Category:Sun Records artists
Pages in category "Sun Records artists"
The following 48 pages are in this category, out of 48 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 48 pages are in this category, out of 48 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Sun Records – Sun Records is an American independent record label founded by Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee in 1952. Sun was the first company to record Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash. Sun Records first recorded such influential musicians as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. Presley's recording contract was eventually sold to RCA Victor Records for $35,000 in 1955 to relieve Sun's financial difficulties. Before those records, Sun had concentrated mainly on African-American musicians because Phillips wanted to bring it to a white audience. Sun record engineer Jack Clement discovered and recorded Jerry Lee Lewis while Phillips was away on a trip to Florida. The original Sun Records logo was designed by John Gale Parker, high school classmate of Phillips. Sun was founded with the financial aid of one of many record executives for whom Phillips had scouted artists before 1952. Some of the recording artists at Sun were Roscoe Gordon, Rufus Thomas, Little Milton, Tex Weiss, Charlie Rich, Howlin Wolf, Conway Twitty. In the Lovin' Spoonful song "Nashville Cats", John Sebastian used poetic license when he referred as the "Yellow Sun Records from Nashville". There were also only sixteen female recording artists whose records were released on the Sun and Phillips international label. These include the Miller Sisters. In 1969, Mercury Records producer Shelby Singleton purchased the Sun label from Phillips. Singleton merged his operations into Sun International Corporation, which re-packaged compilations of Sun's early artists in the early 1970s. It later introduced rockabilly singer Jimmy "Orion" Ellis in 1980, with Orion taking on the persona of Elvis Presley.Sun Records – Sun Records
2. Bill Black – William Patton "Bill" Black, Jr. was an American musician and bandleader, noted as one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Black was the bassist in Elvis Presley's early trio after which he formed Bill Black's Combo. Black was born to a motorman for the Memphis Street Railway. He was the oldest of nine children. His father played popular songs on the fiddle to entertain the family. At the age of sixteen, Black was performing "honky-tonk" music on acoustic guitar in local bars. During World War II, Black was stationed at Fort Lee in Virginia. While in the Army, he met Evelyn, who played guitar as the member of a musical family. They returned to Memphis. Black worked at the Firestone plant. He began modeling his "slap bass" technique after one of his idols, Fred Maddox of Maddox Brothers and Rose. Black also developed a "stage" persona in the same way that Maddox entertained audiences. Black performed with blacked-out teeth, straw hat and overalls. In 1952, Black began playing radio shows with guitarist Scotty Moore. Along with a fiddler, they performed country music tunes by Hank Williams and Red Foley in Doug Poindexter's band, the Starlight Wranglers.Bill Black – Bill Black hams it up on the deck of the USS Hancock during the first appearance on Milton Berle 's Texaco Star Theater
3. The Blue Moon Boys – The Blue Moon Boys were a band formed by Elvis Presley, guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. The group members were introduced by Sun Studio owner Sam Phillips in 1954, except for D.J. Fontana, who joined the group during a Louisiana Hayride tour in 1955. Presley's recording was managed by Marion Keisker, who also kept a demo recording for the absent owner of the studio. On July 1954, the trio headed to the Sun Studios for a recording test together. Phillips played the recording for WHBQ's DJ Dewey Phillips, who played the song on his regular show next night, on July 8. On July 9, the trio recorded what became the flipside to "That's All Right", an uptempo version of Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky". The single was a local hit in Arkansas, Mississippi and New Orleans. The Blue Moon Boys appeared in Memphis, Tennessee. Sam Phillips booked an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, not well received. After the failure, Phillips contacted the Louisiana Hayride. They made their first appearance on October 1954. Presley sang "That's All Right" followed by the flipside of the record, "Blue Moon of Kentucky". On August 8, D.J. Fontana joined the band as the drummer on a regular basis after having played occasionally with them, the first time in Shreveport and subsequently on tour.The Blue Moon Boys – (from left to right) Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley, Bill Black
