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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 07/05/09 05:11:36 PM

55 Years Ago Today

A quiet, reserved truck driver from Memphis made his first commercial record.

Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right", Monday, July 5, 1954.

Some say the Rock 'n' Roll era started fifty-five years ago today when Elvis Presley began a two-day recording session at Sun Studio, produced by Sam Phillips, and accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. (Both musicians had played an audition with Elvis, July 4, and weren't very impressed, but they thought it wouldn't hurt to explore the singer's potential.)

"That's All Right" (not "That's All Right, Mama") was released later that month, July 19, backed with "Blue Moon of Kentucky".

Elvis (we're all on a first name basis with the King of Rock 'n' Roll, aren't we?) also recorded two other songs during that session, "I Love You Because" and "Harbor Lights".

Sun Records released five singles — backed with five other songs, for a total of 10 songs — from Elvis's recordings, in 1954 and 1955; all of the songs Elvis recorded in those sessions (except for at least two that have been lost) were released eventually, most notably in a complete edition in 1999, Sunrise, which includes four songs (two private recordings and two demos) that Elvis had recorded earlier. The National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress included Elvis's Sun Sessions in The National Recording Registry 2002 (number 39 in a chronological list), the inaugural registry.

The metallic master record of "That's All Right", from which the vinyl single records were pressed, was rediscovered in November 1998, thirty years after it had been purchased for fifteen cents, its identity and significance unknown at the time.

Elvis Presley, Bill Black, Scotty Moore, and Sam Phillips at Sun Records in 1954
Elvis Presley, Bill Black, Scotty Moore, and Sam Phillips at Sun Records in 1954
(Moore is the only one pictured who is still living.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 07/05/09 05:11:36 PM
Categorized as Historical.


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