Sun Studios founder Sam Phillips died today in Memphis at the age of 80. He was revered as one of the leading catalysts in post-World War II American music. As a record producer in the 1950s and 60s, his recordings launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, to name a few. This interview first aired September 15, 1997.
Sun Studios founder Sam Phillips. He is revered as one of the leading catalysts in post WW II American music. As a record producer in the 1950s and 60s his recordings launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis and that’s just to name a few. Next Month, Phillips will be a celebrity host on the public radio program Beale Street Caravan. Phillips is now in his mid 70s.
Singer/songwriter Sam Phillips is a former Christian singer who became disillusioned with the form, left it, changed her name (from Leslie), and started writing songs which explored her own singular spirituality. Since 1989 she's been making pop music that's been admired by the critics. One critic wrote of her 1991 album; "On the surface, Phillips seems just another wispy-voiced, ethereal singer-songwriter, writing moody songs chronicling the dangers of corruption and obsessive love.
A conversation with music writer Peter Guralnick about the death of Sun Studios founder Sam Phillips. Guralnick is the author of a two volume biography of Elvis Presley: Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love.