Photo taken in front of Phillips Studio on April 14, 2000. Jimmy Harrell, Alton Lott, Wray Hixson, Roland Janes, Bobby Joe Swilley and Don Pittman. This is the session where Alton & Jimmy recorded "Who Put The Rock In Roll?" that was included on RHOF CD Vol #5.
Let the good times "rock and roll" again - on May 21st, 1998, original Sun recording artists "Alton and Jimmy" slipped quietly into the old Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue and stood together behind the mike for the first time in 39 years - the emotion of the moment was almost overwhelming.
On April 5th, 1959, Alton Lott and Jimmy Harrell, two young men from Jackson, Mississippi, came to Memphis to make a record for Sam Phillips on his Sun label - came with stars in their eyes, visions of yellow Cadillacs and fame and fortune. Out of this session came Sun 323 "Have Faith In My Love" and "No More Crying The blues." The duo returned to the studio in June of that year to record four more songs, none of which were released by Phillips at that time. With music moving in a different direction from country-rock (or Rockabilly, as it is now called) at the end of the fifties, Alton and Jimmy returned to Jackson to prepare for an upcoming Louisiana Hayride road tour with Johnny Horton. Fate stepped in - the untimely death of Johnny Horton and Jimmy's recall to active duty in the Navy - Alton and Jimmy were no more. The ride was over, but the memory and their Sun music lived on and on and on.
Throughout the 70's and 80's Alton and Jimmy's music was re-released and issued and re-issued. Then fate stepped in again. Alton and Jimmy and their song, the flip side of Sun 323 "No More Crying The Blues" were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. From that single event came the knowledge that Alton and Jimmy's music was alive and well with fans throughout the U.K., Germany, Holland, Japan, Finland, many other parts of the world, and the States. The recent release on Bear Family, Charly, and AVI Records of five of their songs on CDs (which according to Valley Music and DNA are "selling like hotcakes!") has left their fans clamoring for personal appearances and prompted stateside record companies to make offers to record a new album. Thus, the reunion on May 21st, 1998, in Memphis - and what a rare treat it was for the fans in the Sun studio when word spread that Alton and Jimmy were there! The ensuing three-hour autograph and photo session "was as thrilling an event as I have been a part of in 39 years," related Jimmy. "We look forward to singing and playing again. You know, you just can't ever take the rock out of an old rocker!" Alton, overcome by emotion, said "I just can't believe we are together again in this studio. It's just amazing." The busload of U.K. fans certainly helped to make the occasion more memorable as their enthusiasm to get pictures and make movies of Alton and Jimmy stopped traffic on Union Avenue. Even with a tight schedule, the duo took the time to share memories and future plans with all who asked - and ended with a presentation of their official promo photograph to Sun Studio representative, Mark Bell. After being treated to cheeseburgers, french fries, and malts in the Sun Studio Restaurant, Alton and Jimmy left Memphis for Jackson, Mississippi and their first gig together in 39 years. They're hot! They're back! They're TOGETHER AGAIN!By Lee, June 3, 1998
IN SEPTEMBER 1998, Alton and Jimmy and The SunRise entered the legendary Sun Studio and recorded "ROCKIN' IN THE SHADOW OF SUN," a tribute to Sun Records written by Jimmy Harrell and Alton Lott. This song is track #7 on Rockabilly Hall of Fame CD, Vol. 2. Alton & Jimmy And The SunRise. Back row: L to R: Jimmy Harrell, Alton Lott, Don Pittman (piano), Bobby Joe Swilley (drums).
Front row: Wray Hixson (bass), Sonny Strohm (sax), Jimbo Harwell (rhythm guitar), Buddy Harwell (drums), and Monte Lott (guitar).
Alton & Jimmy recommend you visit the The Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, a non-profit corporation. Its major activities include researching successful Mississippi musicians, distributing information over the Internet about their work, education school children about Mississippi's musical heritage and sponsoring a writer's contest for school children on Mississippi musicians. In the future, the Hall of Fame will exhibit memorabilia collected from famous Mississippi musicians and publish a text on their achievements.
©Rockabilly Hall of Fame¨