Roland Janes, 1933-2013

While he may not have had as much public acknowledgement as he deserved, Roland Janes was a key part in the foundation of the Rock ‘n’ Roll genre in the 50s. He was a studio musician, playing guitar on many of the Jerry Lee Lewis and other Sun rock sessions. He was a touring musician, playing guitar with Jerry Lee in the peaks and valleys early on in his career. The stress of the road eventually drove him to working mainly in recording studios. He eventually built his own, Sonic Recording, with the same mentality as Sun Studio. There, he helped usher in the garage rock era in Memphis.

Roland eventually tired of running a studio all by himself, and re-joined the Phillips family in 1982. He’s been there just about every day since. Last week, Roland left this world, leaving his legacy to live on.

Read more: Commercial Appeal (Memphis)

6 thoughts on “Roland Janes, 1933-2013

  1. He was a great man. I had the pleasure of meeting him 3 years ago at his studio. I first met him back in 1961 when I was in the Marine Corps going to school in Millington, TN. It was such a pleasure talking to him about his days in the Marine Corps, Sun Records and everyone that was affiliated with the label. God Bless him and his family.

  2. I have known Roland since 1959. He payed guitar on all Alton and Jimmy recording sessions at Sun Studio and engineered all our recording sessions at Phillips since that time. He was a great friend, musician and engineer. Roland always had time to talk and listen no matter what the occasion may have been. He was always kind and helpful and treated us with dignity and respect. Roland is truly missed. R. I. P., my friend.

  3. I knew Roland for most of my life. He was a good man through and through, for all of his accomplishments in life he NEVER left his heart get hard.

    Thanks Roland for being a positive and good part of my life!!

  4. In the sixties and seventees, when we (re)discovered rock and roll and rockabily, music-lovers wondered who were those famous guitar players, who were playing so swinging and rocking solo’s on the hit-records of all those artists who made rock grown.
    Thanks to record-companies of Sun Records and also Bear Family we know all the names of those fabulous guitar-payers. Thanks to you tube we can hear, buy and play all the great songs. Roland was one of those guitarplayers whose style and rocking sounds lives on forever. Thanks.

  5. Roland was my Mom’s first cousin,its been a long long time since I’ve seen him,he gave me my first guitar of course I never played,then the last time I talked with him was when my son was interested in playing,he told me to encourage him to get a good education & if he was still interested in music to pursue it.I didn’t know he passed away but I sure am happy that I have his album “Guitarville” I will treasure it.His my Mom Aunt Pearl was my favorite Aunt.RIP Roland Love Carol

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook