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This Day in Music History: Happy Birthday Sun Records

written by: on March 27, 2012

On March 27, 1952 Sam Phillips launched production at Sun Records.

The Memphis based label would cultivate the careers of Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and a myriad more. Phillips spent a few years moving around the country through a chain of disc jockey and on-air personality gigs while harvesting a unique appreciation for blues and country inspired sounds. Soon he found himself in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1950 Sam Phillips opened a recording studio for amateurs called the Memphis Recording Service. At the Memphis Recording Service anyone could perform, and if Phillips liked what he heard he would sell it to major labels. From this open door invite he discovered the likes of Junior Parker and B.B. King. Sam Phillips founded his own record label titled Sun Records in February of 1952. A little over a month later at the same studio on Union Avenue operations began. The first single released from Sun Records did not fair well, but within a few years the label would be home to performers such as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison. Sun Records influenced the identity of American music and fathered an original sound that would inspire musicians around the globe.