- Sun Records
infobox record label
parent = Sun Entertainment Corp.
founded = 1952
location = (historic) 706 Union Ave.
(current) 3106 Belmont Blvd.
country = US
url = http://www.sunrecords.com/
genre = Various, general trends are
Rockabilly, Country music, R&B, Blues
Sun Records was a
record labelbased in Memphis, Tennessee, starting operations on March 27 1952. Founded by Sam Phillips, Sun Records was known for giving notable musicians such as Elvis Presley(whose recording contractwas sold to RCA Victor Recordsfor $35,000 in 1956 to relieve financial difficulties they were going through), Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cashtheir first recording contracts and helping to launch their careers. Before those days Sun Records had mainly been noted for recording African-Americanartists, as Phillips loved Rhythm and Bluesand wanted to get black music recorded for a white audience. It was Sun record producerand engineer, Jack Clement, who discovered and recorded Jerry Lee Lewis, while owner Sam Phillips was away on a trip to Florida. The original Sun Records logowas designed by John Gale Parker, Jr., a resident of Memphis and high schoolclassmate of Phillips.
The music of many Sun Records musicians helped lay part of the foundation of late 20th century
popular musicand rock and roll, plus it influenced many younger musicians, particularly the Beatles. In 2001, Paul McCartneyappeared on a tribute compilation albumtitled "".
Mercury Recordslabel producer Shelby Singleton— noted for producing the Ray Stevens' hit " Ahab The Arab" in 1962, and later Jeannie C. Riley's 1968 hit single " Harper Valley PTA" on his Nashville based Plantation Recordslabel — purchased the Sun label from Phillips. Singleton merged his operations into Sun International Corporation, which re-released and re-packaged compilations of Sun's early artists in the early 1970s. It would later introduce rockabillytribute singer Jimmy Ellisin 1980 as Orion taking on the persona of Elvis Presley. The company remains in business today as Sun Entertainment Corporation, which currently licenses its brand and classic hit recordings (many of which have appeared in CD boxed sets and other compilations) to independent reissue labels. Sun Entertainment also includes SSS International Records, Plantation Records, Amazon Records, Red Bird Records, Blue Cat Recordsamong other labels the company acquired over the years. [http://www.sunrecords.com/content/view/59/78/] Its website sells collectible items as well as compact discs bearing the original 1950s Sun logo.
Other "Sun Records"
There were as many as eight other record companies that preceded and/or were contemporary with the Memphis label.
The other Sun Records that preceded the Memphis company by nearly forty years in one case, and six years in the other, or even those that were contemporary with it were never as significant to the history of twentieth century music as Sam Phillips' little record company that operated out of his Memphis Recording Service.
Two Sun Records were offered on eBay.com in August and September 2006 and were pressed in Germany, probably around 1905–1912, for the Sun Record Company of Bombay, India, and referred to on the label as the Sun Disc Record to differentiate the discs from cylinder records also produced by the company. This Sun Record Company might have been the first to use that name. By 1919 another Sun Record Company came to life in Canada, but it, too, soon disappeared. The Canadian Sun Records were produced by the Sun Record Company of
Toronto, Canada(a unit of Compo CompanyLtd.) in the 1920s. Many or all of the masters pressed were leased from the U.S. based Okeh Records. [http://www.collectionscanada.ca/4/4/m2-3011-e.html]
The first American phonograph record to bear the famous “Sun Record” name came into being in the 1910s.
Another Sun Record, founded in New York City in 1946, was intended as an outlet for Jewish musicians and singers, including the famous Yiddish singer,
Herman Yablokoff, whose immensely popular "Papirossen" [Sun 1050] was the top selling record for the label. Billing itself as “The Brightest Thing on Records,” it was already fading into oblivion when the Memphis Recording Service issued its first Sun record in February 1952. But it did contribute one thing, albeit unintentionally, to the Sun Record Company of Memphis, that being the design of the label itself that was copied directly from the New York City-based Sun Record Company.
Another label, an
Arabic languageSun Record Company came into being at about the same time, but little is known about its history.
legal battlewas fought over the name “Sun” between the Memphis Recording Service of Memphis, which was issuing records on the Sun label, and the Sun Recording Company of Albuquerque, New Mexico, also issuing records on the Sun label. Louise Massey, the “Sweetheart of the West” who co-wrote "My Adobe Hacienda" and whose brother wrote the theme song for television’s "Petticoat Junction," among others, was its top artist. The lawsuit was settled in favor of the Memphis-based label, but no one noticed that the name and similar label had been in existence in New York for more than six years. The New York-based Sun Recording Corporation was virtually extinct by then, so even if anyone had noticed, no legal action was taken. The Memphis-based Sun Record Company went on to become the label that brought rock and rollmusic to the world, enjoying early success with Sun 181, "Bear Cat (The Answer to Hound Dog)" by Rufus Thomas– which also led to Sam Phillips’ second major lawsuit and the record was re-issued with the phrase (The Answer to Hound Dog) deleted. Sun Records in Memphiswas sold in 1969 and the namewas changedto Sun International Corporation, later changed again to Sun Entertainment. But the use of the name "Sun Record Company" did not end there. One other "Sun" existed during a slightly later era: the Sun Record Companybased in Manila. This companydid not attempt to disguiseits copying of the MemphisSun labels and re-issued recordsreleased by other American labels, such as Imperial 5528, " Poor Little Fool" written by Eddie Cochran’s fiancée, Sharon Sheeley, which became a massive hitfor Ricky Nelsonin 1958.
Sam Phillipshas passed away, the sun has not yet set on Sun Records. Numerous licenses have been issued to Germany’s Bear Family Records, England’s Charly Records, and other companies to issue and re-issue the Memphis Sun Records, some with the familiar brown on yellow label. Other companies are re-issuing Louise Massey’s recordings from the Albuquerque-based Sun Record Company.
The first 'Sun Records' in
Europewere single-sided disc records put out by The Crystalate Gramophone Record Manufacturing Company Ltd.of Tonbridge, Kent, England, from about 1905 to 1910. (The same company would later produce records under the name Imperial Records). A nearly contemporaneous label was produced in the United Statesby The Leeds & Catlin Company, about 1905–1907.
List of record labels
Elvis Presley's Sun recordings
* [http://www.sunrecords.com Sun Records official site]
* [http://www.sunstudio.com Sun Studio official historic site]
* [http://www.myspace.com/sunrecords Sun Records MySpace page]
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