Saturday, October 25, 2014

Memphis, Tennessee: Sun Studio

Sometimes someone opens up the door to a recording studio, and an amazing stream of talent comes through. It happened in Detroit, Michigan, in the Motown Studios, and it happened a couple of times in Memphis, Tennessee - including here.

The Sun Studio is one of the legendary spots in all of music history. It's where Elvis Presley recorded his first song, and where Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash started their careers.

The building was only leased to Sam Phillips for 10 years (1950 to 1960), but it changed everything in the music business. The place is now available for visits by tourists. You can see some memorabilia upstairs, as well as hear some old recordings of the origins of rock and roll. Then it's down the stairs, around a corner, through an office ... and you are standing in the original Sun Studio. In the picture above, you can see a picture of the day that the four legends turned up in the studio on the same day. They did a little recording while they were together, and prompted the play "Million Dollar Quartet."

While visitors go through by day, this is still a working studio. Groups still record there at night in hopes of picking up some of the magic. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

By the way, one of the original microphones is still on the property. You can pose for a picture of it and pretend you are the next Elvis. We did.

The entrance area has plenty of souvenirs, etc. available. Any rock music fan has to go through here. Here's an eight-minute video version if you can't make it in person for a while:

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