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Class of '55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming
|Class of '55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming|
|Studio album by|
|Released||May 26, 1986|
|Recorded||September 17–20, 1985|
|Genre||Country, country rock, rockabilly, rock and roll, gospel|
|Roy Orbison chronology|
|Johnny Cash chronology|
|Singles from Class of '55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming|
Class of '55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming is collaborative studio album by Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash. it was released on May 26, 1986, by America/Smash Records, a subsidiary of Polygram Records. The album was produced by Chips Moman.
While the album was in part a tribute to Elvis Presley, it was mainly a commemoration of those young performing hopefuls, the four album participants, who — as had Presley — all began their careers with Sun Records in the 1950s. Recorded at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios and completed at American Sound Studios, the album was documented by Dick Clark Productions, which filmed it from start to finish; by The Commercial Appeal, the Mid-South's largest circulation newspaper; and by Nine-O-One Network Magazine, the first edition of which was sold with the album in a telemarketing package.
The final song of the session, "Big Train (from Memphis)", written by John Fogerty, includes the blended voices of John Fogerty, The Judds, Dave Edmunds, Ricky Nelson, Sam Phillips, and June Carter Cash. Fogerty told a reporter that he was thinking about the old Sun Records sound when he wrote the song. The extended finale of the song features the singers singing lines from various Sun Records songs, including "That's All Right Mama", "Blue Suede Shoes," "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", "Folsom Prison Blues" and others.
Producer Chips Moman encountered a major issue following the recording sessions, as Cash was still under contract to Columbia Records at the time and proper permissions had not been obtained. Faced with the possibility of having to remove Cash's voice from the recordings, Moman paid Columbia $100,000 for the rights to keep Cash on the record. At this time, the America/Smash label was affiliated with PolyGram, which in turn also owned Mercury Records to which Cash would sign shortly after recording Class of '55.
The recorded "Interviews from the Class of '55 Recording Sessions," written and produced by Rose Clayton, earned the 1986 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for the four performers, plus for producer Chips Moman, Sam Phillips and Ricky Nelson. For Nelson, it was his last recording session and only Grammy Award of his career.
After being out of print for decades, the album was re-released separately and as part of the Cash box set “The Complete Mercury Recordings: 1986-1991.”
- Johnny Cash — vocals, rhythm guitar
- Carl Perkins — vocals, rhythm guitar, lead guitar
- Jerry Lee Lewis — vocals, piano
- Roy Orbison — vocals
- Jack Clement, Marty Stuart — background vocals, guitar
- Reggie Young, Bob Wootton, Kenneth Lovelace, J.R. Cobb — guitar
- Memphis Strings — strings
- Ace Cannon, Wayne Jackson, Jack Hale, Jr., Bob Lewin — horns
- Bobby Emmons — keyboards, Synclavier
- Mike Leech, Bob Moore — bass
- Gene Chrisman, WS Holland, Buddy Harman — drums
- Toni Wine, Paul Davis, Dan Penn, Rebecca Evans, Chips Moman, Reba Russell - backing vocals
- Sam Philips, June Carter Cash, John Fogerty, Dave Edmunds, The Judds, Rick Nelson — backing vocals on "Big Train (From Memphis)"
Chart performance and ratings
|U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums||15|
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