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History of Rock Music: Chapter 1

Sam Phillips Finds His Star
by

Mark Williams

on 21 September 2016

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Transcript of History of Rock Music: Chapter 1

Sam Phillips Finds His Star
Rock and Roll History I
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley.
Elvis was the only man from Northeast Mississippi who could shake his hips and still be loved by rednecks, cops, and hippies. -- Jimmy Buffett.
When I first heard Elvis' voice, I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock and roll religion as it exists in today's form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail. I thank God for Elvis Presley... Elvis recorded a song of mine, that's the one recording I treasure the most. -- Bob Dylan.
Before Elvis, there was nothing. -- John Lennon.
Before Elvis, everything was in black and white. Then came Elvis. Zoom, glorious Technicolor. -- Keith Richards.
No one will ever touch Elvis. -- Garth Brooks.
Without Elvis, none of us could have made it. -- Buddy Holly.
That Elvis, man, he is all there is. There ain't no more. Everything starts and ends with him. He wrote the book. -- Bruce Springsteen
Quotes about Elvis
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley; Shirley, 18-19.
In 1956, Elvis had the #1 country single (“I Forgot to Remember to Forget”), the #1 R&B single (“Heartbreak Hotel”), and the #1 Pop single (“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”).

In 1957, he released the following hit singles: “Hound Dog,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Love Me Tender,” Jailhouse Rock,” “All Shook Up,” and “Teddy Bear.” He appeared on January 6 on The Ed Sullivan Show from the waist up.

Drafted by the U.S. Army in 1958.
Elvis conquers the charts
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Phillips; Shirley, 14.
Graphic: http://www.history-of-rock.com/sam_phillips_sun_records.htm
On January 3, 1950, Sam Phillips started the Memphis Recording Service, which later became the Sun Records label.

From 1950-1954 he recorded black R&B artists including: Bobby “Blue” Bland, Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett, James Cotton, Roscoe Gordon, Riley “B.B.” King, Little Milton, Herman “Little Junior” Parker, Rufus “Hound Dog” Thomas.

Phillips was concerned his black artists would not be able to break through into the “white mainstream” market and began searching for a white artist “who could play and sing in this same exciting, alive way.”

Who would be that artist?
Sam Phillips (1923-2003)
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley.
Other records set by Elvis Presley:

From 3/1956 to 11/1959, there was at least one Elvis song on the singles chart.

From 1956 to 1962, he had 24 top 5 hit singles in a row, each of which sold in excess of one million copies. The closest anyone has come to this was Madonna in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with 19 consecutive top 5 hits.

On the official UK Top 40 chart, "It's Now Or Never" reached #1 in the week of January 30, 2005, 27 years after Presley's death.

Elvis Presley has 116.5 million albums and approximately 50 million singles certified by RIAA in the United States, making his total US record sales aproximately 167 million.
During his lifetime, Elvis Presley:

recorded 104 singles that hit the Top 40 of the Billboard pop chart.

had 18 #1 Billboard hits, including four singles in 1956 that occupied the top of the charts for a cumulative total of 25 weeks. The total (18) is surpassed only by The Beatles, who had 20 #1 hits. His closest competitor is Mariah Carey with a total of 16 #1 hits.

has spent a total of 79 Weeks at the #1
position. His closest competitor is Mariah Carey with 73 weeks.

had 38 Top 10 Billboard hits. This total is currently unchallenged; the closest competitor, Madonna, has 35. The Beatles had 34 Top 10 hits during their career.
Musical Milestones
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley; Shirley, 19-20.
Graphic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jailhouse_Rock_%28movie%29.
Love Me Tender (1956), Loving You, Jailhouse Rock (1957), King Creole (1958), Flaming Star (1960), Blue Hawaii (1961), Viva Las Vegas (1964) are among the 31 motion pictures he made.
Elvis conquers Hollywood
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley; Shirley, 21.
The 70s Elvis
From 1969 to 1977 Elvis performed over 1000 sold-out shows in Las Vegas and on tour.

Many believe the January 1973 “Aloha from Hawaii” concert, the first to be broadcast worldwide by satellite, is the best of his career.

Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. He had been addicted to prescription drugs and also had a history of a weak heart and kidneys. He was 42.
Elvis, the 70s and Vegas
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley; Shirley, 20-21.
Elvis during the Comeback Special.
Elvis did a one hour prime time TV special on NBC in December of 1968 in which he went back to his rock and roll roots in an attempt to revive his career.

In 1969 a song introduced during the Special, “Suspicious Minds,” hit #1 on the pop charts.
The “Comeback Special” (1968)
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley; Shirley, 16-18.
Elvis at the Mississippi-Alabama State Fair in 1956.
During a break in a 1954 recording session with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Elvis began singing an Arthur Crudup blues song, “That’s All Right.”

It was released 2 weeks later with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and caused a sensation.

Two months later Presley, Moore, and Black released “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and in less than a year he became the most popular entertainer in the mid-south.

In 1955 Colonel Tom Parker arranged for RCA to buy out Elvis’ contract for $35,000.
Elvis’ Break
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley; Shirley, 14-15.
Elvis Presley
Presley received his first guitar at 11.

Some of his early influences included: hymns, gospel, country, and bluegrass.

In 1947 his family moved to Memphis and he began listening to blues and R&B.

In 1950 he began hearing Sam Phillips’ Sun Studios recordings.

In 1953 he paid $4 to record “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” at Sun Studios.
Elvis Presley (1935-1977)
Who was Sam Phillips?
Elvis Presley
"My Happiness"
Elvis Presley
"That's All Right Mama"
Elvis Presley
"I Forgot to Remember to Forget"
Elvis Presley
"Heartbreak Hotel"
Elvis Presley
"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You"
Elvis Presley
"Hound Dog"
Elvis Presley
"Don't Be Cruel"
Elvis Presley
"Suspicious Minds"
Full transcript