CONTAINS
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1954 SESSIONS (4)
April 1, 1954 to April 30, 1954

Studio Session for Billy Emerson, April 12, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Raymond Hill, April 12, 1954 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Doug Poindexter & The Starlite Wranglers, April 25, 1954 / Sun Records

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 1954

Little Junior Parker breaks his contract with Sun Records, and joins Duke. Sun launches a suit against Duke, which comes to trial in 1955 and is settled in favour of Sun. Meanwhile, Don Robey also signs Phineas Newborn Jr. to Duke.

Sam Phillips had to go Houston for a hearing requesting a preliminary injunction to prohibit Duke from putting out any more records of Junior Parker. Sam had thought he had the thing worked out. Little Junior had assured him that it was all a misunderstanding and they had even scheduled a recording session for the beginning of March. But then Don Robey had somehow gotten in the middle again, or maybe Little Junior was just bullshitting him, which he found difficult to believe, but in any case he drove to Houston on April 6 to put his case before a judge. The hearing was scheduled for federal district court, under the jurisdiction of Judge Ben C. Connally, but Connally, the son of Texas' recently retired senior senator Tom Connally, was on vacation, and the judge who was brought in, an octogenarian who seemed altogether unacquainted with the recording business, refused to issue a temporary stay, especially after Little Junior testified for the defense. Meaning that for all practical purpose Robey had won, even if Sam Phillips continued to pursue justice, as he vowed he would do until hell froze over.

By April 1954, a year further on, Billboard had decided that "Answers (Are) Not The Answer. The year 1953 saw an important precedent set in regard to answer tunes. Since the "Hound Dog" decision, few diskeries have attempted to answer smash hits by other companies by using the same tune with different lyrics". They might have stopped to think about Rufus Thomas's own follow up disc. "Tiger Man", where he attempted to plagiarise his own hit, "Bear Cat". He had moved on in the feline world, or rather, his session guitarist, Joe Hill Louis, had, during his attention to the king of the jungle.

APRIL 1954

Roy Orbison see Elvis Presley perform at Dallas Sportatorium, Dallas, Texas.

APRIL 1, 1954 THURSDAY

Drummer Joe Porcaro has a son, Jeff Porcaro, in Hartford, Connecticut. Two years after dad plays on the Glen Campbell hit, ''Southern Nights'', Jeff, who is also a drummer debuts as a member of the rock band Toto.

APRIL 5, 1954 MONDAY

Under the assumed name Simon Crym, Ferlin Huskey recorded ''Cuzz Yore So Sweet''.

APRIL 6, 1954 TUESDAY

Dottsy is born in Seguin, Texas. She sings on the Grand Ole Opry as a child, then nets one bona fide hit, ''(After Sweet Memories) Play Born To Lose Again'', in 1977 before leaving the music business to work with mentally handicapped children.

APRIL 8, 1954 THURSDAY

Stuart Hamblen recorded ''This Ole House'' in New York City.

APRIL 12, 1954 MONDAY

Decca released Red Foley's ''Jilted''.

Sam Phillips had long been fascinating with echo. For his first Sun release, on sixteen-tear-old Johnny London, in 1952, he had constructed a special ''echo chamber'', a tetephone-booth-like box, and he had experimented with the technique off and on over the last couple of years. But he had never achieved the result he wanted, to his ears, placing the vocalist or lead instrumentalist in a box, or placing a speaker in a resonant hallway or bathroom, as many engineers did, created too cavernous an effect. Phillips knew, of course, that it was all ''artificial''. But what he was looking for was the richness and fullness and naturalness with which the human ear could be tricked into thinking it was actually hearing sound without artifice. People were used to listening to music in honky-tonks and bars. He didn't want to stun them with too clean an overall impression, he wanted it to sound more familiar but different at the same time. What he was really aiming for was ''just a little bit of beautiful clutter''. What he came up with was a technique for creating a slightly less controlled version of the delayed, or repeat, echo that had become a hallmark of Les Paul's work.

