Arts + Culture

Music's Greatest Hits

by Kara Zuaro

CASH IN
Memphis, March 22, 1955

The Moment: Johnny Cash, who has moved to Memphis to attend radio DJ school, auditions as a gospel singer at Sun Studio, but things don't quite go as planned. Owner Sam Phillips shrugs at the gospel stuff, but records Cash singing one of his own tunes, "Hey Porter," and orders him to write a hit to go along with it. As dramatized in Walk the Line, Cash rises to the challenge with "Cry! Cry! Cry!" It becomes Sun's (and Cash's) first country hit, and the Man in Black is born.

Where to go now: Pay no attention to the man in the fringed white jumpsuit—Graceland isn't the only show in town. More tasteful tours are at Sun Studio, the "Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll," where musical gods including Cash, Elvis, Carl Perkins, B.B. King, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded hits.

Sun Studio
706 Union Avenue
Memphis
Tel: 800 441 6249
Tel: 901 521 0664
Open: 10-6 daily

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