CONTAINS
For audio recordings click on the available > buttons <
> Back 1956 Sun Schedule <

1956 SESSIONS (1/2)
January 1, 1956 to January 31, 1956

Studio Session for Andy Anderson & The Rolling Stones, 1956 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jimmy Haggett (James Clecy), 1956 / Sun Records
Studio Session for Jack Earls, January 1956 / Sun Records
Non-Studio Session for Charlie Feathers, January 31, 1956 / 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 - ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

By 1956 Jimmie Ammons had almost ceased issuing records on Delta Records in favour of setting up management and leasing deals so it was decided that Jimmy would contact Sam Phillips at Sun Records and Andy traveled to Memphis to make some demos at Sun. ''We called and said we wanted to some up'', Andy said, ''and they knew who we were ; cause we had one of the hottest groups in the South. At Sun Andy and his group worked with Jack Clement who had just joined the label.

He recorded The Rolling Stones on nine versions of ''Johnny Valentine'', who loves all the girls and seems to attract them, and four takes of another Anderson original, ''Tough Tough Tough''. No-one at Sun ever got around to picking and scheduling the tapes for release. Despite some encouraging noises from Clement, Andy remembered, ''they kept saying they were going to put it (a record) out but they never did''.

STUDIO SESSION FOR ANDY ANDERSON & THE ROLLING STONES
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER - SAM C. PHILLIPS AND/OR STAN KESLER
RECORDING ENGINEER - JACK CLEMENT

It was a real surprise to find Andy Anderson among the 1300 out-take boxes and rejected masters at Sun Records.

> TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH <
Composer: - Andy Anderson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued (2:32)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-4 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - August 1997 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16210-14 mono
THAT'LL FLAT GIT IT! - VOLUME 14

Given the run of group cut a raft of originals the strongest of which was "Johnny Valentine", a cool chunk of swagger that highlighted Anderson's smoky lead vocal. The song eventually saw light of days as a recut on Felsted Records.

JOHNNY VALENTINE
Composer: - Andy Anderson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:12)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1026-3 mono
ROCKABILLY TUNES
Reissued: - 1986 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm Charly 36-7 mono
THE BEST OF SUN ROCKABILLY - VOLUME 2

> JOHNNY VALENTINE <
Composer: - Andy Anderson
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:14)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - 1998
First appearance: - Charly Records (CD) 500/200rom CPCD 8137-7 mono
UNISSUED SUN MASTERS
Reissued: - 2002 Sanctuary Records (CD) 500/200rpm FBUBX002-4/2 mono
50 GOLDEN YEARS 1952 - 2002

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Andy Anderson - Vocal and Guitar
The Rolling Stones
Joe Tubb - Lead Guitar
Harold Aldridge - Guitar
Billy "Cuz" Covington - Bass
Roy Estes - Piano
Bobby Lyon - Drums

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

TRUE STORY ABOUT ANDY ANDERSON - The mid-fifties maybe more than any other time produced a large "communications gap" in musical tastes. The lines of battle were reasonably muddled but the out cries raised against the likes of hot rods, black leather jackets, sideburns, blue suede shoes, and rock and roll were starting a revolution in the American home. One man's rock and roll was another man's frivolous and often times scandalous way of presenting himself to the public. Like it or not Rock was here to stay and along with it came Rock's Original Rolling Stone, Andy Anderson.

By 1945 the largest armed conflict in the history of the world had ended and all 48 states were excited about their future and "letting off post-war steam". Ten-year-old Andy Anderson and cousin Billy Anderson were excited too, but not about their future. It Was Saturday. That meant that everyone within 25 miles of the King & Anderson Plantation, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, would descend on the plantation general store, collect their wages, pay bills, shop, gossip and sing and dance. By late afternoon, Andy and his brother Brooks, along with cousins Billy and Harry Anderson, would have played around all day listening to the likes of Mississippi Slim, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker or Elmore James. Although Andy loved this live music it wasn't until his sophomore year in high school that he began to realize and appreciate its influence on his own music.

Culver Military Academy, in 1951, was to see the start of that sophomore year for Andy and cousin Billy. The two were together again, just like the old days on the plantation, only this time they were loose on Culver, Indiana. Christmas vacation of that year proved to be one of the most important times of Andy's life and its impact on music would eventually be felt by millions. During that vacation, Andy and Elizabeth Anderson, his mother, were watching their new television, one of the first in the area. A Memphis station was showing some local country talent. Elizabeth said that she thought that Andy could do as well as the musicians on the program. Andy said that he thought so too, if only he had a guitar. Since a Memphis shopping trip was a family tradition, Elizabeth and Andy went to Memphis the next day. After checking into the Peabody Hotel, Andy was given fifty dollars and in the spirit of the family tradition, went shopping. He was looking for a reasonably priced beginner guitar, but what he really found was a large part of his future.

The $37.50 6-string guitar that was to be the first of many guitars for Andy was purchased at O.K. Huck’s Music Company on Union Avenue in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. It was O.K. himself who sold and tuned the guitar, explained some chords and picking' styles, and suggested the Mel Bray 10 Easy Lessons.

Andy took it all, pocketed his change and started out as millions have, to his first solo session on guitar. Most people practice for the first time anywhere they can hide or on a back alley street corner, but not Andy.

His session took place in a reserved suite at the Peabody Hotel, a good, if unusual start. When Elizabeth Anderson returned from her shopping, she found Andy and his new "Christmas present" hard at work.

Andy listened to the Grand Ole Opry every Saturday night from six until midnight without fail. Within weeks, Andy was playing and singing many of the favorites of the Pry. Andy got his musical talent from his mother. She wrote music, played piano, and sang. She was always very supportive of Andy's music, but she was never to see to what extent he kept his promise to her about learning to play. Her untimely death in October of 1953 signaled the end of any family support from his father and later his stepmother. From then on he was on his own, literally a "Rolling Stone".

Andy's junior year in high school, back in Mississippi, coincided with his first experience with a band. With classmates Jimmy Giles on drums, and the ever-present Billy Anderson on piano, the three were soon enjoying themselves making "Mississippi Music" at every opportunity. 1952 and 1953 were Andy's introduction to college life at Mississippi State University. Even though he was still in high school he was playing fraternity parties on campus and was later joined at these functions by "Cu" Ellington on bass and Joe Tub on lead guitar. In 1953 as freshmen, Andy, Cu and Joe lived in the same dorm at "State" in Stark ville, Mississippi. Since they lived there, it seemed only logical that they should practice there also.

Numerous jam sessions took place prompting more than one reprimand from the administration, but history was not to be denied. A musical group comprised of Andy Anderson, Joe Tub, "Cu" Ellington, Bobby Lyon, James Aldrin and Roy Estes emerged out of all those who took part in the jam sessions and by 1955 they were playing all around campus, neighboring towns, and on telethons. They were soon convinced they could entertain people beyond just good showmanship, and they decided that since they traveled so much that they should charge for playing. Their name reflected the amount of time spent on the road and as Joe Tub was quick to point out, they were "gathering no moss", just experience and fans. So it was, that the "Rolling Stones" started writing their own chapter in American music, one that would find its way into the 1980's and history.

During the formative years for the "Rolling Stones", bookings just took care of themselves", but when requests for gigs became more numerous than there were nights to play them, it was obvious that some controls were needed. Joe Tubb, Cuz Covington, and Andy all three took control, shared the responsibilities, and managed the group from then on.

In 1956, Jimmy Ammons of Delta Records and Mabel McQueen of Pine-Sol fame, decided to offer a management contract to this group of popular Rock and Roll performers. The "Rolling Stones" signed and worked with Ammons and McQueen for the larger part of that year. The popularity of the "Stones" grew rapidly and with it came the need for a different agency, one with more national exposure. Ammons and McQueen parted company with the Stones and once again the group was on its own. Whenever they were left alone, the "Rolling Stones" seemed to make the right decisions career wise.

