EDDIE SULIK (By Tony Wilkinson)
Born 02 October 1929
Died 09 December 1965, Connecticut
Eddie Sulik is a name that I first became acquainted with approximately three years ago with the release of the first of two compilations of his recordings 'A Farewell Legacy' which revealed a singing voice with the crystal clear quality and plaintive emotion of Marty Robbins (as well as bearing a passing resemblance to Teddy Randazzo). Regrettably there is not an extensive catalogue of Sulik recordings but what there is well worth a listen.
Eddie first recorded for Columbia in 1959 along with George Kiriakis as a duo by the name of The Echoes. The four sides laid down were released in 1960 and reveal an Everly Brothers tinged styling. 'Loving And Losing' is a plaintive ballad, 'Bye-Bye My Baby' is a snappy light rocker whilst 'Do I Love You? (Deed I Do)' is more substantial and features a cracking guitar break. The remaining Columbia cut is 'Ecstasy' is a Latin rhythm ballad complete with good harmony vocals overlaying a fine guitar support. These were all recorded in Nashville and Hank Garland and Grady Martin backed the two guys on guitars along with Buddy Harman on drums and Joe Zinkan on bass. Unfortunately neither record was a national commercial success, no doubt probably getting caught up in the backwash of the payola scandal but did manage to gain regional popularity.
The Echoes broke up in 1961 and Sulik carried on as a solo act with residencies at the Emerald Room and the Soundview Hotel on the beach in Milford, Connecticut. It was during this time he laid down numerous demo recordings seeking to gain a recording contract. The style of material recorded ranged from teen ballads such as 'Puppy Love', 'Where Can Se Be' and 'Heartbeat' (all Sulik originals), a honky tonk version of 'Lovesick Blues' through to the rockin' 'Twist All Night' (aka ''We're Gonna Dance All Night') and 'Lover'. There were also easy country rockers with 'Only Foolin' and 'Make You Mine' along with the Latin edged country of 'Anna Marie'. The Marty Robbins influence is well to the fore with 'Bounty Hunter Dale' whilst 'Hard Rock Hattie' is not dissimilar to Ray Stanley's 'Market Place'.
There are other recordings in these various styles that were all collected together for a meeting with Archie Bleyer of Cadence Records and Chet Atkins in New York City two weeks before Christmas in 1965. Unfortunately Eddie was killed in car accident just hours away from this meeting and these recordings lay dormant for the next thirty-five years.
That would have been the end of the Eddie Sulik legacy but for the efforts of Eddie's son Edward Michael Sulik who, along with his wife and others, restored these recordings and (along with the aforementioned Columbia sides) issued them on the Hard Rock Hattie Productions label. There are two releases, both of which are worth seeking out. The second, 'Sweet Memories', has exemplary packaging and comprises a 15 track CD in a 45 rpm size gate-fold sleeve, good photographs, fold out poster, a made up juke box strip and a special edition vinyl 45 record. Both of these collections can be obtained by visiting the web-site www.eddiesulik.com.
Sulik possessed a great voice and it makes one wonder what would have been if his talent had become better known.
Hard Rock Hattie Productions LS 1000-003 - 'A Farewell Legacy' issued in 2000
Hard Rock Hattie Productions LS 1000-002 - 'Sweet Memories' issued in 2001.
For a review of "Sweet Memories" see:
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