SAM PHILLIPS DIES
Now will Marion Keisker and Judd Phillips get their true recognition ?
There is no doubt the Sam Phillips will be remembered as a giant in music history. He founded the legendary "Sun Records" in Memphis and recorded, mostly in the 1950's, music legends such as B. B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Ike Turner and Rufus Thomas in blues and R&B, and Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich and Roy Orbison in rock and country. But, it is for Elvis Presley that he has received the greatest recognition and fame. But, others are just as deserving and as the new biographies are written about Sam Phillips perhaps the truth will emerge and that his brother Judd Phillips and 'partner' Marion Keisker will finally get the real recognition they are entitled to and history will be amended.
I had the pleasure of meeting Marion Keisker in Memphis in the late 1980's and spent many hours in conversation with her. I found her a very bright, charming, articulate and a true Southern Lady but inside she was a very bitter woman because of the way she had been treated by Sam Phillips. She discovered Elvis Presley and it was Sam's brother Judd who did all the hard work persuading radio stations to play Elvis' music and record stores to buy the Sun singles. Judd was out day and night, on the road, doing all the donkey work, all the hard-selling while Sam stayed at the Studio and took all the glory.
Marion had told me she was a partner of Sam but as Elvis became more famous she was pushed aside and Sam took control so that history has relegated her to just being Sam's 'secretary' or assistant but it was Marion who had recorded Elvis that June day in 1953 when Elvis first came into Sun records to record "My Happiness" for his mother's birthday (Gladys' birthday was in April?).
According to Bill Burk, author of "Early Elvis, the Sun Years" the exact date Marion had recorded Elvis cannot be verified because the log for Sun Records for June 1953 was stolen and has never re-emerged but it would have been a Saturday after Elvis received his pay cheque (paid bi-weekly) and more likely the 13th June 1953. Also, Bill Burk discovered that it was Marion who had Elvis first played on the radio and not Sam Phillips. She offered the song on July 7th 1954 to the Radio Station WREC where she worked as a DJ and only 30 seconds were played by a DJ, Fred Cook, who took it off the turntable saying these immortal words " Marion, that's the worst piece of shit I have ever heard". WREC were just playing wimp music by Bing Crosby, Pat Boone, Dean Martin and Elvis was just too much for poor, old Fred who has since been relegated to a footnote in Bill Burk's book while Elvis is a bit more famous. After he left Sun Elvis hardly had anything to do with Sam Phillips even though Sam has often said he was like a father to Elvis. Apparently, according to Bill Burk none of Sam's famous recording artists renewed their contract with Sun records.
My first lawyer in Memphis, Harold Streibich, was also Sam Phillips lawyer and had told me how Sam would call him 2 or 3am in the morning asking for legal advice. I met Sam Phillips and found him very strange indeed. He had become a born again Christian and had this manner of speaking as if he was an Evangelist talking to masses of people. He had very piercing, penetrating eyes and you did not feel comfortable in his presence. I just hope that now Marion will get the full recognition she deserves for discovering Elvis Presley and Judd Phillips for the contribution he made to music although Sam Phillips took the glory he still had a great gift to spot musical talent and Sun was the catalyst for the true birth of rock 'n' roll. Of course, 2004 is the 50th Anniversary of Elvis' first Sun recording that is arguably the 50th Anniversary of rock n' roll.
Sam Phillips will go down in history as the Father of Rock 'n' Roll but Judd Phillips was an unsung hero who also gave birth to this new kind of music and maybe Marion Keisker will eventually be remembered as the Mother of Rock 'n' Roll.
NEW LISA MARIE COMPETITION
EMI have kindly supplied us some promotional candles for "Lights Out" which will become serious collectors items as so few have been manufactured. The candles are in a glass jar and come in a simple white, presentation box. They were not available for sale and we have three to give away in our competition that closes on August 16th 2003.
To enter the competition simply email the song listing of Lisa's Album "To Whom It May Concern" to Lisa Marie Competition2 at firstname.lastname@example.org . The winners will be chosen at random on August 16th. Please remember to include your mailing address when you enter the competition.
Fans in Britain may have read about or seen us in the news recently being interviewed about the disgraceful legal battle between the Princess Diana Trust Fund and Franklin Mint. The landmark Judgements given to Elvisly Yours against EPE in the High Court and Court of Appeals in the UK had a fatal effect on the Princess Diana Trust. The Appeal Court Judges ruled that a person in the UK was not automatically entitled to a trade mark on their name, however famous. The Judges agreed that such a monopoly was against the public interest.
When I discovered the Trustees for Diana were threatening companies and applying for trade marks I wrote to John Major in 1997 as he was a guardian for the State for William and Harry. John Major's law firm replied with a standard, boring response so I called a Press Conference supported by the Labour MP, Austin Mitchell and the late Leyton Sommors (Elvis look-alike who was at the High Court with me). The Press Conference was filmed by British TV and reported by Associated Press and the story went all over the world. The simple suggestion I made was to re-instate Diana's "Royal" status and then her image would appear with the Royal Standard and companies would have paid £millions for the privilege. It would have cost nothing and no trade marks were needed and certainly no legal battles. I begged John Major and also made a statement at the Press Conference that Princess Diana's Trustees should not do what EPE did and threaten the world and harass companies and traders but instead work with people.
Alas, they completely ignored my advice and proceeded to sue Franklin Mint in California. This was a futile and ridiculous legal venture doomed to failure and I would have charged nothing for the advice instead of £millions. Franklin Mint had been selling Diana memorabilia for years without any complaint from Princess Diana so how could her Trustees possibly win. The expression "all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind when you think of this legal fiasco. Just like EPE Diana's Trustees believed they were invincible "protecting" Diana from wicked traders because they were given the right to represent her in death. A quick phone call to Elvisly Yours would have saved them £millions and stopped the Fund from being frozen.
