Ernst Jørgensen's SUN Project Updates

6 Jan 2008


Sam Phillips notes - Sam kept NO notes on Elvis' recordings - I knew Sam quite well, and we have discussed these issues several times.
Sam never mentioned any unreleased titles. When I asked him about titles he always said he couldn't remember.

Marion Keisker Sun notes
- "Elvis A Musical Inventory" book that was released a few years ago allegedly contained Marion Keisker's notes from the SUN sessions. The Marion Keisker notes however were FAKE from A-Z.

TIGER MAN - The Steve Sholes notes do not mention TIGER MAN. The very little room left for speculation is a tape described as containing ""THat's All Right" and two other selections." This could suggest two unknown Elvis recordings, and one could of course be "Tiger Man". However Steve Sholes had a large knowledge of R&B, and I assume that he would have recognized "Tiger Man". It could also be that Sam (as so often) had used an old tape to record "That's All Right" on, and the "two other selections" were by some other artist. The tape was destroyed in 1959

68 Special Tiger Man - The last angle I can come up with is to speculate as to why Elvis did include it in the 68 Special. It seems all other songs were from his own past, but that's obviously not proof of anything.

The notes from Steve Sholes do not give any recordings dates, and several of the session dates we have all know for some many years, seems to be wrong.


4 Jan 2008

Ernst answers some more FTD questions, - and raises some of his own for Elvis collectors.

'THE WAY IT WAS' and the small colour images. It was done like that because at the time we couldn’t make many of the color pictures bigger. They were so-called ”freeze-frames” – meaning pictures taken out of the DVD that Turner had us use. We didn’t have enough color photography for the project. I must however say that some space is needed to make a book look good – otherwise it would be just a photo album, and MANY of these SUN pictures do not have a technical quality that justifies a large reproduction

ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK. There are several people correcting me on this issue, saying they told me it existed. One very reliable source mentioned hearing it on the phone. Sorry, I did not mean to ignore that – I had forgotten. I have at no time been close to hearing this myself, and if nobody knows where it is, it’s impossible to track it down. Anybody with a lead?

outtakes. We have a few seconds of one – that’s all. I don’t know where you got the idea of “several outtakes” from?

More Elvis footage from Dec 28, 1954. There may indeed be more. There are other pieces out there that are in private hands and NOT for sale. We can’t force collectors to release their materials.

Acetate rights and regarding Elvis acetate owners. MY HAPPINESS has been on several PD releases and so have the others to some extent. I Know of nobody who paid SONY/BMG for the use I’LL NEVER STAND IN YOUR WAY and IT WOULDN’T BE THE SAME. Since someone believes that MRS paid Ed Leek, I assume you know whether he paid Sony/BMG as well. What is really surprising here is that John Singleton recently told me that I still have to licensee MY HAPPINESS from his company (not Ed Leek), and he would certainly have mentioned if SONY/BMG had abused any deals. Anyway, the Singletons are very reasonable people and have supported this project from the beginning.

SUN BOOK - The book will be printed in 5.000 copies – that’s the ceiling for FTD books except for THE WAY IT WAS. It’s likely to sell about 3.000 copies in the first year. I know of no publishing house that would want to distribute it, or for that matter grant me control of how it would look. Additionally I don’t know of a publishing house that would pay anything like what has been invested in the research and acquisitions related to this project.

Other SUN books - I have studied every book that I could find on this subject, including Joey’s Kent's book, with Stanley’s and the two MRS books. They are all recent, much discussed and I also learn from them – the positive and the negative. As for the first two I know that they represent years and years of research, and the main thing to learn from them is to take their defined universes (Hayride & Texas) and try to do the same detailed research for the entire period and territory. They both showed me how far you can get if you put your mind to it. My book is taking much longer than the recent handsomely packaged MRS releases - “Because it takes much longer to research than it does to design “. And don’t go using this against the MRS releases – each release is what it is and if people enjoy then why not let them.

The delay of SUN BOOK publication - I assure you at Sony/BMG we also spent more time on the 50’s box set than on Elvis At The Movies – but I stand up for both of them. I made a count of how many photos were acquired for the SUN book last year in 2007 – meaning these wouldn’t have been in the book if it came out last year – the number is 73. We also found out what Elvis did on about 20 more dates during the period – maybe not overwhelming to you, but that is what research is about. I do the SUN book in my spare time – not during my employment hours SONY/BMG/FTD, and although Roger and I have the most wonderful jobs we can imagine, we certainly don’t work just 40-hour weeks.

Thanks & I will try and bring some more answers in the next few days.


1 Jan 2008

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, and without dount, I will also add new mistakes - not willingly. Somebody else will be able to point these mistakes out - starting the day after the release of the book.

At first I thought the book needed to included every known photo of Elvis from the period, but thankfully that's not possible anymore - I have too many. However, I do want to try and find EVERY show date, and I'm still about 10 short. There is no point in rewriting Guralnicks LAST TRAIN or Hopkins biography, but I will need to use some of their findings and viewpoints to create a text element that puts all the bits and pieces together. Where both Hopkins and Guralnick in their narrative were able to paint a full portrait of the young Elvis Presley, I do not have such talent. My mission is to create a source book of facts, photos, music, memorabilia, memories of those who were there, and try and link it together for those are bot already familiar with the basic story. Exactly how to do this is what's going to to be sorted in the next few months and I will enjoy reading your suggestions.

Just in case you were under the illusion that I have collected all this material myself, I will mention that without Hopkins, Guralnick, Lee Cotton, Rijff, Sean O'Neal, Kevan Budd, Sebastian Jeansson, Sherif Hanna, Bill Burk, Andylon Lensen, Trevor The Man and my two exceptional detectives Luca Fabris and Brian Petersen this would have been a much poorer project, and my life would have been nowhere as much fun as it has. Additionally dozens of people have made their photos exclusively available for this project - (I hope that this respected!!)

5 hours to the New Year. May 2008 be your greatest yet!


You can read the complete discussion on the FECC Forum in the "For Ernst Jørgensen -> SUN Book Ideas!" tread in the All Elvis section.

Read EIN"s interview with Ernst Jorgensen about his Sun project

(News, Source: Elvis News/ For Elvis CD Collectors Forum /EIN)



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