I’m my attempts to track down even the crumbled foundation of the “Rock House” featured on the cover of Roy Orbison’s 1961 Sun Records release, At the Rock House, I’ve reluctantly concluded that any physical construction of said house was completely built with fictional bricks. The term can be best described from the album’s back jacket, in good ‘ol black and white and well, soon to be read all over: You will find in this album a collection of Roy’s adventures on the Sun Label. We believe you’ll find it to be a real “Rock” house for dancing and listening. It gives us great pride to present a real talent great, along with a real fine boy – Roy Orbison!
One part feeling kind of lazy, mixed with a healthy dash of missing hype stickers, we’ll (briefly) stop to focus on this vibrant stamp on the left. This one is for Roy Orbison’s debut album from 1961, which received the RSD Black Friday treatment back in 2014. Numbered, limited, all that jazz, but most importantly, she’s an affordable way to enjoy this legendary artist’s first studio record. Thanks, hype sticker! You’ve done your job.
I’m excited to start my collection of reissue debut classics from the seminal four from Sun Records. First acquired is Roy Orbison’s At the Rock House (originally released in 1961). Somewhere in transit is Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1958 debut of the same name, and down the pike will be Dance Album of Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash’s With His Hot and Blue Guitar. As you can plainly see, Roy’s reissue is on rockin’ red vinyl, where Mr. Lewis’ is on sleek silver. Carl’s is on blue suede, and Cash’s on fire orange. A great (and cheap) way to acquire these rock n’ roll classics.
In 1984, Rhino Records, with exclusive license from Sun International Corporation, released this beautiful Greatest Hits album as a radiant picture disc. Long gone were the rights to Elvis, but each of the other legendary Sun Records icons are present. Roy Orbison doing Ooby Dooby, Carl Perkins doing Honey Don’t and Blue Suede Shoes, Billy Lee Riley doing Red Hot, Junior Parker with Feelin’ Good and Mystery Train, Jerry Lee Lewis with Great Balls of Fire and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, and of course, Johnny Cash with Folsom Prison Blues. It’s worth owning even if picture discs are prone to skip (and they are).
Many thanks to the previous, and anonymous owner of my copy of the Sun Records released, The Million Dollar Quartet, for mummifying this 1986 magazine article, shining light upon, arguably, the most prolific, and storied combination of talented musicians the modern age has ever witnessed. Celebrated evening reading material, for sure. Perhaps I’ll transcribe it someday… perhaps.