On December 4, 1956, Elvis dropped by Sun Studios to visit Sam Phillips. Although Elvis was now a recording star with RCA, he was still close to Phillips, his old friend and mentor.
At the time, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis were at the studio working together on some of Perkins' latest songs. When Johnny Cash happened to stop by, the four musicians started singing together.
Phillips knew he had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He called the Commercial Appeal, and they sent over a photographer. The result was the only performance of the “Million Dollar Quartet.”
For many Memphians of a certain age, August 16, 1977 was really “The Day the Music Died.” Elvis Aaron Presley died at his mansion, Graceland.
A native of Tupelo, Elvis moved to Memphis as a teenager. After high school, he walked into Sun Studios to make a record for his mother, Gladys.
Sam Phillips heard him and realized that he had found a white singer with a black feel. Hits like “That's All Right Mama” and “Hound Dog” left the music world all shook up. And it's still shaking.