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Sam Phillips died Wednesday of respiratory failure at St. Francis Hospital. The founder of Sun Records, he had a major impact in the emergence of rock 'n' roll.
Capitalizing on the rebellion of youth, he recorded such legends as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, B.B. King, Charlie Rich and Carl Perkins, who wrote and performed the original "Blue Suede Shoes."
He was inspired by a passion for the music. He was inspired by seeing Beale Street and the talent coming out of the Delta, especially (of black artists), and it changed his life. He saw the association between country music and black blues in the South and he wanted to do something with it.
Little did he know that the day Elvis Presley walked into Sun Studios in Memphis on 5th July 1954 for his first recording session, that the course of history would be changed. Country music would never be the same.
In 1986, Phillips was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Phillips produced Presley's first record, the 1954 single that featured "That's All Right, Mama" and "Blue Moon Of Kentucky," and went on to produce nine more. Many people say that nothing Elvis did after leaving Sam Phillips had the wild, sexy feel of his original Sun recordings. Elvis Presley and Sam Phillips invented the sound of rock'n'roll and won the hearts of music lovers all over the globe.
For many Americans, and music lovers the world over, Sam Phillips is a true legend.