They didn't care what instruments you had, as long as people could dance." The Saturday Night Jamboree was a local stage show held every Saturday night at the Goodwyn Institute Auditorium in downtown Memphis, Tennessee in 1953–54.But of more historical significance were the then-unknown artists who came to perform at the Jamboree.Maddox said, "You've got to have somethin' they can tap their foot, or dance to, or to make 'em feel it." After World War II the band shifted into higher gear leaning more toward a whimsical honky-tonk feel, with a heavy, manic bottom end - the slap bass of Fred Maddox."They played hillbilly music but it sounded real hot.Soon these new sounds began to make their way out onto the stage of the Jamboree where they found a very receptive audience.Younger musicians around Memphis were beginning to play a mix of musical styles.The Honky Tonk sound, which "tended to focus on working-class life, with frequently tragic themes of lost love, adultery, loneliness, alcoholism, and self-pity", also included songs of energetic, uptempo Hillbilly Boogie.Some of the better known musicians who recorded and performed these songs are: the Delmore Brothers, the Maddox Brothers and Rose, Merle Travis, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
One source mentions both local disc jockey Dewey Phillips and Sam Phillips as being influential. As long as you could play, say, the top eight or ten songs from country, pop, R&B.
Most of the requests for songs were for hillbilly songs that were delivered as jived up versions—classic Hank Williams standards infused with a faster rhythm.
It was here that Carl started composing his first songs with an eye toward the future.
Every Saturday night in 1953, the dressing rooms backstage were a gathering place where musicians would come together and experiment with new sounds—mixing fast country, gospel, blues and boogie woogie.
Guys were bringing in new "licks" that they had developed and were teaching them to other musicians and were learning new "licks" from yet other musicians backstage.