Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

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Act01
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Act01 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:50 pm

Mister Moon wrote:
Jukebox wrote:
Act01 wrote: I'm trying to find out more about her technical ability. Someone had to see her in the control room at some point.

Jerry Lee Lewis perhaps?... after all, he's the "last man standing".


Drummers Jimmy Van Eaton and W. S. Holland, who also coincided with Keisker at 706, are still around too, and they would be more accessible than Jerry Lee.

Marion left Sun circa September 1957. See this older topic :

Marion Keisker - "From Sun to Blue Yonder" - 1957
http://www.theelvisforum-phoenix.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2778

Great ideas. Thank you!

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Mister Moon » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:59 pm

Act01 wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
Jukebox wrote:
Act01 wrote: I'm trying to find out more about her technical ability. Someone had to see her in the control room at some point.

Jerry Lee Lewis perhaps?... after all, he's the "last man standing".


Drummers Jimmy Van Eaton and W. S. Holland, who also coincided with Keisker at 706, are still around too, and they would be more accessible than Jerry Lee.

Marion left Sun circa September 1957. See this older topic :

Marion Keisker - "From Sun to Blue Yonder" - 1957
http://www.theelvisforum-phoenix.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2778

Great ideas. Thank you!


My pleasure !

It looks like Van Eaton and Holland could be contacted easily :


http://www.wsflukeholland.com/bookinginquiry.html

https://www.facebook.com/JMVanEatonDrummer/



Should you try to contact them, please do let us know if you get any answers from them.


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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Act01 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:38 pm

Mister Moon wrote:Should you try to contact them, please do let us know if you get any answers from them.

Got through to JM. He didn't know much cause he was there Marion's later years (and when she left). He did say for her to operate the tape machine would have been pretty easy. The gear setup was pretty much set so not adjusting much between sessions. But he never saw Marion around the equipment.

Here's my theory... I think that once the studio had a name for itself (between Rocket 88 and Elvis) Sam and Marion were pretty established in their roles. I'm sure she was busy as studio manager plus they had the radio station going (WHER) and maybe even responsibilities to WREC. But, at the beginning, they were just a business trying to get off the ground and both of them chipped in wherever they could. Both of them had shows/responsibilities at WREC when the studio opened so it would make sense that Marion might be around alone just for the sake of having the doors open and trying to get business. It's extremely likely that Marion was doing some sort of recording in those early years (and no one seems to dispute that) - she certainly wasn't a trained engineer but it would seem silly to turn business away if all she needed to do was flip a few switches.

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Mister Moon » Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:47 pm

Act01 wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Should you try to contact them, please do let us know if you get any answers from them.

Got through to JM. He didn't know much cause he was there Marion's later years (and when she left). He did say for her to operate the tape machine would have been pretty easy. The gear setup was pretty much set so not adjusting much between sessions. But he never saw Marion around the equipment.

Here's my theory... I think that once the studio had a name for itself (between Rocket 88 and Elvis) Sam and Marion were pretty established in their roles. I'm sure she was busy as studio manager plus they had the radio station going (WHER) and maybe even responsibilities to WREC. But, at the beginning, they were just a business trying to get off the ground and both of them chipped in wherever they could. Both of them had shows/responsibilities at WREC when the studio opened so it would make sense that Marion might be around alone just for the sake of having the doors open and trying to get business. It's extremely likely that Marion was doing some sort of recording in those early years (and no one seems to dispute that) - she certainly wasn't a trained engineer but it would seem silly to turn business away if all she needed to do was flip a few switches.


Many thanks for the update.

Just for the record, WHER radio started its operations on Saturday, October 22, 1955 :



551029.JPG
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby John » Tue Jan 24, 2023 9:58 am

Mister Moon wrote:
Act01 wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Should you try to contact them, please do let us know if you get any answers from them.

Got through to JM. He didn't know much cause he was there Marion's later years (and when she left). He did say for her to operate the tape machine would have been pretty easy. The gear setup was pretty much set so not adjusting much between sessions. But he never saw Marion around the equipment.

