Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Men Behind The Bluesmen: Sam Phillips

Sun King:
The Life and Times
of Sam Phillips,
the Man Behind Sun Records
Sun King: The Life and Times of Sam Phillips, the Man Behind Sun Records by Kevin Crouch and Tanja Crouch

"Imperfectly Perfect !!"---- Sam Phillips and Sun Records

Sam Phillips was born on January 5, 1923 and he passed away on July 30, 2003. He was a record producer who played an important role in the emergence of blues music and rock and roll as the major form of popular music in the 1950s. He is best known for having discovered Elvis Presley, and is associated with several other noteworthy rhythm and blues and rock and roll stars during that time.

According to Wikipedia;
On January 3, 1950, Phillips opened the "Memphis Recording Service" at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, which also served as the studios for Phillips' own label, Sun Records, through the 1950s. In addition to musical performances, he recorded events such as weddings and funerals, selling the recordings.

Phillips recorded what some—notably music historian Peter Guralnick—consider the first rock and roll record: "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, a band led by 19-year-old Ike Turner, who also wrote the song. The recording was released on the Chess/Checker record label in Chicago, in 1951. From 1950 to 1954 Phillips recorded the music of black rhythm and blues artists such as James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon, Little Milton, Bobby Blue Bland, and others. Blues legends such as B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf made their first recordings at his studio. In fact, Phillips deemed Howlin' Wolf his greatest discovery and he deemed Elvis Presley his second greatest discovery.

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