SAM PHILLIPS d2003. Legendary American record producer associated with the famous Sun Record label who played an important role in the emergence of Rock & Roll as the major form of popular music during the 1950s. He was the producer, label owner and talent scout most notably attributed with discovering a young Elvis Presley, along with other major acts of the period including ; Johnny Cash / Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. He sold Sun Records in 1969 and became an early investor in The Holiday Inn Hotel Group. He died aged 80 in 2003 of respiratory failure in Memphis, the day before the original Sun Studio was designated a National Historic Landmark and just weeks before the death of his former colleague Johnny Cash.
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