Elvis Presley, who recorded his version of Arthur “Big Boy” Cruddup’s “That’s All Right (Mama)” at Phillips’ studio, met that goal, and became highly successful, first in Memphis, then throughout the southern United States. For the first six months, the flip side, “Blue Moon of Kentucky”, his upbeat version of a Bill Monroe bluegrass song, was slightly more popular than “That’s All Right (Mama).” While still not known outside the South, Presley’s singles and regional success became a drawing card for Sun Records, as singing hopefuls soon arrived from all over the region.
When Sam Phillips and Elvis Presley paired their talents in the summer of 1954 in Phillips’ small studio in Memphis, Tennessee, the ultimate effect on popular music and society was a cosmic event equivalent to a comet and large asteroid colliding in outer space.
The Sun Records sound was a fusion of rock & roll and country music (or hillbilly, as it was called in the 50’s) that was labeled rockabilly. The Sun sound was exemplified by early Sun recordings made by Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. Sun influenced many major rock and roll artists such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. When Beatle John Lennon was introduced to a noted music business executive from Tennessee at an awards event, his first words were “Do you know Sam Phillips?”
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105 3rd Ave. S, Nashville, TN