Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Elvis Presley and Sun Records / Sun Records

 
 
Elvis Presley and Sun Records Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ken Smith, May 12, 2012
1. Elvis Presley and Sun Records Marker
Inscription.
Front
In July 1954 Sun Records released Elvis Presley's first recording. That record, and Elvis' four that followed on the Sun label, changed popular music. Elvis developed an innovative and different sound combining blues, gospel, and country. That quality made Elvis a worldwide celebrity within two years. He went on to become one of the most famous and beloved entertainers in history. Sun Records introduced many well known people in all fields of music. Generations of musicians have been affected by those who recorded here and especially by the music Elvis Presley first sang at Sun Records.

Back
In the early 1950's Sun Records was a small recording studio located here at 706 Union. Owned and operated by Sam C. Phillips, Sun Records became nationally known for giving many local area artists, both black and white, their start in the recording industry. These included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf and others.
 
Erected 1985 by Shelby County Historical Commission and the Elvis Presley International Memorial Foundation.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location.
Sun Records Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, circa May 1998
2. Sun Records Marker
35° 8.35′ N, 90° 2.276′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is at the intersection of Union Avenue (U.S. 51/64) and Marshall Avenue, on the left when traveling east on Union Avenue. Touch for map. Situated in front of Sun Studios also known in its prime as the Memphis Recording Service. The building is identified by both names. Marker is at or near this postal address: 706 Union Avenue, Memphis TN 38103, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Benjamin Franklin Booth (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The First Railroad in West Tennessee (approx. 0.2 miles away); N. B. Forrest Camp 215 Sons of Confederate Veterans (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nathan Bedford Forrest (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nathan Bedford Forrest III, Airman (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Commercial Appeal / Publishing Locations (approx. 0.2 miles away); Memphis City Hospital (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lowenstein Mansion (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Also see . . .
1. Sun Studio website. (Submitted on April 2, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.)
2. Sun Studio Offical Website. (Submitted on September 1, 2013, by Trevor Morris of Fond du lac, Wisconsin.)
3. Wikipedia entry for Sun Records
Sun Studio and Records Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, August 14, 1998
3. Sun Studio and Records Marker
. “Sun Records discovered and first recorded such influential musicians as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. Presley’s recording contract was eventually sold to RCA Victor Records for $35,000 in 1955 to relieve Sun's financial difficulties. Before those records, Sun had concentrated mainly on African-American musicians because Phillips loved rhythm and blues and wanted to bring it to a white audience.” (Submitted on December 3, 2016.) 

4. Wikipedia entry for The Million Dollar Quartet. “ ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ is a recording of an impromptu jam session involving Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash made on December 4, 1956, at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. An article about the session was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar under the title ‘Million Dollar Quartet.’ The recording was first released in Europe in 1981 as The Million Dollar Quartet with 17 tracks. A few years later more tracks were discovered and released as The Complete Million Dollar Session. In 1990, the recordings were released in the United States as Elvis Presley—The Million Dollar Quartet. This session is considered a seminal moment in rock and roll history. (Submitted on December 3, 2016.) 
 
Additional keywords.
Stairs into the Museum image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, circa May 1998
4. Stairs into the Museum
Sun Studios
 
Categories. Entertainment
 
Display in Studio Museum image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, May 1998
5. Display in Studio Museum
Door to Studio image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, August 14, 1998
6. Door to Studio
Front entrance door to Sun Studio also known as the Memphis Recording Service.
Inside the Studio image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, August 14, 1998
7. Inside the Studio
Memphis Recording Service image. Click for full size.
By Mary Ellen Coghlan, July 27, 2009
8. Memphis Recording Service
National Historic Landmark Marker
Elvis Presley and Sun Records / Sun Records Marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, September 5, 2010
9. Elvis Presley and Sun Records / Sun Records Marker
Street side of the marker.
Sun Records image. Click for full size.
By Ken Smith, May 12, 2012
10. Sun Records
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 1, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York. This page has been viewed 1,360 times since then and 74 times this year. Last updated on October 26, 2010, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page was the Marker of the Week December 4, 2016. Photos:   1. submitted on May 20, 2012, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 1, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.   8. submitted on August 2, 2009, by Mary Ellen Coghlan of Warwick, New York.   9. submitted on November 2, 2010, by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana.   10. submitted on May 20, 2012, by Ken Smith of Milan, Tennessee. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement