Sun Studio, Memphis TN: Main room and acoustic tile ceiling

Sun Studio main room, acoustic tile ceiling

by | July 5, 1999 — 4:58 pm

Memphis, Tennessee — The main room of Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio (originally Memphis Recording Service), where many hit records by Elvis Presley, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others were made. This recording studio is 18 feet by 33 feet. Note the curved V-shape of the ceiling, and the tiles that cover it and the walls. A 2004 Wired article elaborates:

“Sam was a sound geek,” said John Schorr, the current president of Sun Studio. “He walked around the room clapping his hands to get a feel for the sound the room was capable of producing. He then used dozens of 1-foot-square asbestos acoustic tiles carefully placed on the walls and ceilings to produce a big, full sound. He said he wanted a lively studio, a studio that participated in the music, instead of the typical dead, blank-slate recording studio.

The window looks into the small office out front on Union Avenue where office manager Marion Keisker first met a young Elvis Presley. From this viewpoint, the control room is behind your right shoulder.

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