Their next move took them to see Sam Phillips at Sun Records in Memphis. Like so many of the other greats who were his contemporaries, Andy and the "Rolling Stones" cut several records at Sun. After numerous weekends of work, while still in school, Andy and the Stones cut an album with Jack Clements as engineer at the old Madison Avenue Studio in Memphis, but the work was never released because of Sun's financial position. At that time Sun was using all of its funds in order to pay the cost of its current stable of artists, the listing of which sounds like a veritable who's who of music:

Johnny Cash and "I Walk The Line"
Elvis with "That's All Right''
Carl Perkins - "Match Box"
Billy Riley - "Red Hot"
Jerry Lee Lewis - "Whole Lota Shakin' Goin' On"
Warren Smith - "Ubangi Stomp"
and Roy Orbison with "Oobie Doobie"

At Sun Records and on the road, Andy and the "Rolling Stones" played and learned with the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. At one time Andy and Elvis shared the same voice teacher in Memphis, one Zelma Lee Whitfield. These people all influenced each other as a group of the "founding fathers" of rock and roll and they crossed paths many times. The album that was cut but was never released by Sun was a blow to Andy and the "Stones" but not for long, other events were on their minds.

Andy and the "Rolling Stones" graduated from "State" in 1957. Most had engineering degrees and many had job offers in the far less fanciful world of business. Roy Estes and Bobby Lyon both left the band for jobs elsewhere. They were replaced by Sammy Martina and Jimmy Whitehead, both of whom had been subs on piano and drums respectively for several years. Even to the casual observer it was obvious that the "Rolling Stones" were professionals and as such, professional contact were in order. Murray Nash and Associates, publishing agents from Nashville, Tennessee, were one such contact. They signed the "Rolling Stones" in 1957 and things began to happen. But not all was as it seemed. Through Nash and Associates a deal was struck with the Felsted label, the Rock and Roll subsidiary of London Records, for the recording of "Johnny Valentine" and "I-I-I Love You." "Johnny Valentine" was written by Andy as an answer to "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" a popular song of that time by the Mills Brothers. The "Stones" had played "Johnny Valentine" hundreds of times on the road, but when they arrived at the Bradley Studios in Nashville they were told that studio musicians were to be used because the band members were not union members. Andy could sing, but he wasn't allowed to play rhythm guitar on the session.

That version of "Johnny Valentine" featured Andy on lead vocals, Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland on lead guitar, Buddy Harmon on drums, Bobby Moore on bass, and the Jordanaires on background vocals. It holds a unique place in musical history in that it was the first Rock and Roll record to be distributed on a world wide basis. London Records, through its Felsted Label, intended on making sure that their first Rock record would be a hit. With that in mind, London turned its international distribution of "Johnny Valentine" over to Top Rank International, and it did indeed become a hit. Although London had succeeded in making a hit record, they had neglected the musicians who made that song and thereby lost the confidence of Andy and the "Rolling Stones". Later on in 1957, the "Rolling Stones" went into a little upstairs recording studio in Nashville, and union or not, they cut "You Shake A Me Up" and "The Way She Smiled" on a 45 record. "You Shake A Me Up" was Andy's insightful look at the effects of his music on Rock and Roll fans in the 50s and "The Way She Smiled" was written in about 45 minutes by Andy and Joe Tubb in the car outside of the studio because they needed a slow song for the "B" side of the record. When Felsted/London finally realized that they had a hit on their first Rock and Roll world wide release, they wanted more of the "Rolling Stones" but by then it was too late. The independent recording of "You Shake a Me Up" had been shopped by Nash and Associates, picked up by Apollo, a New York label, and was on its way to becoming one of only a few songs in history that was the "Pick Hit of the Week" in Cash Box, Billboard, and Music Reporter all in the same week. It was that release on Apollo that is responsible for the popularity of Andy and his music in and around new York City today. By concentrating on the record instead of on the musicians who made it, London lost a chance to continue to make musical history with "Andy and the Rolling Stones".

In December of 1959, at the height of the Rolling Stones popularity, Andy received a phone call from his dad. His dad told him it was time to reconcile their differences, time to forget Rock & Roll, and come home to run the family plantation. Since Andy had been groomed to do this all his life, he gave notice to the Rolling Stones and left the lead vocal responsibilities to Howard "B.B." Boone. Andy packed his personal possessions and returned to Clarksdale, a place in the Mississippi Delta, that was supposed to be home. Andy's father had remarried and like the change going on all around him, Andy's father had changed too.

Upon Andy's arrival, his dad told him that he had second thoughts about his previous decision, and that he didn't think that it would work out. Andy was totally devastated and lost remaining respect for his father and the family plantation tradition. Andy had betrayed his fellow Rolling Stones and his love for music for nothing. Andy, bitter and disgusted, returned to Jackson and with the unrelenting determination of a true Taurus, started two new ventures.

The first was a new Rock & Roll show band he called "The Dawnbreakers". The second venture was a wholesale electrical supply company. About the time Andy's supply company was getting established, "The Dawnbreakers had their first hit record": "Tough Tough Tough" G/W "Gimme a Curly Lock of Your Hair". That record created a snowball effect and led to four other hit records and a life on the road touring. The Dawnbreakers were on their way to becoming even bigger than the Rolling Stones.

By 1965, the constant touring and business pressures had taken its toll on Andy. He dissolved the Dawnbreakers, turned the management of his supply company over to his partners and moved to California to pursue an acting career. From 1966 to 1968, under the tutelage of Aaron Spelling and the William Morris Agency, Andy pursued a new career. He loved the new challenge, and was successful playing small parts and recording new songs with "The Association". The songs got good air play across the country and things in California were going good for Andy. Andy and his manager Karl Brent had formed their own personal management company and began managing "The Seeds", "Canned Heat", "Jefferson Airplane", and Sherry Jackson.

In 1968 Andy received another shocking phone call from Mississippi. His younger brother, Brooks, was terminally ill with cancer, and Andy went home to help take care of him, but Brooks died in December of 1969 leaving another heavy void in Andy's life. During his long and drawn out illness, Brooks, like Andy before him, went through devastating experiences regarding plantation stock, money, his marriage and their reluctance to accept him as a member of the family. Andy always felt that Brook's rejection by the family destroyed his will to fight, and the cancer finally won. Having lost a similar battle himself, Andy was now alone in the world.

After Brooks death, Andy stayed in Mississippi to help settle family affairs and to resume the management of his business interests. Things were going well for Andy again in Mississippi, but Hollywood and show business are fickle, after his two year departure, Andy felt he had lost his momentum there and decided to concentrate on his business interests. In 1972, the IRS started auditing Andy's company and turned his already disturbed world upside down. Their actions caused the breakup of his marriage and forced him to liquidate his supply company. This on top of his previous family problems, the death of his brother, and the loss of his California life style, forced Andy to seek therapy in seclusion. Andy's attorney, and life long friend Al Binder, had Andy admitted to Riverside hospital for three months to give him time to sort through the pieces and get his sanity back. A wise move, the IRS, his father, his wife, nor anyone could get to him.

In 1974, Andy was still living in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. There he met J.J. Hettinger from Louisville, Kentucky. J.J. was teaching in the Catholic High School in Biloxi. Andy was still recovering from the many fiascos and trying to start a new life. He once again turned to music. J.J. was a talented and creative songwriter and he and Andy started writing songs together. With Andy's background in Rock & Roll and Blues, and J.J.'s ability to write modern, expressive lyrics, they made a dynamic and unique team. They classified their style as progressive, folk-rock, blues. After writing several commercial songs, we started cutting tracks at Malaco Studios in Jackson, Mississippi under the name of "The Eagle and the Hawk".