Here's my theory... I think that once the studio had a name for itself (between Rocket 88 and Elvis) Sam and Marion were pretty established in their roles. I'm sure she was busy as studio manager plus they had the radio station going (WHER) and maybe even responsibilities to WREC. But, at the beginning, they were just a business trying to get off the ground and both of them chipped in wherever they could. Both of them had shows/responsibilities at WREC when the studio opened so it would make sense that Marion might be around alone just for the sake of having the doors open and trying to get business. It's extremely likely that Marion was doing some sort of recording in those early years (and no one seems to dispute that) - she certainly wasn't a trained engineer but it would seem silly to turn business away if all she needed to do was flip a few switches.


Many thanks for the update.

Just for the record, WHER radio started its operations on Saturday, October 22, 1955 :



551029.JPG

That's Marion second from left, but who are the others? (posted by Theo Pantjes on FB).
WHER.jpg
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Mister Moon » Tue Jan 24, 2023 10:13 am

John wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
Act01 wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Should you try to contact them, please do let us know if you get any answers from them.

Got through to JM. He didn't know much cause he was there Marion's later years (and when she left). He did say for her to operate the tape machine would have been pretty easy. The gear setup was pretty much set so not adjusting much between sessions. But he never saw Marion around the equipment.

Here's my theory... I think that once the studio had a name for itself (between Rocket 88 and Elvis) Sam and Marion were pretty established in their roles. I'm sure she was busy as studio manager plus they had the radio station going (WHER) and maybe even responsibilities to WREC. But, at the beginning, they were just a business trying to get off the ground and both of them chipped in wherever they could. Both of them had shows/responsibilities at WREC when the studio opened so it would make sense that Marion might be around alone just for the sake of having the doors open and trying to get business. It's extremely likely that Marion was doing some sort of recording in those early years (and no one seems to dispute that) - she certainly wasn't a trained engineer but it would seem silly to turn business away if all she needed to do was flip a few switches.


Many thanks for the update.

Just for the record, WHER radio started its operations on Saturday, October 22, 1955 :



551029.JPG

That's Marion second from left, but who are the others? (posted by Theo Pantjes on FB).
WHER.jpg


At right in front is Rebecca Phillips, Sam's wife.

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby John » Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:17 am

Mister Moon wrote:
John wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
Act01 wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:Should you try to contact them, please do let us know if you get any answers from them.

Got through to JM. He didn't know much cause he was there Marion's later years (and when she left). He did say for her to operate the tape machine would have been pretty easy. The gear setup was pretty much set so not adjusting much between sessions. But he never saw Marion around the equipment.

Here's my theory... I think that once the studio had a name for itself (between Rocket 88 and Elvis) Sam and Marion were pretty established in their roles. I'm sure she was busy as studio manager plus they had the radio station going (WHER) and maybe even responsibilities to WREC. But, at the beginning, they were just a business trying to get off the ground and both of them chipped in wherever they could. Both of them had shows/responsibilities at WREC when the studio opened so it would make sense that Marion might be around alone just for the sake of having the doors open and trying to get business. It's extremely likely that Marion was doing some sort of recording in those early years (and no one seems to dispute that) - she certainly wasn't a trained engineer but it would seem silly to turn business away if all she needed to do was flip a few switches.


Many thanks for the update.

Just for the record, WHER radio started its operations on Saturday, October 22, 1955 :



551029.JPG

That's Marion second from left, but who are the others? (posted by Theo Pantjes on FB).
WHER.jpg


At right in front is Rebecca Phillips, Sam's wife.

Thanks. Anyone know any of the others?

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Colin B » Tue Jan 24, 2023 12:01 pm

With the annoying text absent:

Sam Phillips - Elvis - Marion Keisker - no text.jpg
23rd September 1956
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby AndresVanKujik » Tue Jan 24, 2023 6:40 pm

I have no doubt that Marion Keisker is the individual responsible for Elvis' career (of course, if we have to say which woman is responsible for us having Elvis, that crown has to go to Gladys Presley). I do have another theory about thos eearly Sun acetates but due to the amount of egos here I fear ridicule for mentioning it, so will keep it to myself!

As for Marion and the original question, why would she lie or embellish? I don't think she has ever gained greatly by her claims. Elvis seemed to credit her, so it all rings true to me. She needs a higher place in Elvis heirachy.
How much are you gonna pay my boy??

