THE MEMPHIS PRESS-SCIMITAR

The following three articles of April 1959 by the Memphis Press-Scimitar's amusements editor, Edwin Howard, was released to more than 800 newspapers thru out the country today by Newspaper Enterprise Association, one of the nation's largest feature service. These will tell what he learned about the comparatively new Memphis industry - from the inside - while himself making a record for national release.

CONTAINS

Edwin Howard 1
''Now It's Do-It-Yourself Disk''
Edwin Howard 2
''Memphis Internationally Known as Recording Center''
Edwin Howard 3
''He's Made $2 Million on Disks - Without a Desk''

- EDWIN HOWARD 1 -

The following article of April 27, 1959 by the Memphis Press-Scimitar's amusements editor, Edwin Howard, was released to more than 800 newspapers thru out the country today by Newspaper Enterprise Association, one of the nation's largest feature service. Edwin Howard tells how his single on Phillips International (PI 3540) ''Forty 'Leven Times'' and ''More Pretty Girls Than One'' was recorded.

NOW IT'S DO-IT-YOURSELF DISK
''So You Think You Could Make A Better Record?''

Memphis - ''Almost everybody has ''turned'' on a radio or dropped a dime in a juke box, listening a moment, and said, ''Why, I could make a better record than that''! More-have said it than acted on it, of course. But the do-ityourself craze has carried over into the record business, all right. Thousands of people, from truck driver to movie stars are making records, and thousands more want to. But what are the average shower-shouter's changes of turning out a hit? To try to find out, I set out to make a record myself. Because the recording industry in no longer centered in New York and Los Angeles, I didn't even have to leave home. I found I could make a record on a leading international distribution label, right here in Memphis. Only time time - and the record buying public - can tell whether my record will become a hit or not, but it is made and is being released today to record shops all over the country''.

FORTY 'LEVEN TIMES - ''My do-it-yourself disk is ''Forty 'Leven Times'', a song I wrote myself backed with ''More Pretty Girls Than One'', on the Phillips International label. Doing it myself didn't turn out to be quite what I expected, tho. Just one person doesn't make a record – whether better or worse than the prevailing platters. It may not take the voice of a Como, but I found it does take time, teamwork, and patience. Heard of the team that made ''Forty 'Leven Times'' is Sam Phillips, head of Sun Records, and discoverer of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Justis, and Johnny Cash. Phillips is one of the country's five or six top independent record-makers and there are as many as 4000 of them, including the one-timers who try to a hit, and run. I proposed to Phillips that he make and release a record of me singing my own new ''country'' lyrics, with a beat, to a mournful old hillbilly waltz called ''There's More Pretty Girls Than One''. He agreed to go along with the idea. He didn't bother listening to me sing. Apparently gimmicks are as important in the record business as voices, and I had a gimmick, at least. ''If you sound too bad'', he said, ''we can always cover you up with a vocal group''. Phillips turned me over to his director of artists and repertoire (A&R) Bill Justis, bop talking bandleader whose Phillips International recording of ''Raunchy'', which he wrote with guitarist Sid Manker, sold well over a million copies, just last week Justis went into business himself, his new label being Play Me Records. A big part of an A&R man's job, especially with an independent company like Sun, is auditioning talent, which these days mean mostly singers''.

ONE OUT OF 100 – ''They come in from all over the sticks, man'', Justis told me while he was with Phillips. ''We end up recording maybe one out of a hundred''. He auditioned songs, too. ''Everybody wants to do the songwriting scene. We get like 50 or 60 a day thru the mail on tapes. Most of them are real nothing. We use may be one out of every 400 we listen to. It can be a real drag, but most of our hits have been originals by the artists who recorded them, or by somebody in Memphis. We have four or five who write for us exclusively, and of course they get more material recorded than anybody''.

''One of Sun and Phillips International's regular composers was Jack Clement, a Jack of all musical trades who handled the control board for my recording session. Besides composing and engineering, Clement did artist and repertoire work and was himself a recording artist. He, too, has just started his own company, with the name, Summer Records. Altho new studios are being built, Sun still operates out of the tiny studio to which Elvis Presley went just over five years ago to make a record at his own expense. Office space is at such a premium that business is often transacted and lead sheets written in Taylor's Restaurant (plate lunch: 60 cents) next door. In fact Taylor's has been to rock and roll what Pee Wee's Saloon on Beale Street (where W.C. Handy wrote ''Memphis Blues'') was to the blues.

