Friday, July 26, 2013

Sun Records: Baby Let's Play House

It would be impossible to have a tribute to Sun Records without a little Elvis music recorded in Memphis. Sun Records released ten sides (five singles) of Elvis backed by Scotty Moore and Bill Black in 1954 and 1955. The recordings were issued both on 78 and 45 and are the most sought after Elvis commercial releases to date.

On February 11, 1955, Elvis covered Arthur Gunter’s “Baby, Let’s Play House.” Gunter had recorded the song on Excello the previous year and Elvis’ rendition is memorable, as it was his first national hit. Believe it or not, it did not chart on the pop or R&B charts as did his Sun contemporaries had done or will do, “Baby, Let’s Play House” was a #5 record on the country charts.

When RCA bought out Elvis’ contract from Sam Phillips late in 1955, they paid $40 thousand – which was the highest payment for a recording contract to date. In 2013 dollars, that equals $343 thousand. This was a small investment for the millions upon millions that RCA earned from his years with RCA from 1956 to his death in 1977 and beyond.

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