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

1955 SESSIONS 5
May 1 , 1955 to May 31, 1955

Live Performance for Johnny Cash, May 21, 1955 / KWEM Radio
Studio Session for The Five Tinos, May 26, 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Johnny Cash, Probably May 1955 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Billy Emerson, May 31, 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 - ©

MAY 1955

Billy Emerson's "When It Rains It Pours" enters the New Orleans chart. This is very probably Sam Phillips last-ever chart entry with a black artist, despite good sales on forth-coming titles by Emerson and Rosco Gordon.

The first Rock LP is released by Bill Haley & His Comets, but full-length albums with their higher prices that limit their appeal for teenagers, remain largely the realm of adult pop singers for another decade.

A rock and roll show in Connecticut to be headlined by Fats Domino is cancelled for fear it will lead to rioting. State police subsequently ban all further rock concerts in the state.

MAY 1, 1955 SUNDAY

Elvis Presley performs in New Orleans, beginning a three-week tour as an opening act for Hank Snow.

MAY 2, 1955 MONDAY

''The Ooby Dooby'' published by Ideas, Inc., Dallas, Texas.

MAY 4, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Robert Ellis Orrall is born in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He has a minor hit as an artist in 1992 with ''Boom! It Was Over'', and write Martha McBrite's ''Wrong Baby Wrong'', Clay Walker's ''What's It To You'' and Shenandoah's ''Next To Me, Next To You''.

Merle Travis and Bettie Lou Robinson are married in Tijuana, Mexico. A judge later rules the wedding is not legally recognized in the United States, and they repeat the ritual in Los Angeles.

MAY 5, 1955 THURSDAY

Fiddler Glen Duncan is born in Columbus, Indiana. His credits include George Strait's ''When Did You Stop Loving Me'', Dierks Bentley's ''What Was I Thinkin''', Faith Hill's ''This Kiss'' and Shania Twain's ''Man! I Feel Like A Woman!''.

Johnny Horton holds his last recording session in a three-year association with Mercury Records at the Bradley Recording Studio in Nashville.

MAY 6, 1955 FRIDAY

Buddy Holly registers for the draft. A mentor of Waylon Jennings, his song ''True Love Ways'' becomes a country hit for Mickey Gilley.

MAY 7, 1955 SATURDAY

Jerry Johnson, known as the Smokey Mountain Sweetheart, ends a nearly two-year run as the bass player for Roy Acuff's Smokey Mountain Boys.

Songwriter Werly Fairburn joins The Louisiana Hayride, performing at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana. His writing credits later include Carl Smith's ''I Feel Like Cryin''' and Jim Reeves' ''I Guess I'm Crazy''.

Eddie Dean performs ''I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven'' during the ABC telecast of ''Ozark Jubilee''. Also appearing guitarist Grady Martin and host Red Foley.

MAY 9, 1955 MONDAY

Marvin Rainwater claims first place on ''Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts''.

MAY 11, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Alabama drummer Mark Herndon is born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He joins the Hall of Fame band in 1979, just prior to its launch into country's mainstream. Herndon is a live fixture with the group, though he rarely plays on its recordings.

MAY 12, 1955 THURSDAY

Kix Brooks is born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He co-writes hits for John Conlee and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band before forming Brooks and Dunn with Ronnie Dunn. Together from 1991 to 2010, they become the most successful country duo of all-time.

MAY 13, 1955 FRIDAY

An Elvis Presley performance causes a riot for the first time in Jacksonville, Florida. Mae Boren Axton sees the show, and promises to write him a hit. Six months later, she brings him ''Heartbreak Hotel''.

MAY 14, 1955 SATURDAY

Dobro player Uncle Josh Graves auditions for Flatt and Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Boys. He remains with the group until Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs split in 1969, continuing to work for Flatt.

The Soviet Union and seven of its Eastern Bloc allies sign the Warsaw Pact in Poland. The seven Soviet satellites that took part in the deal with the Soviet Union included Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. The Warsaw Pact treaty set up a mutual defense agreement between the eight members and was created as a response to the Western formation of NATO and their inclusion of West Germany during the Cold War. The Warsaw Pact remained intact with six of the original eight members until 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart and was dissolved.

