tv Sun Studio CSPAN November 17, 2018 11:45pm-12:01am EST
his book, every man a king. memoir, kerry with his every day is extra. watch the miami book fair live this weekend on c-span two's big -- book tv. >> we are at the birthplace of rock 'n roll. son studios was the first place to release elvis presley. up next, we take you inside the studio to learn how it came to be. >> it is significant, the sun studio, immediately, it is thought of being the birthplace of rock 'n roll, kind of where the genre kind of coalesced to create this sound. with elvis being here, bb king,
johnny cash, jerry lee lewis, giving us the title of the birthplace of rock 'n roll. the crater was sam phillips. this was his vision. this studio. he opened it to record the blues music that was being played here on beale street. at a time when most people in .he area saw no value he received criticism just for recording blues. he felt this was a true form of music. there was true emotion and feeling that people were getting in most of pop radio, which was songs and arrangements.
he knew the younger people in america are looking for something different. they could relate to more than that. that kind of youthful raw energy. that is what he wanted. something different. 1950.ened the place in memphis in those days was hugely segregated. way tot that music was a tie people together. you could segregate restaurants, schools, but you cannot segregate music. you cannot someone -- stop someone from turning on the radio and listening to something. so he saw music as a way to transcend these racial issues and tensions we were having in
memphis and across the country. herehose this storefront for the studio. this was the first actual studio in memphis. most of the other recordings were done in radio stations. that is why a lot of these guys came out of a background field at radio. the recorded live music at radio. we are in the control room now. this was his office, basically. this is the gear he used. simple equipment. he would look out the window .ere, the petition this was the cutting room. this is where the musicians would be applying and then the room in the front was the little office. the office manager was out here. he had these three rooms. they incredible how
affected our culture with these three little rooms. the first acts he recorded were blues acts and country. some country music as well. he was more interested in country asked doing something different. at that time you had country groups that were slowly starting to incorporate rhythm and blues songs into their repertoire. he was only interested in country if they were doing something different. primarily it was blues artists. of course, a few blocks down the street is beale street. there was no end to the wealth of talent of people he could bring in here. recordt started with a 1951. rocket 88 in ike turner. first rock 'n roll
record. ♪ >> the first few years, sam was struggling. he was not doing this for -- he wanted to be successful but he wasn't intentionally recording music because he knew it was going to sell. he was recording music because he liked it. the time that he sold elvis's contract he was almost bankrupt. he was about to lose the studio. elvis recorded here, there was something sam offered which was a custom session.
you could come in. pay four dollars. record to songs. it wasn't going to be a real record. just something you could take home. i famous story says he recorded -- it is not true. he didn't record it for his mother. he had never heard his voice recorded. he wanted to make a real record. he would have to wait a year before he got a call back from sam phillips. it is an interesting story about why elvis got a call back here. there was a demo recording that inmaten made by an singing this song.
that he had written. , they lostful ballad track of who this man was. they could not find him. so they were searching for someone who could duplicate or sound similar to this man's voice. somehow they contacted sam phillips. you know anybody who sounds like this guy to recut this song. same was at a loss. he said what about that kid, elvis. give him a call. have him try to do a demo. neverelvis and a -- recorded that song. he ended up totally by accident recording that's all right mama. they put this country rhythm behind it. here was something sam wanted.
different.thing they forgot about that valid. ♪ >> i think it was popular in this region. sam was a small independent label. he did not have a huge outreach. he would literally have to drive around with records in the trunk of his car and give them to djs to play his songs. it definitely created a sensation but it was regional. it wasn't huge chart hit or
anything like that. the impact it had is incredible when you think about it. not only did it influenced so many musicians in this area to do something similar, that mixup country and blues, it led to johnny cash coming in. jerry lee lewis. carl perkins. and beyond. it reached the world. people in europe and england. the rolling stones. the beatles influenced by these little records. theyweren't huge hit but affected everything we are listening to today. it is a ripple effect. sam, even with elvis, he wasn't financially stable. independent,thing
he had done all he could for elvis. he didn't have this huge promotion engine to get him out there to the rest of the country. needed that elvis management. he needed somebody who could take his career further. he saw that as almost like a mutual benefit to both of them. sam was able to keep the studio going, keep recording these other artists. records. went to rca one of the big negotiators of that deal was colonel tom parker. he was the manager of country singers in nashville. he took elvis.
no artist in history ever been promoted, marketed like that before. he became the first big superstar because of the marketing push behind him. >> sam was here for 10 years. he had a 10 year lease. he leased it. 1950. 1960 he moved down the street and opened another studio. they, this started in 1980's. mid-80's. it was open. pretty much always been a destination tourist . it has always been about recording ever since then as well. .e get hundreds of people a day people from all over the world. come, thatple that have waited their whole lives.
they will say i have waited my whole life to see this place. you see it as this -- it is an ongoing fascination people have with this place. the myth of this place. .t is a legendary place legendary studios. like the name says. our staff traveled to memphis, tennessee to learn about its rich history. learn more about memphis and other stops on c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. >> the midterm election 2018 change the balance of power in congress democrats taking control of the house and
republicans holding the majority in the senate. members prepare for the new congress in january. new congress, new leaders. watch the process unfold on c-span. this weekend, historians outlined the evolution of refugee policy. it is a briefing for congressional members and staff posed by the national history center designed to provide historical context. here is a preview. war prerogatives changed, so then did the basis of refugee admission. i might point to this shift in the early cold war, the 1940's and 1950's one can see the foreign policy of united states paying a key role in determining
which refugees were considered for admission. i will add one more complicating factor. . you had to be a refugee flaying a communist country. the cubans trying to come to the united states. that same imperative served very who foundpose themselves from more simply, the foreign prerogatives can cut both ways in terms of admissions or keeping people from coming to
the unit dates -- united states. entire lecture on cold war refugee policy. you are watching american history tv, only on c-span3. >> up next on lectures in a professor teaches a class on the great awakening in america. a period christian revitalization. it swept through the colonies and explains how the salem witch trials and the decline of your to lead to an era of traveling preachers, such as george whitfield and an emphasis on evangelism. the class is about 70 minutes. >> you are talking about the founding of the american colonies and we're getting into the 1700s today. i want to focus on religion in the light colonial period. i know this has been on your mind since you had a paper coming out about that. the lead up to the great awakening, some of the overview on what happens in the great awakening and hopefully, that will set you up for your paper.
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