A GOOD SIGN – ''It was in a booth at Taylor's that Bill Justis first heard my new lyrics for ''More Pretty Girls Than One''. He was unimpressed ''But that's probably a good sign man'', he reassured me. ''If I hate something it usually turns out to be a hit''. Justis as led if I had anything in mind for the other side of the record. I said I had an idea for a song to one of the several tunes to 17th century English ballad, ''Barbara Allen'' (Such songs are in the public domain – that is, they are uncopyrighted. By writing new lyrics to a ''P.D.'' tune, an author can claim full author-composer royalties on it''. What I finally wrote on a piece of copy paper, using the studio piano as a desk was ''Forty 'Leven Times'', a romantic ballad with, I think, a folksong sound.. At first Justis liked this even less than ''More Pretty Girls'', and I was encouraged. But over the months (18 from idea to record release), it grew on him. He made an arrangement (all in his head, he writes music, but not many guitar players read it), using three guitars and a vocal trio. Now he thinks it has a good change of becoming a hit. I spent 15 hours working with Justis in preparation for the recording session which resulted in the released record. Phillips himself listened to the various ''cuts'' and offered suggestions as to how they could be improved. The term ''cut'' is a hold over from the time when records actually were cut with a sharp, wedge-shaped needle. Now only the ''master'', from which the pressings were made, is cut. All the preliminary recording is done on magnetic tape. The tape recorder has revolutionized the recording industry in the past 10 years and is responsible for the rise of the independent companies''.

RISE OF ROCK AND ROLL – ''Fifteen years ago, there weren't more than 10 recording companies in the whole country-not as many as are operating in Memphis today. Only the big companies in New York and Los Angeles could afford the delicate and expensive equipment and the large, acoustically perfect studio which were then required for making records. Today, all you need to go into the record business is an Ampex-type tape recorder and a room with a good ''sound'' to record in. Of course, once you're in business, it takes knowhow to make hits. A touch of genius and a little luck help, too. It is the tape recorder - more than any other single thing – that is responsible for the rise of rock and roll. Tape took the recording business out of the hands of a big bands and vocalists in New York and Los Angeles and put it into the hands of dynamic young people to whom music was not a profession but an emotion. Like it or not, rock and roll is what resulted when they started putting that emotion on record. Many a record hit has been made at the control board rather than the microphone, however. ''Witch Doctor'', ''Purple People Eater'', and ''The Chipmunk Song'' are three of the more obvious electric hits. But who know where Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone – and for truly – would be without electronic echo chambers? Most voices sound better – as you probably know from singing in the shower – with an echo effect which lends resonance and covers up the quavers''.

PHILLIPS LIKED IT – ''Once Justis got the echoey sound he wanted for ''Forty 'Leven Times'' and ''More Pretty Girls Than One'' on tape, Phillips had to give his final O.K. And test a release date. Phillips listened to the final ''Forty 'Leven Times'' tape over and over again, waxing more enthusiastic each time. By the time the master was cut and send to the pressing plant, he was much more interested in the record itself than in the story I got making it. Whether or not ''Forty 'Leven Times'' clicks, I found out these four things which wouldbe recording artists would do well to ponder''.

1 – ''Thanks to the tape recorder, which brought the recording industry out of its three or four ivory towers and into hundreds of grass-roots recording shacks all over the country, there are more opportunities than ever before for quick fame and fortune on the spinning disks''.

2 – ''However, only about one in every 100 persons who audition is ever actually recorded, and not more than one in several hundreds records released can become a real hit''.

3 – ''And this one-out-of-hundreds hit is hardly ever what you could call a do-it-yourself project. It takes teamwork to make a hit record from the head of the company right down thru the A&R man, the composer, the artist, and the promotions staff. It also takes a ''sound'' that appeals to the record-buying public. Sometimes the song itself provides that sound. Sometimes it is something in the way it is recorded. Sometimes it is a certain quality in the voice of the singer. Many successful recording artists cannot perform well before live audiences. And many top performers just don't go over on records''.

4 – ''But for the lucky few, who aren't so few as they used to be, the rewards range from considerable to staggering. The average minimum artists royalty on a single record is about 3 cents a copy, the average maximum is about 5 cents a copy. Composers draw from three fourths to a full cent a side. Thus the artist on a million-selling record stands to make between $30,000 and $50,000. And if he has also written his own material, he can add another $20,000 (or more, if others record his tune) to his bank account. No wonder everybody wants to make a record''.