MAY 16, 1955 MONDAY

Capitol released Jean Shepard's double-sided hit, ''A Satisfied Mind'' backed with ''Take Possession''.

An intelligence officer writes to FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover that Elvis Presley is a ''definite dancer to the security of the United States'' and ''possibly a drug addict and a sexual pervert''. The letter is placed in an FBI file on The King.

MAY 21, 1955 SATURDAY

Chuck Berry recorded ''Maybellene'', a song inspired by Bob Will's ''Ida Red'', at Chicago's Chess Recording Studio, with Willie Dixon on bass. George Jones and Johnny Paycheck have a country hit with the song, with the spelling changed to ''Mabellene'' in 1979.

Webb Pierce quits the Grand Ole Opry on the WSM airwaves after a three-year membership. Pierce laments that he never had his own half-hour Opry segment.

Drummer Stan Lynch is born in Gainesville, Florida. A member of Tom Petty's band, The Heartbreaker, he co-writes Tim McGraw's 2004 country hit ''Back When''.

Pre-dating his success as a hit country songwriter, Jackie Gleason makes the cover of TV Guide with Audrey Meadows, his co-star in the sitcom ''The Honeymooners''.

Mac Wiseman performs the ''Ballad Of Davey Crockett'' on ABC's ''Ozark Jubilee''. Host Red Foley also welcomes Jean Shepard and Harold Morrison.

MAY 1955

Charlie Feathers' "I've Been Deceived" enters the Memphis Top Five country discs on Billboard.

Malcolm Yelvington's Star Rhythm Boys are now reported to be playing under the name Malcolm Yelvington and the Warmed Over Four.

MAY 21, 1955 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash playing regular fifteen-minute show on KWEM in West Memphis, Arkansas, and started playing local gigs arranged by Bob Neal. Though later in his career Cash would deny it, Marshall Grant recalled that the level of the honky-tonks they were playing in those days was pretty low. He remembered "more guns and knives than fans at most of those early gigs".

Cash became the hit of Bob Neal's Eighth Anniversary show, just as Elvis Presley had been the surprise hit a year earlier. Dick Stuart, who worked as a disc jockey on KWEM as "Uncle Richard" reported to Billboard that "this year Johnny Cash broke through as the outstanding new act in Memphis". Stuart promptly signed him to a management deal.

So Johnny Cash went to his boss at the Home Equipment Company, George Bates, to see if he would sponsor a fifteen-minute show on KWEM to help promote his new career. Mr. Bates had been very good to him in the eight or nine months he had worked for the company; he had advanced John money nearly every payday, and he had told him frankly that he didn't think he'd ever make much of a salesman, but he allowed him to keep trying. Whatever his opinion of John's musical talent, if he had one at all, he never hesitated about sponsoring the show. The only question he had was whether John thought he would ever be able to pay back the money that he owned, over $1,000 at this point, and John I said, 'One of these days I'm going to walk in here and give you a check for that full amount'', and Bates said, ''Well, I hope you'll be able to, but I've taken care of you because I believed in you, and I believe you will do something''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

Session Published for Historical Reasons

LIVE PERFORMANCE FOR JOHNNY CASH

KWEM STUDIO
231 BROADWAY STREET, WEST MEMPHIS, ARKANSAS
KWEM SESSION: SATURDAY MAY 21, 1955
SESSION HOURS: 4:00PM
PRODUCER & ENGINEER: GEORGE KLEIN

This 20 minute recording of the first Johnny Cash radio show broadcast on KWEM Radio in 1955. Johnny had already been playing at the KWEM Joe Manuel "Saturday Night Jamboree" with Marshall Grant and Luther Perkins and brother Roy Cash. The recording was made by a new engineer and disc jockey at KWEM, George Klein, on Saturday May 21, 1955. The company that Johnny worked for, Home Equipment Company, sponsored the show each week.