4. Eddie Bond – Eddie Bond was an American rockabilly singer and guitarist. In the mid-1950s, Bond toured with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Warren Smith and others. He is infamous for having rejected the then 18-year-old Elvis Presley, auditioning for Bond's band. It was thereafter that Presley recorded his first single at Sun Records. Bond's contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He died in 2013. 1982 - Rocking Daddy from Memphis Tennessee Listing of all Eddie Bond's songs and alternativesEddie Bond – Eddie Bond
5. Sonny Burgess – Albert Austin "Sonny" Burgess is an American rockabilly guitarist and singer. In the early 1950s, Burgess played boogie woogie music around Newport. Burgess, Kern Kennedy, Gerald Jackson formed a boogie-woogie band they called the Rocky Road Ramblers. After advice from producer Sam Phillips, the group expanded to form the Pacers. The band's first record was "We Wan na Boogie" in Memphis, about 80 miles southeast of his birthplace. The flip side was "Red Headed Woman." Both were written by Burgess. The songs have been described as "among the most raucous, energy-filled recordings released during the first flowering of roll." Their onstage antics in performance were similarly described. Like other artists such as Ray Harris, Hayden Thompson, Warren Smith, chart success largely eluded him. Burgess later found a new audience in Europe. In 1990, Burgess toured with The Sun Rhythm Section. This group was composed from the Sun Recording Studio. Beside Burgess, band members included Paul Burlison, J.L. "Smoochy" Smith, Stan Kessler, Marcus Van Story, D.J. Fontana on drums.Sonny Burgess – Burgess playing at Riverfest in Little Rock, Arkansas, May 2013.
6. Johnny Carroll – Johnny Carroll was an American rockabilly musician. Born John Lewis Carrell, Carroll began recording in the middle of the 1950s. None of them saw significant success, though they are now critically acclaimed. His records were eclipsed by early rock & roll musicians such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash. He made a comeback in 1974 with a Gene Vincent tribute song. He continued to record well into the 1980s. For many years he was connected with the Cellar Club around the state. He is buried in his hometown of Godley, Texas. In 1996 a 33-track reissue of his early recordings was released as Rock Baby Rock: 1955-1960. Early recordings Later recordings "Gene Vincent Rock" "Rock, Baby, Rock It" Texabilly Screamin' Demon Heatwave Crazy Hot Rock Shades of VincentJohnny Carroll – Johnny Carroll
7. Johnny Cash – John R. "Johnny" Cash was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, author. Although primarily remembered as a country icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, gospel. This appeal won Cash the rare honor of multiple inductions in the Country Music, Rock and Roll, Gospel Music Halls of Fame. Cash traditionally began his concerts with the simple "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash," followed by his signature "Folsom Prison Blues." Much of Cash's music contained themes of moral tribulation and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. His best-known songs include "I Walk the Line", ""Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black". He was born on February 1932, in Kingsland, Arkansas, one of seven children born to Ray Cash and Carrie Cloveree. Other locations in Fife bear the name of his family. At birth, he was named J. R. Cash. In 1955, when signing with Sun Records, Cash took Johnny Cash as his name. The Cash children were: Roy, Margaret Louise, Jack, J. R. Reba, Tommy. Tommy Cash also became a successful artist. In March 1935, when Cash was three years old, the family settled in Dyess, Arkansas. Cash started singing along with his family while working.Johnny Cash – Cash in 1969