- EDWIN HOWARD 2 -

This second article of April 28, 1959 by the Memphis Press-Scimitar's amusements editor, Edwin Howard, was released to more than 800 newspapers thru out the country today by Newspaper Enterprise Association, one of the nation's largest feature service. Edwin Howard tells about one of Memphis' newest and fastestgrowing industries - the recording business.

MEMPHIS INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN AS RECORDING CENTER

On Jack Paar's Tonight show on TV last week, Broadway producer Leonard Stillman talked about the new edition of his periodic New faces revues coming up next fall.

''I'm going to audition in Memphis next week'', he told Paar. ''There's a lot of talent there''. The statement probably surprised no one in the vast television audience except Memphians. For, altho most Memphians are now aware that Elvis Presley is a person of some importance in the entertainment world, few realize that the city itself has, during the past five years, become one of the capitals of that world.

Cotton, hardwood flooring, plywood, mules, chemicals – these are the products traditionally mentioned in connection with Memphis. Not even the Chamber of Commerce seems to realize yet that recording and record manufacturing have given Memphis a major new industry with a total annual gross business of close to $10 million.

Since it is a popular art as well as an industry, it also brings Memphis priceless international publicity. It makes people such as producer Sillman talk about Memphis on network television. It has so influenced musical styles the world over that in Europe and Japan, record labels – as on the German version of ''Raunchy'' by Heinz Lips and the Seven Robins – often carry a line which says, ''As recorded in Memphis by
Sun''.

SUN THE FIRST - Sun Records, established six years ago by Sam C. Phillips, was Memphis' first record label. Today there are 14 active labels, and the business is growing so fast there may be more tomorrow. (As a matter of fact, one was added today, Elston Leanard read yesterday's story and called to say he and Hillburn ''Pappy'' Graves are going to start releasing records next week on the Fonofox, TV and commercial film producing firm at 1447 Union Avenue). To the size and importance of the recording business in Memphis is not generally realized, most Memphians do know that recording is done in Memphis. Very few know, however, that Memphis has the largest independent record manufacturing plant in the country.

Plastic Products Co., 1746 Chelsea, was established by Robert E. ''Buster'' Williams in 1949 in one Quonset hut at a cost of about $40,000. In 1959, Plastic Products it is bulging at the seams of four connected Quonsets, and Williams is building a branch plant in Coldwater, Mississippi, which will be twice the size of the present one. That last year, despite the recession, the company produced 15 million records for some 30 different companies, with a retail value of more than $20 million. Buster Williams, who lives with his family at 203 Lombardy, expects to press 25 million disks of all types - singles, LPs, EPs, and stereo. The growth of the recording business in Memphis has, of course, stimulated the growth of Plastic Products, but the Memphis labels account for only 10% of the company's volume.

Among the independent Eastern and Chicago the Memphis firm presses for are ABC Paramount, Cadence, Carleton, Chess, Checker, Argo, and Atlantic. Besides pressing for practically all the Memphis firms, it also produces records for labels in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Shreveport, Jackson, Mississippi (home of Ace Records, which has had a couple of recent hits), Houston, Dallas, and Nashville.

130,000 CAPACITY - In 1959, the capacity of the Memphis plant is 80,000 records daily, and the Coldwater plant, altho unfinished, can already turn out an additional 50,000 a day. The Memphis plant employs about 100 persons. Plastic Products' records are distributed everywhere this side of the rocky Mountains and sometimes west of them, too. About 60% of its volume leaves the Memphis trade area.

Buster Williams, who started salting and selling peanuts at the age of 12 in his home town of Enterprise, Mississippi, and was the nation largest jukebox operator (18,000 machines) before going into record manufacture and distribution, also owns Music Sales in Memphis. It is the oldest independent record distributing firm in the country. Prior to that, the record business was dominated by the four ''major'' - RCA, Columbia, Decca and Capitol, which had their own distributors. There are a few other so called ''majors'' in 1959, but most of the companies established sine then are called independents. Williams, of course, is a champion of the independent recording companies. It was they, he points out, who developed vinyl as a disk material. ''And don't let anybody tell you RCA found Elvis'', he says with a note of hometown pride. ''Elvis wasn't lost. Sam Phillips had already made him a big star when they bought him''.

