A one-man band is a musician who plays a number of instruments using their hands, feet and various mechanical or electronic contraptions. One-man bands often sing while they perform; the simplest type of "one-man band" is a singer accompanying themselves on acoustic guitar and playing a harmonica mounted in a metal "harp rack" below the mouth. This approach is taken by buskers and folk music singer-guitarists. More complicated setups may include wind instruments strapped around the neck, a large bass drum mounted on the musician's back with a beater, connected to a foot pedal, cymbals strapped between the knees or triggered by a pedal mechanism and maracas tied to the limbs, a stringed instrument strapped over the shoulders. Since the development of Musical Instrument Digital Interface in the 1980s, musicians have incorporated chest-mounted MIDI drum pads, foot-mounted electronic drum triggers, electronic pedal keyboards into their set-ups. In the 2000s and 2010s, the availability of affordable digital looping pedals has enabled singer-musicians to record a riff or chord progression and solo or sing over it.
The earliest known records of multiple musical instruments being played at the same time date from the 13th century, were the pipe and tabor. The pipe was a simple three-holed flute; this type of playing can still be heard in England and Spain. An Elizabethan-era woodcut shows a clown playing the tabor. An 1820s watercolour painting shows a one-man band with a rhythm-making stick, panpipes around his neck and a bass drum and tambourine beside him. Henry Mayhew's history of London street life in the 1840s and 1850s described a blind street performer who played bells, the violin and accordions. Guitarist Jim Garner played guitar with his hands and triangle with his feet, Will Blankenship of the Blankenship Family of North Carolina played harmonica and triangle in shows during the 1930s. In the 1940s, entertainer and clown Benny Dougal used a crude "stump fiddle" with a footpedal-operated pair of cymbals. Blues singers such as "Daddy Stovepipe" would sing, play guitar, stomp their feet for rhythm, or used a foot pedal to play bass drum or cymbal.
One of the earliest modern exponents of multiple instruments was Jesse Fuller. Fuller developed a foot-operated bass instrument which he called the "footdella", which had six bass strings which were struck by hammers. In "one-man-band" shows, Fuller would use his "footdella", a footpedal-operated "sock", a homemade neck harness, a 12-string guitar. Fate Norris, of the Skillet Lickers, a hillbilly string band of the 1920s and early 1930s developed a geared mechanical contraption with footpedals that enabled him to play guitar, bass fiddle, fiddle and mouth harp. Joe Barrick, born in Oklahoma in 1922, wanted a way of accompanying himself on fiddle, so he built a contraption with a guitar neck on a board with footpedals to operate the notes. Subsequent versions of this "piatar" had bass guitar and banjo necks and a snare drum which are played by foot-operated hammers. To change notes on the guitar-family instruments, a foot treadle operates a mechanical fretting device. Two notable one-man blues bands active in Memphis in the 1950s were Doctor Ross and Joe Hill Louis, playing guitar and bass drum/high-hat.
The simple guitar and harmonica combination is so common now that it is considered to be a one-man band. British-born Don Partridge made the classic one-man band outfit famous in the streets of Europe, was an early busker to enter the Top Ten of the UK Singles Chart, with his hit singles "Rosie" and "Blue Eyes" in 1968. Modern one-man bands include such performers as Ben de la Garza, Hasil Adkins and Sterling Magee, better known as "Mister Satan," from Satan and Adam. "The one-man band exists, in all its uniqueness and independence, as a most elusive yet persistent musical tradition. As a category of musicianship it transcends cultural and geographic boundaries, spans stylistic limits, defies conventional notions of technique and instrumentation. Defined as a single musician playing more than one instrument at the same time, it is an ensemble limited only by the mechanical capabilities and imaginative inventiveness of its creator, despite its accepted status as an isolated novelty, it is a phenomenon with some identifiable historical continuity."