By the fall of 1975, Andy had negotiated final settlements with the IRS and his former wife. Andy, financially and mentally devastated, decided to move to New Mexico and use Santa Fe as a home base for the Eagle and the Hawk and Aerie Records, his new record label. Eagle and the Hawk was a new and challenging outlet for Andy at this time in life. He was almost out of money but not energy. Andy obtained his Real Estate License and started developing and selling real estate to make a living. Meanwhile, he promoted Eagle and the Hawk throughout the south and southwest with every penney he could muster.

Eagle and Hawk were getting extensive air play in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico, but the product was not there. Fans wanted the records but there were none for them to buy. International Record Distributors, of Nashville had not gotten the records into stores in those markets, therefore, their efforts had been futile. Their records were new and refreshing and well accepted by disc jockeys and the public. Even though they were not in a position to capitalize on the record sales, requests to perform were beginning to come in and finally the Eagle & the Hawk were going on tour throughout south Texas.

On December 23, 1975, Andy returned from Santa Fe to spend Christmas with his cousin Billy Anderson in Clarksdale, his old home town. His luck was with him! He was in the right place at the right time for once in his life! He stopped in a neighborhood drug store in Jackson to buy Christmas cards and met his future wife Kay Norcom. Kay was teaching school and working part time in the drug store during the holidays for the next three months, they became inseparable. Kay was teaching and Andy and J.J. were finishing up Texas Woman, Rhonda, and Long Long Way to Go at Malaco Studio.

In April 1976, Andy, Kay, and J.J. moved to Taos, New Mexico, and set up operations there. They were getting settled in, promoting their records and getting ready for a concert tour through Texas when tragedy struck again. On May 13th, 1976, two days before his forty-first birthday, Andy got the middle finger on his left hand caught in the hydraulic lift on their equipment truck and severed it to the first joint. The vision of his entire musical career flashed before his eyes and Andy knew it was over. Andy went into a deep depression, put his guitar under the bed, and gave up on music. Eagle and Hawk were forced to cancel their first concert tour, and J.J. moved back to Louisville, Kentucky.

To survive, Andy put together a new company "Big Valley Land & Construction", and started designing, building, and developing real estate projects. His music momentum died along with the Eagle & the Hawk. All of his energy and time were devoted to building their home and their company. They were at home one evening when the phone rang. It was Don Filletti, with Relics Inc. in New York. Don's company programmed music from the 50's & 60's for area radio stations. He remembered Andy from the Rolling Stones and Dawnbreakers, and had been receiving requests for Andy's music for some time. Don had thought Andy was dead and was very excited to find him alive and well. They did a forty-five minute telephone interview live and during their visit, Don told Andy about Peter Zedrenka of Bison Bop records in Frankfurt, Germany. It seems Peter was also interested in finding Andy. Peter's Company was a major distributor of old Rock and Roll in Germany and Europe. Peter flew to the states to release Andy's entire catalog on Bison Bop Records in Germany. In Europe Andy is considered one of the original founders of rock and Roll, but he had never been made aware of the fact. All of his life he had pursued his own thing, and now all of a sudden, so many miles down the road, he was amused that someone was pursuing him for a change. He was still very skeptical of everything, and the guitar was still under his bed.

Shortly after the Bison Bop deal, Andy and Kay were returning home one night from the Sagebrush Inn in Taos where they had been partying with friends. Andy got a strong vision for a song and began writing it on the way home. When they arrived home, Andy pulled the Ovation guitar from under the bed, and with Kay writing the lyrics, the song, "Rachelene" was born. That was the spark that Andy needed. With his usual persistence, he taught himself to play the guitar again improvising new finger positions to accommodate for the missing finger. He reverted back to his old Rockabilly style of guitar playing since he was lacking a finger to perform the more complex cords. He started writing songs with the old feel and everything started falling in place again. In 1983, Andy started rehearsing with local musicians in Taos. They put together a band and started playing local gigs, but that was not enough to fuel Andy's deep seated needs. He needed hard core Southern Rock And Roll.

After amassing many new songs, he contacted his friend James Stroud from the old Malaco Studio sessions. James had moved to Nashville from Boulder, Colorado, and was producing sessions there. He invited Andy to come to Nashville, and he cut four sides for James at United Artist Studios. James position changed shortly thereafter, and Andy was never able to finish the project. He was now back in Taos, distraught and disillusioned once again, but as usual, that would not last long. The success of Andy's album on Bison Bop Records in Germany, along with the release of his old Sun recordings on Charley Records in London prompted Dave Travis of Ridgetop Music in London to contact Andy. Dave contracted with Andy as his European agent and proceeded to secure album releases on Red Lighting Records in England, Sun Jay Records in Sweden, and Go Cat Go Records in Japan. His European connections were beginning to finally gain form and function.

The roller coaster ride was still not over however. In 1986, Andy's company Big Valley Land & Construction subcontracted a large project the New Mexico State fish hatchery which was to be built in Questa, New Mexico, north of Taos. This was to be Andy's last project in New Mexico. He and Kay had decided to move permanently back to Mississippi to be closer to family and friends and last but not least, Southern Rock and Roll musicians. The profits from this large construction project would give him the capital he needed, but his biggest contract yet was not meant to be. The general contractor on the project went bankrupt. This cost Andy his profit from the job and forced him to liquidate his company to pay off all of his debts.

Again, depressed over his business fiasco, and the unfinished Nashville sessions, Andy was about to make some dramatic life changing decisions. He started analyzing his music to start with. He was unhappy with the sound he got in Nashville, it was too slick and too country. It lacked the raw energy and drive of Southern Rock And Roll. He thought about the recording he had done at John Wagner's studio in Albuquerque and the session in Ceaillos with the local musicians, and came up with the same thought. It just wasn't "Kick Ass Rock And Roll. He realized to get the sound and feel he wanted there was only one thing to do. He had to get back home to Mississippi. To do this, Andy had to get on his feet financially to be able to move.

Andy and Kay sold their home in Taos and moved to Albuquerque. They lived there for nine months and designed and built custom homes. Andy and Kay finally moved home in August of 1987. Kay got a job teaching at St. Mary's Catholic School and Andy started selling medical supplies for a company in Jackson. They had gone full circle and were starting over again. Andy, anxious to get his music going and to finish the album he started in Nashville with James Stroud, called his old friend Jackie Thompson. Jackie invited Andy to record at International Recording Studio, his studio in Pearl, Mississippi. There he met Jimmy McNeil and bobby Furman. They could identify with Andy's goals and decided to complete his Nashville project at International. As usual, nothing was easy for Andy. The master tapes had been recorded with DBX noise reduction, and International did not have the equipment to record over the DBX. In order to salvage the Nashville session, he had to have the songs transferred to another master tape without the noise reduction. He sent the master back to Nashville, but they could not do the transfer. The studio in Nashville sent the tapes to Criteria Studios in Miami. There, they not only transferred the songs without the noise reduction, but they transferred sixteen tracks to twenty-four tracks giving them more tracks until the master tapes returned to International in perfect condition. While waiting on the old masters to return, Andy started cutting new songs he had written in Taos. They cut Hot Rod Baby, Wichita Wichita, Omaha Cowboy, and Mississippi Lady." "Mississippi Lady" was a remake of Texas Woman," a progressive country tune he had previously recorded with J.J. Hettinger and Eagle & the Hawk. Texas woman had caught the hearts of fans in Texas and Andy felt the same might hold true for fans in Mississippi.

Andy finally got the master tapes back from Criteria Studio, but by now Jimmy McNeil had moved on to Nashville. Bobby Furman was now fully in charge and he and Andy decided to go all out on the new projects. Andy and Bobby worked very closely together producing, recording, and creating their own sound. They feel they have achieved perfection in their art. Andy for the first time in his career is happy with his music. It has a message, it kicks, and it satisfies. It is the finished art of the many who helped create it and it will live. It is a reflection of everybody who contributed to its being, and most important of all: One man's Rock and Roll still lives on!

