1978 Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30149 mono
SUN SOUND SPECIAL - MEMPHIS BEAT
The Sun Sound is special. The Sun label is one of the very few to have developed a unique and immediately identifiable sound. As a result, its reputation and its fine music have come through undiminished to the present day from
its humble origin's in the Memphis, Tennessee, of the blues. Sun was launched by radio announcer and recording engineer Sam C. Phillips in 1952, and this series of Sun Sound Special covers every aspect of Sun's music, from the rhythm and blues of the early
fifties through country, rockabilly and rock and roll into the beat era. Sun folded in its original form in 1968 and was moved to Nashville. But instead of being forgotten over the last ten years, the Sun Sound has been revealed to have been among the best
and most important developments in American music.
This is an album of recordings made just after the rockabilly era of Sun. They are rockers, or at last based on rock
and roll for the most part, and they have a much fuller sound than the very early sixties when Sun's influences and powers of distribution were declining. For this reason, and because they often were issued alongside some dire comparisions, these records are
usually overlooked, but this albumis an attemd to show that Sun continued to produce some fine rocking music in it's later years.
Thomas came out of Jackson, Mississippi as a sixteen year old hopeful to record for Sun in 1957, and he justified their faith in him with several minor hits on the Sun subsidiary Phillips International. His recordings with their
Jerry Lee Lewis influences are among the best rockers or upbeaters made at Sun in the late fifties. The work of the session musicians is important here and Cliff's sister Barbara helps out on vocals but the real star is perhaps brother Ed Thomas on pounding
piano. The recordings were produced by Bill Justis. The Thomas's later went back to college, recording early for local Mississippi labels notably Ace.
barton was basically a country pop vocalist with ambitions to sound like Johnny cash, but he also made some ricking sides at the bad end of the rock era and the best are included here. Both ''Starway To Nowhere'''' and
''Raining The Blues'' are nice songs with an infectious rocking best and could easily have been hits. Barton also one of the producers working at Sun at the time of these recordings, but he was not successful in this direction and had left the label by 1961.
The smooth country Charlie had not been born or even contempiated by the hip, was influenced Charlie Rich of the late
fifties when this track '' There Won't Be Anymore'' was recorded. It is one of the best songs and this original vocal and piano version pulls it far more out of the song that the later hit versions on RCA and Epic.
Adams recordings were bright spots in the Sun catalogue of 1963 and 1964, being excellently solid recreations of rhythm and blues standards
which were issued in some rather record rate company. Together with pianist Bill Yates, Adams has kept a bend and continued to record around Memphis for many years now, often playing cabaret stuff, but always returning to more substantial whenever possible.
These recordings can be compared with these of the time by the black Louisiana band Cockie and the Cupcakes, and that ins't bad.
Johnson, a blues and soul artist born Augusta, Georgia made his recordings at Sun in 1960. It is in an interesting traditional style midway between rhythm and blues, rock and pop. It could well have been a hit with it's rhythm
and blues sax break, it's reputation of other song titles and it's pop chorus. Johnson has also recorded for Federal and SSS with greater, though not great, success.
Hinton is an obscure singer who turned up at Sun for one session in 1960 and put an Ekvisy rockabilly vocal track cover a rocksong backing already laid down by Charlie Rich, Billy Rilet and
James Van Eaton. Little is known about him, probably because the Sun sound and musicians are the important part of ''Honey Bee'', which is a rather nice record. It was co-written by Hinton and Narvel Felts, who first brought Hinton to Sun.
The Tones were one of several black vocal groups recorded by but not issued by Sun in the fifties. The interesting thing
about them, apart from the fact that nothing is known of them, is that the back-up includes a rocking guitar solo and seems to come from rockabillies such as Roland Janes, Billy Riley, and Jimmy Van Eaton. The result is rather rhythm and blues nor rock, but
a fine greasy vocal group upbeater from the four Tones.
Barbara seemed to split her time between
sounding like rocking Wanda Jackson and Janis Martin and sobbing Connie Francis. On this track she settles sounding like all three at ones. Although she did not have the style of her own, but did have a nice voice and made some good rockers with the help of
Sun session-man like Carlie Rich, Roland Janes, and Billy Riley. She came to Sun originally from Clyde Leoppard's country band and later returned to her home in Chicago.
Stuart was being billed as the The Great Jeb Stuart around the type he cut this pop-rock version of Webb Pierce's country and pop boogie. More typically, Stuart could be heard on soul ballads,
but this track bops along nicely with the unlikely mix of Booker T. and Scotty Moore in the background. Stuart was based in Florida and was not normally a part of the Memphis scene.
Following his smash hit of 1960, ''Mountain Of Love'', another Memphis label owned by Billy Riley. Riley brought Dorman to Sun in an attempt to consolidate that success. Some good pop-rockers
resulted but the sales dived despite the presence of fine musicians like Ace Cannon, Scotty Moore, and Bobby Wood.
''Rockin' Bandit'' is an enthusiastic attempt at cashing in on the ''Western Moves'' sounds of the Olympics and on Smith's own novelty hit, ''Rockin' Little Angel'', Smith shouts in typical fashion, while Charlie Rich pounds the piano and
someone makes gunshots effects, a fittingly noisy end to an album which set out to prove the that Sun did not just lay down and die after 1958.
Album compiled and liner
notes by Martin Hawkins
Side 1 Contains
1.1 - Sorry I Lied (Cliff Thomas)
1.2 - Stairway To Nowhere (Ernie Barton)
1.3 - Treat Me Right (Cliff Thomas)
1.4 - Raining The Blues (Ernie Barton)
1.5 - I'm On My Way Home (Cliff Thomas)
1.6 - Trouble In Mind (Billy Adams)
1.7 - Betty And Dupree
1.8 - Got My Mojo Working (Billy Adams)
Original Sun Recordings
Side 2 Contains
2.1 - There Won't Be Anymore (Charlie Rich)
2.2 - Bobaloo (Bill Johnson)
2.3 - Honeybee (Don Hinton)
2.4 - Fire (The Veltones)
2.5 - I'm Getting Better All The Time (Barbara Pittman)
2.6 - I Ain't Never (Jeb Stuart)
2.7 - Uncle Jonah's Place (Harold Dorman)
2.8 - Rockin' Bandit (Ray
Original Sun Recordings
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