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Allison Cruse - Assignment 2

p15863coll16

About this collection

Sun Studio, initially known as the Memphis Recording Service, was opened by Sam C. Phillips in January of 1950.  Phillips, a radio engineer and DJ, wanted to provide an opportunity to amateur performers, specifically those in the African-American community, to record their music.  In 1952, Phillips expanded his offerings by adding his own record label, Sun Record Company.

 In 1953, a young truck driver named Elvis Presley came to the Memphis Recording Service to record an acetate for his mother’s birthday.  His performance led to Marion Keisker, Phillip’s right-hand at the studio, to bring the young talent to Sam’s attention.  Sam eventually invited Elvis to the studio for a trial recording.  After multiple takes on songs that left Sam underwhelmed and ready to dismiss the band, Elvis and studio musicians Scotty Moore and Bill Black began a spirited rendition of blues artist Arthur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right” that changed Sam’s mind and ultimately altered the trajectory of music history.

Released on July 19, 1954, Elvis Presley’s version of “That’s All Right” is credited as being one of the first rock ‘n’ roll records.  It was the catalyst for Elvis’s rise to fame and the explosion of the rock ‘n’ roll genre of music.

This capsule collection aims to share the story of the birth of mainstream rock ‘n’ roll from the historic Sun Studio building at 706 Union Ave. in Memphis, TN; Elvis’s first 45 record that changed the face of music; the early days of Elvis’s public persona and rise to fame; and Sam Phillips’ own account of Elvis’s legacy.

 
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