Surprisingly, Johnny Cash didn't play either of the songs on his scheduled Sun release, and even more surprisingly, for all of his self-disparagement and George Bates' assessment of his selling capabilities, he was a very convincing salesman, cool and confident and focusing on Cool-Glo Awning as a plausible alternative to the more expensive option of air-conditioning. Cash sang on the show ''Wide Open Road'', an original number that he had written in Germany, and a jaunty version of the Sons of the Pioneers' ''One More Ride'', both of which he had already auditioned for Sam Phillips, and solicited listener requests for future broadcast, if he didn't know the song already, he and Luther and Marshall would endeavor to learn it. Then, after highlighting Luther's guitar playing Cash says, ''Luther, step up and show all the little children how to play a big boogie'', and Cash concluded with ''a good sacred song, one of my own, I wrote it a while back'', and sang the song he had first tried to interest Sam Phillips in, the one he considered his best composition, ''Belshazzar''.

The recordings also features on the air commercials from KWEM advertising the Avon Movie Theatre, the upcoming Overton Park Shell Country Music Show that would also feature Elvis Presley. You'll hear the voice of Texas Bill Strength, a popular country recording artist and KWEM disc jockey who was good friends with Elvis.

You'll also hear the voice of Dick "Poor Richard" Stuart who was Charlie Feathers brother-in-law, a close friend of Elvis Presley and who would become Carl Perkins manager.

Also on this release ( MOVLP285) is a recording of a Johnny Cash demo, "Rock 'N' Roll Ruby" that was released on Sun Records by another West Memphis artist, Warren Smith. The demo was recorded by Johnny Cash at the KWEM radio studios in West Memphis, probably late 1955.

01 - ''KWEM ANNOUNCEMENT AND ADVERTISEMENTS'' - B.M.I. - 0:47
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

02 - ''JOHNNY CASH SHOW INTRO AND THEME'' - B.M.I. - 1:38
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

03 - ''WIDE OPEN ROAD'' - B.M.I. - 2:28
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

04 - HOME EQUIPMENT COMPANY ADVERTISEMENT'' - B.M.I. - 1:17
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

05 - ''ONE MORE RIDE'' – B.M.I. - 2:20
Composer: - Bob Nolan
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

06 - ''HOME EQUIPMENT COMPANY ADVERTISEMENT/
LUTHER PERKINS INTRO'' - B.M.I. - 1:51
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

07 - ''LUTHER'S BOOGIE'' - B.M.I. - 0:45
Composer: John R. Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

08 - ''BELSHAZZAR INTRO'' - B.M.I. - 0:43
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

09 - ''BELSHAZZAR'' - B.M.I.-– 2:19
Composer: - Johnny R. Cash
Publisher: - Knox Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

10 - ''CLOSING COMMENTS AND THEME'' - B.M.I. - 1:26
Recorded: - May 21, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Music On Vinyl (LP) 33rpm MOVLP285-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD
Reissued: - 2011 Columbia Legacy (CD) 500/200rpm 88697 60051 2-1 mono
BOOTLEG VOLUME 2 - FROM MEMPHIS TO HOLLYWOOD

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

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MAY 22, 1955 SUNDAY

Ain't that a shame, Fats Domino's concert in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is cancelled when police predict it will lead to a riot. Domino's current hit, ''Ain't It A Shame'', is eventually reconstituted for the country audience by Hank Williams Jr.

MAY 23, 1955 MONDAY

''The Pee Wee King Show'' debuts on ABC-TV, where it remains for four months. The program originates at WEWS in Cleveland.

MAY 24, 1955 TUESDAY

Rosanne Cash is born in Memphis, Tennessee. The daughter of Johnny Cash, she infuses pop and rock influences in her own progressive recording career beginning in the late-1970s, winning a Grammy for ''I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me''.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, resident Sharon Williams receives a telegram saying she's won a contest to name Faron Young's band. The singer is nicknamed the Young Sheriff and his band becomes the Country Deputies.

