Milestones Aug. 11, 2003

DIED. SAM PHILLIPS, 80, prime impresario of rock 'n' roll; of respiratory failure, in Memphis, Tenn. In the '50s Phillips' Sun Records in Memphis was the home of raw genius, both black (Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King) and redneck (Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and that holy hellion of rockabilly, Jerry Lee Lewis). One day an 18-year-old Elvis Presley went to Sun's studio to record two songs for his mother and was soon vamping on the Arthur Crudup tune That's All Right. Phillips legendarily remarked, "That's a pop song, just 'bout." Pop as in a pop-music explosion. Phillips didn't sing or...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!