It was an idea, obviously, that was in the air. A self-taught electronics tinkerer, accordion player, and home inventor named Ray Butts in Cairo, Illinois, had already come up with a similar concept for electric guitar when he put together an amp that he called the EchoSonic, with a ''3rd Dimension Tone'', in 1952. To get the ''multiple-sound echo effects'' that, he advertised, ''you have always wanted'', he placed a tape inside the amplifier that operated in a continuous loop, as it chased after the live sound with just enough of a delay to suggest the depth and richness that Bill Putnam and Les Paul had created with their studio recordings. Chet Atkins, a great admirer of Les Paul and open to all sorts of musical experimentation himself, bought one of the first EchoSonic, and the sound was heavily featured in his playing on the David Sisters' ''Rock-A-Bye-Boogie'', which was popular in the fall of 1953. But the first inkling that Sam Phillips had of just how he might achieve the same effect in his own tiny studio occurred when he got his first Ampex 350 tape recorder at the beginning of 1954.

This came in the midst of a general upgrading of equipment that flew in the face of every financial exigency screaming out at him for attention every day. As Marion Keisker observed, Sam Phillips might scrimp on everything else, in fact, he could even make a virtue out of it, but he would never skimp on the recording equipment. And while he was more than happy with his fifteen-year-old converted RCA radio console, from the time the Ampex 350 came on the market the previous summer, with its state-of-the-art technology, Sam Phillips just knew it was something he had to have.

It was while playing around with the Ampex that Sam first got the idea for ''slapback''. It suddenly occurred to him that in the time it took the tape to move across the three heads of the machine, from record to erase to playback, ''that would give me a very slight delay, and if, I turned it on playback and fed it back into the board, I would have a controllable sound'', Sam said. The trouble was, Sam would be slathering that sound, whether it was close together at fifteen inches per second or more spread out at seven and one-half, on every element of the recording, thereby restricting the dramatic effect he wanted to achieve. The only solution was to acquire a second Ampex 350, which he did with supreme financial disregard. Sam mounted the second tape recorder on a rack behind him to his right and designated it as his ''slap'' machine, applying it to Billy ''The Kid'' Emerson's and Doug Poindexter's vocals, and Raymond Hill's saxophone, on the three records Sam recorded between April 12 and April 25.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR BILLY EMERSON
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 12, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Billy Emerson remembered Phillips being as pleased about his name as he was about the songs, telling Jim O'Neal: ''So Sam Phillips say. 'Well, what name you gonna use? I said 'Billy The Kid Emerson', he said 'That's what I want!' 'You see, Sam always wanted something different''.

The entertainment business trade newspaper Billboard' was less impressed than Sam Phillips. They reviewed ''No Teasing Around'' as a 'slow blues handed a warm reading from Emerson while the or backs him with a staccato beat. Not too impressive''. Of ''If Lovin Is Believing'' they said, "Emerson tries on this one but the material is rather weak''. Fortunately, Sam Phillips had more faith.

Sam Phillips, Ike Turner and Billy Emerson returned to the drawing board at a session on April 12, 1954. Ike Turner again supplied the band although only he and his bass player Jesse Knight remained from the first session. Raymond Hill and Bobbie Fields played saxes in place of Oliver Sain and Eugene Fox, while Robert Prindell came in on drums replacing Willie Sims.

"We decided that I had to try something different'', Billy recalled. ''I had already written another blues-type song for my next record, called ''I'm Not Going Home'', so then I took an old nursery rhyme and I wrote this fast novelty thing, ''The Woodchuck''. That got me a lot of action around town.

> I'M NOT GOING HOME <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 114 Take 1 - Master (3:10)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 203-A mono
I'M NOT GOING HOME / THE WOODCHUCK
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-2/27 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

"I'm Not Going Home" is, as Billboard used to say, a "minor key opus". It is also one of Emerson's lesser efforts. Which is precisely why B-sides were created: not to interfere with attention garnered by the A-side. The ending is further evidence that Sam Phillips, for all his genius in the studio, could or would not master the art of the fade-out. Here, the echo rises as the volume fades. And we still manage to hear the instruments quit before the fade is complete.

