Saturday, May 26, 2012

A fixed natural order to the cosmos:Elvis Presley

In the summer of 1953 Elvis Presley drops by The Memphis Recording Service, home of the Sun label, and makes a demo acetate of "My Happiness" and "That’s When Your Heartaches Begin" for a cost of about $4.00. (The studio came to be known as Sun Studio, though it was never officially named that until many years later. Sam Phillips, the studio owner isn’t in, so his assistant, Marion Keisker, handles the session. Elvis wants to see what his voice sounds like on a record and he has aspirations to become a professional singer.

On June 6, 1954, at Marion Keisker’s suggestion, Sam Phillips calls Elvis into the studio to try singing a song Sam hopes to put out on record. The song is "Without You" and Elvis does not sing it to Sam’s satisfaction. Sam asks Elvis what he can sing and Elvis runs through a number of popular tunes. Sam is impressed enough to team Elvis up with local musicians Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass) to see if they together can come up with something worthwhile. 

On July 4, 1954 Elvis meets Scotty and Bill, but nothing really clicks until July 5, when after a tedious session, Elvis and the guys break into a sped-up version of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's All Right." This song, backed with “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” becomes the first of five singles Elvis will release on the Sun label. 

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