As part of World Cafe's "Sense of Place" spotlight on Memphis, Tenn., we have an interview with Sam Phillips, founder of the famed Sun Studio. In 2002, a year before the legendary producer died, Phillips shared his memories of his early days making records.
Here, he describes how his poor upbringing among both blacks and whites influenced his career, creating his drive to work with everyone who walked through Sun's door despite attitudes in the South at the time. Phillips also tells the story of recording The Prisonaires, a group of long-term prisoners who produced one of the studio's first big hits, "Walking in the Rain." He also shares his thoughts on the fateful decision to sell Elvis Presley's contract to RCA in order to keep Sun running — and discusses his personal relationship with The King.
Listen to World Cafe's Sun Studio playlist on Spotify.