Sun Studio, Memphis TN

Elvis Presley - Rufus Thomas - Johnny Cash - Howlin Wolf

Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley began his career, was started by Sam Phillips in 1950.  During the early years Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others recorded here.   

It was originally called Memphis Recording Service and was home to R&B, Blues, Rockabilly, and County musicians.  Sun artists included Howlin' Wolf, Little Milton, Rufus Thomas, Charlie Rich, Roy Orbison and B. B. King, to name a few. 

Sam Phillips moved on; the building was eventually sold.  Recording here stopped for many years.  In 1987, Sun Studio began recording again.  It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Memphis. 

Tour Guides

The tour guides here are very popular with tourists.  They are enthusiastic about the studio.  They seem to enjoy and appreciate working in this historical place.  And they are full of information

Museum Tour

The admission price includes a guided tour.  Your tour guide stays with a group of up to 40 people for the entire visit.  First you go upstairs to the Museum.  The museum is full of vintage recording equipment, records, photos, and guitars. 

The walls are covered with photos of the people who recorded here.  Many of the photos look like candid shots, not the usual publicity shots. 

    You will want to hear about all the names you recognize, but you may have not heard of the Prisonaires.  Be sure your guide tells you about them.  Theirs is a most unusual story. 

Sun Recording Studio

After visiting the second floor museum, your guide will take you down to the first floor recording studio.  It remains a working studio.  Musical stars continue to record here

On the tour, you will be in the room where the recording is done.  You will be in the same place the musicians where then, and are today, to record hit songs

    This music fan visiting from Cincinnati is holding the Sun microphone, and surely imagining what it was like to be Elvis.  You will get to do that, too. 

You may also schedule recording here.  If you record here you can stand in exactly the same spot where such musical giants like Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins recorded.  They have both vintage and modern equipment depending on your preference.  The recording studio is used 3 to 4 nights a week.

    So, grab your buddies, your band, the group you jam with and head on over to Sun Studio and record a session.  You need to first check the cost and schedule a time.  Elvis did it, so can you.  And when you sing, be sure to stand on the X where Elvis stood

The music recorded in this studio is still popular, recognized and loved all over the world. 

Sun Studio has been recognized as a National Historic Landmark. 

- Need to Know -

  • Sun Studio is located at 706 Union Avenue near downtown Memphis. 
  • There is free on-site parking.  When you leave, it will be easier if you will go out the back of the parking lot.  Go left on Monroe, left on S. Orleans and left on Marshall.  This will bring you back to Union Avenue. 
  • You will be close to all the downtown attractions including Rock 'n' Soul Museum, the Peabody Hotel, Beale Street, and the FedEx Forum.  
  • The museum is on the second floor.  There is no elevator
  • The gift shop is well stocked with music and tee shirts.

   Sun Studio Admission and Hours

Open Daily 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Adult Admission - $12:00, plus tax.

Children 5  to 11 years old - Free

Children under 5 are not permitted. 

    Starting at 10:30 a.m., tours begin at the bottom half of every hour through 5:30 p.m. 

YeaMemphis Tip - It is obvious, but listen to the tour guide.  They are well informed and share considerable information with you.  

Best Photo Ops - You must get your photo made with a microphone, singing like Elvis, Johnny Cash or your favorite Sun Studio performer.  

historic studio, still making music....

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