LOTS OF COMPETITION – Altho the Sun and Phillips International labels have produced the longest string of hits of any Memphis company, several of the newer companies are coming up fest. Pepper Records, which also records under Diane and Tom-Tom labels, is expecting big things for two disks released, ''Little Ole Man In The Well'' b/w ''Ooh Yeah, Baby'' by deep voiced Wayne Hefner on Tom-Tom, and ''Eight Wonder Of The World'' b/w Mary Me'' by Gerald Nelson on Diane. ''Build A Mountain'' by the Keynotes on Pepper has gotten good play and the girls' quartet is booked for an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show this Sunday. John Pepper, head of this company, is one of Memphis' best-known businessmen, and Floyd Huddleston, artist and repertoire director is composer of such hits as ''Island Queen''.

Fernwood ''Tragedy'' by Thomas Wayne is Memphis most recent million-seller, and the company has a new one out by Wayne titled ''Eternally'' which is off to a fast start. The Hi label is making an impressive showing with disks by three local lads – Kimball Coburn, Tommy Tucker and Joe Fuller.

One of the newest Memphis labels, Summer, has a promising disk going in ''Motorcycle Michael'' by the Achers. Lee, Cover, Albe, Meteor, and Stomper Time might score any time, and Bill Justis, who produced many of Sun and Phillips International's best sellers besides those he made with his own band, is almost certain to click with the something on his new Play Me label.

There have been a number of other Memphis labels which for one reason or another are no longer active. OJ Records had a national hit in \\White Silver Sands'', which sent Dave Gardner soaring to fame. A local wrangle over authorship of the song has tied up profits from it, however, and suspended OJ activities. OJ also launched former Memphis disc jockey Wink Martindale as a recording artist. His first record was featured in a movie and Dot records later bought his contract. King, Kay and Crystal are other Memphis labels no longer Spinning.

4 RECORDING STUDIOS – Altho there are 14 active labels, there are only 4 recording studios in Memphis. Still, this is a high ration when you consider such top eastern independents as ABC-Paramount and Mercury do not own studios but rent space in other companies. The Memphis studios are Pepper at 62 Diane Street; Sun Records at 706 Union Avenue; Royal Recording Studio (the Hi label) at 1320 South Lauderdale Street; and American Studio (the Albe label) on Second Street at Beale. The other Memphis companies use these facilities for their recording session on a rental basis. The newest Memphis studio is Pepper's last-word $50,000 facility. It is equipment to record -three-channel tape masters and with in a month will be cutting acetate masters on a German-made Nueman lathe, the best there is. Memphis companies now sent their tape masters to Chicago to have the acetate master cut. With this equipment, Pepper engineer Welton Jetton will be able take the three-channel tape masters and balance and mix them into one monaural master or into two masters for stereophonic reproduction.

SUN IS BUILDING – Work is nearing completion on new studios for Sun and Phillips International which will even larger than Pepper's and will also include multi-channel tape equipment and Neuman acetate cutting facilities. The recording business has, of course, been a boom to the Memphis Federation of Musicians. Up to now, more guitar players have been employed than anything else, but piano players, drummers and bass players have benefitted, too. And Bill Justis' band has become nationally known thru its recordings. Future Memphis recording promises to utilize even more and a greater variety of musicians. Jamison Brant's arrangements for Jack Hales' band, which provides most of the background for the Pepper, Diane and Tom-Tom labels, liberally utilize Nick Vergos' oboe and Jim Terry's flute. And that's a long way from Elvis!

- EDWIN HOWARD 3 -

This third article of April 29, 1959 by the Memphis Press-Scimitar's amusements editor, Edwin Howard, was released to more than 800 newspapers thru out the country today by Newspaper Enterprise Association, one of the nation's largest feature service. Edwin Howard tells story of Sam Phillips, Memphis Recording Pioneer.

HE'S MADE $2 MILLION ON DISKS - WITHOUT A DESK

Behind the dusty, bent Venetian blinds in a three desk office at 706 Union stands the man who in six years had brought a brand-new industry to Memphis, and helped make Memphis a leader in that industry. The man is Sam C. Phillips. The office is identified only by a small neon sign in the window which says Memphis Recording Service. The man stands because, altho he has made roughly $2 million for himself in those six years, he has no desk at which to sit down. Even without a desk, Phillips somehow manages to run 11 corporations from the building at 706 Union, which consists of a tiny reception room (two desks), a studio which doubles as a mailing room, a control room with attached half-bath, a promotion office (one desk), and a storage room. Keystone of the vest-pocket empire is Sun Record Company, which started Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny cash on their way to fame and fortune, and made Memphis the rock and roll capital of the world. The same little studio is the home of Phillips International Records, which introduced Bill Justis and a million' selling record called ''Raunchy'' to the world.

