Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Legendary Story of Sun Records...various artists

Sun Records is a record label founded in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27, 1952.
Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was notable for discovering and first recording such influential musicians as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. (Presley's recording contract was sold to RCA Victor Records for $35,000 in 1955 to relieve financial difficulties which Sun was going through.) Prior to those records, Sun Records had concentrated on recording African-American musicians, because Phillips loved Rhythm and Blues and wanted to bring black music to a white audience. It was Sun record producer and engineer, Jack Clement, who discovered and recorded Jerry Lee Lewis, while owner Sam Phillips was away on a trip to Florida. The original Sun Records logo was designed by John Gale Parker, Jr., a resident of Memphis and high school classmate of Phillips.

The music of many Sun Records musicians helped lay part of the foundation of late 20th century rock and roll, plus it influenced many younger musicians, particularly The Beatles. In 2001, Paul McCartney appeared on a tribute compilation album titled Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records. The 2010 tribute Million Dollar Quartet is based on the famous photograph of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis grouped round Elvis Presley at the piano, the night when the four joined in an impromptu jam at Sun Record's one-room sound studio, the "Million Dollar Quartet" of 4 December 1956.

In 1969, Mercury Records label producer Shelby Singleton purchased the Sun label from Phillips. Singleton merged his operations into Sun International Corporation, which re-released and re-packaged compilations of Sun's early artists in the early 1970s. It would later introduce rockabilly tribute singer Jimmy "Orion" Ellis in 1980 as Orion taking on the persona of Elvis Presley. The company remains in business today as Sun Entertainment Corporation, which currently licenses its brand and classic hit recordings (many of which have appeared in CD boxed sets and other compilations) to independent reissue labels. Sun Entertainment also includes SSS International Records, Plantation Records, Amazon Records, Red Bird Records, Blue Cat Records among other labels the company acquired over the years. Its website sells collectible items as well as compact discs bearing the original 1950s Sun logo.

Some of the notable recording artists at Sun were Roscoe Gordon, Rufus Thomas, who recorded solo and with his daughter Carla Thomas, Little Milton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich and Conway Twitty (who at that time recorded under his real name of Harold Jenkins).

This excellent 60 track compilation represents all the styles of music heralded by Sun Records, from earthy Blues and Country to Rockabilly and Rock'n' Roll. For anyone interested in the roots of rock and roll, this an important and historical collection. Many of these tracks were later covered by other artists early in their own careers.

Disc: 1
1. Mystery Train - Little Junior's Blue Flames
2. Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
3. Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On - Jerry Lee Lewis
4. Bear Cat - Rufus Thomas
5. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
6. Color And Kind (Look-A Here Baby) - Howlin' Wolf
7. Flying Saucer Rock And Roll - Billy Lee Riley
8. Ten Cats Down - The Miller Sisters
9. I Never Knew - Roy Orbison
10. Your Cheatin' Heart - Cliff Gleaves
11. Just Walking In The Rain - The Prisonaires
12. The Hucklebuck - Earl Hooker
13. Shake 'Em Up Baby - Frank Ballard
14. Willing And Ready - Ray Smith
15. Rock 'n' Roll Ruby - Warren Smith
16. Born To Lose - Carl McVoy
17. Lonely Weekends - Charlie Rich
18. I Need A Man - Barbara Pittman
19. Ubangi Stomp - Carl Mann
20. Sadie's Back In Town - Sonny Burgess
21. Groovy Train - Wade Cagle & The Escorts
22. Don't Be Runnin' Wild (Problem Child) - Ken Cook
23. Go! Go! Go! - Roy Orbison
24. Red Velvet - The Kirby Sisters
25. Greyhound Blues - D.A. Hunt
26. I Forgot To Remember To Forget - Charlie Feathers
27. Lewis Boogie - Jerry Lee Lewis
28. Peace In The Valley - Million Dollar Quartet
29. Down By The Riverside - Million Dollar Quartet
30. Who Will The Next Fool Be? - Charlie Rich
Disc: 2
1. Great Balls Of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
2. Matchbox - Carl Perkins
3. Feelin' Good - Little Junior's Blue Flames
4. Mona Lisa - Carl Mann
5. Ooby Dooby - Roy Orbison
6. Guess Things Happen That Way - Johnny Cash
7. My Babe - Narvel Felts
8. It's Me Baby - Malcolm Yelvington
9. Paralyzed - Million Dollar Quartet
10. I'll Wait Forever - Anita Wood
11. Somebody Told Me - Little Milton
12. Rockin' Bandit (Dubbed Version) - Ray Smith
13. Pearly Lee - Billy Lee Riley
14. Red Hot - Billy 'The Kid' Emerson
15. Uranium Rock (Alternate Take) - Warren Smith
16. Raunchy - Bill Justis
17. Got You On My Mind - The Miller Sisters
18. Just In Time - Harold Jenkins (Conway Twitty)
19. Ain't Got No Home - Carl Mann
20. Ain't Got A Thing - Sonny Burgess
21. Cheese And Crackers - Rosco Gordon
22. Got Love If You Want It - Warren Smith
23. Feelin' Low - Ernie Chaffin
24. There's Another Place I Can Go - Charlie Rich
25. Handsome Man - Barbara Pittman
26. How Long Can It Be? - Maggie Sue Wimberly
27. Goin Crazy - Mack Self
28. Rockin' Daddy - Eddie Bond
29. Cloudy - Brad Suggs
30. Goodnight Irene - Johnny Cash

Mystery Train - Little Junior's Blue Flames