Who Really Discovered
Elvis? To dispel any notion who really did discover the talent of Elvis
Presley, one has to go back to the beginning and investigate the facts
from fiction. Fact: It was July 1953,
Elvis then aged 18 and just graduated from Humes
High School. It was a Saturday not a weekday thus dispels
the idea that Elvis was taking off a couple of minutes from his lunch
hour to shell out four dollars to make a record on a mere impulse.
Fact: Marion Keisker who
had been a well-known radio personality was now working the front desk
Phillips's Sun Studio. Fact: There was something
about Elvis that stuck him apart from all the other hopefuls with guitars
- who were waiting to be discovered.
Fact: Marion noticed that
this young Elvis looked very different, the long sideburns he has grown
and his loud clothes. But mostly he was charming and struck up a
conversation with Marion. When Marion asked Elvis about himself, he told
her he was a singer. What kind of singer are you?, asked Marion
"I sing all
"Who do you sound like? asked Marion
"I don't sound like nobody," Elvis retorted
"Yeah, I sing hillbilly"
"Who do you sound like in hillbilly?"
"I don't sound like nobody."
Fact : Elvis recorded two
of his favourite Ink Spots numbers, MY HAPPINESS and THAT'S
WHEN YOU HEARTACHES BEGINS.
Fact: Half way through the
recording Marion thought, I want to tape this. It was something they
usually didn't do, but she wanted Sam Phillips to hear it.
Marion recorded most of the first song but all the second song, while
remembering Sam's saying. "If I could find a white man who has the
Negro sound I could make a million dollars"
Fact: Call it luck. Call it
fate! That on that day Elvis walked into Sun Studio it was Marion
Keisker not Sam Phillips at the front desk. But mostly that Marion saw
the potential in the teenage Elvis.
Fact: Marion asked for his
name - which she spelt Pressley - and for his address and phone number -
and added the note 'good ballad singer - hold'
Fact: Elvis recording as
usually claimed was as a birthday gift for
his mother. There are two reason why this could not be so. First
Gladys' birthday was back in April and the Presley's did not own a
Fact: It has been
speculated that in fact it was an 20th wedding anniversary gift which
was 17 June 1953
Fact: Marion did play the
record for Sam although impressed but thought the boy needed a lot of
work. So he filed Elvis card into the files and not till January 1954
Elvis went back to Sun Studio and met Sam at the front desk. Sam
did remember his conversation about Elvis with Marion, however, gave
nothing away to Elvis.
Fact: Sam invited Elvis
into the recording studio with Sam in the control room Elvis sang two
country songs, CASUAL LOVE AFFAIR and I'LL NEVER STAND IN YOU
WAY after which he filed the records and forgot.
Fact: It was not until May
that year that Sam Phillips finally called Elvis ... after Marion
suggested the kid with the sideburns to record the song WITHOUT YOU
after he couldn't locate the black singer he wanted.
It was Marion who called Elvis at work. As she recalls, "I was
still standing there holding the phone when Elvis arrived panting,
having run all the way.
Fact: Elvis could not
master the song WITHOUT YOU. Sam then asked Elvis to do anything
he wanted. Elvis sang several Dean Martin songs.
Fact: On Monday 5 July
while fooling around with Scotty Moore on guitar and Bill Back on bass,
late at the Sun Studio, Elvis started to sing THAT'S
ALL RIGHT MAMA. Sam in the control room recorded it and the rest
is history.... Years later, Elvis would be
quick to remind anyone who would ask that it was in fact Marion
Keisker not Sam Phillips who saw his potential. However, it was Sam to
realise Elvis' dream.