Faron and Hilda Young buy their first home, on Bel Air Drive in Nashville.

Producer, engineer and mixer David Leonard is born. He works with Barenaked Ladies, Dwight Yoakam and Ty Herndon and produces John Hiatt for the soundtrack of ''Where The Heart Is''.

MAY 25, 1955 WEDNESDAY

The Louvin Brothers recorded ''When I Stop Dreaming'' in Nashville.

Faron Young recorded ''Go Back You Fool'' and ''All Right'' in Nashville.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

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), the Five Tinos stand virtually alone among Sun releases. Group harmony was not an area of high priority or personal preference to Sam Phillips. If his recording activities reflected these values, then his release schedule was an even tougher nut to crack. The Five Tinos must have appeared very special to Sam Phillips.

The group consisted of two Melvins - Walker and Jones; in fact, there were two Walkers in the group - the aforementioned Melvin and Marvin. The five vocalists were backed by a tight little studio rhythm and blues group featuring Phineas Newborns Jr. and Sr. on guitar and drums, respectively. The band also featured twin saxes played by Jewell Briscoe and Moses Reed. This was a larger and more expensive production than Phillips was used to bankrolling.

STUDIO SESSION FOR THE FIVE TINOS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: THURSDAY MAY 26, 1955
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

01 - "GONNA HAVE TO LET YOU BE" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 26, 1955
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30148-B-1 mono
SUN SOUND SPECIAL - SHOOBIE OOBIE
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-8-5 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

''Gonna Have To Let You Be'', this unissued comes from the same session that yielded the group's lone Sun single. Its vocal highlight, if such exists, was a brief appearance by the falsetto singer. Instrumentally, there is one surprise; the appearance of a 16-bar guitar solo by Calvin Newborn. Most of the competition would have paraded a sax player up to the mic, and this session had some on the floor. Newborn doesn't seem quite sure whether to reach into his bag some rhythm and blues or jazz, and so we get a touch of both. It's not likely this track was a strong contender when it came time for Sam Phillips to decide which tracks to issue.

02 - "DON'T DO THAT!" - B.M.I. - 2:27
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Knox Music Limited
Matrix number: - U 148 Master
Recorded: - May 26, 1955
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 222-A < mono
DON'T DO THAT! / SITTIN' BY THE WINDOW
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-7 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

"Don't Do That!" features a cutesy, ersatz sexy vocal, mambo rhythm and double length honking sax solo (if you're going to pay them, get them to work!). If this record had appeared as the follow-up to the Turbans' "When You Dance", on the New York Herald label. not an eyebrow would have been raised. In short, this was neither typical Memphis, nor typical Sun fare. Its appearance in the fall of 1955 came at a transitional time in Sun's country and western was evolving, and the presence of sideburned hybrid music was becoming a greater factor with each passing day.

03 - "SITTING BY MY WINDOW" - B.M.I. - 3:24
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 149 Master
Recorded: - May 26, 1955
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 222-B < mono
SITTIN' BY MY WINDOW / DON'T DO THAT!
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-8 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

The Tinos' weaknesses come into sharper focus on the slower tempo. The lead vocal isn't sufficiently commanding and the harmonies aren't as seamless as the idiom demands. In its depiction of idealized love, ''Sitting By My Window'' was conventional doo-wop, but if it had been on a conventional doo-wop label, it would be viewed as a lesser entry. On Sun, it's an anomaly. The backing group was led by the father-and-son team of Phineas and Calvin Newborn.

By 1955, Phineas, Jr. was making a name by himself in New York; replacing him on piano was another Memphis legend, Honeymoon Garner. At the time, Garner was a disc jockey on WDIA, but in later years led a sax-organ combo with Fred Ford.

