Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The day it all began

The greatest career in the history of popular music began, rather unassumingly, on this date on 1954.

A young truck driver named Elvis Presley had gone to Sam Phillips' Sun Records in Memphis to record a couple of tracks with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. He really wanted to be a singer, you see.

Their first two efforts, "Harbor Lights" and "I Love You Because," weren't working out too well. So, or so goes the story, the guys took a break.

One of them started riffing on Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's 1946 blues song "That's All Right." The other two jumped in and the joint started to hop.

Phillips stuck his head out of the recording booth and said, "What are you all doing?"

Moore reportedly said, "Uh, we don't know."

"Well, whatever it is, figure it out and do it again," Phillips replied.

"That's All Right" became a regional hit on the Sun label and by 1956 Elvis had signed a huge contract with RCA and was on his way to superstardom.

All because of a little jam session on a hot summer day in Memphis...

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