presley, and with his Union contract of 3% of the 89c price, plus the fact that the songs cost 4c per record, it has been virtually impossible to make anything''. What Sam Phillips didn't tell Jud was that he continued to be in deep trouble with the IRS over the excise tax. The more than $8,000 he had been forced to pay in January of 1954 on his overdue 1953 tax had left him in a hole he didn't know if he would ever be able to dig himself out of. What he did tell his brother now was that he had been forced to issue ''merchandise credits'', in other words to write off as uncollectable debt, more than $7,000 since July, while paying full royalties and pressing costs on all those records he had reluctantly given away for free. Surely, he wrote to his brother, to whom he still owed $800 for his share of the business, Jud could ''see the precarious position of the company... Anybody less interested in saving face would have given it up long ago, but I intend to pay every dollar the company owes including you, even while I know that there is no possible way to even get out with a dollar''.

JANUARY 31, 1955 MONDAY

Jim Reeves and Abbott Records chief Fabor Robison tangle with a handgun in a Los Angeles recording studio, with Reeves ultimately demanding his release from the label. Nearly three weeks later, Abbott announces Reeves is leaving.

Decca released the two-sided Kitty Wells and Red Foley duet single.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©