© Rockabilly Hall of Fame ©

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JIMMY HAGGETT (JAMES CLECY)
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
SUN SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - SAM C. PHILLIPS
AND/OR JACK CLEMEN

Trade press reports in 1956 referred to a song of Jimmy Haggett called ''Cats Out Of Town'', which had not been found on tape.

During this visits to the Sun studio, Haggett struck up a personal friendship with Charlie Feathers who was making the same transition from hillbilly to rockabilly music, albeit with slightly more enthusiasm. Haggett and Feathers started booking dates together and visited each other on a number of occasions. Feathers may also have been instrumental in Haggett's move to Meteor in 1957, although Haggett recalled that Bud Deckelman had suggested that he contact Lester Bihari. In any event, Haggett and his band journeyed back to Memphis in the early months of 1957 his sole Meteor single. Unfortunately, the boys were driving to Memphis with the car windows open and the new material flew out of the window and was never retrieved.

"We worked up a couple of songs in the studio", recalled Jimmy, "I just scratched 'em down and that was what we played but it was just pitiful, the sorriest thing I ever heard".

HOW COME YOU DO ME
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:09)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - 1978
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1010-1 mono
RUN ROCKABILLIES - VOLUME 1
Reissued: - 1999 Charly Records (CD) 500/200rpm CPCD 8352-9 mono
ESSENTIAL SUN ROCKABILLIES - VOLUME 6

> HOW COME YOU DO ME <
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:08)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-5/17 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3/28 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

''How Come You Do Me'', this song also copyrighted by Junior Thompson on December 14, 1956 (see below) and released at approximately the same time on Tune Records. It was therefore assumed that this title was by the same artist despite the fact that the lyrics are different. However, an article in Country Song Roundup indicated that Haggett had cut a session for Sun including this title. Jimmy recognised it immediately when he heard a dub and matched it against the acetate that Phillips had given him after the session in June 1956. So, thirty years after it was recorded, the song was finally released with the correct artist credit. The only surprise is that Phillips did not release the track. It would have fitted right in with the current crop of releases on Sun in the summer of 1956.

HOW COME YOU DO ME
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:06)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - 1985
First appearance: - Sun England (LP) 33rpm LP 1018-6 mono
RABBIT ACTION
Reissued: - 2012 Charly Records Internet iTunes MP3-6 mono
DING DONG PRESENTS VOLUME 1 - RABBIT ACTION - ROCK-A-BILLY BLUES

> RABBIT ACTION <
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 1 with Count-In - Not Originally Issued (1:47)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-5/20 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3/31 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

The major fault on ''Rabbit Action'' is that the lyrics are somewhat contrived to reflect the rockabilly lifestyle of sharp clothes, sharp cars and an endless round of boppin'. Carl Perkins was obviously the godfather of this performance; Haggett's vocal owes a clear debt to Perkins, as does the guitarist. Even the drummer achieves an approximation of W.S. Holland's stubby drum sound. Nevertheless, there is a contagious energy here and some genuine good timing music.

RABBIT ACTION
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None – Take 2 - Not Originally Issued
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - Sun Unissued

> ROCK ME BABY <
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None – Not Originally Issued (1:57)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - November 986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-5/19 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3/30 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

On ''Rock Me Baby'', Haggett and his band sound much more comfortable with the emerging rockabilly style on this wonderful slice of primitive jumping music. Haggett shares the honours with his guitarist who literally dominates the recording from his supporting role. He is bursting with ideas, many of them borrowed or developed from Carl Perkins, but he nevertheless generates real excitement and, like Carl, was not afraid to venture onto the bass strings.

This track, together with ''How Come You Do Me'', shows that Haggett and his band could play very decent rockabilly music. As far as Jimmy Haggett remembers, "Rock Me Baby" was recorded in late 1956. The spirit of Carl Perkins looms large over the session, and as Sam Phillips was having a hard time selling Perkins after "Blue Suede Shoes" he probably concluded that he didn't need someone who sounded like Perkins.

The next track really says it all. If you listen closely, you can hear a country musician's frustration at dealing with the new rockabilly music. The guitarist has adapted well to the new sounds, although he sounds as though he would be at a loss without Carl Perkins to draw on. Haggett sounds a little uneasy, as he does on some titles from this session. This is very primitive rockabilly music without the desperate, often contrived, excitement of other artists working the same territory.

> RHYTHM CALLED ROCK 'N' ROLL <
Composer: - Jimmy Haggett
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:04)
Recorded: - Unknown Date 1956
Released: - November 1986
First appearance: - Bear Family Records (LP) 33rpm BFX 15211-5/18 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY YEARS 1950 - 1959
Reissued: - February 15, 2013 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 17311-3/29 mono
THE SUN COUNTRY BOX 1950 - 1959

This songs, they sat in an unmarked out-take box for upwards of 30 years before they were issued mistakenly under the name of Junior Thompson. The titles were so radically different from Jimmy Haggett's only Sun single that no one researching the Sun vaults thought for a moment that if could be him. "Yes, they are different", conceded Jimmy Haggett, who still has an original acetate of those songs, given to him after the session, "but I was trying to get in on the rock and roll craze because we were entertainers. It was our living and we felt that it would help with our personal appearances. I never felt comfortable with the style, though. I never felt I could do it justice".

Carl Perkins was a regular touring partner during the mid-1950s and even later after death and alcoholism had broken up the Perkins Brothers band. "Carl and I played scores and scores of shows and fairs together. I remember one time that we played a fair in the afternoon and we had a nightclub engagement that night in Kennett. We decided to go fishing and we headed to a lake in Arkansas, just across the state line. Something kept taking the minnows off Carl's line and Carl said, 'If I lose one more minnow, I'm gonna jump in the lake'. His guitar player said, 'I'm coming with you'.

So anyway, Carl lost another minnow and kept his word, threw his rod and reel with him and made a dive. The guitar player followed. They found the rod three or four years later", recalled Jimmy Haggett.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Jimmy Haggett - Vocal and Acoustic Guitar
Charlie Hardin - Guitar
Billy Springer - Steel Guitar
Jackie Lee Adkins - Bass
Don White - Drums

''Country music had changed radically in the few years between "No More" and Without You". Country radio changed with it. The era of "live" country radio was giving way to era of formatted stations and tightly controlled playlists. Jimmy offered this title cameo of "live" country radio in the late 1940s and early 1950s. "I worked in live radio and I worked as a disc jockey. Live radio was just that. We played right there in the studio, me and my band. When we were on KBOA my band was known as the Ozark Mountain Boys and then, later, as the Daydreamers. The show started at 8 o'clock in the morning and we'd begin with our instrumental theme song. After the theme I'd say, 'Good morning, folks' and introduce the band. I did most of the vocals but all the boys could sing and they often joined me on the chorus".

"I also worked as a disc jockey two hours a day. I had complete freedom in what I played. There was no playlist and I'd be happy to take requests over the air or by letter. I'd read the letter over the air and play the request. We would mix honky tonk and religious material but I would always close with a religious song. I also featured many guest on the show. Recording artists, Grand Ol' Opry stars... they all came in. We'd sit and talk and, in that way, our listeners could become better acquainted with them. If any recording personality was in the area I would look them up, or, more often, they would took me up''.

''When I closed out my show I would always say, 'If you always tell the truth, you'll never have to remember anything'". "We used to run promotional stunts at the station. I remember one in particular. Johnny Mays had been an on air personality at KBOA for ten years and did a two hour show. I was a newcomer - I'd only been there about three months. The station decided that, for a gimmick, they'd ask for cards and letters. Each card or letter would count as one vote.

