Ernst Jørgensen's SUN Project Updates

On the FECC forum there was a discussion on Ernst Jørgensen's SUN project. Luckily for us Ernst Jørgensen has a little time off and posted several reply's which give some insight in what to expect. We used only his postings, for the complete dialogue, go to the For Elvis CD Collector's forum.
Dear All

One of the best things about Christmas is the fact that the nice people at Sony/BMG leave me alone for a few week weeks, and I have time to indulge in favourite subjects like this. There has actually been several in the past few weeks that I wanted to be part of, but I ran out of time.

Both The Doc and Piers have bee following the develepmont of the SUN project over the last few years and it seems that Doc has arrived at a bunch of questions, and Piers have the answers. Since neither the book nor the CD have been finalized I think it's great to have the opinions of the board on some of these issues, but certainly also to be able to explain what I think it can and should be. There is no doubt that our dreams - yours and mine - are much grander than this project can ever be, and I will appreciate being given the chance to communicate reasonable expectations instead of the inflated nonsense that acommpany several other releases in the biz.

There are many reasons why the book has been delayed, but none more important than the fact that my daytime job takes almost all my time (not a complaint). Another reason has been the release of 4 related publications: Rockin' Across Texas, Joey Kent's Hayride book and the two MRS releases. A little much on this one subject for such a short period of time. The last reason for the delay was the hope that if we researched a bit more we might come up with more information and photo material. WE got lucky and there are still a few more leads to pursue.

However the book is coming out at the end of 2008, and it will find it's final form over the next 3-4 months. So any and all suggestions are welcome and I will be happy to give you my comments through this board.

More later tonight


I understand the wish for surprises - and I would love to make them happen but the reality of my situation is that I know of no surprises that are available to me.

1) The SUN tapes have been researched endlessly by many people including Kevan and myself. We have had full co-operation from Shelby and John Singleton at SUN, The family of Sam Phillips, EPE and obviously Sony/BMG. You will get every little silly bit we have, but really only a few bits on HARBOR LIGHTS and WHEN IT RAINS are previously unreleased. I don't even have a rumor to pursue anymore.

2) AS for live recordings I can obviously not know whether somebody, somewhere has something we don't know about. The owners of the 6 track "LITLLE MAMA" acetate have NO plans for it's release and money is not a factor. The acetate of "Shake, Rattle and Roll" is a matter of money, but I have no way of paying the several hundred thousand dollar price for a recording that is not a lot different to other early "Shake" versions.

3) There will be 3 CD-es with the book, and they will be worth having because of Kevan's excellent work, but they are the bonus - the book is the main issue.

Doc Carpenter's tracklisting could very well be extremely close to the final - with or without the 4 acetate sides.

Tracklisting as posted by "Doc Carpenter":
The CDs should play out in chronological fashion, with live material on CD3:

Harbor Lights [all takes]
I Love You Because [all takes]
That's All Right [all takes, including DRY master]
Blue Moon Of Kentucky [both takes]
Blue Moon [all takes]
Tomorrow Night
I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') [both takes]
Just Because
Good Rockin' Tonight [all takes]
I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine [all takes]

Milkcow Blues Boogie
You're A Heartbreaker
How Do You Think I Feel? [guitar slapback tape, Elvis off-mic]
I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone [all takes]
Baby, Let's Play House
I Forgot To Remember To Forget
Mystery Train
Trying To Get To You
When It Rains It Really Pours [all takes]

16 Oct'54:
That's All Right
Blue Moon Of Kentucky

06 Jan'55, radio appearance in Lubbock TX
Fool, Fool, Fool
Shake, Rattle and Roll

15 Jan'55
Hearts Of Stone
That's All Right
Tweedlee Dee

22 Jan'55
Money Honey
Blue Moon Of Kentucky
I Don’t Care If The Sun Don't Shine
That's All Right [includes steel guitar]

19 Mar'55, remote from Houston TX
Good Rockin' Tonight
Baby, Let's Play House
Blue Moon Of Kentucky
I Got A Woman
That's All Right

30 Apr'55, remote from Gladewater TX
Tweedlee Dee

25 May'55, radio appearance in Meridian MS
That's All Right

16 Jul'55
I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone

20 Aug'55
Baby, Let's Play House
That's All Right

... and anything else Ernst can find!


