Jul 05, 2014
By Lindsey Brown
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC) - It's a big weekend for Elvis fans and a milestone for rock and roll. Saturday, July 5, marked 60 years since Elvis recorded the song "That's Alright" at 706 Union Avenue.
Name the day and you'll find a line outside Sun Studio. Visitors from around the world on Saturday got a special treat, an anniversary celebration that couldn't take place anywhere other than Memphis, Tennessee.
On hand was the son of legendary WHBQ Memphis radio DJ Dewey Phillips.
Phillips' son, Jerry, had the honor of cutting the cake then playing for the crowd an original vinyl of Elvis' "It's Alright." Dewey Phillips will forever be known as the first person to play the song over the airwaves in 1954.
For Jerry, this is a chance to publicly pay tribute to the father he lost back in 1968.
"I know I will never be the last to play this record, but it sure is a pleasure to do it," said Phillips. "Elvis never forgot my dad either after he got big. He came to my father's funeral. He called my mother. That was the kind of person Elvis was."
This also marks a new exhibit at Sun Studio featuring Dewey Phillips' WHBQ radio booth that has been taken out of its home in the Chisca Hotel and now preserved for music lovers. You could also say the day served as a reunion of sorts.
Dewey Phillips' son shook hands with another legendary DJ, George Klein, who was a lifelong friend of Elvis.
"I'm glad it wasn't thrown away. It probably would have been thrown away if Sun Records hadn't been sharp enough," said Klein.
Back outside, fans from around the globe had a slice of free cake, banana and peanut butter, taking home with them memories of Elvis' hometown 60 years after the world first heard his voice.
The anniversary celebration continued into Saturday tonight with an Elvis inspired concert at the Levitt Shell, which is the very spot Elvis gave his first professional performance.