Sam Phillips, the Father of Rock and Roll

872 Words2 Pages
Rock and Roll has come a long way since 1952 when music business icon Sam Phillips created it. Sam Phillips is considered the father of Rock and Roll. He went against the social normality of segregated music, and produced music that he felt should be made. Even when faced with career ending criticism, Phillips continued on making history. Not only is Sam Phillips responsible for the being the origin of the seemingly everlasting Rock and Roll movement, he segregated music amidst all kinds of cultural disruption with civil rights. Sam Phillips is considered a musical revolutionary who, despite adversity, changed the world forever. Samuel Cornelius Phillips was born in 1923 in Florence, Alabama to a family of tenant farmers (Sam Phillips Obituary. 3) He grew up around the songs of his parent’s, primarily black, coworker’s songs as they were tending to the cotton fields. Phillips said that he “felt an awakening of [his] spirit when [he] heard the singing of African Americans who worked alongside him”. This early exposure to racial equality stuck with him for the rest of his years. When Phillips grew older, he took a job as a disc jockey for an “open format’ radio station (Sam Phillips Bio. 2). He experienced first-hand the reaction of the listeners to black rhythm and blues, and that led him to founding Sun Records. Sam Phillips founded Sun Records in 1952 in the heart of the Memphis black music scene. Sun Records was created in attempt to “develop new and different artists, get freedom in music, and tape people that weren’t getting tapped; despite the boundaries” (Sam Phillips Bio. 5) Moreover, the task at hand is not one that is easily accomplished. In order for music to be a hit, it had to be a hit within the white community. The ... ... middle of paper ... ...broken down barriers. How better to understand what is unknown to you than by appreciation for the emotional experiences of other people? And how better are these emotion portrayed than through music?” (Impact of Rock and Roll on America 4). This philosophy established by Phillips helped shape a segregated culture into an equal one by uniting everyone through music. In conclusion, Sam Phillips transformed the world in two fashions. He created a revolutionary genre of music that went against everything that people knew and was successful. As well as playing a primary role in the integration of popular music with Rock and Roll. Sam Phillip overstepped every boundary that dared to stand in his way to grant anyone the freedom of expression through music. Phillips rose above the challenges from the social authority to redefine racial equality and freedom of expression.
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