Great River Road 29 - Sun Studios, Memphis, TN

Sun Studio is the answer. The question is ‘Where does Mike spend his birthday this year?”

It’s been White Sands, NM. Then Washington, DC. Then Myrtle Beach.

This year - Memphis, TN and the tour of Sun Studio.

Old Duffers

This was definitely a place to be around a bunch of old duffers. We joined a tour group that had an average age of 65.

They all rode in on a tour bus that at least twice as long as the original studio is wide (and completely blocked getting a good photo of the front of the actual studio).

Small But Big

The angled building with the large guitar was actually a resturant in the 50s - the studio was just the little building next to it. If you remove the front office space it’s all of 18’ x 33’.

I was thinking today how there are few places so small that have impacted history so greatly - especially if you remove government rooms or places where war surrenders happened.

Cost

Cost for the tour for the 3 of us with tax was just shy of $40 - more expensive than we generally like to pay for something that lasts an hour.

Sun Studio, Memphis TN

Sun Studio, Memphis TN

Vintage Recording Equipment at Sun Studio.

Vintage Recording Equipment at Sun Studio.

Recreation of a local radio station booth that was first to play

Recreation of a local radio station booth that was first to play "That's All Right" by Elvis locally.

In the lobby of Sun Studio.

In the lobby of Sun Studio.

Vintage Mics.

Vintage Mics.

Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee..the people who've walked through that door....shadows by the duffer tour bus.

Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee..the people who've walked through that door....shadows by the duffer tour bus.

Microphones at Sun Studio

Microphones at Sun Studio

Goofing off with one of the original Mics from the Studio

Goofing off with one of the original Mics from the Studio

FauxDuet (our new band name).

FauxDuet (our new band name).

However

It was worth it. Our tour guide - Nina with a long “i” - was energetic and engaged in telling the history of this building.

The tour starts in the upstairs of the former restaurant and then goes down into the studio itself.

Unrestored and Functional

The recording studio - where Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, U2, BB King, and countless other bands have recorded historic tracks is unrestored.

The lights in the room are still the ones Sam Phillips hung himself. The asbestos sound-deadening tiles have not been changed out for something new. The flooring is the same.

And it’s still a fuctional studio. For $75/hr at night (after the tours are over) you can rent the space yourself and record where the greats have recorded.

Fat Elvis

At the end of the tour they put a mic out - a 50’s Shure 55 which is known as the “Fat Elvis”. This particular mic is one of the originals used in the studio. The story was Sam Phillips dropped it off shortly before he died and instructed them to never put it behind glass.

You could pose with it.

You just couldn’t lick it.

Have You Been?

Have you been to Sun Studio? Did you lick the mic?

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