The loser, who got the least votes, had to push the winner down the Main Street of Kennett during the Fall Festival Parade. The loser had to wear nothing but long red underwear and a black bow tie and push the winner in a wheelbarrow. Well, I got 12,000 pieces of mail and Johnny Mays got 13,000 so I had to push him down Main Street wearing red flannel underwear and a bow tie. I still have a photo of it somewhere", recalled Jimmy.

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 1956

"Blue Suede Shoes" (Sun 234) by Carl Perkins is reviewed in Billboard and acclaimed as "A lively reading on a gay rhythm ditty... fine for jukes".

Johnny Cash joins the Louisiana Hayride radio and stage show on a regular basis starting January 18. His second disc, Sun 232 "Folsom Prison Blues", is released along with trade ads which bill Sun as "America's Number 1 Country Label".

Rosco Gordon remains the only blues/rhythm and blues artist contracted to Sun during the rockabilly era.

JANUARY 1956

Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Two landed a regular spot on the Louisiana Hayride. With bot "Hey Porter" and "Folsom Prison Blues" achieving respectable chart position they were a hot property on the concert circuit and were booked for dates across the southern states. In late 1956 Cash scored his first pop hit with a track "I Walk The Line" that would become the closing number at most of his concerts in the eighties and nineties.

Like Elvis Presley and Hank Williams before him, Johnny Cash raced down to Shreveport every Saturday night for the precious exposure. The show brought him before more people every Saturday than he could hope to reach all week with a full date book.

JANUARY 1956

''Little Fine Healthy Thing''/''Something For Nothing'' were issued as Sun 233 in January 1956, sandwiched in the release schedule between Johnny Cash's ''Folsom Prison Blues'' and Carl Perkins' ''Blue Suede Shoes'', two major hits for the Sun label. It was little wonder that the trade paper reviews of Emerson's disc took a little time to filter out, It was not until May 1956 that the 'Billboard' Rhythm & Blues Beat column was noting that, "Jim Lowe, WRR Dallas, likes Billy Emerson's 'Little Fine Healthy Thing' on Sun''.

Billy Emerson liked it too, but, in his opinion, "Sam Phillips, he didn't see it as a hit. And I didn't like the cold way he treated people, so when my contract ended I quit. He never paid me a dime, and year later I sued him for 6.000 dollars. I couldn't stand that doggish treatment he would give you. I had a writer's contract and a recording contract. But when I took the chance to get out from under that guy, I took it. "

For the record, Emerson had in fact been paid for his recordings at Sun, but he did not apparently receive songwriter's royalties on ''Red Hot'' and other songs until he recovered about $2500 in the mid-1960s on the back of the Sam The Sham and Elvis Presley recordings.

It seems that the bitterness Emerson felt about not being sufficiently promoted at Sun arose from what was a farly normal balancing act independent record labels had to conduct between recording time and promotional effort. Sam Phillips, for his part, said, "His voice wasn't that distinctive. but I know that if I'd had the time I could have done so much with those songs''. Emerson always maintained that there was a distance between Phillips and his artists, black or white, and that he "always let you know that he was Sam Phillips and that you were Billy Emerson'', but he also conceded to me that, ''Sam Phillips was a big help. And when were recording if he told you to vary it, you varied it because he had a sense, you know, a sense of what was going to sound right'', Billy Emerson recalled.

Meanwhile, Presley cut his first sessions for RCA Victor in January and began making appearances on national television the following month. By March, sales numbers of Presley's ''Heartbreak Hotel'' had pushed it up country, pop and rhythm & blues charts, and Perkins' ''Blue Suede Shoes'' was following Presley's lead in all three categories. Perkins' momentum was slowed when he and his band crashed their car while on their way to the Perry Como TV show in late March. While in hospital, Perkins' song reached number two on 'Billboard's' country and pop charts, and number one in Rhythm & Blues.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

STUDIO SESSION FOR JACK EARLS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: UNKNOWN DATE JANUARY 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER – SAM PHILLIPS

Until that point, most of Sun's releases were straight country or blues, with the exception of Presley and Perkins. Before the Jimbos saw their record come out in April of 1956, Warren Smith (from Mississippi) and Roy Orbison & the Teen Kings (from Texas) began to cut rock and roll sessions at the studio.

With a sligh different version of the Jimbos, Jack Earls returned the studio in early 1956 with steel guitarist Tiny Dixon and singer-guitarist Lucky Yarbrough. They recorded a couple takes of the old to ''Crawdad Hole'', which survived to present times (why use the term survived?' Phillips often reused tapes he judged to be nonessential to his business including old recording sessions).

''Tiny was our steel player. He was a big guy weighed about 300 pounds'', said Earls ''Luc Yarbrough was a singer and band leader, but Sam didn't like his voice. So. he didn't last long''. The band's unique arrangement featured various instruments playing through what to have been the last lines of each verse, allowing the listener to imagine the original lyrics, or replace them with something more racy. (Another version of the song was cut without Dixon a Yarbrough, but with Gregory on guitar. Judging by the sound of Earls' voice, it could have be recorded at the same session as ''Hey Jim'').

An example of Phillips' role in the product process can be heard at the start of a record of ''Crawdad Hole'', with Dixon and Yarbrougt. Someone in the studio asked him what he thought was wrong with the performance they'd just concluded, and Phillips said, ''That damn ending sounds like we ... sounds exactly like we are: We don't know what were gonna do''. The end of the take that follows Phillips' observation sounds as final as an exclamation point.

Three takes of "Crawdad Hole" with Tiny Dixon survived, and the group obviously had another go when Dixon was not present and recorded a third version without steel.

> CRAWDAD HOLE (2) <
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:20)
Recorded: - Unknown Date January 1956
Released: - 1976
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CR 30101-2/4 mono
SUN - THE ROOTS OF ROCK - VOLUME 1- CATALYST
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-1/9 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

> CRAWDAD HOLE (2) <
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Studio Talk Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:45)
Recorded: - Unknown Date January 1956
Released: - 1987
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm Sun Box 106 mono
SUN RECORDS - THE ROCKING YEARS
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-1/10 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

> CRAWDAD HOLE (2) <
Composer: - Jack Earls
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Hi-Lo Music Incorporated
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:20)
Recorded: - January 1956
Released: - 1981
First appearance: - Charly Records (LP) 33rpm CFM 40007-A-4 Mono
TENNESSEE STOMP
Reissued: - 2010 Bear Family Records (CD) 500/200rpm BCD 16935-1/24 mono
JACK EARLS - THE SUN YEARS PLUS

Name (Or. No Of Instruments)
Jack Earls – Vocal & Guitar
Lucky Yarborough – Guitar
Johnny Black – Bass
Danny Wahlquist – Drums
Tiny Dixon – Steel Guitar

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

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

JANUARY 1, 1956 SUNDAY

Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes"/"Honey Don't" is released. His "Sure To Fall"/"Tennessee" is held back because Sam Phillips probably does not want to risk splitting airplay.

After the "Blue Suede Shoes" release it was a massive chart success. In the United States, it went to number 1 on Billboard magazine's country music charts (the only number 1 hit he would have) and to number 2 on Billboard's Best Sellers pop music chart.

Elvis Presley performs two shows with Hank Snow and Webb Pierce at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis. It kicks off the year that Presley is transformed from a regional act to a superstar.

JANUARY 2, 1956 MONDAY

Decca released the double-sided Kitty Wells and Red Foley single ''You And Me'' and ''No One But You''.

JANUARY 4, 1956 WEDNESDAY

Merle Travis is arrested at his home, at 12406 Chandler Boulevard in Los Angeles, after pistol-whipping his wife during a drunken rage.

Hank Thompson recorded ''Anybody;s Girl'', ''I'm Not Mad, Just Hurt'' and ''The Blackboard Of My Heart'' during a morning session at the Capitol Studios on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

JANUARY 7, 1956 SATURDAY

Johnny Cash begins regular appearances on The Louisiana Hayride at Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium.