The term "one-man band" is colloquially used to describe a performer who plays every instrument on a recorded song one at a time, mixes them together in a multitrack studio. While this approach to recording is more common in electronica genres such as techno and acid house than traditional rock music, some rock performers such as Joe Hill Louis, Stevie Wonder, Lenny Kravitz, Paul McCartney, Kabir Suman, Dave Edmunds, John Fogerty, Emitt Rhodes, Todd Rundgren, Steve Winwood, Roy Wood, Nik Kershaw, Les Fradkin have made records in which they play every instrument. Mike Oldfield was noted for using this recording technique during the recording of his 1973 album Tubular Bells. Other examples of a one-man band in the recording studio are Dave Grohl for the first studio album by the Foo Fighters, Trent Reznor for Nine Inch Nails, jazz piano player Keith Jarrett for his album No End, Peter Tagtgren for Pain, Chris Carrabba for the
Electric blues refers to any type of blues music distinguished by the use of electric amplification for musical instruments. The guitar was the first instrument to be popularly amplified and used by early pioneers T-Bone Walker in the late 1930s and John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters in the 1940s, their styles developed into West Coast blues, Detroit blues, post-World War II Chicago blues, which differed from earlier, predominantly acoustic-style blues. By the early 1950s, Little Walter was a featured soloist on blues harmonica or blues harp using a small hand-held microphone fed into a guitar amplifier. Although it took a little longer, the electric bass guitar replaced the stand-up bass by the early 1960s. Electric organs and keyboards became used in electric blues; the blues, like jazz began to be amplified in the late 1930s. The first star of the electric blues is recognized as being T-Bone Walker. After World War II, amplified blues music became popular in American cities that had seen widespread African American migration, such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, the West Coast.
The initial impulse was to be heard above the noise of lively rent parties. Playing in small venues, electric blues bands tended to remain modest in size compared with larger jazz bands. In its early stages electric blues used amplified electric guitars, double bass, harmonica played through a microphone and a PA system or a guitar amplifier. By the late 1940s several Chicago-based blues artists had begun to use amplification, including John Lee Williamson and Johnny Shines. Early recordings in the new style were made in 1947 and 1948 by musicians such as Johnny Young, Floyd Jones, Snooky Pryor; the format was perfected by Muddy Waters, who utilized various small groups that provided a strong rhythm section and powerful harmonica. His "I Can't Be Satisfied" was followed by a series of ground-breaking recordings. Chicago blues is influenced to a large extent by the Mississippi blues style, because many performers had migrated from the Mississippi region. Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Jimmy Reed were all born in Mississippi and moved to Chicago during the Great Migration.
In addition to electric guitar, a rhythm section of bass and drums, some performers such as J. T. Brown who played in Elmore James's bands or J. B. Lenoir's used saxophones as a supporting instrument. Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Walter Horton were among the best known harmonica players of the early Chicago blues scene and the sound of electric instruments and harmonica is seen as characteristic of electric Chicago blues. Muddy Waters and Elmore James were known for their innovative use of slide electric guitar. Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters were for their deep, "gravelly" voices. Bassist and composer Willie Dixon played a major role on the Chicago blues scene, he composed and wrote many standard blues songs of the period, such as "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and, "Wang Dang Doodle", "Spoonful" and "Back Door Man" for Howlin' Wolf. Most artists of the Chicago blues style recorded for the Chicago-based Chess Records and Checker Records labels, there were smaller blues labels in this era including Vee-Jay Records and J.
O. B. Records. In the late 1950s, the West Side style blues emerged in Chicago with major figures including Magic Sam, Jimmy Dawkins, Magic Slim and Otis Rush. West side clubs were more accessible to white audiences, but performers were black, or part of mixed combos. West side blues incorporated elements of blues rock but with a greater emphasis on standards and traditional blues song forms. Albert King, Buddy Guy, Luther Allison had a West Side style, dominated by amplified electric lead guitar. Memphis, with its flourishing acoustic blues scene based in Beale Street developed an electric blues sound during the early 1950s. Sam Phillips' Sun Records company recorded musicians such as Howlin' Wolf, Willie Nix, Ike Turner, B. B. King. Other Memphis blues musicians involved with Sun Records included Joe Hill Louis, Willie Johnson and Pat Hare who introduced electric guitar techniques such as distorted and power chords, anticipating elements of heavy metal music; these players had an influence on early rock & rollers and rockabillies, many of whom recorded for Sun Records.
