An American institution, Sun Records has a history with many chapters: its Memphis origins with visionary Sam Phillips, the breakthrough recordings of Elvis Presley, and the studio's immense influence on the sound of popular music. But behind the company's chart toppers and legendary musicians there exists another story, told by Barbara Barnes Sims. In the male-dominated workforce of the 1950s, 24-year-old Sims found herself thriving in the demanding roles of publicist and sales promotion coordinator at Sun Records. Sims's job placed her in the studio with Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, and other Sun entertainers, as well as the unforgettable Phillips, whose work made the music that defined an era. Her disarming narrative ranges from descriptions of a disgraced Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable impact and tragic fall of DJ Daddy-O Dewey to the frenzied Memphis homecoming of Elvis after his military service. Collectively, these vignettes offer a rare and intimate look at the people, the city, and the studio that permanently shifted the trajectory of rock 'n' roll.
The book is published by Louisiana State University Press
"Sims's book catches the unique Sun milieu of hustling bohemians, purely Memphis-style, in their missions to make money, change the world, and get to work the next day with a clear head. It's the Sam Phillips legend as everyday life..." (Greil Marcus, author of The History of Rock 'n' Roll in Ten Songs)
"A fascinating addendum to the story of one of the greatest record labels of all time and a snapshot of the record business during one of the most exciting eras in American music." (Memphis Commercial-Appeal)
"Offers a rare opportunity to experience exactly what it was like inside that dingy, unpretentious little office/studio where colorful, larger-than-life personalities helped lay the foundation of an exhilarating, burgeoning new genre." (Pop Culture Classics)
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