SAM PHILLIPS: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll by Peter Guralnick

The music that #SamPhillips shaped in his tiny Memphis studio with artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, introduced a sound that had never been heard before. Phillips brought forth a singular mix of black and white voices passionately proclaiming the vitality of the American vernacular tradition while at the same time declaring, once and for all, a new, “integrated” musical day. Guralnick gives us an ardent portrait of an American original as compelling in his own right as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, or Thomas Edison.
#newrelease #sunrecords #peterguralnick #memphis


I love music but I wouldn’t consider myself a particular student of it at all. I just like what I like. That said, you don’t go to two of the most musically minded cities in the world without trying to give yourself something of an education.

In Memphis that involved a visit to Sun Studio where legendary producer Sam Phillips recorded a few little known performers such as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. I took the studio tour and it’s highly recommended - the guy really knew his stuff and was engaging and interesting. He gives a good insight into the history of the studio and then you get to head in there and stand where some genuine legends recorded some of the world’s best known songs.

They also run a courtesy bus to Graceland which is free when you take the Sun tour. But even if you’re not heading to Elvis’ place, Sun Studio is a great place to visit and see the impact Memphis had on popular music.

Somehow I ended up at Elvis’ funeral with Randall Lyon and Robert Palmer. I watched as Sam Phillips walked away from the Mausoleum after the service ended. It really put things into perspective. RIP Elvis #theking #TCB #samphillips #RIP #Elvis #memphis (at Forest Hill Cemetery)