Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - So Blue / You'd Better Get Right

(Mercury 70612) Apr 1955

So Blue
You'd Better Get Right So Blue - Generic 45 sleeve Billboard mag. advert 30th April 1955

This 7" seems to have been rush released, having been recorded as part of the session on 5th April 1955, and advertised in Billboard mag a little over three weeks later, on the 30th April.

Billboard reviewed the single on 21st May 1955, giving it a score of 71 and describing So Blue as "Authentic country sound is in these grooves. The Stanley Brothers, a trio (?!?), are backed by the Clinch Mountain Boys. Real C&W, deejays will like." The flip side, You'd Better Get Right was simply described as "Same fine country sound on this side."[1]

On the label So Blue is credited to Ralph, but in a 2008 interview with Peggy C. Bland (Ralph's second wife), she named the song as one she had written "all on my own" adding, "Elvis wanted the song. I'm not sure why they didn't go along with it. I think maybe they didn't want to be seen as too rock and roll. I wish he had done it."[2]

You'd Better Get Right is credited to Bill Monroe, although he never recorded the song as far as I can tell... In Mike Seeger's 1966 interview with Carter,[3] the song is mentioned:-

Carter:- "Bill's had some wonderful ideas for songs that never come out and yet never will, he forgets them y'know. And I know when I, in the little short time I worked with him we would write a few songs, start to write songs together and some of 'em I would remember and I'd finish them y'know, even after I'd left him. I'd finish the songs and give him half the publishing deal on it.
Mike:- Would you care to name a couple of them
Carter:- This Weary Heart You Stole Away.. and let's see..., no I believe I'm wrong on that one... it's Say Won't You Be Mine that we done on the same session as This Weary Heart, and let's see there's others but I can't remember them Mike, there's likely two or three more.
Mike:- You wrote or sang one of his songs, You'd Better Get Right?
Carter:- Yeah, now all I knew of that song was the chorus and after I left Bill we wanted to record it and I didn't know the verses he used. And I just kindly took a word here and there from what I'd heard him do and added a few words to 'em and done our version. So I gave him credit for the writer, as the the writer of the song 'cause I think that was right. It was his idea, his tune and everything. We're always kidding each other about things like that.

Both side of the 7" can now be found on The Complete Mercury Recordings 2xCD set.


For a detailed breakdown and background to the Stanley's sessions, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 50-51, 56 and 72-73.

Original Release:
So Blue
05 Apr 1955
Mercury 70612 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph 'Joe' Meadows
Jim Williams
Bill Lowe

R. Stanley / Peggy Stanley
You'd Better Get Right
05 Apr 1955
Mercury 70612 Carter Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph 'Joe' Meadows
Jim Williams
Bill Lowe

Bill Monroe

Go To Top Of Page [1] https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ChwEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA30&lpg=PA30&dq=mercury+70612+billboard&source=bl&ots=IkHn39FH8p&sig=w412a2dRIUCU3ktevBWAh2cXJDk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEj5zQnKHUAhUMJMAKHXo6DTMQ6AEIKjAB#v=onepage&q=mercury%2070612%20billboard&f=true
[2] David W. Johnson's book "Lonesome Melodies - The Lives And Music Of The Stanley Brothers" (p. 179)
[3] At around 1:20 on the tape. You can hear the interview on youtube: https://youtu.be/YikIUZandsA. I've also attempted to clean some of the noise and you can download an MP3 of the result here (it's saved as a 67Mb zip file).