Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll

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Open Road Media, Mar 1, 2011 - Music - 300 pages
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Rock ’n’ roll was born in Memphis in the tiny storefront recording studio of Sun Records. This is the definitive account of how it happened! 
Sam Phillips’s credo was: “If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything.” If he had done no more than discover Elvis Presley and produce his first five singles he would still be the godfather of rock ’n’ roll. But he did more. Much more. While Elvis was still sitting on the edge of his bed listening to the radio and figuring out guitar chords, Phillips was discovering and recording blues giants like B.B. King, Howling Wolf, and Ike Turner. During the few months that Elvis was with Sun Records, Phillips found Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins. Soon after, he found Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and Charlie Rich. And he did it almost singlehandedly—from his two-room studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Phillips’s story, which Colin Escott tells in beautiful detail, is more than a catalog of hits. Without Sun’s philosophy of experimentation, innovation, and genre transcendence, the musical revolution could have never begun.


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Good rockin' tonight: Sun Records and the birth of rock 'n' roll

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This culmination of a work in progress since 1971 follows the authors' earlier Catalyst: The Sun Records Story ( 1975) and Sun Records: The Brief History of the Legendary Record Label ( LJ 2/15/81) as ... Read full review


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About the author (2011)

Colin Escott (b. 1949), the foremost authority on Sun Records, first wrote the company’s history in 1975 and has revised and expanded it several times since. He has published several other volumes on the early days of country music, including a biography of Hank Williams and The Grand Ole Opry: The Making of an American Icon. He won a Grammy for his work on Mercury Records’ The Complete Hank Williams, and in 2010 received a Tony nomination for Million Dollar Quartet, a Broadway musical about the legendary one-night jam session of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, scheduled to open in London in February 2011. In 2010, he was nominated for a Grammy for producing Hank Williams: The Complete Mother’s Best Recordings.

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