I'm trying to stay with one issue per reply, so if I stay with the audio for a little while, the additional elements the book will offer are the Steve Sholes notes on the actual boxes RCA received. These will all be included, but they are not a complete picture of Elvis' recording activities at SUN.

These notes have no mention of any tapes containing MILKCOW and HEARTBREAKER. Additionally some of the notes will open up for new discussions of what it is they really represent. It's all good fun, but as most elements of the project, it's NOT complete.

As for ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK. We all know that Elvis sang it, but I have not talked to any people I trust that can tell they heard. I heard the "pile of noise" that some people claims is Elvis singing the song. I can't tell you it's not true, but since you cannot hear what it is anyway, what does it matter?


I appreciate the great dialogue here - it is quite helpful. However it's also a bit ironic that I keep saying this is a book, and everybody starts going on about the music (not that I don't understand)
The other somewhat ironic element is that the good suggestions about book content, mirrors my headache of finishing the book. There is always some great interview I would still like to do, some collector I still want to persuade, or some showdate that still won't appear.

Historically, the back ground for the book is Ger Rijffs "Long Lonely Highway" and Lee Cotton's "Did Elvis Play In Your Home Town?".
Obviously Peter Guralncik and I took the "day-by-day" logic a bit further with our joint book. In most cases what has been done before help establish what needs to be done now. "ROCKIN ACROSS TEXAS" is a good reminder that more detail and more photos can be found if you put your mind to it, and you are willing to work hard. Stanley worked very hard for very long.
All of the virtues of the mentioned publications I will try to expand, but both Joey Kent's latest Hayride book, and the two MRS publications, remind me of something else: The problem of the endless repetition of erromous information that comes about when the material is simply rehashed without any critical review.
I obviously need not look no further than my own work to find the same problem .after all I did about 5 books on Elvis' recording career, and it's still not complete or 100% correct. I can also find countless pictures that have been captioned wrong by me over the years, but my aim with this book is to try and improve our common knowledge on the Sun period. Eventually I will be able to correct several misunderstandings,
Source: For Elvis CD Collectors Forum / Updated: Dec 31, 2007 
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Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 6, 2008report abuse
Jumpin' - I'm a huge blues fan and ("Little") Junior Parker is one of my favorites. He went on to greater heights in the '60s and early '70s vocally and in terms of development but there is a raw greatness to those earlier Sun sides, of course. (I think many open-minded Elvis fans would find much to savor in hearing Parker's great voice over the years...)

As for your suggestion, as someone who loves vinyl, old things, and even on occasion, the sound of crackling records, that is, those with noise, I fear we might be romantizing that sound of the old Sun records.

How much of that was just the limitations of the format? I know producers used to engineer their sound for the format (be it 78 rpm shellack or 45 rpm vinyl, as well as the old little AM transister radios of the '60s) but some have argued that you'd want to hear the pure mono tape sound, minus any "added" distortion inherent to the vinyl format.

After all, isn't that authentic in a sense, too, to hear how they actually sounded?