After Phillips discovered Elvis Presley in 1954, the Sun label turned to the expanding white audience and started recording rock'n' roll. Booker T. & the M. G.'s carried the electric blues style into the 1960s. Detroit-based John Lee Hooker pursued a unique brand of electric blues based on his deep rough voice accompanied by a single electric guitar. Though not directly influenced by boogie woogie, his "groovy" style is sometimes called "guitar boogie", his first hit, "Boogie Chillen", reached #1 on the R&B charts in 1949. He continued to play and record until his death in 2001; the New Orleans blues musician Guitar Slim recorded "The Things That I Used to Do", which featured an electric guitar solo with distorted overtones and became a major R&B hit in 1954. It is regarded as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, contributed to the development of soul music. In the 1950s, blues had a huge influence on mainstream American popular music. While popular musicians like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, both recording for Chess, were influenced by the Chicago blues, their enthusiastic
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that has six strings. It is played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger/fingernails of one hand, while fretting with the fingers of the other hand; the sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker. The guitar is a type of chordophone, traditionally constructed from wood and strung with either gut, nylon or steel strings and distinguished from other chordophones by its construction and tuning; the modern guitar was preceded by the gittern, the vihuela, the four-course Renaissance guitar, the five-course baroque guitar, all of which contributed to the development of the modern six-string instrument. There are three main types of modern acoustic guitar: the classical guitar, the steel-string acoustic guitar, the archtop guitar, sometimes called a "jazz guitar"; the tone of an acoustic guitar is produced by the strings' vibration, amplified by the hollow body of the guitar, which acts as a resonating chamber.
The classical guitar is played as a solo instrument using a comprehensive finger-picking technique where each string is plucked individually by the player's fingers, as opposed to being strummed. The term "finger-picking" can refer to a specific tradition of folk, blues and country guitar playing in the United States; the acoustic bass guitar is a low-pitched instrument, one octave below a regular guitar. Electric guitars, introduced in the 1930s, use an amplifier and a loudspeaker that both makes the sound of the instrument loud enough for the performers and audience to hear, given that it produces an electric signal when played, that can electronically manipulate and shape the tone using an equalizer and a huge variety of electronic effects units, the most used ones being distortion and reverb. Early amplified guitars employed a hollow body, but solid wood guitars began to dominate during the 1960s and 1970s, as they are less prone to unwanted acoustic feedback "howls"; as with acoustic guitars, there are a number of types of electric guitars, including hollowbody guitars, archtop guitars and solid-body guitars, which are used in rock music.
The loud, amplified sound and sonic power of the electric guitar played through a guitar amp has played a key role in the development of blues and rock music, both as an accompaniment instrument and performing guitar solos, in many rock subgenres, notably heavy metal music and punk rock. The electric guitar has had a major influence on popular culture; the guitar is used in a wide variety of musical genres worldwide. It is recognized as a primary instrument in genres such as blues, country, folk, jota, metal, reggae, rock and many forms of pop. Before the development of the electric guitar and the use of synthetic materials, a guitar was defined as being an instrument having "a long, fretted neck, flat wooden soundboard, a flat back, most with incurved sides." The term is used to refer to a number of chordophones that were developed and used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and in the Americas. A 3,300-year-old stone carving of a Hittite bard playing a stringed instrument is the oldest iconographic representation of a chordophone and clay plaques from Babylonia show people playing an instrument that has a strong resemblance to the guitar, indicating a possible Babylonian origin for the guitar.
The modern word guitar, its antecedents, has been applied to a wide variety of chordophones since classical times and as such causes confusion. The English word guitar, the German Gitarre, the French guitare were all adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic قيثارة and the Latin cithara, which in turn came from the Ancient Greek κιθάρα. Which comes from the Persian word "sihtar"; this pattern of naming is visible in setar and sitar. The word "tar" at the end of all of these words is a Persian word that means "string". Many influences are cited as antecedents to the modern guitar. Although the development of the earliest "guitars" is lost in the history of medieval Spain, two instruments are cited as their most influential predecessors, the European lute and its cousin, the four-string oud. At least two instruments called "guitars" were in use in Spain by 1200: the guitarra latina and the so-called guitarra morisca; the guitarra morisca had a rounded back, wide fingerboard, several sound holes.
