Sam Phillips Music Celebration
1st annual tribute to Sam Phillips will be held in the Shoals area of Alabama
Music celebration set for January will honor
By Russ Corey
FLORENCE -- Jerry Phillips wants to see his father's legacy preserved. The
son of legendary Sun Records
founder Sam Phillips said the Sam Phillips Music Celebration is one way to
accomplish that. "This is a-Shoalswide event," said Big River Broadcasting
promotions director Jimmy Oliver. "Sam Phillips loved the whole Shoals area."
The celebration will be Jan. 3-7, 2006 at several locations in Sheffield and
A Florence native, Sam Phillips is known for discovering Rock 'n' Roll pioneers
such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison
and Charlie Rich. Lewis, affectionately known as "The Killer," will headline a
concert at the conference center Jan. 7. "This is so overdue," said
Florence Mayor Bobby Irons. "(Sam Phillips) has done so much for the musical heritage we have in our community."
Jerry Phillips said the idea is not only to honor his father's accomplishments,
but the musical heritage of the Shoals of which Sam Phillips was a part of
before moving to Memphis, Tenn., where he founded Sun Records. "He never
forgot about his roots," Phillips said. "I really think this will turn into
something to really benefit us all." Sam Phillips has been inducted into the
Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of
Fame. He is also a member of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly
Hall of Fame.
The celebration will officially begin Jan. 3 at the main post office in Florence
with the commemoration of a Sam Phillips cancellation stamp. A portrait of Sam
Phillips that will hang in the post office will also be unveiled. Several
events will follow at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. A historical
marker will be dedicated at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa. The marker
will be located near the hotel's front entrance. The Marriott will also dedicate
one of its 2,200-square-foot suites to Sam Phillips.
On the evening of the main concert, Oliver said the conference center will be
decorated to resemble Beale Street in Memphis. Rooms will be decorated
like Beale Street clubs and will feature a variety of Sam Phillips-influenced
As his father influenced a generation of performers, Jerry Phillips said
performers like Presley and Lewis went on to influence a whole new generation of
musicians like Elton John and Aerosmith. "There's no one in the music
business today that hasn't been influenced some way by Sam's music," Phillips
said. He said he speaks to many young people who are listening to artists
who have rediscovered traditional rock and roll.
Sheffield Mayor Billy Don Anderson said he is glad that parts of the celebration
will take place in his city. "We need to continue to search for
opportunities to capitalize on the rich musical heritage of our whole
community," Anderson said. "Music is a universal language that knows no
boundaries," added David Johnson, director of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Tickets to the main concert are $50 and corporate tables will be available.
For details, contact Nick Martin, of Big River Broadcasting, at (256) 764-8121
www.wxfl.com or www.wsbm.com.
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Daily. All Rights Reserved.
a schedule of events
can be found at: http://www.wqlt.com/samphillipsmusic.htm