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A SPIN -- Elvis Presley can be forgiven for going round and round in
more ways than one these days. A 19-year-old Humes High graduate, he has
just signed a recording contract with Sun Record Co. of Memphis, and
already has a disc out that promises to be the biggest hit that Sun has
It all started when Elvis dropped into Sun's studios one day to cut a
personal record at his own expense. Sam Phillips, president of the
company, monitored the session and was so impressed with the unusual
quality in the young man's voice that he jotted down his name and
address. some time later, Phillips came across a ballad which he thought
might be right for Presley's voice. They recorded it; it didn't click.
But they tried again, this time with "Blue Moon of Kentucky," a folk
standard, backed by "That's All Right, Mama."
Just now reaching dealers' shelves, the record is getting an amazing
number of plays on all Memphis radio stations. "The odd thing about it,"
says Marion Keisker of the Sun office, "is that both sides seem to be
equally popular on popular, folk and race record programs. This boy has
something that seems to appeal to everybody."
"We've just gotten the sample records out to the disk jockeys and
distributors in other cities," she said, "but we got big orders
yesterday from Dallas and Atlanta." Sun, started by Sam Phillips, former
WREC engineer, several years ago, has 40 distributors from coast to
coast, so there's a good chance of a big national sale.
Elvis, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Presley, 462 Alabama, is a truck
driver for Crown Electric Co. He has been singing and playing the guitar
since he was about 13--just picked it up himself. The home folks who
have been hearing him on records so often during the past few weeks can
see Elvis in person when he's presented by Disk Jockey Bob Neal in a
hillbilly show at Overton Park Shell Friday night along with veteran
entertainers from the Louisiana Hayride.
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The Front Row - Memphis Press Scimitar, July 28, 1954 courtesy
Jim Reid photo of Elvis at Press Scimitar office courtesy of David English