8. Jack Clement – Jack Henderson Clement was an American singer, songwriter, record and film producer. Educated in Memphis, Clement was performing at an early age, playing guitar and Dobro. Before embarking on a career in music, he served in the United States Marines. Clement, during his student days, he played steel guitar with a local band. There, Clement worked with future stars such as Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash. Most importantly, he recorded Jerry Lee Lewis while Sam Phillips was away on a trip to Florida. One of those recordings, "Lotta Shakin' Goin' On", was selected in 2005 for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress. In 1957, Clement wrote the song "Ballad of a Teenage Queen", which became a crossover hit for Johnny Cash. He produced Cash's number 1 hit "Ring of Fire" in 1963. Clement performed "Guess Things Happen That Way" in November 2003. In 1958 Clement released the single "Ten Years", covered by Johnny Western, Roger Mews. In 1959, Clement accepted an offer to work as a producer at RCA in Nashville, then the most important label in the industry. In 1961, he moved to Beaumont, Texas, joining publisher Bill Hall in opening Gulf Coast Recording Studio and the Hall-Clement publishing company. In 1971, he co-founded the J-M-I Record Company. He was inducted in 1973.Jack Clement – Clement in 1978
9. James Cotton – Cotton is famous for his harmonica playing. He began his professional career playing the harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. Cotton made his first recordings in Memphis under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, Cotton was recruited by Muddy Waters to join his band. He stayed with the group until 1965. In 1965 Cotton formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with Waters's band. Cotton eventually left Waters to form his full-time touring group. In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Waters's Grammy Award -- winning Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter. Born in Tunica, Mississippi, he became interested in music when he first heard Sonny Boy Williamson II on the radio. Cotton moved to West Helena, Arkansas, finding Williamson there. However, Williamson did Cotton during his early years. Williamson left leaving his band in Cotton's hands. He was quoted as saying, "He just gave it to me. He is famous for his harmonica playing. Cotton began his professional career playing the harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s.James Cotton – James Cotton 2007
10. Jimmy "Orion" Ellis – Jimmy Hughes Bell, stage name Orion, was an American singer. He appeared with many artists including Loretta Lynn, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tammy Wynette, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Greenwood, the Oak Ridge Boys. He was born into a single parent home. His certificate states the mother as Gladys Bell and the father as Vernon. When he was two, Gladys left him at the Montgomery Children's Home where he was put up for adoption. The child was taken by R. F. Ellis and his wife Mary Faye, where his surname was changed to Ellis. Ellis sang "Peace in the Valley". The prizes included a trip to a $1,000 savings bond. He later settled at Middle Georgia Junior College in the town of Cochran. Ellis transferred to Livingston State University where he started playing small clubs. Ellis got a "One Shot Deal" with Challenger Records in 1974 before moving to the small Boblo Records label. One of his five singles for Boblo was "I'm Not Trying To Be Elvis". He began his recording career in 1964. In 1978 Ellis signed with the new owner of Shelby Singleton. Earlier, in 1972, Ellis had recorded a cover of Presley's first Sun single, "That's Alright, Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky", in Florida.Jimmy "Orion" Ellis – Photo of Jimmy's alias trademark look "Orion". Photo by Shelby Singleton, used with permission
11. Sleepy John Estes – John Adams Estes, known as Sleepy John Estes, was an American blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. He was born in 1900. In 1915, Estes's father, a sharecropper who played guitar, moved the family to Brownsville, Tennessee. Not long after, Estes lost the sight in his right eye when a friend threw a rock at him. Estes continued to work on and off with both musicians for more than fifty years. He also performed in medicine shows with Willie Newbern. He recorded the tracks "Drop Down Mama" and "Someday Baby Blues" with Nixon in 1935. He later worked with Son Bonds and Charlie Pickett. He later recorded for Decca Records and Bluebird Records, with his last prewar recording session taking place in 1941. Estes sang with a distinctive "crying" vocal style. He frequently teamed like Yank Rachell, the piano player Jab Jones. By the time he was tracked down, by the blues historians Bob Koester and Samuel Charters in 1962, he was completely blind and living in poverty. He resumed touring with Nixon and recording for Delmark Records. His later records are generally considered less interesting than his prewar output. Estes, Nixon and Rachell appeared at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964.Sleepy John Estes – Grave of Sleepy John Estes (2008)
