Recording 706 ReUnion with Carl

Scotty and Carl discuss doing an album - Sept. 26, 1989
photo courtesy Alan L. Mayor

Scotty signing a guitar for David Conrad - Sept. 26, 1989
photo courtesy Alan L. Mayor

I hadn't seen Carl for several years, and it must have been around 1990 when a friend of mine, David Conrad, had a little party for Carl.  The Judds had recorded one of his songs which was a smash and Carl played on it*.  So anyway, David called and invited me over.  So I went over and was chatting with Carl about getting together and doing something.  I had recorded with Carl one other time in 1975.  I did a session with him called E.P. Express.  In fact, I don't think I had seen him since 1975.  We made a promise, "Okay, we are going to do this thing; we'll get together".

Scotty, Carl, Emmy Lou Harris and Paul Kennerley -  Sept. 26, 1989
photo courtesy Alan L. Mayor

Paul Kennerley, Scotty, Carl, Brent Maher and David Conrad - Sept. 26, 1989
photo courtesy Alan L. Mayor

Very shortly after that is when the throat cancer hit Carl and put him out for about 18 months.  One day I picked up the phone to call him to see how he was doing.  He said, "Scott, I just came back from the doctor a few minutes ago, they think they got the cancer; they can't find any trace of it.  The radiation has burned out my saliva glands and my taste buds, but they assured me that would come back."  I told him, "That's fantastic.  Shoot, you'll be able to do that record we were going to do."  He said, "I'm ready now, let's do it."  This was February, 1992.  I said, "Where do you want to do it?"  He said, "I hear the ol' boy that's got the Sun Studio down there has been doing some recordings, and they tell me it sounds real good.  How about that?"  I said, "Fine with me."  So we went down there and spent a couple of days, basically just had a good old jam session and cut a few old tunes.  He wrote two or three on the spot.

Later in April, I took the sound track down to his house in Jackson and we did two or three more tunes there in his den.  We are just selling it mail order and its doing pretty good.  I had a record label years ago when I had the studio.  I've cranked that back up and we've put this project on my label, Belle Meade Records.  I thought we kind of come up with a good name for the album, Carl and Scotty 706 ReUnion.  The address of the old Sun Studio is 706 Union.  We call it it a "Sentimental Journey".  We didn't go in and try to cut a hit record, it was more of a documentary or just two old friends having a ball.

Scotty Moore
as told to Kevin Woods December 1993

Scotty with his 83 Super 400

Carl and Scotty with his 83 Super 400 and EchoSonic

Carl had worked in Sun Studio several times since the '50s, so he was more familiar with it than Scotty, who had not been inside the studio in nearly 30 years.  When he saw it, he was surprised at how little it had changed.**

"It was the same old room with acoustic tile on the wall and ceiling," says Scotty.  "Of course, it didn't have the same equipment. It needed a little paint and cleaning up."

Scotty and D.J. Fontana

In addition to Scotty and Carl, the lineup for the session included Carl's sons Stan and Greg, D.J. Fontana, Paul Burlison, James Lott, Donnie Baer, Johnny Black, Willie Rainsford, Joe Schenk and Marcus Van Storey.  Marcus was supposed to be in the hospital that week to check his heart but didn't want to miss this for the world.**

Gibson had sent over a recently re-introduced ES 295 for Scotty to use on the sessions but it had a Bigsby Tailpiece which he never cared for and it wasn't set up like the way he prefers his to be, to fit. Instead he used his 83 Super 400 and both his EchoSonic and Magnatone amplifiers for the sessions.

Scotty had suggested that Carl write a song about Sam Phillips for the session, reminding him how Sam always kept pushing you.  Carl grinned and said "Damn, Sam."   They did three sessions at Sun, with each lasting about five hours.  Among the songs they recorded were "Blue Suede Shoes," "Mystery Train," and "Damn Sam."  Since Carl was still recuperating, he couldn't sing for long periods of time.**  Not long after the release of this album Carl was booked to perform in Memphis and Scotty went with him.  It would mark his return to live performances

* The song recorded by the Judds that Scotty mentions is "Let Me Tell You about Love" written by Paul Kennerley, Brent Maher and Carl Perkins.  Paul was married to Emmy Lou Harris at the time.

** Excerpts from "That's Alright, Elvis" by Scotty Moore and James Dickerson


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