That said, at the price this is going to be, why not just add those ten masters as you suggested, assuming they were all cleaned up? Reading Ernst's comments on FECC, however, it's clear that the CDs are secondary to the massive photo book project, so I don't see that happening with this project at least.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2008report abuse
To Steve V : splendid idea Steve!!! Indeed, what a package this would be!. I'm afraid it 'll only stay a dream come true ! But who knows, miracles happen now and then .... Always El.
Mofoca22 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 3, 2008report abuse
they are not doing a very good job handelling his music at all i give everyone involved an F
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2008report abuse
To Benny, you are Right, it must be done the Right way, by the way has anyone gone to U Tube to hear Mystery Train/Love my baby by Junior Parker? that and the others on there are Great music its what Put Sun on the map
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2008report abuse
Benny - you are correct from my point of view at least. I'll even go so far as to say to make this the extreme ultimate Sun package, leave the hiss from the original 10 masters on there along with the original versions of these songs (like Parker, Crudup, etc), then follow it up with the Kevin Budd remastering on these 10 and all the other Sun recordings. Wow what a package!
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2008report abuse
I wonder if some of you really understand what Jumping.. and Steve V mean. Of course they don't want the hiss and the pops or cracks of the original Sun 78 and/or 45 RPM on CD. What they want is (that's what i think ) : give us the original Sun-sound, and that means in the very first place the sound without the added echo and compression done by RCA when they re-released the 10 Sun recordings, RCA-labelled. In my humble opinion it must nowadays be perfectly possible to tape the original Sun-singles and with modern computer-programmes and technology filter and remove almost all hiss and pops, with a decent audio-quality as the result. I'm looking forward to such a release and at last hear the ORIGINAL Sun-sound in good quality. Jumping.. and Steve V : correct me if i'm wrong . Always El
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 2, 2008report abuse
A Point of information for those who may have never heard JR Parkers Mystery Train/Love My Baby, Go to U Tube some one called LynchburghSourMash has posted both sided for your listening pleasure, i'm sure almost no one out there has heard this. also he has posted the original Elvis sounds and a real treat My Favorite the Boogie Disease By Dr Ross. After hearing both side of Mystery Train see if you agree if that it is not a Part of Elvis Presley History at 706 Union avenue.
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
I agree with Joseph for historial correctness. Back in the day, they had a sound of their own. I also can see Steve's view to put the remastered side by side with the origional. Either way it should be interesting. I for one am glad its finally under way. Thanks to everyone involved.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
There's a great old LP called The Original Sun Sound of Elvis Presley. I is a bootleg from the early 70's. This has all the hiss of the original records. I still have a copy in my collection. Try & find one to hear this sound. I want the CDs to be in perfect studio quality especially if I am paying a lot of $$ for it. I wouldnt want it full of hiss. Then again , if they put the remastered songs as well on the same CD I wouldnt mind having both.
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
People dont read..We already have that how many times i cant count any more. Give us the original Sun Sound on the first 10 sides.
Jamie (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
Hi folks, I don't think Sam Phillips ever wanted us to hear the Sun recordings with tape hiss, electrical hum or other artefacts caused by the technical limitations present in the 1950s. Instead, I'm sure he went out of his way to reduce these defects to an absolute minimum in the hope of making our listening experience as close as possible to being present in the studio. If state-of-the-art technology can help us get as close as possible to standing five feet away from Scotty, Bill and the other one when they wove their magic, I think it's congruous with Sam's intentions and we should surely embrace it. Happy new year.
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
To Fly Trouble, the poor sound on 1987 Sun Sessions is no where near the Original Sun Sound created by Mr Phillips. If you saw the material he was using and the stood in that little studio you might understand todays technology takes all that away and its not the way Dewey Phillips first played Thats all Right in July 1954. PS Fly Trouble was a bad number by Hank Williams he never should have recorded it. also if they Really wanted to do this the right way they could give Both versions as capitol with with the beatles when they had a CD with both the Mono and Stereo version, thus the original Sun Sound and the New technology sound.
benny scott (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
Jumpin... and Kenneth : i totally agree.
FLY-TROUBLE! (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
You are both crazy and laughable. If you want to hear poor sound and hiss then buy The Sun Sessions CD (BMG/RCA 1987).
Kenneth (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
Totally agree with you JUMPIN, about time we headed in the direction your talking about.
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 1, 2008report abuse
if your gonna do this do it right, its the same old stuff over and over again, so now its in one package. The original 10 Sun sides should be on CD exactly the way they sounded on 78 poor sound with the Sun hiss, to clean them up and do them that way makes this project worthless. The music should be heard they it was originally intended in 1954 and 1955 the old tech is the original SUN Sound, created at 706 by Sam C Phillips. Also if you are working with Singleton an addition of JR Parkers Mystery Train and the Flip side Love my Baby MUST be included. then the people could see how Elvis' version was formed. Sam phillips made mystery train the song Elvis performed and credited himself and Jr Parker with the New Version.

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