ISSUE 83: Long Way Home

The Oxford American

by Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash is a Grammy Award–winning musician and the author of Composed: A Memoir. Her new album, The River & the Thread, will come out in January 2014.

I was born at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Memphis on a muggy evening just before eight p.m. in late May 1955. Two months later, my father’s very first single, “Hey Porter,” backed with “Cry, Cry, Cry,” was released on Sun Records, a small record label and recording studio at 706 Union Avenue in downtown Memphis. Sun was owned by Sam Phillips, a young music entrepreneur, recording engineer, and record producer. The building still stands, essentially as it was in the early 1950s when my dad, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins created their first recordings. Now it is a thriving tourist destination but still a fully functioning recording studio. Musicians come from all over the world to genuflect at the altar of the birthplace of rock & roll.

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