04 - "MAMBO BABY"
Composer: - Unknown
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 26, 1955

05 - "MEMORIES''
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 26, 1955

06 - "MY ONLY ANGEL''
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 26, 1955

07 - "GO AHEAD''
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 26, 1955

08 - "ROCKIN' CHAIR''
Composer: - Five Tinos
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - May 26, 1955

The Tinos recorded a total of eight tracks. More information unknown.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
The Five Tinos consisting of:
Haywood Hebron - Vocal
Melvin Jones - Vocal
Luchrie Jordan - Vocal
Melvin Walker - Vocal
Marvin Walker - Vocal

Phineas "Calvin" Newborn Jr. - Guitar
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Jewell Briscoe - Tenor Sax
Moses Reed - Tenor Sax
Robert Garner - Piano
Kenneth Banks – Drums

For Biography of The Five Tinos see: > The Sun Biographies <
The Five Tinos' Sun recordings can be heard on their playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTube <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JOHNNY CASH
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

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

Johnny Cash suggested a gospel song for the other side of their first single, most likely ''I Was There When It Happened''. Sam liked the song but wanted something different for the b-side of their first single and suggested that Cash should go away and come up with something more suitable. A few days later he came up with ''Cry Cry Cry'' which he wrote after hearing DJ Eddie Hill announce "stay tuned, were gonna bawl, squall and runup the wall." He adapted the lyrics to "You're gonna bawl, bawl, bawl", but reconsidered and came up with ''You're gonna cry cry, cry''.

A few weeks later, an exact date is unknown but May is the most likely date, they returned with their new composition which, along with ''Hey Porter'', became the first single to be credited to Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two and a top twenty country hit. There was first some talk initially of crediting the record to The Tennessee Three, the group's loose title before before Cash had joined, but Sam Phillips said, No, John was front and center on the record, and furthermore, he thought ''Johnny'' Cash sounded better than ''John'', if you were looking to appeal to young people. So he agreed to the name change. When the record came out, it would be by Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two, but with artist royalties split 40-30-30.

Unflappable, understated and unmistakable would be sure fire descriptions of what made John R. Cash such a virtuoso at Sun Records. Raised on the banks of the Mississippi in rural Arkansas, he'd tried out as a trainee radio announcer but despite his rich baritone he didn't secure a broadcasting gig. By badgering Sam Phillips on an almost daily basis, he was allotted studio time and the plaintive "Cry! Cry! Cry!" from his third session, was chosen as the Johnny Cash launchpad in the spring of 1955.

"Their material was all religious at that time", recalled Sam Phillips, "songs which Cash had composed. I liked them, but I told him that I would not at that time be able to merchandise him as a religious artist and that it would be well if he could secure some other material or write some other songs. I told him that I was real pleased with the sound we were getting from just the three instruments. If I'm not mistaken, I think it was on this third occasion in the studio that I actually commenced seriously to get Johnny Cash down on tape.

He continued to be very apologetic about his band. However, I told him that I did not want to use any other instrumentation because of the unique style they had. They would practice a lot, but I told them not to be overly prepared because I was interested in spontaneity too".

01(1) - "CRY, CRY, CRY" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 151 - Take 1 - Extended Version
Recorded: - Probably May 1955
Released: - 1971
First appearance: - Pickwick Records (LP) 33rpm JS-6097-3 mono
I WALK THE LINE
Reissued: - 2007 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16325-1-11 mono
JOHNNY CASH - THE SUN OUTTAKES

01(2) - "CRY, CRY, CRY" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 151 - Take 2 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - Probably May 1955

01(3) - "CRY, CRY, CRY" - B.M.I. - 3:03
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 151 - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Probably May 1955
Released: - 1969
First appearance: - Sun International (LP) 33rpm SUN 100-6 mono
ORIGINAL GOLDEN HITS - VOLUME 1
Reissued : 1969 Sun International (LP) 33rpm SUN 106 mono
SHOWTIME

The master of "Cry, Cry, Cry" featured an instrumental break after the second and fourth verse but here we present the rare extended version with Luther playing a break after every verse. It was only issued, probably by mistake, on a budget album simply titled "Johnny Cash"

Charted on August 20 locally and eventually reaching number 1 on September 3, beating out such local favourites as Elvis Presley and the Louvins, and spent one week on the national country charts in November 1955. That was message enough for Sam Phillips. Cash was clearly an artist worth investing in. Within two months, he would join the Louisiana Hayride and see the release of his second Sun single.