The guitarra Latina had a narrower neck. By the 14th century the qualifiers "moresca" or "morisca" and "latina" had been dropped, these two cordophones were referred to as guitars; the Spanish vihuela, called in Italian the "viola da mano", a guitar-like instrument of the 15th and 16th centuries, is considered to have been the single most important influence in the development of the baroque guitar. It had six courses, lute-like tuning in fourths and a guitar-like body, although early representations reveal an instrument with a cut waist, it was larger than the contemporary four-course guitars. By the 16th century, the vihuela's construction had more in common with the modern guitar, with its curved one-piece ribs, than with the viols, more like a larger version of the contemporary four-course guita
Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or "the King". Presley was born in Tupelo and relocated to Memphis, with his family when he was 13 years old, his music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. Accompanied by guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, Presley was a pioneer of rockabilly, an uptempo, backbeat-driven fusion of country music and rhythm and blues. In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley's classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage him 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. With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll.
His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, made him enormously popular—and controversial. In November 1956, Presley made his film debut in Love Me Tender. Drafted into military service in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years with some of his most commercially successful work, he held few concerts however, guided by Parker, proceeded to devote much of the 1960s to making Hollywood films and soundtrack albums, most of them critically derided. In 1968, following a seven-year break from live performances, he returned to the stage in the acclaimed television comeback special Elvis, which led to an extended Las Vegas concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973, Presley gave the first concert by a solo artist to be broadcast around the world, Aloha from Hawaii. Years of prescription drug abuse compromised his health, he died in 1977 at his Graceland estate at the age of 42.
Presley is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music. He was commercially successful in many genres, including pop, country and gospel, he won three competitive Grammys, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at age 36, has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame. Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, in Tupelo, Mississippi, to Gladys Love Presley in the two-room shotgun house built by his father, Vernon Elvis Presley, in preparation for the birth. Jesse Garon Presley, his identical twin brother, was delivered 35 minutes before stillborn. Presley became close to both parents and formed an close bond with his mother; the family attended an Assembly of God church. On his mother's side Presley's ancestry was Scots-Irish, with some French Norman. Gladys and the rest of the family believed that her great-great-grandmother, Morning Dove White, was Cherokee. Vernon's forebears were of Scottish origin. Gladys was regarded by friends as the dominant member of the small family.
Vernon moved from one odd job to the evincing little ambition. The family relied on help from neighbors and government food assistance. In 1938, they lost their home after Vernon was found guilty of altering a check written by his landowner and sometime employer, he was jailed for eight months, while Elvis moved in with relatives. In September 1941, Presley entered first grade at East Tupelo Consolidated, where his teachers regarded him as "average", he was encouraged to enter a singing contest after impressing his schoolteacher with a rendition of Red Foley's country song "Old Shep" during morning prayers. The contest, held at the Mississippi–Alabama Fair and Dairy Show on October 3, 1945, was his first public performance; the ten-year-old Presley was dressed as a cowboy. He recalled placing fifth. A few months Presley received his first guitar for his birthday. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family's church. Presley recalled, "I took the guitar, I watched people, I learned to play a little bit.
But I would never sing in public. I was shy about it."In September 1946, Presley entered a new school, for sixth grade. The following year, he began bringing his guitar to school on a daily basis, he played and sang during lunchtime, was teased as a "trashy" kid who played hillbilly music. By the family was living in a Black neighborhood. Presley was a devotee of Mississippi Slim's show on the Tupelo radio station WELO, he was described as "crazy about music" by Slim's younger brother, one of Presley's classmates and took him into the station. Slim supplemented Presley's guitar tuition by demonstrating chord techniques; when his protégé was twelve years old, Slim scheduled him for two on-air performances. Presley was succeeded in performing the following week. In November 1948, the family moved to Tennessee. After residing for nearly a year in rooming houses, they were granted a two-bedroom apartment in the public housing complex known as the Lauderdale Courts. Enrolled at L. C. Humes Hig
Tiger Man (album)
Tiger Man is a compilation from American singer and musician Elvis Presley consisting of tracks from his second comeback concert in 1968. Personnel includes: Elvis Presley. J. Fontana. Presley's friend Alan Fortas provides percussion on a guitar case, with hands. Lance LeGault is on tambourine, just off the stage, near Presley. Compilation producers: Ernst Mikael Jorgensen, Roger Semon. Engineers: Al Pachucki, Mike Moran, Dick Baxter. Recorded at NBC Studio 4, California on June 27, 1968. Includes liner notes by Colin Escott. Out of two small "concerts" Elvis Presley recorded for his "comeback" TV special on June 27, 1968, TIGER MAN is the entire second show and featured 7 unreleased songs. Audio Mixer: Dennis Ferrante. Liner Note Author: Colin Escott. Recording information: 06/27/1968. During the most captivating segment of Elvis Presley's phenomenal 1968 television comeback special, Presley reunited with original band members Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana. To film that segment and the group performed two sets before a small, but rapt studio audience.
