Category Archives: Sun

A Road Trip in The Deep South – Part 1: Planning

Sun Studio - Memphis
Sun Studio – Memphis


Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.
~Winston Churchill

In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.
~Dwight Eisenhower

I’ve visited Memphis once before (October 2009), and I loved it. Sun, Stax, Graceland, Beale Street, The Peabody, Dyer’s, A. Schwab, etc..

I’m finally going back & will also drive from Memphis to Orlando visiting Muscle Shoals & Montgomery. Being given such an opportunity, I feel obligated to produce some material. It is also deep embedded in my nature to always plan well before important ventures – planning is indeed essential.

In this post I’ve collected info on the different places I plan to visit & created relevant playlists for the different sites.


  1. Plan
  2. Memphis
    1. The Peabody Hotel
    2. Beale Street
    3. Sun Studio
    4. Graceland
    5. Stax Museum
    6. Royal Studio
    7. Ardent Recording Studios
  3. Road Trip part 1 – Memphis to Montgomery
    1. Natchez Trace Parkway Colbert Ferry Park
    2. Muscle Shoals Sound Studio
    3. FAME Studios
  4. Road trip part 2 – Montgomery to Orlando
    1. Hank Williams Memorial – Oakwood Annex Cemetery
    2. Hank Williams Museum & statue
  5. Recommended books

Continue reading A Road Trip in The Deep South – Part 1: Planning

Elvis Presley recording history in Memphis

Elvis in the front yard of his home at 1034 Audubon Drive in May 1956
Elvis in the front yard of his home at 1034 Audubon Drive in Memphis – May 1956

Elvis Presley in front of Graceland in 1957
Elvis Presley in front of Graceland, Memphis – 1957

I’ll stay in Memphis.
~Elvis Presley

I’m visiting Memphis in a couple of weeks, so I will have put out some “Memphis related” post the next weeks.

Elvis was proud of his hometown and though most of his music was recorded in Nashville & Hollywood, some of his finest art was made in Memphis.

I’ve put together an overview of his Memphis recording session, embedded a couple of videos & made some best of lists (as usual).

But let’s first get started with his great version of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee“…. recorded in Nashville.

Recorded May 1963 at RCA’s Studio B. Nashville.


  1. The Sun years (1953-55)
  2. At American Sound Studio (1969)
  3. At STAX Studios (1973)
  4. Live (1974)
  5. The Jungle Room Sessions (Graceland 1976)

Continue reading Elvis Presley recording history in Memphis

Jan 05: The late Sam Phillips was born in 1923

sam_phillips Sam Phillips was not just one of the most important producers in rock history. There’s a good argument to be made that he was also one of the most important figures in 20th century American culture.
~Richie Unterberger (

If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything.
~Sam Phillips

Great Sam Phillips documentary in two parts(Host: Billy Bob Thornton):

The late Sam Phillips was born in 1923

Continue reading Jan 05: The late Sam Phillips was born in 1923

December 20: Pat Hare birthday

pate hare

If highly distorted guitar played with a ton of aggression and just barely suppressed violence is your idea of great blues, then Pat Hare’s your man.
~Cub Koda (

….Auburn “Pat” Hare, the most aggressive picker to work at Phillips’ studio [Sun Studions that is]. Together, Hare and James Cotton produced one of the truly great blues recordings, “Cotton Crop Blues.”
~From the book: “Good Rockin’ Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock ‘N’ Roll

James Cotton (Pat Hare on guitar) – Cotton Crop Blues (May 1954):

Continue reading December 20: Pat Hare birthday

Class of 55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming

class of 55 memphis homecoming

Well Nashville had country music but Memphis had the soul
Lord, the white boy had the rhythm and that started rock and roll
And I was here when it happened don’t you all think I ought to know
I was here when it happened, yeah, yeah, yeah
I watched Memphis give birth to rock and roll, Lord, lord yeah.
~Carl Perkins (Birth Of Rock And Roll)

In the early years, when the King [Elvis Presley] and the Four Horsemen [Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins & Roy Orbison] reigned over American music, Memphis music was the life force of teenage rebellion. It influenced clothing styles, created movie idols,  helped end a war in Vietnam, and eventually changed the politics of a nation unaccustomed to listening to the voices of youth. By 1985, three decades after that rebellion had been hatched in the tiny studio of Sam Phillip’s Sun Records, popular music had gone through many cycles, as had the artists who invented it, but seldom had the music, or the artists who created it, ever returned to it’s birthplace.
~James L. Dickerson (Goin’ Back to Memphis: A Century of Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Glorious Soul)

Johnny Cash (Lewis, Perkins & Orbison) – We Remember The King:

As the swift bird flies o’er the mountains
How we wished, we were there at its wings
No Sir, by far, to a friend, we have lost We remember the King
We remember (we remember the King)
We recall (we recall everything)
We will treasure all of the gifts, that he did bring
We remember the King

Continue reading Class of 55: Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming