Actor Leonardo DiCaprio will play Sun founder Sam Phillips in the upcoming film adaptation for Peter Guralnick’s “Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘N’ Roll.” The rights were acquired by Paramount Pictures. Producers include Jennifer Davisson, DiCaprio, Mick Jagger, Victoria Pearman, Steve Bing, Ian Montone, Rick Yorn and Peter Grualnick.
Read more about the upcoming film on Variety.
You may have heard about an upcoming television series to be aired by Country Music Television. In collaboration with Los Angeles based production team, Thinkfactory Media, “Million Dollar Quartet” is CMT’s most ambitious project to date. As one can imagine, it takes place in Memphis and revolves around Sun Records in the 1950s when the birth of legends like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner, BB King and others began.
The series is set to air in the spring of 2017. Read more about the eight episode series here.
The Phillips family have begun reviving Memphis International Records. Under the new direction, the plan is to release two to four albums per year. The first of which will be a Charlie Rich tribute album featuring performances by Charlie Rich Jr., Jim Lauderdale, Shooter Jennings, Keith Sykes, Will Kimbrough, the Malpass Brothers, Susan Marshall and more. Read more in the article from The Commercial Appeal.
The highly anticipated Sun Diner is slated to open in late 2016. The first and only 24-hour restaurant in Lower Broadway will serve up modern twists on traditional diner dishes in a vibey atmosphere.
Further reading about the new restaurant can be found from The Tennessean and News Channel 5.
Another Record Store Day has come and gone. Hopefully, many of you were able to make it to your local record shop to find the third installment of limited edition Sun compilation albums. The tracklist was again curated by Record Store Day, and brought to you by ORG Music. The album features the “other” side of Sun, with some of the more obscure tracks from artists like Betty Lavette, The Twiggs and U.S. Apple Corps. It has been well received by the music community, as it became the first Sun Records release to chart on Billboard since the ’80s (#5 Compilation Albums, #12 Vinyl Albums, #37 Independent Albums for the week of May 7, 2016).
ORG Music also re-released a popular Johnny Cash album, All Aboard the Blue Train. The remastered album features classic songs like “Hey Porter” and “Folsom Prison Blues”. The LP made Billboard’s Record Store Day’s Hottest Wax list, and can be purchased here.
March 27, 1952 was the day Sam Phillips started Sun Records in Memphis, TN. Since then, his visionary ear shaped the sound of R&B, Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sam discovered legendary talents Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and many more.
In 1969, Sun was purchased by Shelby Singleton and moved to its current headquarters in Nashville, TN. The building which housed Sun Records and the Memphis Recording Service went through several changes until 1987 when it was reopened as a tourist attraction under the name Sun Studio.
The highly anticipated TV show, Vinyl, began airing in February. Set in the 1970s, the show follows a New York record company executive as “he hustles to make a career out of the city’s diverse music scene,” (IMDB). Created by Martin Scorsese, Mick Jagger and Terence Winter, the series blurs the line between fact and fiction. It combines the occurrences of real historic people and real music with the narrative of American Century Records, a fictitious label ran by fictitious people.
Midway through the season, an episode features a story line that includes The King of Rock himself, Elvis. It gives us a glimpse at a situation that may or may not have happened in real life, and was another great way the writers of the show can blend real historical people and events with the fictional record label.
Since the premier, Vinyl has used multiple Sun artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis, Howlin’ Wolf and Rosco Gordon. Needless to say, the series uses plenty of great music. Catch Vinyl on HBO Sunday nights at 9PM EST.
Sun is excited to announce a partnership with Musicbed, a full service licensing platform. They “provide a highly curated selection of songs to filmmakers for use in media projects.” Those searching through the Musicbed “Vintage” genre will find over 1,100 tracks from the deep Sun catalog, ranging from Johnny Cash to relative unknown artists recorded decades ago in Memphis. Since a large portion of Sun’s complete catalog, over 8,000 tracks, remains unmastered, many of the songs available at Musicbed can not be found elsewhere online.
Read more about the collaboration on Billboard’s website.