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Dusty Brooks and His Tones

Dusty Brooks and His Tones Biography

SUN-182 remains one of the most obscure and, ultimately, one of the most disliked records ever issued by Sun. Could this material actually have been recorded by the same man who had just issued “Bear Cat” and was holding preliminary sessions with Little Junior Parker?

Actually, the answer is no. If it’s any consolation, SUN-182 was sent to Sam by his then partner, Jim Bulleit. Whether it was recorded by Bulleit in Nashville or acquired from the west coast is unclear, although the fact that the contracts were mailed to Los Angeles suggests the latter. Phillips was simply trying to survive by covering all his bases, from the back-porch crowd to the nightclub patrons. It was clear which of those audiences Dusty Brooks and Juanita Brown were destined for. Actually, Brooks was no stranger to the entertainment business. He had previously recorded and enjoyed some limited success on the west coast, where he had also won some fame as an actor in black films. The Vegas lounge act sound of “Heaven or Fire,” or the torchy crooning of “Tears and Wine” were in no way out of character for Brooks. Rather, it is collectors who have trouble reconciling this form of black music with what they know and love most about Sun.

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