Recording Sessions
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November 1 - 4 1955
(+ means you need both    ~ means same material    °° means stereo or binaural    ° means mono)
(SFS = Short False Start | FS = False Start | LFS or BD (Breakdown) = Long False Start | PB (Playback) or Complete = Complete Take)

SUN Studio - Memphis, Tennessee
Engineer : Sam Phillips

Guitar: Elvis Presley  
Guitar: Scotty Moore  
Bass: Bill Black  
Drums: Johnny Bernero  

When It Rains It Pours
  November 1 - 4 1955 (Tue - Fri)
Take 1 (In)Comp. 1:36 "1. When It Rains It Really Pours" A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)°
Take 2 Reh'sal 2:11 "2. Breakdown -" A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)°
Take 3 LFS 1:59 "long rehearsal bit" A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)° (Complete)~Memphis Recording Service
Volume 2° (0:58)~Sunrise° (0:58)~A Golden Celebration 1° (0:58)
~A Legendary Performer Volume 4° (0:58)
Take 4 FS 0:15 "(When It Rains)" A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)°
Take 5 M 2:02 "3. When It Rains It Really Pours
(2:00)" (NPA5 5826)
A Boy From Tupelo 1 (FTD)°~A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)°~Elvis At Sun°
~The Comp. Elvis Presley Masters 1 (Sony)°~Memphis Recording Service
Volume 2°~Sunrise°~50's Box 1°~A Golden Celebration 1° (OPA1 4198)
~A Legendary Performer Volume 4°~Elvis For Everyone (FTD)°
Take 6 Reh'sal 1:20 "4. Breakdown" A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)° (Complete)~Memphis Recording Service
Volume 2° (0:46)~Sunrise° (0:46)~A Golden Celebration 1° (0:46)
~A Legendary Performer Volume 4° (0:46)
Take 7 FS 0:19 "5. Breakdown" A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)°~Memphis Recording Service Volume 2°
~Sunrise°~A Golden Celebration 1°~A Legendary Performer Volume 4°
Take 8 LFS 1:40 "6." A Boy From Tupelo 2 (FTD)°


This session took place in the first week of November 1955 (Week commencing Monday October 31).

Johnny Bernero remembers Sam calling Elvis into the control room in the middle of the session with Elvis emerging to announce that his contract had just been sold to RCA, and the session was over. The formal ceremony took place on November 21, but the deal was in place by November 15.

In the past it has been difficult to identify the takes recorded in spite of the fact that both the original tape notes and Sholes' detailed session notes are available. In Ernst Jørgensen's 'A Life in Music' the master is listed as take 9, but a confusing note says "Take 10 is not an official master, but probably the best take."

Now with the release by 'Follow That Dream' of the ultimate Sun collection - 'A Boy From Tupelo', we get the complete session (apart from a very small edit taking out a comment some may consider offensive) for the first time from the "Vocal Slapback" tape they have.

Regarding Take 1, '(In)Complete' in this context means that the take is incomplete because the tape only started running part way through the take, but runs through the rest of the take and the ending is complete.

It is also now clear that what we got on 'A Legendary Performer Volume 4' (and other releases afterwards) is actually parts from Take 3, Take 7, Take 6 and then Take 5 in that order.

In March of 2007, Sony decided to go through all of Elvis' masters. They retransferred everything and remastered all tracks including repairing as many clicks, pops, bad edits and dropouts as they could. They have used these newly mastered recordings on their new releases since 2007 including budget soundtracks, 'Legacy' releases, the 30 disc 'Complete Elvis Presley Masters' collection and the Franklin Mint package. These 2007 remasters were not used on FTD's 'A Boy From Tupelo', the masters were all remastered again from scratch on that set.

Elvis At Sun - Restoration (Courtesy of 'Master & Session')

We've had it for years without being able to tell! Exceptionally poor compression has hidden the fact that When It Rains, It Really Pours actually is from the dry reverb tape source. On this recording only Elvis' vocals and acoustic guitar were miked and sent to the mounted tape machine to produce the typical SUN echo on the other tape. The electric guitar didn't have to take this path in late 1955 and the echo of Scotty's Echosonic, purchased on May 24, 1955 (http://www.scottymoore.net/), can be heard leaking into the dry reverb channel, as can Johnny Bernero's drums and Bill Black's bass. They certainly were miked through and recorded directly on the primary console machine, mixed with the delayed signal of what we have here. It is a revelation to hear it as it is. Since it is the last recording its inclusion does not distract the overall impression at all. The unfinished dry reverb tape recording of When It Rains, It Really Pours can be considered a bonus track more than anything else.

Session Logs
Tape Box
When It Rains, It Pours
When It Rains, It Pours
Steve Sholes' Written Notes
When It Rains, It Pours
When It Rains, It Pours
Sun Tapes
Tape Boxes 1 - 15
Sun Tapes