12. Rosco Gordon – Rosco N. Gordon III was an American blues singer and songwriter. He is best known for his 1952 No. 1 R&B hit single, "Booted", two No. 2 singles, "No More Doggin'" and "Just a Little Bit". Gordon grew up on Florida street. He was a pioneer of the Memphis style. He made a number of his early recordings for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. Gordon played piano in a style known with the emphasis on the off-beat. This rhythm was an influence on the Jamaican pianist Theophilus Beckford and hence on reggae music as a whole. "Booted" and "No More Doggin'" were both released in 1952. Both labels released the track as a single. The RPM release reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart. The Bihari brothers later settled the conflict, with the Biharis getting exclusive rights to Gordon and Chess signing Howlin' Wolf to an exclusive contract. Gordon's last single to reach the charts was "Just a Little Bit". Following his wife's death in 1984, he returned to performing in the New York area. Handy Awards. The Road to Memphis, aired on PBS television.Rosco Gordon – Rosco Gordon
13. Big Walter Horton – Walter Horton, better known as Big Walter Horton or Walter "Shakey" Horton, was an American blues harmonica player. A quiet, shy man, he is remembered as one of the premier harmonica players in the history of blues. Willie Dixon once called Horton "the best player I ever heard." Born in Mississippi, he was playing the harmonica by the time he was five years old. In his early teens, he lived in Memphis, Tennessee. Like many of his peers, he endured racial discrimination in the racially segregated United States. In the 1930s he played in the Mississippi Delta region. These recordings were in the acoustic duo format popularized by Sleepy John Estes with his harmonicist Hammie Nixon, among others. There are clear hints of what was to come. He eventually worked mainly outside the music industry in the 1940s. By the early 1950s, he was playing music again. He was among the first to record in Memphis, who later recorded Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash. His recordings for Sun include accompaniment by the young Phineas Newborn, Jr. who later gained fame as a jazz pianist. Horton's instrumental track recorded around this time, "Easy", was based on Ivory Joe Hunter's "Almost Lost My Mind". When Junior Wells left the Muddy Waters band at the end of 1952, Horton replaced him long enough to play on one session, in January 1953.Big Walter Horton – Big Walter Horton
14. B.B. King – Riley B. King, known professionally as B.B. King, was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, record producer. He introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. He was known for appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s. In 1956, King reportedly appeared at 342 shows. He was later worked at a cotton gin in Indianola, Mississippi. King began his performance career in juke joints and local radio. King later toured the world extensively. He died at the age of 89 from congestive heart failure and diabetic complications. King considered the nearby city of Indianola, Mississippi to be his home. While young, he sang at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. He was attracted in Christ because of its music. The local minister led worship with a Sears Roebuck Silvertone guitar. The minister taught his first three chords. In November 1941 "King Biscuit Time" first aired, broadcasting on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. It was a show featuring the Mississippi Delta blues.B.B. King – King at the 2009 North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam
15. Sleepy LaBeef – Sleepy LaBeef is the stage name of Thomas Paulsley LaBeff, an American rockabilly musician. LaBeef was born in the youngest of 10 children, he was raised on a melon farm. He received the nickname "Sleepy" as the result of a lazy eye. He moved to Houston, Texas, when he was 18. LaBeef stands 6.5 ft tall. In 1964, he moved to a more solidly country style, recording singles for Columbia Records. His genuine hit was 1968's "Every Day", which peaked at No. 73 on the U.S. Billboard Country charts. After moving to Plantation Records in 1969, he scored a second hit with "Blackland Farmer" which charted at No. 67. Around this time LaBeef also starred in the horror movie The Exotic Ones. LaBeef continued releasing albums and touring widely; his popularity flagged in America but rose in Europe. The 1980s saw him sign to Rounder Records, where he released albums into the 1990s. A documentary/concert DVD, soundtrack CD was released on April 22, 2013 by Earwave Records.Sleepy LaBeef – Go Ahead on Baby by Sleepy LaBeef, Columbia late 1960s.
