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Hot off the presses at United, our next trio of Sun Records reissues is ready to make its way onto your turntable. This is the second installment of our ongoing partnership with Sun, (the first including The Prisonaires, Johnny Cash, and Rufus Thomas), with each release remaining faithful to its original issue. We've replicated the classic logo and label design and coupled it with a custom sleeve that employs the rooster that Sun founder Sam Phillips regretted losing when the label stopped pressing 78's and moved exclusively to 45's. One of the first releases to be pressed as a 45 by Sun during this transition is the first 7" included in this set, D.A. Hunt's "Lonesome Old Jail" b/w "Greyhound Blues."
Daniel Augusta Hunt, better known as Junior Hunt, was born in Munford, AL in 1929. On or around March 11th, 1953, Hunt recorded these two songs at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis and they were released in June of that year. For over 50 years, these songs were believed to only exist in 78 rpm form, until a copy pressed as a 45 rpm 7” single turned up in Minnesota. This only known copy was sold on eBay in 2010 for $10,323. This marks the first legitimate release of Hunt's material on a 7" record, and both songs are outstanding examples of the heartbreaking, desolate nature of the solo bluesman accompanying himself on guitar and borrow heavily from the template set by Lightnin' Hopkins. Hunt was arrested in Memphis in 1958 for stealing a saxophone and died in May 1962 in Phoenix, AZ.
Most likely recorded in June of 1956, "Rockhouse" is a prime example of quintessential, undiluted rockabilly. While Roy and the Teen Kings' stint with Sun would be brief, the sheer power unleashed on these tracks is palpable. Most folks are only familiar with Orbison's perfected pop orchestrations recorded for Monument Records in the '60s, but his roots were firmly planted in the dusty West Texas sound, were influenced heavily by Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley, and remain equally important as the work of both.
Like the Golden Gate Bridge, hot dogs, Wrigley Field, Converse All-Stars, and Jack Daniels, "Great Balls of Fire" is of the uppermost echelon of cultural exports America has ever produced. If you don't already know this, it's okay…you can buy this single now and no one will be the wiser. The Killer at his finest.
Available today. Purchase all three as a bundle, or individually on our Sun Records Reissue page. The limited edition SUN RAY™ versions of these singles will be available at a future date with location TBA.
Learn more about this series here.