"Cry, Cry, Cry", backed with "Hey Porter" was released on June 21, 1955, under the name Johnny Cash. Cash had been christened simply J.R. and had been dubbed John later in life. It was Sam Phillips who coined Johnny. Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant were dubbed the Tennessee Two. They agreed to divide the royalties on a 40-30-40 percent split. The original compositions were credited solely to Cash, although a lawsuit later brought by Luther Perkins family and Marshall Grant contended that they had contributed substantially to almost every composition during the endless rehearsals.

01(4) - "CRY, CRY, CRY" - B.M.I. - 2:24
Composer: - Johnny Cash
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 151 Master Take 4
Recorded: - Probably May 1955
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 221-A < mono
CRY! CRY! CRY! / HEY! PORTER
Reached at number 14 on the Billboard's Country and Western charts.
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15802-4-5 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

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

The essential elements of Johnny Cash's music were there from the start. The stark, lonesome vocals were front and center, with Luther doing little more than keeping time, even during his solo. Where most guitarists relish the opportunity to solo, Luther seemed to dread it. The fear of failure - of messing up an otherwise good take - seemed to haunt him every time he entered the studio.

For his part, Sam Phillips challenged the conventions of recording balance, placing Cash's vocals more assertively in the mix than had ever been the case in country music. Sam Phillips fattened the sound of the vocals and the rhythm track with slapback echo. Musicians scoffed, but Cash and the Tennessee Two possessed the quality that had been lacking in country music since Hank Williams died: originality.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

MAY 27, 1955 FRIDAY

Buddy Holly graduates from Lubbock High School. A mentor of Waylon Jennings, his ''True Love Ways'' becomes a country hit for Mickey Gilley.

MAY 29, 1955 SUNDAY

Drummer Joe Porcaro has a son, Mike Porcaro, in Hartford, Connecticut. While dad becomes a session player, appearing on the Glen Campbell hit ''Southern Nights'', son replaces David Hungate in the rock band Toto.

MAY 30, 1955 MONDAY

After scoring his first two hits on the 4 Star label, Hank Locklin has his first recording session for RCA, at the labels studio on McGavock Street in Nashville.

Decca released Red Foley and Betty Foley's ''Satisfied Mind'', and Webb Pierce;s ''I Don't Care''

MAY 31, 1955 TUESDAY

Jim Reeves recorded ''Yonder Comes A Sucker'' during his first RCA recording session, at the label's studio on McGavock Street in Nashville.

Eddy Arnold recorded ''Wayfaring Stranger'' at the RCA Studios in Nashville. It will become a hit for Emmylou Harris 25 years later.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1955

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: TUESDAY MAY 31, 1955
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Billy Emerson needed another single, after ''When It Rains It Pours'', he together with Phineas Newborn, that's old Phineas senior, the drummer. He had a great jazz combo with his son Calvin on guitar. He got some saxes in, Moses Reed and Jewell Briscoe, they were about the best in town. He cut a blues, ''No Greater Love''. But the main song was ''Red Hot'''. He took that from a chant that the girl cheerleaders used in school sports. you know- ''our team is red hot, your team ain't doodley squat''.

Certainly the dirty-dozens type of call and response insults that Emerson turned the sports chant into - one protagonist has a gal that's never been kissed, the other has one who's never been missed - is the memorable feature of ''Red Hot'', but there is some fine sax playing too and a rolling and rumbling beat that kicks the whole affair along, Emerson sings powerfully and interacts well with bass player Kenneth Banks who provides the second voice.

In contrast, ''No Greater Love'' is a heartfelt plea sung to Emerson's favoured stops in time and accompanied brilliantly by Calvin Newborn on guitar and the offing saxes who nothing to undermine their leaders view that they were the best around.

