The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Thursday, July 31, 2003
THE SUN KING: Sam Phillips died yesterday. I don't doubt that men as talented as Elvis Presley, Charlie Rich, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner, and Johnny Cash would have found their way into the public eye without Phillips' help. But for one man at a tiny independent label to discover so many incredible musicians -- well, that suggests he had a certain talent of his own. And to record both black and white performers in the segregated south, and to actively encourage the interpenetration of their styles -- most famously with Presley, but perhaps most fruitfully with Rich: that suggests a real awareness of how to create great music, as opposed to merely making a successful record. Rest in peace, Sam. We owe you a lot.


posted by Jesse 6:38 PM
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