Texas Bill Strength, SUN Sessions
Webb Pierce & Texas Bill Strength

The late Bill Strength had long left his Houston, Texas origins behind him by tHe time he came to record for Sun in July 1960. In fact, he had also left his Memphis connection behind and was working out of Minneapolis - St. Paul when he was persuaded by Cecil Scaife, Sun's promotional manager, to come to Memphis to record. Strength had made his name as a country music DJ in various locations in the 1940s before travelling all across the USA singing at conventions and union meetings for the Congress of Industrial Organisations. In the aerly 1950s, he settled in Atlanta, Georgia. There he gained a recording contract with Coral Records and had several minor hits, notably 'You Can't Have My Love', a duet with Tabby West.

He was working at KWAM in West Memphis in the mid-1950s and was a friend to Sun Records during their formative years (and covered 'Turn Mound' and 'Cry, Cry, Cry' for Capitol). He was the second most popular country DJ in town, following Sleepy-Eyed John Lepley. In 1956, he moved to Minneapolis where he also hosted a children's TV show called 'Adventure Time With Texas Bill'.

Strength had a strong singing voice rooted in the mainstream of country music styles and his 'Guess I'd Better Go' was a strong contender on Sun in 1960 although ultimately his association with the label went nowhere. He recorded one or two interesting songs that were not issued at the time, particularly Stan Kesler's 'Call Of The Wild' which Warren Smith turned into a hit on Liberty Records. Both 'Guess I'd Better Go' and 'Call Of The Wild' are included in the boxed set "Sun into the Sixties'.

Source: Interview with Bill Strength, 1974 by Martin Hawkins

On July 19, 1960 Bill completed a session for Sun at 639 Madison, Memphis, Tennessee.

Known personel:

Texas Bill Strength - vocal
Scotty Moore - guitar
D.J. Fontana - Drums
R.W. Stevenson - bass
Larry Mohoberac - piano

Recorded tracks:

  • Guess I'd better go (Sun 346) *
  • Senorita (Sun 346)
  • No more listening (unissued)
  • Nothing is sweeter than you (unissued)
  • Timber man (unissued)
  • You can't hurt me anymore (unissued)
  • Call of the wild *

* issued on Charly LP "Tennessee Country" (CR30150) and Sunbox 109 "Sun into the Sixties".