Ode to Sun Records

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By: Wayne Brown


It was little Sun Records in Memphis Tennessee


In the early 50’s, Memphis was the place to be


Rock-A-Billy and Rock n’ Roll were the coming thing


But no one knew just how much it would bring



Tell ‘em to play it sharp and edgy, Sam


Tell ‘em to play it tight


Keep playin’ that rock n roll, Sam


We wanna hear it all night



There was Carl Perkins paying his rock-a-billy dues


With royalties from songs like ‘Blue Suede Shoes’


And Johnny Cash was looking mighty tall and lean


With his chick-a-boom beat and ‘Teenage Queen’



Jerry Lee Lewis, the wild one, arrived on the scene


Playin’ a hot piano that was bluesy and mean


His music was the hottest thing on the wire


When he hit that keyboard on ‘Great Balls of Fire’



Tell ‘em to play it sharp and edgy, Sam


Tell ‘em to play it tight


Keep playin’ that rock n roll, Sam


We wanna hear it all night



Roy Orbison, the crooner, stepped to the stage


With a voice never heard and became all the rage


He used orchestras and minor flat musical notes


To dress up the words of the songs that he wrote



But the home boy from Tupelo, took the big prize


His on stage gyrations were a shock to the eyes


He sang some Country and that new Rock n’ Roll


But when Elvis sang gospel; it was a joy to behold



Tell ‘em to play it sharp and edgy, Sam


Tell ‘em to play it tight


Keep playin’ that rock n roll, Sam


We wanna hear it all night



Sam Phillips had them all singing in that little studio


Cutting those new records; making some dough


Soon their names were all common household


As they stood on stage and performed rock n’ roll



Now that was a time in music and in music history


The likes again of which we’ll probably never see


Witnessed by throngs of Baby Boom boys and girls


When little Sun Records brought rock to the world



Tell ‘em to play it sharp and edgy, Sam


Tell ‘em to play it tight


Keep playin’ that rock n roll, Sam


We wanna hear it all night



©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.


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Comments 18 comments

PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

Those were something special and we'll never see again, thanks for the stroll down Memphis way,

Peter


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I remember when we had a discussion about success and the importance of timing. Talk about timing at Sun Records! All the legends starting in one place at the same time. Awesome!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Peter Lumeta...When we look at the short journey of Buddy Holly, look at what was going on in Memphis, and then live through the impact of The Beatles on music...what a magical time in music history. What can ever top that? Thanks Pete! WB

@A.A.Zavala...I'll say...timing was huge in this case although Phillips would tell you that he would not sign somebody without talent. Roy Orbison told a story about going to Memphis to see Sam Phillips. He said he told him that Johnny Cash had sent him down there to get a record contract. Phillips curtly replied, "Johnny Cash don't run my damn record company". Ironically, Phillip was never big on Orbison adn Roy never really got his legs until Sun sold him off to a mall time record producer who was more tuned in to Roy's music. WB


marellen 5 years ago

Those were the days....we won't see the likes of those entertainers today. Great job Wayne....and thanks to Sun Records...


bethperry profile image

bethperry 5 years ago from Tennesee

Wayne, thanks for posting. I had a great-uncle who was a producer with Sun, and glad to see they are still remembered :)


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@marellen...No, we won't but we lived in that magical time and space...what could be better? WB

@bethperry...I don't think they will ever be forgotten...just like the legends that came out of the place...timeless. WB


Bob Bagley profile image

Bob Bagley 5 years ago from Palm Coast, Florida

Thanks, Wayne


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Bob Bagley...You are quite welcome sir, enjoyed doing it! WB


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Yes a great tribute to the good old days when music had melody attached to it. Stars don't get any bigger than those that you have mentioned. The big o is everyone's favourite. Well perhaps not everyone, but i love his soulful songs. Thanks Wayne, from one cowboy to another.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

This is such a funn read. Sun had some really great artists. I miss them and that music.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Sun records, I think, changed the face of pop music. I have a few old Sun LP's around.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@attemptedhumor...Roy never cracked a note! LOL! I still marvel at his work today. Just this week I watch the video "Black & White Night" which features him performing his music with a bevy of stars...absolutely amazing to hear that voice and those songs. WB

@Hypenbird...So glad you had fun with it...great fun to write as well. Their music will never die...WB

@dahoglund...It most certainly did. Sun took some of these folks in when no one saw them as talent. Sam Phillips had a good sense of what American youth was itching to hear and he gave it to them. The only other place that has produced so many artists is probably Motown and Barry Gordy. WB


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

We do owe Sam Phillips a lot, Wayne. Nice tribute and a great photo to lead off with. Thank you.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@drbj..Thank you! WB


Becky 5 years ago

I really miss these old singers. Very few are still alive. They were definitely pioneers in their genre.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

It is only fitting that these talents be remembered. Great piece. Up interesting and awesome.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

Wayne, thanks for the trip in the "wayback" macine, great write, dust


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas Author

@Becky...Jerry Lee is the only one still living and I think he's too mean to die! LOL! WB

@breakfastpop...Thanks Poppy! WB

@50 Caliber...Back to the time of stacks of wax, and mounds of sound! LOL! WB

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