Sun Commemorative Concert

As part of Memphis' 50th Anniversary Rock and Roll celebrations a daylong concert was held in the street in front of Sun Studio on July 5th immediately following the "Global Moment in Time".   Scotty and D.J. took the stage at 11:30 AM for a short set along with Ronnie McDowell, Billy Swan, Steve Shepherd, James Lott and Dave Smith.  


James Lott and Steve Shepherd - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


DJ Fontana, James Lott and Steve Shepherd - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

In addition to being the full time road manager and keyboardist for Ronnie McDowell's Rhythm Kings, Steve Shepherd is virtually Scotty's right hand man (and a blue shirt member of Moore's Feel Good Mafia).  He also engineers in Scotty's home studio.  


DJ Fontana - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Set List  - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Much to the crowds delight the set opened with Billy Swan taking the vocals on "Mystery Train" and then Ronnie McDowell joined them onstage for "Heartbreak Hotel", "Don't Be Cruel", "Baby Let's Play House", "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and closed with the song that started it all 50 years earlier "That's All Right".


Photo James V. Roy


DJ Fontana - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Though never actually recording at Sun with Scotty, Elvis and Bill, DJ had been performing with the band live since the Sun days when they first me at the Louisiana Hayride.  He first recorded with them at RCA on the session that produced Heartbreak Hotel.


Steve Shepherd and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Billy Swan and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Though Scotty took the stage at 11:30, he had been there that morning since long before the the "Global Moment in Time" event at 11:00.   Its his nature to be prepared and oversee the the setup up of the band and his equipment.  He had been on and off stage doing that all morning in between interviews.  He even bowed out of an appearance on the Today Show because of the time constraints.  His interest and focus is and always has been the music and the performance.


Scotty Moore and Steve Shepherd - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Billy Swan, Scotty Moore and James Lott - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

At 16, singer/songwriter Billy Swan wrote "Lover Please' which was a hit for Clyde McPhatter but was recorded first by Bill Black with the Bill Black Combo in 1960. He wrote and released the single "I Can Help" in 1974 which topped the US charts for two weeks.  Scotty has played and engineered on several of his albums since the '70s and they remain friends to this day.


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore and James Lott - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

James Lott and Scotty have been friends for years.  He's the head engineer at Sun now and though not related, bears a similar name to Jimmie Lott, the drummer who recorded with Scotty and Elvis at Sun years ago.  James was a big help to Scotty when Scotty and Carl Perkins recorded "706 ReUnion" at Sun, which was the first time Scotty had recorded in years.


Ronnie McDowell and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Ronnie McDowell and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Ronnie has been friends with Scotty since Scotty returned to performing live in the early '90s.  Though really a country artist in his own right, both Scotty and D.J. regularly perform with him and his band on his Tribute to Elvis shows.  In addition Ronnie has done the singing voice of Elvis in many TV shows and movies. In fact, Curb records will be releasing his new album, "The E Connection" in August recorded in Scotty's studio last April.  It was only natural for him to fill in on vocals for the performance here at the concert.


Steve Shepherd - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Ronnie McDowell and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Dave Smith and Billy Swan - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Dave Smith, a veteran of the late Luther Allison's recording band, is one of the Memphis area's top players and session musicians.  He played bass with the band on this set and then again later in the day with Billy Swan and James Lott.


James Lott, Ronnie McDowell and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Steve Shepherd - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


D.J. Fontana - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Almost as accidentally as Elvis, Scotty and Bill found their sound in "That's All Right" in 1954, it was Bill Black that inspired the flip side of that single with his up-tempo'd interpretation of "Blue Moon of Kentucky".  It was only fitting that Bill's family were there 50 years later to sing along to it on stage.


Bill Black's granddaughter and children (Leigh Ann, Nancy and Lewis) - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Bill Black's daughters Nancy and Leigh Ann with Ronnie McDowall - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Ronnie McDowell - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

During the performance of "That's All Right" Ronnie also got a little help from the crowd.  


James Lott, Scotty Moore , Steve Shepherd and DJ Fontana - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


James Lott and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Ronnie McDowell and James Lott - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


James Lott and Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy


Scotty Moore - July 5, 2004
Photo James V. Roy

Though they only performed five songs, the set was very well received and it definitely set the pace for the entertainment to follow.  The rest of the line up for the day's music was as follows:

  • 12:15 - Sam the Sham

  • 12:30 - The Bluff City Backsliders

  • 1:15 - Young Agent Jones

  • 2:00 - David Brookings

  • 2:30 - BOA

  • 3:00 - The Rumblejets

  • 4:00 - Jerry King & The Riverboat Ramblers

  • 5:00 - Stan Perkins

  • 6:00 - Billy Swan

  • 7:00 - Billy Lee Riley & J.M. Van Eaton

  • 8:00 - Rock a' Billy Country

  • 9:00 - Sonny Burgess & The Pacers

  • 10:00 - Ace Cannon

  • 11:00 - Turbo 350


Some of the other performances of the day (click each to enlarge)

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Photos James V. Roy

Unfortunately we weren't able to get photos of all the bands that played that day but if any of you were there and took or posted some let us know and we'll try to put them up or link them.

 

All photos on this site (that we didn't borrow) unless otherwise indicated are the property of either Scotty Moore or James V. Roy and unauthorized use or reproduction is prohibited.

 
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