A generous selection of performances from those concerts became available on video in 1985 under the title "Elvis: One Night With You," but RCA waited until 1998 to release TIGER MAN, a single CD of the performances. Most rock and blues music aficionados who have seen "One Night With You" will not need much convincing to buy TIGER MAN; these performances quite capture Presley at his best, singing with a joy and fire absent from much of his 1960s output. At the same time, Presley is giving it his all, as if trying to undo in one brief set all the damage that years of safe, mediocre movies did to his image. An unusual and stunning aspect is that Presley "swaps axes" - the electric guitar - with Moore early in the set. Instead of Moore's groundbreaking country-blues fusion guitar licks, we hear something new and unexpected. Presley's wild and incendiary rhythmic lead guitar playing reveals a side of Elvis Presley's musicianship unheard on disc, it is not something serious music fans want to miss, it is displayed well on this album.
He had played the electric guitar live before, on a few occasions. And he played it on record both after the special, but there is no other recorded evidence of THIS kind of playing. Moore is generous, giving his friend and bandmate room to shine, while he either fingerpicks or strums along with Presley, Presley's strumming friend Charlie Hodge
Big Mama Thornton
Willie Mae Thornton better known as Big Mama Thornton, was an American rhythm-and-blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record Leiber and Stoller's "Hound Dog", in 1952, which became her biggest hit, staying seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B chart in 1953 and selling two million copies. Thornton's other recordings included the original version of "Chain", which she wrote. Thornton's performances were characterized by her powerful voice and strong sense of self, she was given her nickname, "Big Mama," by Frank Schiffman, the manager of Harlem's Apollo Theater, because of her strong voice and personality. Thornton stated that she was louder than any microphone and didn’t want a microphone to be as loud as she was. Alice Echols, the author of a biography of Janis Joplin, said that Thornton could sing in a "pretty voice" but did not want to. Thornton said, "My singing comes from my experience… My own experience. I never had no one teach me nothin’. I never went to school for music or nothin’.
I taught myself to sing and to blow harmonica and to play drums by watchin’ other people! I can't read music, but I know what I'm singing! I don't sing like nobody but myself."Her style was influenced by gospel music, which she grew up listening to at the home of a preacher, though her genre could be described as blues. Thornton was quoted in a 1980 article in the New York Times: "when I was comin' up, listening to Bessie Smith and all, they sung from their heart and soul and expressed themselves. That's why when I do a song by somebody, I have my own way of singing it; because I don't want to be Jimmy Reed, I want to be me. I like to put myself into whatever I'm doin' so I can feel it". Scholars such as Maureen Mahon have praised Thornton for subverting traditional roles of African-American women, she added a female voice to a field, dominated by white males, her strong personality transgressed stereotypes of what an African-American woman should be. This transgression was an integral part of her stage persona.
Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin admired her unique style of singing and incorporated elements of it in their own work. Her vocal sound and style of delivery are key parts of her style and are recognizable in Presley's and Joplin's work. Thornton's birth certificate states that she was born in Ariton, but in an interview with Chris Strachwitz she claimed Montgomery, Alabama, as her birthplace because Montgomery was better known than Ariton, she was introduced to music in a Baptist church, where her father was a minister and her mother a singer. She and her six siblings began to sing at early ages, her mother died young, Willie Mae left school and got a job washing and cleaning spittoons in a local tavern. In 1940 she left home and, with the help of Diamond Teeth Mary, joined Sammy Green's Hot Harlem Revue and was soon billed as the "New Bessie Smith", her musical education started in the church but continued through her observation of the rhythm-and-blues singers Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie, whom she admired.
