Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Third Man Records to Release Sun Records Reissue Series, Beginning With Rufus Thomas, The Prisonaires and Johnny Cash

Posted By on Tue, May 14, 2013 at 1:30 PM

We're not even to 2013's halfway mark, and already Jack White's Nashville-based Third Man Records has had what could be called its biggest year yet. They've released singles from artists both established and relatively unknown, launched an avant-garde film series, signed a new (but old-timey) artist, unveiled a fancy little mid-century recording booth doohickey, hosted a pair of pretty special secret shows and signed on to release the Great Gatsby soundtrack. As a matter of fact, they also launched a series of Document Records reissues, releasing music from legendary bluesmen like Charley Patton and Blind Willie McTell.

Well, continuing that trend of unearthing and repackaging important American releases, Third Man has just announced that they will soon reissue a series of 45s from the catalog of Memphis' great Sun Records. The first three releases in the series — available for pre-order beginning today with an official release date of May 21 — will be Rufus Thomas' "Bear Cat" b/w "Walking in the Rain," The Prisonaires' "Baby Please" b/w "Just Walkin' in the Rain" (more on The Prisonaires' fascinating story here) and Johnny Cash's "Get Rhythm" b/w "I Walk The Line." That pre-order is for black-vinyl versions of the 45s, which TMR promises will remain "faithful to its original issue on Sun, replicating the classic logo and label design coupled with a striking Sun company sleeve that dutifully employs the rooster Sam Philips lamented losing as labels switched from 78's to 45's." There's also, however, a limited and special-edition "sun-ray vinyl" version of the 45 that will be available only via Third Man's Rolling Record Store and "random mail orders." Here are the deets on that:

The limited edition versions of these singles will be an eye-catching yellow and black splatter configuration we're lovingly calling sun-ray vinyl. They will be limited to 150 copies per title. 100 copies of each of the limited versions will be sold from the Rolling Record store on May 28, 29, and 30th. The 28th we will sell the lmtd Johnny Cash single at Sun Records in Memphis TN, 29th will be Rufus Thomas at Please and Thank You in Louisville KY, and on the 30th we will sell The Prisonaires Sun Ray at Luna Records in Indianapolis. As always 50 copies of each limited edition record will go in random mail orders for the standard edition vinyl through the Third Man website. Please stay tuned to the Rolling Record Store Twitter account for updates on these sales.

So, what Sun artists might TMR feature in future bundles? Carl Perkins? The King? Roy Orbison? Fingers crossed for "I Was a Fool."

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