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Author Topic: Sam Phillips cuts his last tape
Babbler # 1064

posted 31 July 2003 03:01 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, who decided that a then-unknown Elvis Presley deserved a recording contract when he heard him sing songs for his mother, has died. He was 80.

"When I first heard Elvis, the essence of what I heard in his voice was such that I knew there might be a number of areas that we could go into," Phillips once said.


In the early days, before Presley, Phillips worked mostly with black musicians, including B.B. King and Rufus Thomas.

After the success of Presley on Sun, others who recorded for the label under Phillips included Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty and Charlie Rich.

He got out of the recording business in 1962 and sold Sun Records in 1969 to producer Shelby Singleton of Nashville. The Sun studio on Union Avenue in Memphis is now a tourist attraction.

The rest.

What the wire story doesn't say, perhaps for lack of space, is that not only did Phillips "work with" black musicians, in many cases he was the first white producer, or even the first producer period, to do so.

Some became bitter, rightly, at the greater success of Elvis and other white artists. At the same time, Phillips helped to create a larger market for black artists' music, even if many couldn't make headway in it in the '50s.

From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged

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