16. Dickey Lee – Royden Dickey Lipscomb, known professionally as Dickey Lee, is an American pop/country singer and songwriter, best known for the 1960s teenage tragedy songs "Patches" and "Laurie." Lee made his first recordings for Tampa Records and Sun Records in 1957 -- 58. He achieved his first success in 1962, when his composition "She Thinks I Still Care" was a hit for George Jones. "Patches," written by Barry Mann and Larry Kobler and recorded by Lee for Smash Records, rose to No. 6. The song tells in waltz-time the story of teenage lovers of social classes whose parents forbid their love. The girl drowns herself in the "old river." I'll join you tonight / Patches I'm coming to you." Because of the teen theme, the song was banned by a number of radio stations. However, it was awarded a gold disc. Lee had a No. 14 hit in 1963 with a song he co-wrote, a conventional rocker, "I Saw Linda Yesterday." In 1965, he returned with "Laurie," a song related to the urban legends known as the vanishing hitchhiker and Resurrection Mary. After the 1960s, Lee devoted his efforts to music performing and songwriting. He also several songs with Bob McDill, including "Someone Like You" and "The Door is Always Open". He was inducted in 1995. Lee is included as singer on singer-songwriter Michael Saxell's 2005 album Wonky Windmill on the song "Two Men".Dickey Lee – Dickey Lee at Alpena High School, Alpena, Michigan, December 2012
17. Jerry Lee Lewis – Jerry Lee Lewis is an American singer-songwriter, musician, pianist, often known by his nickname, The Killer. Lewis has been described as "rock & roll's first wild man." Rockabilly music, Lewis made his first recordings in 1956 at Sun Records in Memphis. It was his 1957 hit "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" that shot Lewis to fame worldwide. Lewis followed this with "Great Balls of Fire", "Breathless" and "High School Confidential". However, Lewis's rock and career faltered in the wake of his marriage to his 13-year-old first cousin once removed when he was 22 years old. His popularity quickly eroded. His live performance fees plummeted to $250. In the meantime Lewis was determined to gain back some of his popularity. In the early 1960s, Lewis did not have much success, with few exceptions, such as a cover of Ray Charles's "What'd I Say". His live performances at this time were increasingly energetic. In 1968 he had hits with songs such as "Another Place, Another Time". In the 21st century he still releases new albums. His Last Man Standing is his best selling to date, with over a million copies sold worldwide. This was followed by Mean Old Man, which has received some of the best sales of Lewis's career.Jerry Lee Lewis – Lewis performing in Memphis, April 2011
18. Million Dollar Quartet – An article about the session was published under the title "Million Dollar Quartet". The recording was first released in Europe in 1981 with 17 tracks. A few years later more tracks were released as The Complete Million Dollar Session. In 1990, the recordings were released as Elvis Presley - The Million Dollar Quartet. This session is considered a seminal moment in rock and history. The session seems to have happened by pure chance. Lewis's first Sun single would be released a few days later. After chatting with Phillips in the room, Presley listened to the playback of Perkins' session, which he pronounced to be good. Then some time later, the jam session began. At some point during the session, Sun artist Johnny Cash, who had recently enjoyed a few hit records on the country charts, arrived well. Jack Clement was engineering that so he did. After running through a number of songs, Elvis and girlfriend Evans slipped out as Jerry Lee pounded away on the piano. Cash wrote in Cash that "no one wanted to follow Jerry Lee, even Elvis." During the session, Phillips called the Memphis Press-Scimitar. The newspaper's entertainment editor, came over to the studios with UPI representative Leo Soroca and a photographer.Million Dollar Quartet – The million Dollar Quartet. L to R: Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash
19. Little Milton – Milton was raised in Greenville by a farmer and local blues musician. By age twelve he was a musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock and roll contemporaries. He joined the Rhythm Aces in the early part of a three piece band who played throughout the Mississippi Delta area. One of the group was Eddie Cusic who taught Milton to play the guitar. He recorded a number of singles. Milton left the Sun label by 1955. As a producer, Milton helped bring artists such as Albert King and Fontella Bass to fame, while experiencing his own success for the first time. After a number of regional hits, his 1962 single, "So Mean to Me," broke onto the Billboard R&B chart, eventually peaking at # 14. After the ill-received "Blind Man", he released back-to-back singles. He followed the song with # R&B hit "Who's Cheating Who?" All three songs were featured on his album, We're Gonna Make It, released that summer. With the death of Leonard Chess the same year, Milton's distributor, Milton joined the Stax label two years later. He appeared in Wattstax, released in 1973. Stax, however, was forced into bankruptcy in 1975. A Number," was released in 1983 from the album of the same name.Little Milton – Little Milton in France, 1982.
