706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, may just be the most important address in music history. This tiny non-descript building is the home of Sun Studio – the recording venue which gave us the legendary Sun Records. Formed in 1952 (although operating under the ‘Memphis Recording Service’ banner since 1950) Sun Records was the result of hardwork and determination of Sam Phillips to create what possibly was the first diverse record label.
Although there have been may influential record labels over the years, Stax, Motown, Atlantic, Island, RCA amongst others, Sun was perhaps the most influential of them all.
Sun Records released music of every genre; Gospel, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Country and kick-started a musical revolution that changed music, and the world, forever – Rock and Roll.
At a time in the USA (and particularly in the South) when political manifestations meant that segregation and racial division was rife, Sam Phillips did what many thought was unthinkable – he united everyone. Regardless of creed, colour or anything else – Sun Records gave equal billing to both black and white artistes. All that mattered was the music.
No strangers to Sun (we’ve been taking groups to visit ‘The Birthplace of Rock and Roll’ since 1972) Strictly Elvis jumped at the chance to attend a new stage show when it arrived at the Ipswich Regent (a stones throw from the Strictly Elvis HQ) this past Saturday.
‘Sun Records: The Concert’ is a foot tappin’, leg shakin’ feel good show jam-packed with the biggest hits of Sun Records’ amazing catalogue. All the major players are represented here; The main man Elvis, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Rufus Thomas and Jerry Lee Lewis (who gets ‘Man of the Match’ for his truly outrageous and physical representation of Jerry’s energetic and crazy moves whilst playing the piano!)
One of the things that we really liked about it was that although all the expected big hits were played there were a few of the lesser known Sun tracks performed too – and whilst undoubtley the biggest name to emerge from Sun was Elvis Presley (and that’s not just us being biased), all of the artists get equal billing and stage time.
The show, split into two halves, rattles along at the speed of a Mystery Train (see what we did there!) and from the outset when a young Elvis appears on the sparsely dressed, but effective, stage to sing ‘My Happiness’ the show just transports back to those halcyon days when these legends of music were creating hit after hit in that one room recording studio in America’s deep south.
We really couldn’t find fault with any of the performers – all first class musicians, and all with great vocal skills too that mirror exactly who they were representing on stage. Although some may say that this was an impersonator show – we’d really have to disagree and say that actually it’s a tribute show and that each of the chaps on stage is paying homage to the greats, and their legacies, who made such an impact not only in modern music but also in modern popular culture.
The only slight improvement we could think for the show is for it to have some exposition between numbers giving a little history about Sun and it’s stable of recording artistes for those who maybe aren’t as familiar with it’s history. Although at the same time it could be argued that this could possibly have a slowing down of momentum which is built up through the fantastic performances on-stage.
But regardless of whether you know the story of Sun or not, it’s guaranteed to get you up out of your seat and dancing in the aisles (as the majority of the theatre did at this weekend’s show during the awesome Sun medley played as the finale).
‘Sun Records: The Concert’ Is a roller coaster revue of riotious rock ‘n’ roll fun – we absolutely loved it! Don’t miss it when it plays at a theatre near you!
For more information on the show, click here: https://www.grtentertainments.com/sun-records-the-concert
For tour dates and venues, click here: https://www.strictlyelvis.net/the-official-sun-records-concert-show/
Our good friend, a massive Elvis fan who was involved with the ‘Elvis: If I Can Dream’ album and all-round good guy, Mauro Dirago (who many of you will know from attending our events) has just released his brand new album; ‘Rewind’.
A fan of all kinds of all genre’s of music (although naturally rating Elvis as No.1) Mauro’s album is a blend of his many different influences with it’s diverse selection of styles – from pop to Motown through to soul, and of course tipping a nod to Elvis with a fabulous version of ‘Fever’ (performed with the talented Kate Robbins).
The album was launched at a fantastic party at London’s O2 – where Mauro’s music videos were shown on one of the huge cinema screens (along with a video message from legendary music figurehead Bob Harris, who is a keen supporter of Mauro’s work) and the guests who included radio and music producers, song writers, journalists and celebrities such as Rob Davies and Linda Lusardi also enjoyed a complimentary visit to the ‘Elvis: On Tour’ exhibit as Mauro wanted to show the roots of his love for music and the man who gave him the inspiration for his career; Elvis Presley.
For a short video of the party click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X2wVv5Uew8
You can download the album online at: http://hyperurl.co/m4vcla or order a copy of the CD from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/REWIND-DELUXE-Mauro-Dirago/dp/B079FNV2KF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518078190&sr=8-1&keywords=mauro+dirago&tag=smarturl-gb-21
and if you bring the CD to an event which Mauro is at then he’ll happily sign it for you too.
The diversity of this album really makes it stand out from other current releases, with emphasis on real instruments and properly crafted lyrics.
If you’re a fan of real music – this album is for you - get your copy now!