A history of Memphis' Sun Records, the legendary label that started the careers of such rock and country icons as Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. Included are archival footage and interviews with many rock and country artists who either recorded for Sun or knew owner Sam Phillips.
Gigantic eight record box, this comes the closest to documenting the wide breadth of blues recordings done by Sam Phillips at the Sun studios in Memphis during the early 50s. A landmark achievement.
This multi-disc set has most of the major blues classics of the late 1940's and 1950's that went on to spawn the rock era; from Ike Turner and Rocket 88 to Howlin' Wolf's best sides. Sam Phillips and Sun Records got every major player south of Chicago to record there sooner or later–and even some who had done work in Chicago came back to do work in the landmark Memphis studio (which is a GREAT tourist destination!).
Sam Phillips didn't record anybody else the way he recorded Jerry Lee Lewis. With other artists, he pushed and prodded, taking his time to discover the qualities that made them uniquely human, but with Jerry Lee, he just turned the tape on and let the Killer rip. There was no need to sculpt because Lewis arrived at Sun Studios fully formed, ready to lean back and play anything that crossed his mind. Over the course of seven years, that's more or less how things were run at Sun: Lewis would sit at the piano and play, singing songs that were brought to him and songs that crossed his mind, and Sam never stopped rolling the tape.
Twelve years after they released their first Merle Haggard box, The Untamed Hawk, Bear Family delivered the sequel, Hag: The Studio Recordings 1969-1976. This picks up where The Untamed Hawk left off, which is more of a musical dividing point than it initially seems. If The Untamed Hawk caught Haggard as he was reaching full flight, Hag captures him in his prime, as every single he released reached the Country Top Ten – often capturing the number one slot – and as he sometimes crossed over into the pop Top 40. Hag was without a doubt the biggest star in country music but the remarkable thing about his reign at the top was that he never played it safe.