> I'M NOT GOING HOME <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (3:10)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD 30-23 mono
SUN BLUES ARCHIVES VOLUME 1 - BLUE GUITAR
Reissued: - 2010 Secret Records (CD) 500/200rom SECBX025-2/24 mono
THAT KAT SURE COULD PLAY! - THE SINGLES 1951-1957

"The Woodchuck" gives us the first clear glimpse of Emerson's penchant for novelty. He had the ability to take popular expressions or nonsense rhythm and convert them into saleable songs. Although Emerson was not usually one to string together a series of blues cliches and hope for the best, "The Woodchuck" contains as one might imagine. Only the chorus is memorable, which is precisely what Emerson intended. The whole recording exudes such a good natured spirit that all is forgiven. As a bonus, rockabilly fans will notice that Ike Turner contributes some stinging licks here that would have been welcome several years hence at a Warren Smith session.

> THE WOODCHUCK <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 115 - Master (3:08)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 203-B mono
THE WOODCHUCK / I'M NOT GOING HOME
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-2/28 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

> WHEN MY BABY QUIT ME <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (3:01)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103-B-5 mono
SUN: THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 3 - DELTA RHYTHM KINGS

WHEN MY BABY QUIT ME
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD 30-22 mono
SUN BLUES ARCHIVES VOLUME 1 - BLUE GUITAR

> WHEN MY BABY QUIT ME <
Composer: - William Robert Emerson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:39)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - 1992
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CD 36-21 mono
WAY AFTER MIDNIGHT
Reissued: - 2009 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16937-4 mono
BILLY THE KID EMERSON - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

This version featured here is an entirely different song of the same title by Emerson, previously released on Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30103 mono. Two different songs - same title - same artist.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
William Robert Emerson - Vocal and Guitar
Ike Turner – Guitar
Jesse Knight – Bass
Robert Prindell – Drums
Bobby Fields – Tenor Saxophone
Raymond Hill – Tenor Saxophone

It is likely that Emerson also recorded a blues called ''My Baby Quit Me'' at this session. In keeping with his aim to try something different, he made two versions of the song, first a plaintive delta blues that had all the hallmarks of Turner and his band, and then a more swinging version with Emerson singing a melody akin to ''Since My Baby Left Me'' after after the style of Ivory Joe Hunter.

Emersons' second disc, Sun 203, was issued on 1 May 1954 and he was paid a 10 dollar advance on sales as well as $22.50 for the 12 April session. He had played piano with the Turner band the same day on a session that produced Sun 204, two sax-led instrumentals by Raymond Hill, and these were issued alongside Billy's disc at the start of May.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

On April 12, 1954, Ike Turner arranged a Billy Emerson session at Sun that yielded ''The Woodchuck''/''I'm Not Going Home''. Before or after Billy Emerson took the vocal mic, Turner persuaded Sam Phillips to let his longtime saxophonist Raymond Hill, cut a couple of instrumentals. The session costs $112.50, were split between Emerson and Hill.

For some reasons, Phillips took fifty percent of the composer's share of both single. He did the same thing when Billy Love recorded a few weeks earlier; other wise, he rarely cut himself in.

STUDIO SESSION FOR RAYMOND HILL
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: MONDAY APRIL 12, 1954
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

The New Orleans theme is retained, but the title of what ensues has anything to do with the Crescent City. This was the era of Joe Houston and Big Jay McNeely, but out Raymond Hill was plainly too laid-back to even come near emulating their antics. He sets off with a series of donkey honks that fail to build to a satisfying conclusion, even when he's joined by Ike's guitar and Bobby Field's saxophone. His solo is fluent enough, but rarely strays far from the roots chords, whilst drummer Bob Prindell fires off a machine-gun snare roll give the track the semblance of an excitement it never possessed.

> BOURBOB STREET JUMP <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 117 - Master (2:40)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 204-A mono
BOURBON STREET JUMP / THE SNUGGLE
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3/1 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

As deputy leader of the Kings Of Rhythm, Raymond Hill returned to the Sun studios on a split session with Billy "The Kid" Emerson. This slow, blowsey instrumental has a distinct aroma of New Orleans around it, largely due to Emerson's two-handed piano accompaniment. Unfortunately, the mix places such emphasis on Hill's tenor that very little of the backing band can be heard - thus, the intended interplay between tenor and piano on the final chorusses doesn't happen at all.