20. Roy Orbison – Roy Kelton Orbison, nicknamed the Big O, was an American singer-songwriter and musician, known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex compositions and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, giving the sobriquet "the Caruso of Rock". Between 1964, 22 of his songs placed on the Billboard Top 40, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying", "Oh, Pretty Woman". He began singing in a rockabilly and country and western band in high school. His greatest success came with Monument Records in the early 1960s. In 1988, Orbison was a member of the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, along with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne. Orbison died of a heart attack shortly thereafter. Music scholars have suggested that he had a three - or four-octave range. In 2002, Billboard magazine listed Orbison in the Top 600 recording artists. Both of his parents were unemployed during the Great Depression and, searching for work, moved the family to Texas, when Roy was a child. Orbison attended Denver Avenue Elementary School until a polio scare prompted the family to return to Vernon. Later, they moved to Wink, Texas. He later expressed relief that he was able to leave the desolate town. All the Orbison children were afflicted with poor eyesight; Roy used corrective lenses from an early age. Orbison began dyeing his nearly-white hair black when he was still young.Roy Orbison – Roy Orbison in 1965
21. Junior Parker – Herman "Junior" Parker was an American Memphis blues singer and musician. He is best remembered for his unique voice, described as "honeyed" and "velvet-smooth". He was posthumously inducted in 2001. One music journalist noted, "For years Junior Parker deserted downhome harmonica blues for uptown blues-soul music". Some research suggests that his birth was registered as Herbert Parker. He sang as a child and, beginning in his teenage years, played on various blues circuits. His biggest influence as a player was Sonny Boy Williamson, with whom he worked before moving on to work for Howlin' Wolf in 1949. Around 1950 he was a member of the Beale Streeters, with Bobby'Blue' Bland and B.B. King. In 1951 he formed the Blue Flames, with the guitarist Pat Hare. Parker was discovered by Ike Turner, who signed him to Modern Records. He put on this record label, "You're My Angel." He and his band signed with Sun Records in 1953. There they produced successful songs: "Feelin' Good", "Love My Baby," and "Mystery Train", later covered by Elvis Presley. For Presley's version of "Mystery Train", Scotty Moore borrowed the riff from Parker's "Love My Baby", played by Pat Hare. "Love My Baby" and "Mystery Train" are considered important contributions to the rockabilly genre.Junior Parker – Junior Parker
22. Carl Perkins – Carl Lee Perkins was an American singer-songwriter who recorded most notably at the Sun Studio, in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning in 1954. His best-known song is "Blue Suede Shoes". Paul McCartney claimed that "if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles." He also received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Perkins was born near the son of poor sharecroppers, Buck and Louise Perkins. During autumn, the school day would be followed by several hours of work in the fields. During the summer, workdays were 12–14 hours, "from can to can't." His brother Jay together would earn 50 cents a day. On Saturday nights Perkins would listen on the radio with his father. Roy Acuff's broadcasts on the Opry inspired him to ask his parents for a guitar. They could not afford a real guitar, so Buck Perkins fashioned one from a broomstick. For the next year Perkins taught parts of Acuff's "Great Speckled Bird" and "The Wabash Cannonball", which he had heard on the Opry. He also cited vocals of Bill Monroe as an early influence. Perkins began learning more about playing the guitar from a field worker who befriended him. "Uncle John", as Perkins called him, was an African-American in his sixties, who played blues and music on his battered acoustic guitar.Carl Perkins – Carl Perkins, c. 1955