SWANKY NEW OFFICES – One day within the next two months, however, Sun and Phillips International and related firms will be moving to swanky new studios nearby. ''Because we ran out of corners for corporations'', Phillips has luxurious new offices and the last word in recording facilities under construction at 639 Madison Avenue. The new studios, which will be available for use by other companies as well as used for Sun and Phillips International releases, should be ready by summer, Phillips said. He is personally supervising the construction and the installation of electronic equipment, while at the same time tending to his oil interest in Illinois, his zinc and lead mines in Arkansas, and his other financial interests, including the Holiday Inns stock, the Memphis all-girl radio station, WHER, and the new all-girl station, WLIZ, which he is opening in Lake Worth, Florida, adjoining Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.

The Phillipses live at 79 South Mendenhall, Sam, his wife Becky, and their two sons, Knox and Jerry, for whom two of his music publishing companies are named. (There are five publishing companies in all, the others being Hi-Lo Music, Jack Clement Music, and Justis Music. Jack Clement and Bill Justis are partners in the last two). Some have wondered why Phillips never dressed up the studio at 706 Union or hung out a sign identifying it as the Sun Record Company. After all, it has been five years since Sun began its swift rise in the record firmament, and three years since it reached its apex. Sam Phillips has several reasons.

OUT OF PROPORTION - ''I don't know. I just felt like if I put up a bug sign on this little building, or tried to fancy it up, it would look all out of proportion. There's something about that little Memphis Recording Service sign that just goes with it. As for a desk for myself, well, I'm not the kind that runs things by hangin' on a desk, so I didn't figure I needed one. Anyhow, I've got four girls and a man at three desks we do have that know how to handle all the desk work''. Sally Wilbourn, Barbara Barnes, Regina Reese, Marion Keisker, and Sales Manager Cecil Scaife. Everyone around here has a smattering of knowledge of the whole business. And I've got no secrets. Plenty of times, I've talked thousands of dollars worth of business with 10 or 12 people squeezed into the same room doing different things. Allegiances and enthusiasm are what gives us our efficiency. And our informality is what gives us hit records. Out artists get the feeling we're just goofin' around as I tell 'em, there's no sence being nervous, because there's nobody else here that can do any better''. Sam himself makes no bones about being a country boy. He was born on a farm near Florence, Alabama. In the evenings on the farm and later in town with an old negro who worked for the family, Uncle Silas, would pull Sam into his knee and sing to him.

UNCLE SILAS' SONGS – Little Sam's favorite song, both rhythmical and funny, was about a trip to Africa where ''they got battercake trees, and right next to them sausage trees. We gonna pick us some of those fluffy battercakes an' some of those juicy sausages an' go down to Molasses River an' have ourselves a time''. ''Uncle Silas lived with us from the time I was 12 till I was 17'', Sam recalls, ''and practically raised me. He'd tell me those fantastic stories and sing me those funny songs, and man it just fascinated me''!

Sam never outgrew his fascination with the rhythms and nonsense of the negro, altho other musical styles crowded it out for a while. At 17, he went to work for a Muscle Shoals radio station as engineer-announcer, then moved to WLAC in Nashville, where he learned to appreciate the so-called hillbilly form of folk music. In 1945, he moved to Memphis and an engineering job with WREC. ''I used to handle those Peabody band feeds (to the CBS network) and man, did I get tired of listening to the same old arrangements over and over''. In order to hear and share with others, some of the different kinds of music he liked. Sam persuaded the station management to let him have his own record program on Saturday afternoon – the Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance show which Fred Cook has continued. Sam not only played music, he talked about it avidly and articulately and developed a large, faithful following.

STARTING RECORDING – At the end of 1949, while still working for WREC, Sam started putting some of his strong musical tastes into practice. In his spare time, he cut so-called rhythm and blues records in Memphis, leasing the master tapes to some of the independent record companies which were springing up in
other cities, such as Chess, RPM and Modern, among the Memphis negro artists he helped start on their way were B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Little Junior Parker, Jackie Brenston, and many more. ''It got so you could sell a half-million copies of rhythm and blues records'', Sam said. ''These records appealed to white youngsters just as ''Uncle Silas'' songs and stories appeal to me. To city-born white children who had never had an Uncle Silas, it was something new, and it became their nonsense – like faily tales. But there was something in many of these youngsters that resisted buying this kind of music, the southern ones, especially, felt a resistance that even they probably didn't quite understand they liked the music, but they weren't sure whether they ought to like it or not. So I got to thinking how many records you could sell if you could find white performers who could play and sing in this same exciting, alive way'' As the whole world knows, he found him.