> THE SNUGGLE <
Composer: - Raymond Hill
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 116 - Master (2:59)
Recorded: - April 12, 1954
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 204-B mono
THE SNUGGLE / BOURBON STREET JUMP
Reissued - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-3/2 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Raymond Hill - Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Fields - Tenor Saxophone
Billy Emerson - Piano
Ike Turner - Guitar
Jesse Knight - Bass Guitar
Robert Prindell – Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 13, 1954 TUESDAY

Tommy Collins recorded ''Untied'' and ''Whatcha Gonna Do Now'' at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

APRIL 14, 1954 WEDNESDAY

Singer/songwriter Pierce Pettis is born in DeKalb County, Alabama. He writes Garth Brooks ''You Move Me''..

APRIL 15, 1954 THURSDAY

Webb Pierce recorded ''You're Not Mine Anymore'' at Nashville's Castle Studio.

Janet Louise Smith, the one-month-old daughter of future Grand Ole Opry star Jan Howard, dies in Columbus, Ohio, of a cerebral hemorrhage.

''My Baby'' b/w ''Straighten Up Baby'' (Sun 199) of James Cotton, and ''Alone And Blue'' b/w ''If You Love Me'' (Sun 200) of Little Milton, are released.

APRIL 20, 1954 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley begins work at Crown Electric Company located at 475 North Dunlap, where he starts out driving a truck at $1 an hour, delivering supplies to building sites. He is hoping for the chance to train to be an electrician. The warmer weather, Elvis Presley and Dixie Locke often go to Riverside Park, where Elvis plays his guitar and sings for Dixie and other friends.

Sometime during the spring Elvis tries out for the Songfellows, the junior Blackwood group, and is crushed when according to his recollection, he is told that he "can't sing" - though other members of the group later insist that they meant he couldn't sing harmony.

APRIL 22, 1954 THURSDAY

Eddy Arnold recorded ''This Is The Thanks I Get (For Loving You)'' at the RCA Recording Studio in New York City.

Tennessee Ernie Ford recorded ''River Of No Return'', the title song from a movie starring Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe.

APRIL 23, 1954 FRIDAY

The Pickin' And Singin' News News reports Red Foley has moved from Nashville to Springfield, Missouri, where he is signed for several radio shows. Within months, he begins hosting ''The Ozark Jubilee'' on radio.

APRIL 24, 1954 SATURDAY

''Teen-Agers Demand Music With A Beat, Spur Rhythm-Blues'' was the page one headline of the April 24 issue of Billboard, only the latest in a long line of Delphic pronouncements, keenly observed but subject to a wide variety of interpretations, dating back over the last couple of years. ''The teen-age tide has swept down the old barriers which kept this music restricted to a segment of the population'', wrote Bob Rolontz and Joel Friedman, in a long front-page article that was borne out by Atlantic Records' virtually simultaneous launch of a new label, Cat Records, made up of rhythm and blues artists and intended to appeal directly to this trend. ''Southern bobbysoxers began to call the rhythm and blues records that move them 'cat music''', wrote Atlantic executives Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun only a little disingenuously a couple of months later in Cash Box. ''And what kind moves them? Well, it's the up-to-date blues with a beat''.

APRIL 25, 1954 SUNDAY

Singer/songwriter Rob Crosby is born in Sumter, South Carolina. He writes Lee Greenwood's ''Holdin' A Good Hand'', Martina McBride's ''Concrete Angel'' and ''Eric Paslay's ''Friday Night'', and has two hits in 1991 as an artist, ''She's A Natural'' and ''Love Will Bring Her Around''.

The Sterling Hayden western ''Arrow In The Dust'' opens in theaters with a cast includes two country hitmakers, Jimmy Wakely and Sheb Wooley.

APRIL 25, 1954 SUNDAY

More one-shot followed, Sam Phillips recorded a Memphis group called Doug Poindexter's Starlite Wranglers, a name that would have been enveloped by the mists of time were it not for the rosy future of the group's guitarist and bass player, Scotty Moore and Bill Black. Local hillbilly singer Doug Poindexter,'s engagingly rural style made even Hank Williams sound uptown by comparison; his solitary Sun recording sold even worse than ''Boogie Blues'', netting about three hundred copies.

