“Blues music got people—black and white—to think about life, how difficult, yet also how good it can be.”
“The Father of Rock “-Samuel Cornelius Phillips (January 5, 1923 – July 30, 2003), better known as Sam Phillips, was an American musician, businessman, record executive, music producer, and disc-jockey, who played an important role in the emergence and development of rock and roll and rockabilly as the major form of popular music in the 1950s . Though he first made his spot with electric blues by Black performers, he is remembered for revolutionizing the music industry and for turning black blues and country music into what the world came to know as Rock ‘n’ Roll.
He was the founder of both Sun Studio and Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Through Sun, Phillips discovered such recording talent as Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. The height of his success culminated in his launching of Elvis Presley‘s career in 1954. Phillips sold Sun in 1969. He was an early investor in the Holiday Inn chain of hotels. He also advocated racial equality and helped break down racial music industry barriers. However, he is most notably attributed with the discovery of Elvis Presley. Sam Phillips said that “Elvis was an artist who could perform with the excitement, unpredictability and energy of a black blues artist but could reach across regional, musical and racial barriers.”