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby John » Tue Jan 24, 2023 7:36 pm

AndresVanKujik wrote:I have no doubt that Marion Keisker is the individual responsible for Elvis' career (of course, if we have to say which woman is responsible for us having Elvis, that crown has to go to Gladys Presley). I do have another theory about thos eearly Sun acetates but due to the amount of egos here I fear ridicule for mentioning it, so will keep it to myself!

As for Marion and the original question, why would she lie or embellish? I don't think she has ever gained greatly by her claims. Elvis seemed to credit her, so it all rings true to me. She needs a higher place in Elvis heirachy.

I don't think this forum has the egos that others have. In fact one of the rules is that members leave their egos at the door. Feel free to say what you want.

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Colin B » Tue Jan 24, 2023 11:37 pm

AndresVanKujik wrote:I have no doubt that Marion Keisker is the individual responsible for Elvis' career (of course, if we have to say which woman is responsible for us having Elvis, that crown has to go to Gladys Presley). I do have another theory about thos eearly Sun acetates but due to the amount of egos here I fear ridicule for mentioning it, so will keep it to myself!

As for Marion and the original question, why would she lie or embellish? I don't think she has ever gained greatly by her claims. Elvis seemed to credit her, so it all rings true to me. She needs a higher place in Elvis heirachy.


It's pretty certain that Marion Keisker recorded his first acetate.

What's less reported is that she had a lady friend with her when she did it.

Years later, when Sam was looking for a singer to record a cover of Jimmy Sweeny's 'Without You', by a strange coincidence, this friend was present at Sun again, & said to Marion "What about that kid with the sideburns ?"

All that seems to be known about the mystery woman is that she had a son in the navy.
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby kevanbudd » Wed Jan 25, 2023 2:04 am

An account of the mystery woman and her Sailor son can be found in the 1956 magazine `Elvis Presley speaks`.

Elvis presley speaks 1956 magazine, Robert Johnson.jpg


Below we have an excerpt from writer Jerry Hopkins previously unpublished research files, which appears to be based on his interviews with Marion around 1970. We hear roughly the same story but do get some additional details, such as - the sailor was also a songwriter and where he was based at that time, etc.

Writer Jerry Hopkins notes on Marion and the unknown woman.jpg
Jerry Hopkins notes on Marion and the unknown woman.

Kevan Budd.
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Yin Yang » Wed Jan 25, 2023 7:38 am

Interesting that already in 1956 when memory was still fresh "Casual love affair" and "I'll never stand in your way" are mentioned as Elvis' second private acetate made. In the meantime this has proven to be wrong, while the titles for the first acetate were correct.
Just like the day after the "Million Dollar Quartet" the newspaper article mentioned songs that were not on the tapes found, while these tapes were full of songs not mentioned.
Then there is the mystery of Johnny Cash' presence. He is seen on photo but not heard on the tapes. I think there is at least one tape "missing" or unreleased.
Shelby Singleton at a rock and roll convention in 1981 mentioned the bootleggers had 30 minutes of 2 1/2 hours (!) and in the meantime we got about 90 minutes so perhaps that is the tape or tapes with Johnny Cash.
It was claimed by Ernst Jorgensen that on that tape or those tapes the sound quality is poor and there is a lot of talking. But when RCA can release "Having fun with Elvis on stage" I do not mind if they release "Having fun during the Million Dollar Quartet". Preferably during my lifetime!

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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Colin B » Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:12 pm

kevanbudd wrote:An account of the mystery woman and her Sailor son can be found in the 1956 magazine `Elvis Presley speaks`.....


Thanks !

More-or-less bears out the 'mystery woman' scenario !

My version had her at the studio that second time, but yours [probably more accurately] has her 'bumping into' Marion in the street !

If only the woman's name had been known, she might have become part of rock history !
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Re: Marion Keisker - did she record the first disks?

Postby Mister Moon » Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:11 pm

Yin Yang wrote:Interesting that already in 1956 when memory was still fresh "Casual love affair" and "I'll never stand in your way" are mentioned as Elvis' second private acetate made. In the meantime this has proven to be wrong, while the titles for the first acetate were correct.


I have never believed the "wrong title" theory, and I believe there was a third acetate made, the one we know, where Elvis, for some reason, decided to re-cut one of the songs.

Sadly, this may never be solved, unless the acetate surfaces somewhere, which seems unlikely, almost 70 years later. Also, all the participants are long gone, so we have nobody to ask.


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