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.
Rock historian Ed Ward continues his series on cities and their contribution to music. Today's city is Memphis. Artists discussed include Chuck Berry, Sam Phillips, B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Elvis Presley, The Marquees, Sam & Dave, Al Green
Record producer and consultant Colin Escott. Escott's had a long association with Sun Records, the company responsible for many of the great acts from the dawn of rock and roll. Escott has a new book about Sun, called "Good Rockin' Tonight" (published by St. Martin's Press).
The record producer is best known for propelling Elvis Presley to stardom; but Phillips founded his label in part to give African American musicians in the South a place to record their songs. Rock historian Ed Ward tells his story.
Charlie Rich was a jazz enthusiast who wrote for many legendary country and rock musicians on the Sun Record Label. Rock historian Ed Ward says, for Rich, recording his own, original music was an afterthought. He had a few hits on various Memphis-area labels, but could never break through into the mainstream.
The record label, led by producer Sam Phillips, launched the careers of legends like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Rock historian Ed Ward remembers several of the other, lesser-known acts Phillips signed during Sun's heyday.