THEN CAME ELVIS – In 1952 and later re-started in January of 1953, his own Sun Record company, giving Memphis the first of its presents 14 record labels, a few months later, a young truck driver came in to use the Memphis Recording Service facilities to make a record for his own. He sounded so distinctive that Sam wrote down his name and address and kept an ear out for material for him to record for Sun. Early in the summer of 1954, Elvis Presley – and Sun Records – were on their way with a disc called ''That's All Right'' b/w ''Blue Moon Of Kentucky''.

Elvis was first classified as a hillbilly – or country music, as the phrase had become – artist. He guessed on the Louisiana Hayride and Grand Ole Opry shows. But he was not the conventional country-type singer. Marion Keisker, who constituted Phillips' office staff ten, called him ''a hillbilly cat''. What his style really stemmed sung to negro and rhythm tunes. One reason Memphis became the capital of this music, which came to be called rock and roll, was that Nashville, already a recording center, snubbed it. ''They not only snubbed it'', declares Phillips. ''They fought it. With the Grand Ole Opry there, they were committed to country music. They didn't think rock and roll would last, and they did all they could to kill it. Finally, of course, they realized they couldn't lick it, so the joined it. The old established Grand Ole Opry stars got so they couldn't draw the crowds anymore unless they had rock and roll artists with them. Eventually, the Opry's two top executives resigned and went into the rock and roll publishing business. But in the meantime, Memphis had become the rock and roll recording capital of the world. Even tho Nashville has come around, We're still neck and neck with them as the country's fourth or fifth biggest recording center in actual number of session held''.

WHY HE SOLD ELVIS – The question most often asked Phillips is, doesn't he regret selling Elvis Presley's contract. ''Never'', he says firmly. ''Selling that contract gave us the capital we desperately needed at the time for expansion. The record business isn't like any other branch in show business. You can borrow money to produce a movie or a play, but not a record. The record business is so precarious, you can't get financial backing until you don't need it. I had gotten a lot of offers for Elvis' contract, but I had turned them all down till I learned RCA was interested. I asked them just twice what I thought they'd pay – about $40,000 – for the contract and all the masters. To understand why I have never regretted the decision, you have to remember something. At that time, most of the experts thought Elvis was a flash-in-the-pan. Even RCA wasn't sure they had made a good deal. We had Carl Perkins ''Blue Suede Shoes'' just out then, and RCA wondered for several months if they had bought the wrong contract. Of course, the sale turned out to be tremendous for RCA, and it gave us what we needed then – proof that we weren't one shot flukes, financing for expansion, and good credit. A total pressing bill of $150,000 at our three pressing plants (in Memphis, Los Angeles and Philadelphia) isn't unusual, so you've got to have good credit.

ROCK AND ROLL NOT DEAD – ''No'', says Phillips. ''The kids got tired of some of the ''typical'' rock and roll, but I think they've shown they don;t want any big change. We're keeping the flavor and modifying the best and the lyrics a little. Yet you still have one of those wild ''Stagger Lee'' type of things every now and then. No, rock and roll isn't dead. We'll feel its influence for a long time to come''.

IS SUN COMMITTED TO THIS KIND OF MUSIC? - ''Not exclusively, no. The reason we're building the new studio is to make more EPs (Extended Play) and LPs (Long Play), a better grade of pop, and to get into stereo, which is just getting started good. We'll continue rock and roll, but we're broadening our scope. We have to consider the fact that 60 percent of the record business is now on EPs and LPs. To get into this end of the business, out outlay will be more and our return slower, but at the same time we'll be stabilizing our product. I believe the record business is still in its embryonic stage. It will continue to grow and develop, and with our new studios we expect to grow and develop along with it''.

''A lot of people thought we were thru after Elvis. We came up with Carl Perkins. They thought we were finished when we had some bad luck and began to fade. We came up with Jerry Lee Lewis. Then Bill Justis. And altho Johnny cash is no longer with us, we're still bringing out new singles by him and we have two LP albums and three EPs that are consistent top sellers. If people don't realize it by now, let me say it one more time. We're in this business to stay''.

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