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Sun Studio: The Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll

million-dollar-quartetIt was on a tiny corner in Memphis, Tennessee, that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis came together for a legendary impromptu jam on December 4, 1956, at Sun Studio.

When owner Sam Phillips called the media, the iconic photo and nickname that inspired the musical were born.

But Sun Studio gave birth to something bigger: rock ‘n’ roll. Phillips, a radio engineer, opened this postage stamp-sized studio in 1950. Just one year later, “Rocket 88,” considered the first-ever rock ‘n’ roll song, was recorded there. It’s also where Presley cut his first-ever recording (“My Happiness”).

After Phillips sold the studio in 1969, no recordings were made there until 1985, when Perkins, Cash, and Lewis reunited along with Roy Orbison for their Class of ’55 album. Reopened as Sun Studio in 1987 and now a National Historic Landmark, it’s open both to the public for tours and artists for recording.

Artists and acts such as Ringo Starr, Def Leppard, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, Beck, John Fogerty, Matchbox 20, and Maroon 5 have recorded there.

U2 recorded three songs for Rattle and Hum there, including radio hits “Angel of Harlem” and “When Love Comes to Town”—cramming the band, a horn section,background vocalists, and a film crew into the small studio.

John Mellencamp cut a majority of his most recent studio album, No Better Than This, at Sun, praising the acoustical aptitude literally marked by Phillips’s X’s on the floor.

In 2011, Chris Isaak recorded covers of Sun Studio classics there for Beyond the Sun—includ­ing “Ring of Fire,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “It’s Now or Never,” “Oh, Pretty Woman,” and more.

Plus, the PBS broadcast Sun Studio Sessions features intimate studio footage of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jakob Dylan, Justin Townes Earle, the Walk­men, Ryan Bingham, and more.

Before or after Million Dollar Quartet, be sure to make a pilgrimage to this musical mecca—a day’s drive down the road from West Lafayette—and walk the same floor as these legends!

Nick Rogers, contributor


MaStott3(c)ToddRosenbergPurdue Convocations is pleased to announce the new date for the previously cancelled performance with Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott. The concert will be held on Wednesday, October 15, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse in Purdue’s Stewart Center. All tickets issued for the original date will be honored at the door.

Recognizing the unique circumstances surrounding the concert’s cancellation, Purdue Convocations will allow refunds for patrons who are not able or do not wish to attend the performance on the new date through February 28, 2014 at 5 p.m. Refunds may be processed at the Purdue box offices upon presentation of the physical ticket(s) and will be for the stated face value of the ticket. Patrons who purchased tickets from third-party sellers should look to those outlets for refunds. If you have lost or misplaced your ticket, please contact the box office.

Any returned tickets will be made available for sale beginning March 7, 2014 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Purdue box office at 765-494-3933.

Regarding the new date, Purdue Convocations Director, Todd Wetzel, said “I extend my personal gratitude to Mr. Ma and Ms. Stott for their generosity and support during the severe weather and power outage, as well as for their eagerness to return to Purdue. I also re-extend my thanks to all of our patrons for their composure and cooperation as we worked to ensure everyone’s safety and subsequently work through the technical details surrounding the concert. You all made a very difficult day much easier for all of us. Now, we’ll focus our energies on the exciting return of this engagement in the fall.” The rescheduled concert will feature the same program as originally scheduled.

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater performance at Purdue cancelled

education_images_PopovichPurdue Convocations announced on Tuesday (Dec. 10) the cancellation of this season’s Popovich Comedy Pet Theater performance. The performance was scheduled for March 2-3 in Loeb Playhouse.

Due to health issues, Gregory Popovich must cancel his spring 2014 tour. Purdue Convocations wishes Gregory Popovich a speedy recovery and hopes to have his show back at Purdue in the future.

Those who bought tickets with a credit card will receive a refund to the card used at the time of purchase. If you purchased tickets using cash or a personal check, refunds will be issued by a university check in three to four weeks. Please contact the box office in person or by phone to make arrangements for a refund check. The phone number is 765-494-3933, and the box office locations are in Stewart Center or Elliott Hall if you have questions or need additional information.

SCC Songs of the Week: 12/4 – 12/10



Each week, SCC (Purdue Student Concert Committee) members pick their “Song of the Week.” The song can be new, old, or even undiscovered. Check back weekly for SCC songs of the week! More information about SCC can be found at


1) “Waves” by Electric Guests (Chosen by Mark Morton)

2) “Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys (Chosen by Mike Hofferth)

3) “Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers (Chosen by Tara Christopher)

4) “All Those Friendly People” by Funeral Suits (Chosen by Tara Christopher)

5) “Bound 2″ by Kanye West (Chosen by Nadine Hammoudi)

6) “Diplomat’s Son” by Vampire Weekend (Chosen by Gogo Erftenbeck)

7) “World Turning” by Toyko Shawn ft. Joey Purp (Chosen by Sarah Muhammad)

8) “Orange Soda” by Vic Mensa (Chosen by Sarah Muhammad)

9) “Will Calls” by Grizzly Bear – Diplo Remix (Chosen by Brendan McCulloch)

10) “Constant Surprises” by Little Dragon (Chosen by Brendan McCulloch)

11) “Tom Ford” by Jay Z (Chosen by Salim Abu Khader)