CCSN Memories – Sun Recording Studio Opens In Memphis
As weary half marathoners in the St Jude Memphis Marathon know there are a lot of sights you jog past during your 13.1 mile trek through Memphis. For those of us that love music; country music, rock and roll music, rhythm and blues music, gospel music, and music in general,round about mile 12 you run past one of the most important places there ever will be in American music history.
At 706 Union Avenue in Memphis there is a nondescript brick building. Although ordinary on the outside this uniquely shaped building shaped America's musical future. It's facade is worn and faded and the sign is small in comparison to what it stands for . The building is home to Sun Recording Studio. Inside its hallowed walls music as we know it was changed forever. From inside this oddly shaped building a new sound jumped out of the speakers of radios across the country.
It was devil music. It was full of rhythm and animal like energy, it got into the soul and made many a preacher man uncomfortable. This combination of hillbilly music combined with the heart of black spiritual and gospel influence came together in a force known as rock and roll.This was the beginning of the Memphis Sound. .
The Memphis Sound was almost as much about swagger and style as it was about music. There was Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Conway Twitty to name just a few. They stepped up to a microphone at Sun Studios and were thrust into the limelight of fame, fortune, rumors, and suspicion. One newspaper reporter in Memphis even reported the story of Sun Records' Million Dollar Quartet convening on a cold December day in 1956.
The Memphis Sound became reality this day in 1950 when Sam Phillips reopened the Memphis Recording Company under the name of Sun Studio. History was made that day. Just imagine a musical world without the influence of Elvis or Cash or The Killer or Conway? Some of them may be gone from us on this Earth but their ghosts still reverberate the energy of a changing generation in the concrete walls of a small building in Memphis. You can still hear many of these great performers on tonight's Classic Country Saturday Night Show.
Here's one more thing about Sun Studio. If you'd like you can book studio time there and record your own project. While many of the biggest names in music seek out the unique sound of the Sun Studio, so can you.