23. Elvis Presley – Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, as a twinless twin—his brother was stillborn. When he was 13 years old, he and his family relocated to Memphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records. RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who managed the singer for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. He was regarded as the leading figure of rock and roll after a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records. In November 1956, he made his film debut in Love Me Tender. In 1958, he was drafted into military service. In 1973, Presley was featured in the first globally broadcast concert via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii. Several years of prescription drug abuse severely damaged his health, he died in 1977 at the age of 42. Presley is one of the most celebrated and influential musicians of the 20th century. He won three Grammys, also receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before his own birth. As an only child, Presley became close to both parents and formed an especially close bond with his mother.Elvis Presley – Presley in a publicity photograph for the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock
24. Charlie Rich – Charles Allan "Charlie" Rich was an American country music singer, songwriter and musician. His eclectic style of music was often difficult to classify in a single genre, encompassing the rockabilly, jazz, blues, country, soul and genres. In the later part of his life, he acquired the Silver Fox. Rich is perhaps best remembered for a pair of "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl". "The Most Beautiful Girl" earned him two Grammy Awards. He was inducted in 2015. He was born to rural cotton farmers. Rich graduated from Consolidated High School in Forrest City, where he played saxophone in the band. A black sharecropper on the land called C. J. Allen taught Rich blues piano. Rich then transferred to the University of Arkansas as a music major after a football injury. Rich left after one semester to join the United States Air Force in 1953. While stationed in Enid Oklahoma, Rich formed "the Velvetones", featuring his wife, Margaret Ann, on vocals. Margaret Ann Greene had married in 1952. Upon leaving the military in 1956, they returned to the West Memphis area to farm 500 acres. Rich also began playing both jazz and R&B.Charlie Rich – Rich in 1973.
25. Billy Lee Riley – Billy Lee Riley was an American rockabilly musician, singer, record producer and songwriter. His most memorable recordings included "Rock with Me Baby" and "Red Hot". Born in Pocahontas, Arkansas, the son of a sharecropper, Riley learned to play guitar from black farm workers. After four years in the Army, Riley first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, before being lured to Sun Studios by Sam Phillips. He recorded "Trouble Bound" for Slim Wallace. Sam Phillips released "Trouble Bound" b/w "Rock With Me Baby" on September 1, 1956. Riley felt that his own chances of success were compromised when Phillips diverted resources to Lewis' career. They, likewise, did not have a lot of sales as his promotion had stopped. Like other artists such as Sonny Burgess, Hayden Thompson, Warren Smith, chart success largely eluded him. Considered good looking and with wild stage moves, Riley had a brief solo career with his backing band the Little Green Men. His Little Green Men were the main Sun studio band. They were Riley, guitarist Roland Janes, drummer J.M. Van Eaton, Jimmy Wilson, later joined by Martin Willis. In 1960, he started Rita Record label with Roland Janes. They produced the national hit record "Mountain of Love" by Harold Dorman. He later started two other labels, Mojo.Billy Lee Riley – Billy Lee Riley, Memphis Music Festival, 2008
26. Warren Smith (singer) – Warren Smith was an American rockabilly and country music singer and guitarist. Smith was born to Iola and Willie Warren Smith, who divorced when he was young. He was raised in Louise, Mississippi, where they had a small farm and dry goods store. Smith took up the guitar to while away his evenings while in the United States Air Force stationed in Texas. By the time of his discharge from the service, he had decided to make a career of music. He moved to West Memphis, auditioned, successfully, to play the Cotton Club, a local hot spot. Phillips liked what he decided that "Rock & Roll Ruby", a song credited to Johnny Cash, would be Smith's first record. Smith recorded it on February 1956. By May 26, "Rock & Roll Ruby" had hit No. 1 on the local pop charts. Smith's first record for Sun went on to outsell the first Sun releases by Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins. In August 1956, Smith went back to the Sun Records studio to record his second release, "Ubangi Stomp". This infectious rocker had an incorrect lyric including an African chief with the syntax of a movie Indian. For the B side, Smith recorded the classic ballad "Black Jack David". Although a artistic success, it did not sell as well as Smith's debut. In spite of a review in Billboard calling it "commercial", this record also failed to sell.Warren Smith (singer) – Smith at the Big D Jamboree