Columbia Pictures begins production on "Rock Around The Clock" featuring the song of the same name by Bill Haley and His Comets. Alan Freed is also featured and serves as a technical consultant. It was also announced that Freed had made a deal with Columbia Records and WINS to take packaged rock and roll shows cross country to appear in local movie theaters.

JANUARY 9, 1956 MONDAY

Porter Wagoner recorded ''What Would You Do (If Jesus came To Your House)'' and the Bill Monroe song ''Uncle Pen'' during an evening session at the RCA Studios on McGavock Street in Nashville.

JANUARY 10, 1956 TUESDAY

Elvis Presley's first recording session for RCA Victor produces ''Heartbreak Hotel'' and ''I Got A Woman'' among other tracks. “Heartbreak Hotel” soon became the number one song on the Billboard pop charts for eight weeks after its release, it also hit number one on the country singles chart. This was also his first single to sell over one million copies. During the month of January he also had his first network TV appearance on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey’s "Stage Show''. Later the same year his ''Love Me Tender'' is the first disc to have advance orders of more than 1 million copies.

Red Sovine recorded ''If Jesus Came To Your House''.

JANUARY 10, 1956 TUESDAY

"Why Do Fools Fall in Love" the first single of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers issued. Franklin Joseph "Frankie" Lymon was born on September 30, 1942 was an American rock and roll/rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, best known as the boy soprano lead singer of the New York City-based early rock and roll group, The Teenagers. The group was composed of five boys, all in their early to mid teens. The original lineup of the Teenagers, an integrated group, included three African American members, Frankie Lymon, Jimmy Merchant and Sherman Garnes, and two Puerto Rican members, Herman Santiago and Joe Negroni.

The Teenagers' first single, 1956s "Why Do Fools Fall in Love", was also their biggest hit. The song went to number one in England and number six in the United States, and the group followed it with three more hits, ''I Promise To Remember'', ''I Want You To Be My Girl'', and ''The ABCs Of Love''. After Lymon went solo in mid-1957, both his career and those of the Teenagers fell into decline. On February 27, 1968 Franklin was found dead at the age of 25 in his grandmother's bathroom from a heroin overdose. His life was dramatized in the 1998 film ''Why Do Fools Fall In Love''.

JANUARY 11, 1955 WEDNESDAY

Elvis Presley recorded ''I Was The One'' at the RCA Studios in Nashville.

In his first session for Columbia, Johnny Horton recorded ''Honky Tonk Man'' and ''I'm A One Woman Man'' at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville.

Singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen is born in Houston, Texas. His rough-cut sound and unique songwriting make him a favorite on the Texas red-dirt circuit, and he appears in the soundtrack to ''Happy Texas''.

JANUARY 12, 1956 THURSDAY

Carl Perkins contract with Sun Records is renewed for a 2 year term.

JANUARY 14, 1956 SATURDAY

Little Richard's ''Tutti Frutti'' is released. "Tutti Frutti" (means "All Fruits" in Italian) is a song written by Little Richard (Richard Wayne Penniman) along with Dorothy LaBostrie that was recorded in 1955 and became his first major hit record. With its opening cry of "A-wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom!" (a verbal rendition of a drum pattern that Little Richard had imagined) and its hard-driving sound and wild lyrics, it became not only a model for many future Little Richard songs, but also a model for rock and roll itself.

Jimmie Davis guests on ABC's ''Ozark Jubilee''.

JANUARY 15, 1956 SUNDAY

The singles, Sun 230 ''There's No Right Way To Do Me Wrong'' b/w ''You Can Tell Me'' by The Millers Sisters and Sun 233 ''Little Fine Healthy Thing'' b/w ''Something For Nothing'' by Billy Emerson issued.

JANUARY 17, 1956 TUESDAY

Blues singer Blind Afred Reed dies. His performance of ''How Can A Poor Man Stand Times And Live'' is ranked in 2003 among country's 500 greatest singles in the Country Music Foundation book ''Heartaches By The Number''.

JANUARY 18, 1956 WEDNESDAY

Mark Collie is born in Waynesboro, Tennessee. He scores two Top 10 singles, ''Even The Man In The Moon Is Crying'' and ''Born To Love You'', during the 1990s and becomes a spokesman for diabetes.

The Wilburn Brothers recorded ''I'm So In Love With You''.

JANUARY 19, 1956 THURSDAY

Faron Young recorded ''I've Got Five Dollars And It's Saturday Night'', ''Turn Her Down'' and ''You're Still Mine'' in Nashville.

JANUARY 20, 21, 1956 SATURDAY/SUNDAY

Based on local airplay, Sam Phillips suspects that there will be a heavy demand for Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and he instructs Superior to ship stampers to Paramount in Philadelphia and Monarch Manufacturing in Los Angeles. "We anticipate that this number will be very bis", adds Sam Phillips.

Billboard review "Blue Suede Shoes" in their country music review section: "Perkins contributes a lively reading on a gay rhythm ditty with a strong rhythm and blues styled backing. Fine for the jukes". The rating is 76/100.

JANUARY 21, 1956 SATURDAY

Ten years after making a pair of country hits with Red Foley, Lawrence Welk rates the cover of TV Guide.

JANUARY 23, 1956 MONDAY

Singer/songwriter Harley Allen is born in Dayton, Ohio. He writes Alan Jackson's ''Between The Devil And Me'', Darryl Worley's ''Awful, Beautiful Life'' and Blake Shelton's ''The Baby''. He also sings harmonies on The Soggy Bottom Boys' ''I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow''.

JANUARY 26, 1956 THURSDAY

Buddy Holly's first professional recording session for Decca Records in Nashville at Bradley's Barn, a studio owned and operated by Owen Bradley. Buddy cutting ''Blue days, Black Nights'', and his f irst single to be released in April 1956.

JANUARY 27, 1956 FRIDAY

RCA Victor released Elvis Presley's first single ''Heartbreak Hotel'' backed with ''I Was The One'' (RCA 47-6420).

JANUARY 28, 1956 SATURDAY

Elvis Presley makes national television debut as a guest on "Stage Show" on the CBS-TV network. The show is produced by Jackie Gleason and stars The Dorsey Brothers. He sings ''Heartbreak Hotel'' and ''Blue Suede Shoes''. "Heartbreak Hotel" races up the charts neck and neck with his former Sun Records cohort Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes" as they claim the number 1 and number 2 spots on the charts.

Coasters sign with Atco, an Atlantic Records subsidiary.

JANUARY 30, 1956 MONDAY

Bass player Doug Kahan is born in Detroit, Michigan. He replaces Bryan Grassmeyer in The Gibson/Miller Band in 1992, playing on their album ''Red, White And Blue Collar'' before the group breaks up. He co-writes Trick Pony's ''On A Night Like This''.

Elvis Presley recorded an cover version of Carl Perkins' ''Blue Suede Shoes'' at RCA's New York recording studio.

Columbia released Carl Smith's ''I've Changed''.

Wynn Stewart holds his first Capitol session, recording the Harlan Howard song ''You Took Her Off My Hands (Now Please Take Herr Off My Mind)''. A Ray Price version of the title becomes a hit six years later.

JANUARY 1956

Little Richard performed at the Nat Ballroom, 508 George Avenue, Amarillo, Texas. Admission $2.50 per person, Tax included. Upstairs Reserved for Color Patrons, Private Intrance.

Columbia Pictures announces a deal to rent its pre-1948 features to television, to be followed shortly by Warner Bross.

Johnny Cash's Sun single "Folsom Prison Blues"/"So Doggone Lonesome" raced up the country charts alongside Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes". Within a few weeks it was obvious that "Blue Suede Shoes" was also selling well in the pop and rhythm and blues markets. Unable to handle the vocal demands of rock and roll, Johnny Cash seemed to be doomed to the country charts. He did make his attempts; trying to corner a small role in the new market, he started composing rock and roll songs.

