What Do You Call The Background Music In A Song Rockabilly’s Sun Records’ Catalog Includes Many Of the Genre’s Greatest Songs

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Rockabilly’s Sun Records’ Catalog Includes Many Of the Genre’s Greatest Songs

If you ask someone what they think of when they say Sun Records, you’ll get one of two answers.

  1. I’ve never heard of it.
  2. Rockabilly!

Anyone who has heard of rockabilly has heard of Sun Records. That record label has become almost synonymous with rockabilly music. During the 1950s, some of the genre’s best records were released on Sun Records. The record company and studio where all of these great songs were recorded (Memphis Recording Service Studios on Union Street in Memphis, Tennessee) was owned and operated by the legendary Sam Phillips, who discovered several of rock and roll’s biggest stars. Country music.

As a small independent label only a few years after the record hit, the Sun Records catalog includes an impressive number of rockabilly’s greatest hits from all genres by some of rockabilly’s greatest stars. Here are just a few of the great songs released on Sun records in the 1950s.

  1. “Red Hot”: “My daughter is red hot!” Billy Lee Riley cries in this amazing song. “Your girl doesn’t bend terribly!” replied his backing band, the Little Green Men. Billy Lee never became a huge star, but he could. “Red Hot” is a great rocker that goes full speed ahead from start to finish. Riley’s husky voice is the epitome of great rockabilly, and you can hear the sincerity in every note. It doesn’t matter if the song is perfect or not. This song is all about trends and it has a lot going for it!
  2. “Red Cadillac and Blackbeard”: This great number by Warren Smith has more numbers than “Red Hot” and shows a different side of rockabilly. It has classic Sun Records high-resonant vocals and some seriously cool country guitar work. It’s also reminiscent of the great rock ballads of the early 1950s, but you wouldn’t call it a ballad. “Who have you loved since I left?” It just moves easily and smoothly when you ask the question in a nonchalant way.
  3. “Darling”: The incomparable Carl Perkins may have been on his way to being bigger than Elvis when his incredible momentum following “Blue Suede Shoes” (Sun Records’ first million-selling hit) ended in a near-fatal car accident. . Perkins recorded some really great rockabilly for Sun Records. “Honey Don’t” and the b-side of “Blue Suede Shoes” are perfect examples. Perkins influenced countless future rockers, including The Beatles who covered this song and several other Carl Perkins songs. In fact, The Beatles recorded more songs written by Carl Perkins than any other artist. This is a tribute to the greatest rockabilly cat ever!
  4. “We Want Boogie”: The most unusual sounding cat on Sun Records might be Sonny Burgess. “We Wanna Boogie” is a great example of the crazy songs he cuts. The only rockabilly band I’ve ever heard that incorporated trumpets into the music, and these guys went full blast. Whistles, screams, screams, yes that crazy trumpet. All of this is matched by Burgess’ gravelly voice, making his records more fun and charming than any record label has ever seen!
  5. “One arm loose”: With a quirky style that would make Buddy Holly blush, Charlie Fighters are a great example of early rockabilly. Feathers was another artist who never made it big. “One Hand Loose” is an example of rockabilly rock at its best. It features some great rockabilly guitar work, a unique chugging slap bass, and a great vocal treatment from Feathers. And the perfect rockabilly theme and hook, “Give me one hand and I’ll be satisfied!” You must love it!

These are just a few of the great songs added to the Sun Records catalog during rockabilly’s heyday in the mid-to-late 1950s. Sam Phillips had an uncanny knack for identifying great rockabilly acts, and of course, as his artist became more successful, similar artists came to his door hoping for a shot at the big time. We’ve covered some pretty obscure songs and artists here, but there’s so much else to talk about that I can’t urge you enough to dig into the Sun Records catalog and see what you can find. You will not be disappointed!

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