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  • Heathens - Steady Girl (Take 1) / Steady Girl (Take 2) (7 single/EP)


    Saturday, December 8th, 1956:

    Four days after Elvis, Carl, Johnny, and Jerry Lee recorded the ‘Million Dollar Quartet Session’, five East High School students known as The Heathens (named after 15 year-old lead singer Colin Heath) entered Sun Studio to record a song he had written with a female classmate (and rhythm guitar player) Kaye Garren called “Steady Girl”.  Classmen Roger Fakes played lead guitar and Joe Bauer (later of The Youngbloods) played drums. David Gibson played piano on one of two takes.

    Sam Phillips was probably not there that day, so it is likely that Jack Clement or Marion Keisker produced the session, but there’s no way to ever know for certain. Both takes were cut straight to a 78 rpm acetate disc (live with no overdubs and no mixing) as these teenagers banged away inside Sun Studio on that weekend afternoon.  When the smoke cleared, both takes of “Steady Girl” were too raw even by Sun Records standards, so the Heathens were never called back and the lacquer master remained unheard.  Sixty-three years later, it’s easy to wax romantic about a lost and primitive rock & roll recording, but considering the time, place, energy, and innocence, I’ve never heard anything like this before. I consider this record to be the first garage rock recording of all time.

    – Frank Bruno

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