Discouraged by the record's dailure, but encouraged the fact that, at last, he had broken the recording barrier, Scotty Moore stopped by every day after work to talk to Sam about the future. He was hoping that Sam could give him work, any work, that would help him break into the music business. And that opportunity, it turns out, was just around the corner.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR DOUG POINDEXTER & THE STARLITE WRANGLERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1954

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: PROBABLY SUNDAY APRIL 25, 1954 TUESDAY
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS

Originally from Vanndale, Arkansas, Douglas Winston Poindexter was working at a Memphis bakery when Scotty Moore hired him to front his country sextet, the Starlite Wranglers. Inspired by the group's popularity at local nitespots like the Bel-Air and Beaufort Inn, Sam Phillips decided to capture their moment of glory and the track "My Kind Of Carryin' On" resulted. Scotty Moore, along with Bill Black, would shortly be sidestepping the scheme of things to become Elvis Presley's Blue Moon Boys.

Before Sun Records defined the blueprint for rockabilly music with Elvis Presley's "That's All Right" in the summer of 1954, the nearest thing Sam Phillips had heard to that sound was Sun 202, "My Kind Of Carryin' On" by Doug Poindexter and the Starlite Wranglers. There were no drums or rock and roll backbeat, but there was a hurrying bass rhythm from Bill Black and some hot guitar from Scotty Moore. Poindexter's lyrics were surprisingly salty for a country record - about fussin' and fightin' with his woman over whether he's going to get his 'sugar'. At the time the record was made, Elvis Presley was still only on the fringe of the Sun set-up, gigging occasionally with Poindexter's band.

> MY KIND OF CARRYING ON <
Composer: - Scotty Moore-Doug Winston Poindexter
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 111 - Master (2:00)
Recorded: - April 25, 1954
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 202-B mono
MY KIND OF CARRYING ON / NOW SHE CARES NO MORE
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-2/26 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

Scotty Moore kicking off with some striking notes and settling into a persistent bass-string figure. Doug Poindexter telling the risque story in his hillbilly tenor with a hard-edged echoed sound. "My Kind Of Carryin' On" was supported by a more conventional hillbilly performance on "Now She Cares No More For Me", written by Doug's friend, country singer Bud Deckelman. However, Sun's accounts show that the record sold only 330 copies in the first year.

The song itself was an important record. It was honky tonk shading toward rockabilly. Listen, for instance, to the dirty-toned electric guitar up in the mix. There is a lot of fire in this recording, perhaps due less to Poindexter's vocal than to the backing group led by Scotty Moore and Bill Black. From the evidence afforded by this song, they were already marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Moore says that he wrote both sides of the record, but gave a share to his brother, Carney, for writing the lead sheet and a share to Poindexter because he was the singer, but that would be easier to swallow if he'd written more songs that sounded like this. It would have been good to say that this record deserved to be a massive hit but, of course, it did not stand a prayer. Billboard identified the major problem: ''Okay chanting from nasal voiced Poindexter. Big city buyers might not go big this but it should do well in the back country''.

> NOW SHE CARES NO MORE <
Composer: - Scotty Moore-Carney Hefley Moore-G. Bud Deckelman
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - U 110 - Master (3:00)
Recorded: - April 25, 1954
Released: - May 1, 1954
First appearance: - Sun Records (S) 78/45rpm standard single Sun 202-A mono
NOW SHE CARES NO MORE / MY KIND OF CARRYING ON
Reissued: - 1994 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 15801-2/25 mono
THE SUN SINGLES COLLECTION - VOLUME 1

This recording features such a determinedly backwoods vocal that it makes Poindexter's hero, Hank Williams, sound uptown by comparison. The melody bears a similarity to Williams ''I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'', but no matter, this is pure country soul with some real pain in the vocal. To underscore the Williams connection, steel guitarist, Milard Yow, even has some of Don Helms' directness and bluesy tone. The cowriter, Bud Deckelman, soon put Memphis country music on the map with ''Daydreamin''', a hit that Phillips missed. Hit or not, Poindexter's record was fiercely unafraid of its raw edges.

Scotty was working days blocking hats at his brother Carney Moore's University Park Dry Cleaners, located at 613 North McLean Boulevard in Memphis, and it was while working there that Scotty Moore became a member of the Starlite Wranglers. (The mother of singer Tammy Wynette (born Wynette Pugh) once worked for Carney Moore at University Park Cleaners). Bill Black worked at the local Ace Appliance Company(*) on 3431 Summer Avenue in Memphis. Scotty Moore had started his musical career in Washington, DC, on WBRO radio. He moved to Memphis in 1951 and had previously been featured on Eddie Hill's recording of "Hot Guitar" on Mercury Records.

