In the 1950’s Sun Records were the go-to label for rock and roll/country crossover. Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, and Elvis himself recorded at Sun. Since Sun’s heyday in the 50’s they have remained predominantly as a catalogue of the historic music they released. With no shortage of hits and history, Sun has existed by merely churning out hits of the past, until this year. During the CMA fan festival, Julie Roberts announced her latest album, ‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’ to be released on Sun on October 29th.
Sun Records changed country music. It blurred the lines between genres, and introduced artists that would change country music forever. Johnny Cash and Jack Clement, to name only two, would forever change country music with their rock and roll inflections. Were it not for Sun Records, the outlaw movement may have never occurred, we may not have known The Man in Black, and never encountered the supergroup The Highwaymen.
So why have such a historic record label chosen to release an album by Julie Roberts? According to the Sun website ‘The Roberts release on the Sun label is a result of a licensing arrangement between Sun and Sorted Noise.’ Both the label and artist have recognised the opportunity available to them. For Julie Roberts, it is a chance to release new music on a historic label, and for Sun, it presents an opportunity to be on the verge of releasing a new, incredible talent to the country world.
In 2004 Julie Roberts released her debut single: ‘Break Down Here.’ It reached top twenty, but unfortunately, it was her only top 40 single. Her bluesy vocal wowed fans, and released a follow-up album ‘Men and Mascara’ in 2006, before parting ways with her major record label. Fans stood by Roberts through two independent releases, and now the artist will become a part of country music history.
‘Good Wine and Bad Decisions’ will be the first full release from Sun in 40 years. The label have cannily chosen a clearly talented, yet underrated artist. Their preparation and promotion of the album have also been decidedly modern. Over 400 fans have funded Julie Roberts latest project. Using a site called Pledge Music, fans have preordered and paid for the album prior to its release.
Choosing an artist as undeniably as talented as Julie Roberts has ensured Sun Record’s credibility as a record label. The songs ‘pledgers’ have listened to tracks from the album, which fuse country and Motown sounds, and evoke memories of artists such as Bobbie Gentry. This album will go down in history, as both the resurgence of Sun Records, and Julie Roberts.