Saturday, 21 December 2013

U is for Uncle Silas Payne
Sam Phillips grew up on the family farm outside Florence, Alabama. One of the workers was an old, blind, black man known as Uncle Silas Payne. He taught young Sam about music, about the power of what Sam later called ‘genuine, untutored Negro’ music. When Sam started his own record company he remembered what Uncle Silas had taught him and went looking for ‘Negroes with mud on their boots and patches in their overalls, battered instruments and unfettered techniques’. He found them and recorded them. Then he found Elvis and taught him what Uncle Silas had taught him. As has often been said, Uncle Silas is the secret hero of the whole story.

Tomorrow Elvis runs the voodoo down

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