Poindexter wanted to sound like his hero, Hank Williams. As usual, Sam Phillips wanted something a bit different. Poindexter came close to having his way on "Now She Cares No More For Me". Sam Phillips got his revenge on the flipside. "My Kind Of Carrying On" contains, along with some surprisingly raunchy lyrics, the modest seed of the Sun rockabilly sound. That owes, in no small way, to the fact that the Starlite Wranglers happen to contain Scotty Moore and Bill Black, who would venture forth into an unsuspecting world in just a few months as Elvis Presley's backup band.

The precise path that brought the Starlite Wranglers to Sam Phillips has never been identified. Poindexter and Scotty Moore have different tales, but this much is certain: when Phillips sat down to calculate Poindexter's royalties in May 1955 the record had sold all of 330 copies, and that was insufficient to send Phillips chasing after Doug to make another one.

All this somewhat hard to connect with the Doug Poindexter of today, a suburban insurance-man who quite happily admits to not having touched a guitar for many years. Poindexter appears somewhat bemused, and perhaps slightly amused, at the interest in his one and only recording session, held in May 1954. His perhaps over-modest view of those days is this: "Sam Phillips has a lot of credit due to him. He's built music in Memphis. I didn't do anything for it, because I only did the same thing everyone else was doing. As far as I'm concerned, Sam was the creator".

"Doug Poindexter was a local young man that I thought had a great potential along a Hank Williams line", recalled Sam Phillips. "He had an interesting voice and he had a fine band that Scotty Moore and Bill Black came from. Really, it was that I was getting involved with Elvis Presley around that time that prevented Doug's band really fulfilling their original aims in country".

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Doug Poindexter - Vocal and Acoustic Rhythm Guitar
Scotty Moore - Electric Lead Guitar Gipson EKS 295
Bill Black - Acoustic Upright Bass
Millard Yeow - Steel Guitar
Clyde Rush - Rhythm Guitar
Tommy Seals – Fiddle

Scotty Moore knew the Starlite Wranglers were not going to be the way he was going to do it. For one thing, Doug Poindexter didn't have the forward looking musical attitude that you needed to make in in the competitive, forward-looking music business; for another, no one in the band was prepared to give up their steady jobs to travel, with the exception of his friend, bass player Bill Black. So Scotty got in the habit of coming down to the studio several days a week after he got off work to talk to Sam Phillips about the future. They would go next door to Dell Taylor's restaurant for a cup of coffee if Sam had the time, Scotty just liked to listen to him talk, mostly about the changes that he saw on the horizon. ''He knew there was a crossover coming. He foresaw it. I think that recording all those black artists had to give him an insight; he just didn't know where that insight would lead'', says Scotty.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

APRIL 26, 1954 MONDAY

Ernest Tubb is arrested for drunk driving when his car hits a telephone pole on North First Street in Nashville.

Decca released the Kitty Wells and Red Foley double-sided single, ''One By One'' and ''I'm A Stranger In My Home''.

Percussionist Billy Ware, of the Cajun group Beausoleil, is born. The band appears on Mary Chapin Carpenter's ''Down At The Twist And Shout''.

APRIL 29, 1954 THURSDAY

Goldie Hill and Justin Tubb recorded ''Looking back To See''.

Karen Brooks is born in Dallas. Voted the Academy of Country Music Top New Female Vocalist in 1983, she scores a number 1 hit with T.G. Sheppard on ''Faking Love'' and writes Emmylou Harris' ''Tennessee Rose''.

APRIL 30, 1954 FRIDAY

''River Of No Returns'' debuts in movie theaters. Starring Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe, its theme song becomes a country hit for Tennessee Ernie Ford.

APRIL 1954

This time, 'Billboard' listed the Emerson disc in their Review Spotlight' and said that with the plaintive, stop-time song I'm Not Going Home. The label "could have a solid one here. Tune is an exciting hunk of material and the warbler sells it the most." The compelling riffs, rocking guitar, and conversational vocal style of The Woodchuck was described as a "novelty effort (that) receives a good talking rendition from the chanter over a southern blues backing by the combo''.

> Page Up <

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©