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Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll
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Good Rockin' Tonight: Sun Records and the Birth of Rock 'n' Roll

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Rock ’n’ roll was born in Memphis in the tiny storefront recording studio of Sun Records. This is the definitive account of how it happened!

Sam Phillips’s credo was: “If you’re not doing something different, you’re not doing anything.” If he had done no more than discover Elvis Presley and produce his first five singles he would still be the godfather of rock ’n’ roll. Bu
ebook, 300 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1991)
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May 22, 2011 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: music lovers
When I received the galley for the revised edition of Good Rockin' Tonight, my knowledge of Sun Records was minimal - I knew basically that it existed. I had known some of the legends of early rock and roll cut records with the label - Elvis, Jerry Lee, Roy - but I hadn't realized the richness of the label's history before now. While reading this book, what grabbed me the most was the sheer amount of minor record labels active in the 50's and 60's, and the preference of cutting singles as oppose ...more
Have you heard the news? Sun was the first powerhouse independent record label of Rock & Roll music. It’s catalogue, performed by rough-edged musicians who turned out consistently innovative material (even a Top Ten hit here and there), has been exhaustively reissued, much to the delight of Sun connoisseurs. Sadly, the same can’t be said of material written about Sun: most of the books (several also written by Escott and Hawkins, who have contributed impeccably researched liner notes to many ...more
Lots of good information here. Tells the story of Sun and Sam Phillips, mostly through extensive profiles of some of the more important musicians he recorded. Very interesting, if slightly repetitive.
Fascinating history of Sun Records. It goes beyond Elvis, and into the psyche of Sam Philips, the owner, the brains, and soul of Sun Records. It seems like everyone involved with Sun was either brilliant, crazy, insane, or just had that genius 'it' quality.

As I mentioned before, I see record labels being very similar to Publishing houses. In fact I don't see the difference whatsoever. But what I do know if there was no Sun Records, we would be living in a totally different culture. So thank you
Jul 17, 2014 Robyn marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Michael Smith
Truly a fun and exciting journey into the past. The birth of rock and roll was a major point in history, and Sam Phillips and his SUN Records was a huge part of that birth, with the recording of early sides by Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and more. It's a remarkable story of a man who had the vision and wouldn't let anything, or anyone, sway him from his path to destiny.
Garrett Cash
An excellent overview of the most influential record label of all time. It recounted the same things I had heard before in a fresh way, but I was mostly happy about the fact that I got to learn a lot more about the minor players than I knew before. The blues artists who came before Elvis, and all the Elvis wannabes who came in his wake. Fascinating material.
Anthony Glass
I actually bought it at Sun studios on vacation a couple years back and hadn't gotten around to reading it until last summer. Pretty quick read and a very good overview of, not only the operation and the hazards of the business, but the music scene in Memphis in general.
Lots of info for the Sun novice. At times a little overboard. I recommend tracking down the song lists at the end of each chapter to hear the progression of the Sun sound.
John Price
Good book on the studio that brought us many singers that are now household names. Should be read by those interested in Rock N Roll history
An excellent little overview of the legendary Sun Records studio that also sheds light on some of its more obscure, earlier artists.
A deep dive into the practical philosophy of the great music producer. Some dry spots, but overall a special book.
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Colin Escott is the foremost authority on Sun Records. He first wrote the company’s history in 1975 and has revised and expanded it several times since. He has published several other volumes on the early days of country music, including a biography of Hank Williams and The Grand Ole Opry: The Making of an American Icon. He won a Grammy for his work on Mercury Records’ The Complete Hank Williams, ...more
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“In general, those from outside the southern culture built a style around exaggerations of southern music, and missed the lonesome hillbilly and blues feel that was its core. In the quest for abandon, they also failed to understand that southern music is lazy music—at any tempo.” 0 likes
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