SSun Studio: Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service

Sun Studio: Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service

by | July 5, 1999 — 4:24 pm

Memphis, TennesseeSun Studio at 706 Union Avenue, opened by Sam Phillips as “Memphis Recording Service” on January 3, 1950.

Sun Studio, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, is the birthplace of rock and roll music. Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88” was recorded here in 1951.

Many other rock-and-roll, blues, R&B, rockabilly, and country music artists recorded here for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records, including Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Junior Parker, Little Milton, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon. Sun Studio is the single most important location in the history of rock and roll.

In August of 1953, an 18-year-old named Elvis Presley walked through this door looking to record a couple of songs. Asked by receptionist Marion Keisker what kind of singer he was, Presley responded, “I sing all kinds.”

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