Wer war/ist Sun Country Book ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD und mehr
A NOTE FROM THE PRODUCTION TEAM Of all the musical styles associated with Sun Records, country music is the least well recognised and the least well documented. This is surprising because country music appeared on the magic yellow label from the first full year of operation until the last. Moreover, most of the artists primarily associated with Sun Records began their careers in country music or went on to carve out a career in country music.
However, when we came to compile the SUN COUNTRY BOX we encountered some special problems. Sam Phillips and his producers recorded a lot of country music. Even before the birth of Sun Records, Phillips was recording country music for Chess and 4-Star Records. If we included every country performance from those seventeen years the box would be an unmanageable size. So, the first delimiter we decided upon was a cut-off date of 1960 which corresponded roughly with the opening of the new studio on Madison Avenue, Memphis and the end of Phillips' full-time involvement.
The second major problem was to decide upon who and what should be included. We could have gone in either of two directions: Include every country performance regardless of artist, or Include every performance by artists who where predominantly »country, artists. We decided upon the latter because we thought that most collectors would prefer to have the complete Sun recordings of, say, Charlie Feathers or Warren Smith rather than just the country performances. In this way we have also avoided dangerous judgement calls about were »country« stops and »rockabilly« begins.
Even using those guidelines, there are still some anomalies. These will usually be made clear in the text. We have, for example, included some sample cuts by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lew is and Carl Perkins. All three have boxed sets of their work currently available but we decided to include them for two reasons. Primarily because there are still some out-takes worthy of inclusion, but also because their exclusion would distort the overall picture of country music on Sun Records. A final problem centred around the use of demo recordings. As Sun's fame grew, hundreds of artists made the trek to Union and Marshall Avenues, hoping that they would be discovered in the same way as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. Hundreds more mailed in demo tapes, many of which remain unheard to this day. Some of those tapes were shipped to Nashville with the Sun tape inventory and we have included a few examples of them. Perhaps a couple were not recorded at 706 Union but we judged them to be of sufficient interest that they warranted inclusion.
We started listening to this music many years ago and it seems as though each major project, in particular the Sun Box series, deepens our appreciation of the music, the environment which gave birth to it and the actual recording industry during those far off years. Despite the plethora of Sun reissues it is really hard to believe that you are scraping the bottom of the barrel when you can uncover previously unknown Charlie Feathers recordings or bring some of the previously unknown or little known artists into the spotlight.
The music scene has changed out of all recognition in the years since the first of these performances was recorded. In technical terms alone, the changes have been dramatic. The acetates that Phillips used in 1950 were supplanted by tape which has now been supplanted by computer scans of the audio signal. The 78rpm disc, the primary medium for sound recordings in 1950, was supplanted by microgroove which is, in turn, being supplanted by ...
Colin Escott & Martin Hawkins
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