Thornton's career began to take off when she moved to Houston in 1948. "A new kind of popular blues was coming out of the clubs in Texas and Los Angeles, full of brass horns, jumpy rhythms, wisecracking lyrics." She signed a recording contract with Peacock Records in 1951 and performed at the Apollo Theater in 1952. In 1952, she recorded "Hound Dog" while working with another Peacock artist, Johnny Otis; the songwriters, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, were present at the recording, with Leiber demonstrating the song in the vocal style they had envisioned. "We wanted her to growl it," Stoller said, which she did, it sold more than half a million copies, helping to bring in the dawn of rock'n' roll. The record was produced by Stoller. Otis played drums, it was the first recording produced by Stoller. The record went to number one on the R&B chart; the record made her a star. On Christmas Day 1954 in a Houston, Texas theatre she witnessed fellow performer Johnny Ace signed to Duke and Peacock record labels, accidentally shot and killed himself while playing with a.22 pistol.
Thornton continued to record for Peacock until 1957 and performed in R&B package tours with Junior Parker and Esther Phillips. Thornton's success with "Hound Dog" was followed three years by Elvis Presley recording his hit version of the song, his recording at first annoyed Leiber who wrote, "I have no idea what that rabbit business is all about. The song is not about a dog, it's about a man, a freeloading gigolo." But Elvis' version sold ten million copies, so today few fans know that "Hound Dog" began as "an anthem of black female power." Thornton recorded her song "Ball'n' Chain" for Bay-Tone Records in the early 1960s, "and though the label chose not to release the song… they did hold on to the copyright"—which meant that Thornton missed out on the publishing royalties when Janis Joplin recorded the song in the decade. As her career began to fade in the late 1950s and early 1960s, she left Houston and relocated to the San Francisco Bay area, "playing clubs in San Francisco and L. A. and recording for a succession of labels", notably the Berkeley-based Arhoolie Records.
In 1965, she toured with the American Folk Blues Festival in Europe, where her success was notable "because few female blues singers at that time had enjoyed success across the Atlantic." While in England that year, she recorded her first album for Arhoolie, Big Mama Thornton – In Europ
Sun Records is an American independent record label founded by Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee in 1950. Sun was the first company to record Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash. Sam Phillips opened his recording studio in 1950 at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. There, he discovered and first recorded such influential musicians as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. Presley's recording contract was sold to RCA Victor Records for $35,000 in 1955 to relieve Sun's financial difficulties. Before those records, Sun had concentrated on African-American musicians because Phillips loved rhythm and blues and wanted to bring it to a white audience. Sun record producer and 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, Jr. a resident of Memphis and high school classmate of Phillips. Sun was founded with the financial aid of Jim Bulliet, one of many record executives for whom Phillips had scouted artists before 1952.
Some of the other artists who recorded for Sun were Roscoe Gordon, Rufus Thomas, Little Milton, Tex Weiss, Charlie Rich, Howlin Wolf, Bill Justis, Conway Twitty. In the Lovin' Spoonful song "Nashville Cats", John Sebastian used poetic license when he referred to Sun as the "Yellow Sun Records from Nashville". There were sixteen female recording artists whose records were released on the Sun and Phillips international label; these include the Miller Sisters. In 1969, Mercury Records label producer Shelby Singleton 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 introduced rockabilly tribute singer Jimmy "Orion" Ellis in 1979, with Orion taking on the persona of Elvis Presley. The company remains in business as Sun Entertainment Corporation, licenses its brand and classic hit recordings to independent reissue labels. Sun Entertainment includes SSS International Records, Plantation Records, Amazon Records, Red Bird Records, Blue Cat Records among other labels the company acquired over the years.
Its website sells compact discs bearing the original 1950s Sun logo. Sun Records is located in Tennessee, it has been a reissue label since the 1970s but signed country musician Julie Roberts to a recording contract in 2013. The music of many Sun Records musicians helped lay part of the foundation of late 20th-century rock and roll and influenced many younger musicians, including the Beatles. In 2001, Paul McCartney appeared on a tribute compilation album titled Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records; the 2008 tribute Million Dollar Quartet is based on the famous photograph of Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis grouped round Elvis Presley at the piano, the night when the four joined in an impromptu jam at Sun Records' one-room sound studio, the "Million Dollar Quartet" of 4 December 1956. A TV series about the label ran for eight episodes on CMT from February to April, 2017. List of record labels Elvis Presley's Sun recordings Johnny Cash's Sun recordings Roy Orbison's Sun Recordings Official website Sun Studio official site Chronology, session files, discography