Est. 1997
1950s



Sam Phillips opened the Memphis Recording Service at 706 Union Avenue, January 1950 in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1952, he started Sun Records where he recorded B. B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley and many others. Sam Phillips changed the course of popular music.

Watch Nellie Lutcher on
This Is Your Life.

Nat King Cole's records topped the best-seller list.

Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield), the original Rollin' Stone, from rural Mississippi played the blues like no other.

Jimmy Reed, songwriter, singer, guitar and harmonica player was one of the best known blues performers in the 1950s.

Willie Dixon could do it all.

Before Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, there was Kitty Wells, the first female to sell a million records. Her 1952 recording of It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels became the first No. 1 Billboard country hit for a solo female artist.

Professor Longhair cut Tipitina in 1953 at Cosimo Matassa's J&M Recording Studio.

Little Richard from Macon, Georgia recorded Tutti Frutti in 1955 at J&M Recording Studio.

In 1955, Mae Axton 'Queen Mother of Nashville' and Tommy Durden wrote Elvis Presley's first #1 hit, Heartbreak Hotel.

CORDELL JACKSON  - The first female to write, sing, arrange, accompany, record, engineer, produce, and distribute her own music.

Be-Bop-a-Lula was written by Gene Vincent Donald Graves, Bill "Sheriff Tex" Davis.

Chuck Berry from St. Louis produced such top 10 hits as "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Rock And Roll Music," and "Johnny B. Goode."

Rufus Thomas started out performing with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels in the mid-30s.  He recorded "Bear Cat" in the 50s on Sun Records and "Walking The Dog" on Stax records in the 60s.

Miles Davis from East St. Louis recorded Kind of Blue in1959. Kind of Blue would become the best-selling jazz album of all time. "I've changed music five or six times." - Miles Davis

I know that there are bad forces, forces that bring suffering to others and misery to the world. I want to be the opposite force. I want to be the force which is truly for good. - John Coltrane

Hank Cochran has had over a thousand songs recorded by such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, and Elvis Presley.

From 1956 until 1970, Joe Bussard ran the last 78 rpm record label, Fonotone.

It's Just a Matter of Time was the first in a string of hits for Brooke Benton.

1958 - Brenda Lee was only 13 years old when she recorded Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree.

On February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly (22), Richie Valens (17), The Big Bopper (28) and Pilot Roger Peterson, died in a plane crash a few miles northwest of Mason City, Iowa.

John Dibert Tuberculosis Hospital: Rex Griffin passed away.

White Lightning, a song written by The Big Bopper was the first number one on the Billboard country chart for George Jones.


 
MY MUSICAL LIFE
By Carl P. McConnell

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1950s

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