It doesn't take much imagination to discern that Billy "The Kid" Emerson got his nickname from a fascination with the famed Western outlaw. A similar story surrounds his enduring "Red Hot". This was a slogan he'd originally heard as part of a cheerleaders' chant at a Friday night football game, and like most of his self-penned items, the title went on to become more familiar by other artists. When the first covers began to roll in, the hit-less pianoplayer was heading to Chicago for stage two of his career with Vee-Jay Records.

''Red Hot'' was a territorial seller through that summer and it kept Emerson's name out there. It was one of the songs he say "really were hits'' even though it didn't sell enough in all markets at one time to figure on any national sales charts. Two years later, Sun issued the song again in a pulsating rockabilly version by Billy Lee Riley and it was covered by other white singers of the day. In the 1960s it was revived by the Memphis recording of Domingo Samudio - Sam the Sham - and became a well known song to a new generation and an international hit leased to MGM. Then Robert Gordon recorded it in the next decade and Emerson's little ditty has been part of the songbook of rock and roll ever since.

01(1) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:25
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 154 Master Take 1
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 219-A < mono
RED HOT / NO GREATER LOVE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Emerson originally derived this song from a cheerleaders' chant: "Our team is red hot". Recorded in May 1955 - backed by a session band assembled by drummer Phineas Newborn Sr. - the Rock and Roll revolution was by now well under way. Some eighteen months later, rockabilly wildman Billy Lee Riley recorded a lyrically stripped down, cleaned-up version, retaining the classic retort "your girls ain't doodley squat" and creating a bona-fide rockabilly classic in the process. Bob Luman recorded a strong version shortly afterwards, but it languished forgotten until Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs took it into the Billboard Top 100 in 1966. Ten years later

Rockabilly/Quiffabilly revivalist Robert Gordon turned in a sizzling recut (which also made the Top 100), whilst in the ensuing years Billy Riley has gone on to make it his life's work. It is certainly not identical to Billy Riley's landmark rockabilly version from two years hence, but neither is it that those school girls were taunting the opposing team with. Once again, Emerson has crafted a song out of a throwaway bit of pop culture. The song is essentially an extension of "the dozens"24, a friendly trading of insults perhaps made most famous in the "Say Man" recordings by Bo Diddley. If you're keeping score, the end of "Red Hot" represents yet another blown fade by engineer Sam Phillips.

01(2) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 1:53
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-24 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME

Emerson was a very creative composer and good vocalist. At its best, his material like "Red Hot" and "Crazy 'Bout Automobiles" has withstood the joint tests of time and genre switching. His songs have strengthened the repertoire of artists from Billy Riley to Elvis Presley. Emerson's later work for Vee-Jay Records is every bit as good and in serious need of re-issuing.

"Red Hot" is a bizarre song. Rockabilly freaks cannot imagine it having started as an rhythm and blues tune, and blues collectors have a difficult time imagining it as a high school cheer ("Our team is Red Hot"), as Emerson first heard it. If there were any justice in the music business (not even close), material like this would have made Billy Emerson a rich man.

01(3) - "RED HOT" - B.M.I. - 2:26
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 1996
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-8-10 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958
Reissued: - August 2006 Titanic Records (CD) 500/200rpm TCR 6006 mono
RED HOT ABOUT THE BLUES - UNRELEASED SUN RECORDINGS

Emerson offers a powerful vocal here, showing a more soulful style than appears on any of his other Sun releases. The entire recording has tremendous tension; you can feel it in Emerson's vocal, but it also runs through Calvin Newborn's guitar work. It would not be inappropriate to include this track on a "Roots Of Soul Music" anthology. The last four bars provide a marvellously sweet release from the tension and are similar to the ending of Guitar Slim's classic "The Things I Used To Do".

"Red Hot" (1) and "No Greater Love" (3) are alternates both wonderful songs. These alternate versions give broader perspective to their potential and to the creative process that yielded the known versions. "No Greater Love" features superb guitar and piano work. The session produced three versions of the tune and one can feel intensity growing as the session progressed. It culminates in the well known Take 3 ("play you guitar, Calvin"), but things were really beginning to crackle on this take.