END JANUARY 1956

At the end of January, Elvis Presley had the first of four consecutive appearances in the "Stage Show". Already in these early live recordings everyone realized that Elvis was a real phenomenon. The first time was visually demonstrated the nation his unique style of rhythm and blues, coupled with a spunky touch.

On the next following Saturday, after his 4th appearance at the Dorsey "Stage Show" (February 18, 1956) Elvis came back to the Louisiana Hayride. He sang "Heartbreak Hotel" and the audience was thrilled as always. The crowd exploded like never before and you felt the enormous enthusiasm that went through the auditorium. Elvis was about to be ripped from "The Cradle of the Stars" and thrust into the international spotlight. The next Hayride stars were George Jones and Johnny Cash, but no one would be a next Elvis Presley.

When the TV and movie offers began to pour in, it was incredibly difficult for Elvis and the band to come back every Saturday to Shreveport. Colonel Tom Parker, by now in complete control of Elvis career, tried everything in his power to relieve Elvis of his Hayride obligations At one point, Parker offered to buy into the show, but he let the thought go, because the Hayride management did not come down with his demand of the final say in the decision making process. The management of the Hayride would not, could not, afford to surrender control of the program at any price. Frank Page: “Ultimately, we knew we could hold this rising star no longer, so in early April of 1956 Elvis was allowed to buy out the remaining six months of his contract for the sum of 10,000$''.

© - 706 UNION AVENUE SESSIONS - ©

NON SUN - STUDIO SESSION FOR CHARLIE FEATHERS
AT THE MEMPHIS RECORDING SERVICE FOR SUN RECORDS 1956

SUN RECORDING STUDIO
706 UNION AVENUE, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
STUDIO SESSION: TUESDAY JANUARY 31, 1956
SESSION HOURS: UNKNOWN
PRODUCER AND RECORDING ENGINEER - CHARLIE FEATHERS

Soon after the LP version of The Sun Country Years was issued, Zu-Zazz Records found and released a previously unheard and unknown Charlie Feathers session from Sun Records. In its way, it was a perfect encapsulation of country becoming rockabilly. The identity of Feathers' group on that day in 1956 is unclear. The steel guitarist is probably Jody Chastain, who began working with Feathers around the time this was recorded, and switched to bass when Feathers switched to rock and roll. The electric guitarist is probably Jerry Huffman because the playing sounds similar to the King and Meteor sessions on which Huffman was known to have worked. The bassist could be Shorty Torrance and the drummer could be Jimmy Sword, both of whom worked with Feathers in 1956.

Charlie Feathers' contract with Sun Records ends, Feathers rents the studio at 706 Union Avenue and records 4 or 5 titles in a non-Sun demo session. He pitches the songs to Sam Phillips in a bid to gain a new recording contract.

Sam Phillips does not offer a new contract, and Feathers later moves to Meteor Records. The titles recorded at the demo session were "Frankie And Johnny", "Bottle To The Baby", "Honky Tonk Kind", and "So Ashamed, and probably ''Corrine, Corrina''.

> BOTTLE TO THE BABY <
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:32)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-A-1 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS - THE LEGENDARY DEMO SESSIONS
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/14 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

Together with Elvis Presley's Sun recordings and Carl Perkins' early sides, this music stands as a clear-eyed statement of what rockabilly is all about. The finished version of ''Bottle To The Baby'' is markedly superior to even the King Records cut. Not only does it have a cutting edge that could rip through steel plate but it also has Feathers' original lyrics with their wonderful images of southern lowlife.

''Back in those days at the foot of the hill
We'd get our juice from a liquor still...''.
or
''Me and the wife and the little kitchy-koo
We in Apartment East 42
When we get sluiced we get a little loud
The landlady up and she throws us out...''.
Wonderful stuff? On a par with ''Dixie Fried''.

> BOTTLE TO THE BABY <
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:43)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-B-4 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/15 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

''So Ashamed'' was hillbilly to the core, and as good as any other country recording: hard-assed hillbilly music from the ground up. Although as unabashedly rural as Doug Poindexter, Feathers had style. The bridge gives him an excuse to go way high, like his idol Bill Monroe, even if the tempo on these 1956 recordings didn't allow him to twist and turn notes as he did on the slower Sun and Flip recordings.

> SO ASHAMED <
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Not Originally Issued (2:47)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-A-2 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/18 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

> SO ASHAMED <
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:45)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-B-2 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/19 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

HONKY TONK KIND
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 Sun Unissued

HONKY TONK KIND
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 31, 1956

''Honky Tonk Kind'', this is pure hillbilly soul, underpinned by an impenetrable, tortured morality. Few could deliver songs like this with the scorching intensity that Feathers brings to them. With the future of rockabilly or rock and roll still very much unassured, it's clear why Sam Phillips thought that Feathers should stick with country music. And no one in country music had been this intense since Hank Williams had breathed his last breath some four years earlier. It seemed as if Williams' death paved the way for Webb Pierce's ascendance, and it's hard not to believe that Feathers could have been as successful as Pierce. At least Fathers could song on-pitch.

> HONKY TONK KIND <
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 - Not Originally Issued (2:36)
With false start released on ZCD 2011
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-A-4 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/16 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

> HONKY TONK KIND <
Composer: - Charlie Feathers
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Ridgetop Music
Matrix number: - None - FS Take 4 - Not Originally Issued (2:54)
Truncated version with faults
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-B-3 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/17 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - A.S.C.A.P. - Williamson Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 1 - Sun Unissued (2:36)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956

''Frankie And Johnny'' is an even bigger surprise. It was never known to have been part of Feathers' repertoire but these 5 unissued cuts show that Feathers had put a considerable amount of work into his arrangement. The sustained trailing high notes betray Feathers' debt to Bill Monroe and the walking bass part played on the electric guitar shows the influence of Johnny Cash, but the overall result is pure Feathers. This is just about a working definition of rockabilly.

> FRANKIE AND JOHNNY <
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: A.S.C.A.P. - - Williamson Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 2 - Not Originally Issued (2:32)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-A-3 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/12 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - A.S.C.A.P. - Williamson Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 3 False Start - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 31, 1956

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - A.S.C.A.P. - Williamson Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 4 - Sun Unissued
Recorded: - January 31, 1956

> FRANKIE AND JOHNNY <
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - A.S.C.A.P. - Williamson Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 5 - Not Originally Issued (2:45)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1986
First appearance: - Zu-Zazz Records (LP) 33rpm ZZ 1001-B-1 mono
CHARLIE FEATHERS – THE LEGENDARY 1956 DEMO SESSION
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/13 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

St. Louis, 1942: ''Frankie Baker a 66 year-old Negro woman who claims to be the original ''Frankie'' of ''Frankie and Johnny'' last her suit against Republic Pictures when she tried to collect damages over the movie ''Frankie and Johnny''. Was she the original Frankie? Quite probably. In 1899, St. Louis balladeer Bill Dooley composed Frankie Killed Allen shortly after the Baker murder case. The first published version of ''Frankie And Johnny'' with music appeared in 1904, copyrighted by Hughie Cannon, the composer of ''Bill Balley Won't You Please Come Home''. Where did Charlie Feathers hear the song? We'll never know. Jimmie Rodgers, perhaps. Although the song was much recorded in the 1920s and 1930s, it's hard to think of too many versions from the early 1950s. Feathers' recording is a fair distance from the way the song sounded around 1900, the year after Ms. Baker claimed to have done the deed, or even around 1930 when Rodgers recorded it. What's remarkable about Feathers' recording is his mastery of rhythm. On this slower take, he's surefooted and playful, very confident of where he'll land. The electric guitarist is less surefooted and flubs several notes. In the 1942 lawsuit, Baker's attorney asked her, ''Did your gun go rootie, toot, toot''? ''No'', she replied. ''It went TOOT. I just shot him once''.

