Record producer Sam Phillips, who founded Sun Records in Memphis in 1952, helped launch the career of Elvis Presley, and usher in the rock ‘n’ roll revolution, died Wednesday of respiratory failure. He was 80.
Phillips produced Presley’s first record, the 1954 single that featured “That’s All Right, Mama” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” and nine more.
“God only knows that we didn’t know it would have the response that it would have,” Phillips said in an interview in 1997. “But I always knew that the rebellion of young people, which is as natural as breathing, would be a part of that breakthrough,” he said.
Phillips was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In 2000, the A&E cable network ran a two-hour biography called “Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock and Roll.”