02(1) - "NO GREATER LOVE" - 1 - B.M.I. - 2:52
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 155 Master Take 1 
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - June 21, 1955
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single > Sun 219-B < mono
NO GREATER LOVE / RED HOT
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-4-2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

02(2) - "NO GREATER LOVE" - 2 - B.M.I. - 2:50
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-23 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4
Reissued: - 1996 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CDSUNBOX 7-8-11 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE BLUES YEARS 1950 - 1958

02(3) - "NO GREATER LOVE" - 3 - B.M.I. - 2:49
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Delta Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - August 2006
First appearance: - Titanic Records (CD) 500/200rpm TCR 6006-17 mono
RED HOT ABOUT THE BLUES - UNRELEASED SUN RECORDINGS

At this session, Billy Emerson recorded a song called ''Satisfied'', a string of verses that may have been taken from Percy Mayfield's Louisiana, linked together by bluesy guitar solos and a latinesque drumbeat. It is known that Elvis Presley recorded a song called ''Satisfied'' at Sun - that has never been found - and though it has mainly been assumed that this was Martha Carson's gospel hit, it is not impossible that it was in fact Emerson's song Presley recorded.

03(1) – "SATISFIED" - B.M.I. - 2:18
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 2011
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-12 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON – THE SUN YEARS PLUS
Reissued: - March 8, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17310-7-15 mono
THE SUN BLUES BOX 1950 - 1958

The presence of an electric bass and the song's position on the original reels suggest that ''Satisfied'' dates from Emerson's first Sun session in January 1954 with Ike Turner and the Clarksdale guys, not, as previously assumed, from the ''Red Hot''/''No Greater Love'' session with the Phineas Newborn band. If, as seems likely, ''Satisfied'' was an unpublished Emerson song, he thought outside established rhythm and blues tropes. Perhaps the song's only weakness is that the title isn't immediately apparent. ''Satisfied'' is one of several titles it could have had. The electric bass contributed far more than subtle underscoring. Working with the drums, it created a swampy bed track for Ike Turner's pinched guitar lines. Everyone seemed to be in search of something different.

03(2) – "SATISFIED" - B.M.I. - 2:12
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - May 31, 1955
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD SUN 36-23 mono
THE SUN BLUES ARCHIVES - WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT - VOLUME 4

There's no reason to put this recent addition to Emerson's discography at this point, apart from its stylistic similarity to "Red Hot". Since most of his later sessions used much the same instrumentation, the task of identifying individual musicians on such scanty evidence is made even harder. Guitar and sax confine themselves to repeating the melody line in between verses, the only marked difference coming when the guitarist plays an octave higher. The lyrics are largely unremarkable, chosen one suspects as much for their syncopated rhythms as for their content. "When I'm broke, she always gives me money/when I'm sad, she makes me glad/then comes thirst, she always gives me water/now she's gone, you know I feel so sad".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Billy Emerson - Vocal and Piano
Jewell Briscoe - Tenor Saxophone
Moses Reed - Tenor Saxophone
Calvin Newborn - Guitar
Kenneth Banks - Bass
Phineas Newborn Sr. - Drums
Billy Love - Piano
Band Chorus

According to Billy Emerson, he had been in Chicago in the early summer of 1955. working at a club at 55' and Prairie, owned by Frank Taylor, and ''When It Rains It Pours'' had been out for some time. He said: "I went by VJ which was on 48th and Cottage at that time, and I asked Calvin Carter there 'Can I look at some of your 'Billboards' to check what it was doing? He saw ''When It Rains It Pours'' listed in Dallas and New Orleans and so on. Carter said ''Man that record's been out a long time and everybody's looking fort the guy who recorded it''. Say, 'there's a reward out for Billy The Kid''. Emerson went out on tour for the summer but remembered this exchange after his last, apparently acrimonious, dealings with Sam Phillips in November. '''By December 1955 my contract with Sam was out. I called up Ewart Abner at Vee-Jay and said ''If you give me $1000 I'll sign with you'. So they brought me in and recorded me''.

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

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