FRANKIE AND JOHNNY
Composer: - Traditional
Publisher: - A.S.C.A.P. - Williamson Music
Matrix number: - None - Take 6 Unissued (2:55)

Despite Charlie Feathers penchant for rockabilly Sam Phillips passed over material like "Corrine, Corrina" and old Bo Chatmon blues which found Feathers talking in tongues, and insisted instead on hardcore country.

> CORRINE, CORRINA <
Composer: - Bo Chatmon-Williams-Parish
Publisher: - B.M.I. - Copyright Control
Matrix number: - None - Not Originally Issued (2:11)
Recorded: - January 31, 1956
Released: - 1990
First appearance: - Zu-ZAzz Records (CD) 500/200rpm ZCD 2011-8 mono
THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION OF RARE AND UNISSUED RECORDINGS 1954 - 1973
Reissued: - 2009 El Toro Records (CD) 500/200rpm ETCD 1020-2/20 mono
CAN'T HARDLY STAND IT! - THE COMPLETE 50S RECORDINGS

''Corrine, Corrina" (sometimes "Corrina, Corrina") is a 12-bar country blues song in the AAB form. "Corrine, Corrina" was first recorded by Bo Carter (Brunswick 7080, December 1928). However, it was not copyrighted until 1932 by Armenter "Bo Carter" Chatmon and his publishers, Mitchell Parish and J. Mayo Williams.

The Mississippi Sheiks, as the Jackson Blue Boys with Papa Charlie McCoy on vocals, recorded the same song in 1930; this time as "Sweet Alberta" (Columbia 14397-D), substituting the words Sweet Alberta for Corrine, Corrina. "Corrine, Corrina" has become a standard in a number of musical styles, including blues, jazz, rock and roll, cajun, and western swing. The title of the song varies from recording to recording; chiefly with the variant "Corrina, Corrina''.

"Corrine, Corrina" may have traditional roots, however, earlier songs are different musically and lyrically. One of the earliest is the commercial sheet music song "Has Anybody Seen My Corrine?" published by Roger Graham in 1918. Vernon Dalhart (Edison 6166) recorded a vocal version in 1918, and Wilbur Sweatman's Original Jazz Band (Columbia A-2663), an instrumental version the same year. Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded a version of "C.C. Rider" in April 1926 entitled "Corrina Blues" which contains a verse in a similar vein. The Mississippi Sheiks also recorded "Sweet Maggie" in the 1930.

Notable early singers to record the song included Blind Lemon Jefferson (1926), Bo Carter (1928), Charlie McCoy (1928), Tampa Red (1929, 1930), Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon (1929), Walter Davis (1939), Johnny Temple (1940 ), Big Joe Turner (1941). Postwar-blues artists recording the song included Taj Mahal and Snooky Pryor. Veteran blues artists recorded for the Blues revival market include Mississippi John Hurt (1966) and Mance Lipscomb (1968).

Among the musicians to record the song were Wilbur Sweatman, Red Nichols (1930). Cab Calloway (1931), Art Tatum (1941) and Natalie Cole.

Several recordings were made for the Country market by artists including Clayton McMichen (1929) and the Cajun musician Leo Soileau (1935). In 1934, Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies recorded the song under the title "Where Have You Been So Long, Corrinne," as a western swing dance song. Shortly thereafter, Bob Wills adapted it again as "Corrine, Corrina," also in the western swing style. Following his recording with The Texas Playboys (OKeh 06530) on April 15, 1940, the song entered the standard repertoire of all western swing bands, influencing the adoption of "Corrine, Corrina" by cajun bands and later by individual country artists.

Although the Playboys' rendition set the standard, early Western swing groups had already recorded "Corrine, Corrina". Western swing bandleaders easily adapted almost any style of music into their dance numbers, but the Mississippi Sheiks' string band country blues style came easier than some. Milton Brown and his Musical Brownies recorded the song during a session on August 8, 1934, after meeting the Sheiks at a similar recording session earlier that year. Their version was titled "Where You Been So Long, Corrine?" (Bluebird B-5808).

"Corrine, Corrina" is also an important song related to western swing's pioneering use of electrically amplified stringed instruments. It was one of the songs recorded during a session in Dallas on September 28, 1935 by Roy Newman and His Boys (OKeh 03117). Their guitarist, Jim Boyd, played what is the first use of an electrically amplified guitar found on a recording. Cliff Bruner's Texas Wanderers also recorded an early version of Chatmon's song on February 5, 1937 (Decca 5350).

"Corrine, Corrina" entered the folk-like acoustical tradition during the American folk music revival of the 1960s when Bob Dylan began playing a version he titled "Corrina, Corrina". Although his blues based version contains lyrics and song structure from ''Corrine, Corrina'', his melody is lifted from "Stones in My Passway" (Vocalion 3723) recorded by Robert Johnson in 1937. Dylan's version, found on his second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," also borrows lyrics taken from Johnson's song.

The Rising Sons featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder recorded the song as ''Corinna, Corinna'' before breaking up in 1966. Taj Mahal then recorded another version in 1968 titled ''Corinna''. Joni Mitchell covered the song in 1988 on her album ''Chalk Mark In A Rain Storm''; titling it "A Bird That Whistles (Corrina Corrina)", and adding a flight-evoking Wayne Shorter sax solo. Many other different artists have covered this folk and blues classic over the years, including Eric Clapton, who sings it as "Alberta, Alberta", Willie Nelson, Steve Gillette and Leo Kottke, both of whom showcase their guitar virtuosity in their performances, and Conor Oberst. They generally sing a Bob Dylan style of it, with similar lyrics, although Oberst includes in the first verse: "I've been worried about you Coquito (a sweet coconut beverage), ever since you've been gone". Also regularly sung by Declan Sinnott (freeman of Wexford in Ireland/ producer of 4 albums for Mary Black) when he plays with Christy Moore - and as 7th track on his first album "I Love The Noise It Makes" (2012).

Big Joe Turner released a version of this song on Atlantic Records in 1956. Ray Peterson had a number 9 in 1960 with his version of the song, produced by Phil Spector. Jerry Lee Lewis released a version of the song on his 1965 album, ''The Return Of Rock''. Bill Haley and His Comets released a rock and roll version as a Decca Records single in 1958. Charlie Feathers recorded ''Corrine, Corrina'' for Sun on January 31, 1956 and later issued on the Zu-Zazz CD ''The Definitive Collection of Rare and Unissued Recordings 19541973''; Steppenwolf offers their version of "Corina, Corina" on the LP entitled ''Steppenwolf Live", released in April 1970. Rod Stewart recorded his own version sometime between 2011 and 2013, and it is featured as a bonus track on his CD "Time". Boz Scaggs released a version of the song on his 2013 album Memphis.

Asleep At The Wheel covered the song on their 1993 album ''A Tribute To The Music of Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys'' with Brooks and Dunn. Their version peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart in 1994.

Name (Or. No. Of Instruments)
Charlie Feathers - Vocal and Guitar
Probably Stan Kesler - Steel Guitar
Probably Johnny Black or Jody Chastain - Bass
Probably Jerry Huffman - Guitar
Probably Jimmy Swords – Drums

Note: According to Colin Escott, the drummer was probably not Jimmy Sword, but Johnny Bernero, who worked across the street from the Sun studio at the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Company and left his drums permanently set up in the studio. His firm but unobtrusive drumming can be heard on early cuts by Elvis Presley, Warren Smith and others.

For Biography of Charlie Feathers see: > The Sun Biographies <
Charlie Feathers' Sun recordings can be heard on his playlist from 706 Union Avenue Sessions on > YouTibe <

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