27. The Tennessee Three – The group provided the unique backing that would come to be recognized as "the Johnny Cash sound." Sr. older brother of Johnny Cash, was service manager at an Automobile Sales Company dealership in Memphis, Tennessee. 'Red' Kernodle. Grant, Kernodle and Perkins would play together when repair business was slow. When Johnny Cash moved after returning from Germany in 1954, Roy Cash introduced him to Grant, Kernodle and Perkins. The four began to play songs. By 1955, his bandmates were in the Memphis studio of Sun Records, to audition for owner Sam Phillips. Kernodle was so nervous that he left the session, not wanting to hold back the group. Phillips suggested that they call themselves Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two. When Cash moved in 1958, the group followed him. In 1960, drummer W.S. Holland joined the group, then renamed The Tennessee Three. Holland has been credited as one of the first country drummers. In the early 1950s, he had collaborated with Cash on recordings, well as having played with Carl Perkins and the "Perkins Brothers Band". In 1961 the group released two instrumental singles on Columbia recorded as The Tennessee Two and Friend. The four songs would later be included in Cash's greatest hits collection More of Old Golden Throat.The Tennessee Three – The band with Johnny Cash in 1963.
28. Rufus Thomas – Rufus C. Thomas, Jr. was an American rhythm and blues, funk, soul and blues singer, songwriter, dancer, DJ and comic entertainer from Memphis, Tennessee. Thomas recorded before becoming established in the 1960s and 1970s at Stax Records. Thomas is best known for his novelty dance records including "Walking the Dog", "Do the Funky Chicken" and" Push and Pull". As a performer and recording artist was often billed as "The World's Oldest Teenager". Thomas was the father of keyboard player Marvell Thomas. Born a sharecropper's son in the rural community of Cayce, Mississippi, he moved with his family around 1920. His mother was "a woman". He made his debut at the age of six playing a frog in a school theatrical production. He also began performing in traveling tent shows. Thomas married Cornelia Lorene Wilson in 1940, at a service officiated by Aretha Franklin's father, the couple settled in Memphis. He worked a job in the American Finishing Company textile bleaching plant, which he continued to do for over 20 years. One early winner was B. B. King, others first discovered by Thomas later in the 1940s included Bobby Bland and Johnny Ace. In the early 1940s, he began performing his own songs.Rufus Thomas – Rufus Thomas, "The World's Oldest Teenager".
29. Hayden ThompsonHayden Thompson – Hayden Thompson
30. Ike Turner – Izear Luster "Ike" Turner, Jr. was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, record producer. He began playing guitar when he was eight, forming his group, the Kings of Rhythm, as a teenager. Turner employed the group for the rest of his life. His first recording, "Rocket 88", credited to "his Delta Cats", in 1951 is considered a contender for "first rock and roll song". Relocating in 1954, Turner built the Kings into one of the most renowned acts on the local club circuit. He recorded including Chess, Modern, Trumpet, Flair and Sue. With the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, Turner graduated to larger labels United Artists. Throughout his career he was nominated for three others. Addicted for at least 15 years, he was convicted of drug offenses, serving seventeen months in prison between July 1989 and 1991. Turner spent the rest of the 1990s free of his addiction but relapsed in 2004. He has frequently been referred by contemporaries such as Little Richard and Johnny Otis. Phil Alexander described Turner as ` the cornerstone of roll'. He was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, to Beatrice Cushenberry, a seamstress, Isaiah Luster Turner, a Baptist minister. The younger of Turner had an elder sister named Ethel May. He said that when he was very young he witnessed his father left for dead by a white mob.Ike Turner – Ike Turner at the Long Beach Blues Festival, 1997