Franklin Mint are a disgrace for having the cheek to sue for malicious damage. What malicious damage ? Most people around the world had never heard of the Franklin Mint until they sued the Princess Diana Trust Fund. If they are allowed to proceed with this case they should be counter-sued for malicious damage for affecting all these charities that may have to close because of their legal action. It is immoral for the Trustees to freeze the assets of the fund to protect themselves. The real losers will be the thousands of needy people depending on the Fund for support. I hope people will boycott buying Franklin Mint products which are often over-priced and the Fund closed and all money transferred to the Prince's Trust. Below is an extract from the letter sent to John Major in December 1997 :
John Major MP House of
essentially writing to you with reference to the Protection and Marketing
of memorabilia for Diana, Princess of Wales. I have been on the other side
of the fence with regard to fighting the worldwide monopoly of the Elvis
Presley Estate. Sadly, there are no good causes for the Elvis Presley
Estate. The whole operation is under the total control of the
Scientologists, Elvis’ family and friends receive nothing and are mostly
destitute and the lawyers, accountants and business managers have made
$millions and put out of business many small traders and fan clubs around
the world through legal thuggery. I was sued in the USA and prior to the
lawsuit had all my files stolen from my warehouse, my US accountant
disappeared and his son went to work for the Elvis Estate without
informing me and taking my accounts with him.
dealt with hundreds of companies over the past 20 years producing all
types of memorabilia related to Elvis Presley and, of course, I have
extensive legal experience of intellectual property. There are many ways
you can protect Diana without the need of messy lawsuits which you may
well lose and you should refer to the Judgement of Justice Laddie (taken
from my internet web site at www.elvisly-yours.com ). The
Judgement reinforced British Law which states...”you cannot own your own
name or likeness”. This decision has serious implications for legally
are interested I would be happy to meet you and any associates that are
now embarking on the marketing and protection of Diana to offer
“streetwise” advice on the daunting task you have ahead of you. My
background is a mixture of Sales (since the age of 6), Commercial Officer
for the British Consulate in San Francisco, Advertising, Teacher(5 years
in State Schools), Memorabilia Sales and Promotions for 20 years, and even
Political Leader. I have fought the Russian Mafia and the Memphis Mafia
and my unique experience in Britain and around the world may be
most of the world I was saddened and shocked by the tragic death of Diana
and I would hate to see Diana’s name dragged through the Courts fighting
small traders who with the right approach from the start could be
persuaded to take licenses. The Elvis Presley Estate operate through mass
intimidation and harassment and have made thousands of enemies and are
hated by fans in America and around the world. Openness and co-operation
will produce goodwill and save a fortune in legal fees and there is every
possibility that you would lose any legal battle in Britain.
If you are interested in my views you can reach me at my office. Thank you for taking time to read this letter and you should read the Judgement in my case,
Last year Elvisly Yours was instrumental in first getting Elvis fans involved with the promotion for the remix of "A Little Less Conversation". We had been kept informed by BMG of details of the release of the single and two months before it was launched we were encouraging fans all over the world to promote the fact that Elvis was going to get to no.1 in the UK singles charts. We kept up a relentless promotion with fans, fan clubs, the media and even William Hill who stopped taking bets that Elvis would get to no.1
When it was close to release we got fans all over Britain and even around the world to place advance orders for 'ALLC' in UK record stores. On the day of release we had TV and Press at the Elvisly Yours Shop and all this was done without one penny in payment from BMG. We were just happy to help get Elvis to no.1 where he had deserved to be for the last 25 years but RCA/BMG had never bothered to promote Elvis because they had received no support from EPE and even had to fight a lawsuit with them.
You would think BMG would be grateful for all this free publicity but instead BMG have told us that they can have nothing to do with Elvisly Yours because this would upset EPE. What bullshit ! When "Suspicious Minds" was released we had EIGHT Elvis tribute artists singing the song outside the Elvisly Yours Shop and they just got travelling expenses and a free copy of the record with a low number. TV footage was shown all over the world but BMG had done a lousy job getting the records into the stores and Elvis only reached no.13. I complained bitterly to BMG that they had to do a better sales job and when ALLC came around all the stores had good stocks until, of course, it was taken off the shelves to make way for that wimp "Gareth Gates".
We have received no information from BMG about "Rubberneckin" so we cannot tell you when it will be released. We have never been put on the BMG mailing list and it is sad that Elvis' record company should have no balls and stand up to the ignorance shown by the megalomaniacs that run EPE. Any company in its right mind would welcome publicity aimed at its core market. Elvisly Yours has access to a mailing list of 100,000 Elvis fans in the UK and our website is the most popular in Europe with thousands of hits each week for all over the world.
Why BMG chose Rubberneckin' God only knows as it is not a touch on the last remix, "A Little Less Conversation". To be honest, I don't think the remix is as good as the original version but I have only heard it on my computer as BMG have refused to send me an advance copy. There is not much we can do to promote the single, not knowing when it will be released and BMG are notorious about changing release dates. I hope it reaches no.1 but I am sorry to say that it is not a worthy follow-up to ALLC and unless BMG do a great marketing job I do not think it will make the top 10. BMG were lucky that ALLC was used in 'Oceans 11' and on the NIKE ad so their marketing and PR job was done for them, plus a little help from Elvisly Yours. In fact, we cannot tell you anything about new Elvis albums or CDs because we have been excommunicated by BMG but starting next year BMG will start to lose their monopoly rights in Elvis Presley as their copyright expires after 50 years. All the 'Sun' material will become public domain and then by 2006 all the early Elvis 50's hits will start to follow. Explanations of why you think BMG have no balls can be sent by email to email@example.com .
ELVIS ON STAGE in Killarney