World Cafe

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Join the World Cafe through performances and interviews with celebrated and emerging artists.
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Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips, 4th from left Sam Phillips, 4th from left
Memphis Tennessee – Soul music, Barbeque and Elvis Presley. Today’s show focuses on Sun and Graceland. For Sun, we have an interview with none other than Sam Phillips, the founder of the famed studio! Recorded in 2002, a year before the accomplished producer died.

Phillips shares his memories of his early days making records. 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 the attitudes in the South at the time. Phillips 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". And he 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.

There is lots more about Memphis food, venues and more spots to visit at our Sense of Place website.

Session Setlist
The Prisonaires / "Just Walking in the Rain" /
Elvis Presley / "That's All Right" /

Spotify Playlist Celebrating Sun Records
1. "Ballad of a Teenage Queen" - Johnny Cash
2. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" - Jerry Lee Lewis
3. "Blue Suede Shoes" - Carl Perkins
4. "That's All Right" - Elvis Presley
5. "Mona Lisa" - Carl Mann
6. "Go Go Go" - Roy Orbison
7. "Red Hot" - Billy Lee Riley
8. "Raunchy" - Bill Justis
9. "Bear Cat" - Rufus Thomas
10. "Just Walking in the Rain" - The Prisonaires