Posted on January 21, 2004
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today applauded Senate passage of a resolution honoring Memphis and Sun Studio's contribution to the birth of rock 'n' roll. The resolution was introduced by Frist and Alexander late Tuesday. "Throughout the 1950s, the unique sound, tremendous vision, and incredible talent of Memphis artists such as Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, just to name a few, became the hallmark of Sun Studio and later the hallmark of American rock 'n' roll music. Indeed, some of the most meaningful contributions to American music were made at Sun Studio," said Frist. "The fact that rock 'n' roll was born in Memphis is no coincidence. The city's location on the banks of the Mississippi River made it a place where the diverse cultures and musical styles of our nation converged, blending the blues with country, gospel and jazz. And that merging of cultures and styles continues today." "Memphis has inspired artists and influenced music from blues to rock 'n' roll for more than half a century," Alexander said. "We cannot commemorate 50 years of rock 'n' roll without recognizing the legacy that began at Sun Studio. As a National Historic Landmark, Sun Studio will continue to tell the story of Tennessee's rich musical heritage." The resolution received unanimous Senate support to recognize 2004 as the "50th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll." It also commemorates Sun Studio for recording the first rock n' roll record, "That's All Right," by Elvis Presley on July 5, 1954, as well as Memphis for its contributions to America's music heritage. In July, Frist and Alexander joined Interior Secretary Gale Norton, Sun Studio General Manager John Schorr and others at a ceremony designating Memphis' Sun Studio a National Historic Landmark. It is one of approximately 2,500 historic places in the country that bear this national distinction.