That’s All Right: July 5, 1954

Above is a SUN 209 reproduction from my collection. I hope someday to own the real thing!

Above is a SUN 209 reproduction from my collection. I hope someday to own the real thing!

Sixty years ago today, on July 5, 1954, the whole world changed for 19-year-old Elvis Presley as he recorded his first record for Sam Phillips at SUN Records, “That’s All Right.” Soon thereafter, Elvis would change the whole world.

What I love about the SUN version of this song is that you can hear the joy in Elvis’s voice as he sings the blues number. Backed only by Scotty Moore on electric guitar, Bill Black on the upright bass, and his own strumming on acoustic guitar, Elvis poured his all into the song and produced something that transcended its individual parts.

Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup wrote and recorded “That’s All Right” in 1946 for the RCA Bluebird label. Both recordings are essential in the history of American music.

Though “That’s All Right” essentially became a regional hit for Elvis, in less than two years he would become an international superstar.

Recommended reading to learn more at some of my favorite sites:

Pump up the volume: Elvis Week 2011 begins

Elvis Week officially kicks off today in Memphis. Of course, Elvis Week really occurs all over the world – wherever there is an Elvis fan. Most of us take a little extra time to remember and enjoy the music.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in Memphis, I envy you, but also hope you have a fantastic time. Elvis Presley Enterprises and others put on a variety of events, so it always looks like there is something for everybody.

Perusing the schedule, one thing that I’d definitely attend if I was there is Saturday’s screening of the 2000 documentary Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was written and produced by none other than Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick. Guralnick, along with Knox Phillips (Sam’s oldest son), will speak after the film.

In honor of Elvis Week, the O.co (Overstock.com) entertainment blog yesterday featured a fun Elvis infographic. Check it out.

Have a great week, everyone. Remember to crank up the Elvis!

* * *

August 12, 2011, Update: Check out MJ’s fantastic post about visiting Graceland during Elvis Week 2007 on her blog.

Update #2: And here’s another one. This one is from the Elvis Today Blog with Thomas’ memories of Elvis Week 2005. The funny thing is, this was written shortly after Elvis Week 2007 – referenced in MJ’s post above.

August 18, 2011, Final Update: To bring things full circle, here are a couple of great blog posts from Memphis resident Deena Dietrich about Elvis Week 2011.